Neo-Backwardness In Bolsonaro’s Brazil
Brazil's foremost cultural theorist considers parallels between the rise of Bolsonaro and the 1964 military coup. Is capital once again advancing its modernization programme with the support of the country’s most backward-looking elements? Paradoxes of politics and culture, from Machado to the present, via tropicalismo and Glauber Rocha.
Antonio Candido 1918–2017
Pioneer analyst of a Brazilian literary space, Candido surveyed Western cultural centres and their contending theories, not simply to measure up local experience, but to test them against it. Portrait of a gifted teacher and literary critic, subtle master of his country’s complex ex-colonial condition.
Brecht’s Relevance: Highs and Lows
In what ways does Brecht’s drama—and the world-transforming impulse behind his strategies of defamiliarization—speak to times and places other than his own? Ups and downs of his resonance in Brazil and beyond, shadowing the movements of history’s leading edge.
Roberto Schwarz discusses the cultural-political import of rival interpretations of Machado de Assis, within the critical space of world literature. Local versus international, specific versus universal, entangled within the ironies and dizzying narrative disjunctures of a Brazilian master.
A Brazilian Breakthrough
What made the greatest Brazilian novel of the nineteenth century, Machado de Assis’s Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, a masterpiece of world literature? The strange fate of realism in an ex-colonial society, in which liberalism was a ruling ideology, modernity a universal ideal, and slavery still an everyday fact of life.
Brazilian Culture: Nationalism by Elimination
“We Brazilians and other Latin Americans constantly experience the artificial, inauthentic and imitative nature of our cultural life. An essential element in our critical thought since independence, it has been variously interpreted from romantic, naturalist, modernist, right-wing, left-wing, cosmopolitan and nationalist points of view, so we may suppose . . .” read more
Conservatives and Corporatism
“In the course of her closing speech at the Conservative Party Conference in 1984 Mrs Thatcher held high a copy of the 1944 White Paper on employment policy and triumphantly revealed that it carried on its cover the name of Margaret H. Roberts. While it may be intriguing . . .” read more
A New Intuition
Plots that stylize class conduct, literary structures imitating historical ones, formal fractures indexing historical impasses, literature as the discoverer of new knowledge: Roberto Schwarz’s studies of Machado de Assis as models for a distinctive Marxist criticism.
A Party of Latecomers
Over the past decade the American political-intellectual scene has undergone a significant change with the emergence of a lively nexus of journals, ideas and activities, constituting a new kind of cultural left. Francis Mulhern etches the portrait of the Brooklyn-based n+1, which has been both forerunner and intellectual flagship of this effervescence.