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Tenuous boundaries between history and fiction in o Xangô de Baker Street

Grant number: 11/02524-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2011
Effective date (End): April 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Brazilian Literature
Principal Investigator:Gabriela Kvacek Betella
Grantee:Renato Oliveira Rocha
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil


The investigation includes the analysis of the tenuous boundaries between history and fiction in the Jô Soares' novel O Xangô de Baker Street (1995). In his debut novel, the author complains, in good-humoured way, the Brazilian society of the nineteenth century, especially Rio de Janeiro, space-time of the narrative, a city in tune with European customs. After the theft of a Stradivarius violin and during the occasional presence of French actress Sarah Bernhardt in Brazil, is suggested by the Queen of talent that invite the Emperor Pedro II "the greatest detective in the world," Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle's character, until previously unknown by the monarch, to resolve the case. Holmes, in several passages of the novel, questioning certain customs and society's obsession with being a tropical colony Europeanized, questioning similar to that made the foreign travelers in their accounts. If Antonio Candido coined Leonardo Pataca as "the first trickster of the Brazilian Literature" (CANDIDO, 2004, p. 22), Jô refashioning the Brazilian pícaro embodied in Sherlock Holmes, affected by the trickery of the tropics. Therefore, this research aims at an analysis of procedures to revisit the history and employ the characteristics of the crime novel genre, perverting them with humor and irony. We expect to present the fictional scenario of O Xangô de Baker Street taking advantage of the recent studies in the dialogues between literature and history, considerations about the legacy of Brazilian humorous work and the revision of traditional genres. (AU)

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