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The modernity surrounded by construction hoardings: from social lyric poetry to neoclassical conversion in modern Brazilian poetry

Abstract

This study focuses on one of the most problematic aspects of Brazilian lyric poetry of the second post-war, which was the formalist tendency, with neoclassical features, notable in the work of poets from Modernism, such as Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Murilo Mendes, Jorge de Lima, and Augusto Meyer, and in the works of the then emergent "generation of 1945", generally disregarded by literary criticism and historiography. Although this tendency is quite expressive, it rarely came to be examined in a systematic way, in a broad and contrastive approach of the production of the period, as proposed here.No doubt the modernists in question were the object of careful, isolated investigations, but they tended to disregard this neoclassical conversion even in the particular trajectory of each of them. The broader or more comprehensive approach to this trend would go a long way towards understanding more accurately the aesthetic and historical relevance of a period that is actually a crossroads of modern lyric poetry, since the best of the avant-garde conquests converges with the most regressive, at the same time that both the Antilira Cabralina and the germs of Concretism are emerging. It is, therefore, a period which signals, at the same time, the closure of a modernization cycle and the birth of a new one.Expanding the horizon of reflection, the present study investigates, from this corpus and this tendency, on the logic of historical dynamics, understood no more as the naive belief in a progressive sequence of ruptures promoted by the vanguards, but as a movement of advances , returns and persistence, establishing a coexistence of different temporal regimes, as more recently theorists and historians of art and literature have shown. These returns do not in themselves imply purely regressive tendencies in aesthetic-ideological terms, but may in some cases signal, as William Marx notes, the distrust of teleology naively accepted by unconditional defenders of modernity.The study is composed of twelve chapters covering a part of the history of the Brazilian lyric that, starting from one of its high moments, of full realization, with Drummond, of the claims and conquests of the modernist ideals, between the years 1930 until the first half of the years 1940, finally stages the crisis that fell on this genre that is considered the paradigm of the modern (Wolfgang Iser). Although centered in lyrical poetry, the approach is in convergence with other areas of knowledge, in particular social history and the sociology of intellectuals. The volume also includes documentation of interest, now dispersed in periodicals reviews and collections, which illustrates the main debates and polemics involving poets and critics who acted at the time, about the generation of 45 and the neoclassical conversion of the period.Finally, it is interesting to note that the present study is a research product funded by CNPq and presented as a thesis to the Brazilian Literature area of USP. He deploys the research published in the book (Drummond: da rosa do povo à rosa das trevas, Ateliê Editoral, 2005, 2nd ed. - Anpoll 2000 Literature Prize) specifically dedicated to the neoclassical conversion of Drummond in the period, from exegesis of Novos poemas (1948) and Claro enigma (1951), confronted with the chronicle and the essayism of the Itabiran poet collected in Passeios na ilha (1952). (AU)