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The (sweet) poetics of Iracema

Grant number: 16/17895-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2017
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Comparative Literature
Principal Investigator:Fernando Augusto Magalhães Paixão
Grantee:Fernando Augusto Magalhães Paixão
Host: Gerard Dessons
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros (IEB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Université Vincennes Saint-Denis (Paris 8), France  

Abstract

This aplication is for a rechearch stay in France, for three months, under the supervision of Prof. Gérard Dessons, from Vincennes-Saint-Denis University. We have been in contact professionally for the last two years, mainly through academic events. The chief aim of this research will be to deepen and broaden my knowledge of Henri Meschonnic, a figure attracting ever-greater interest in contemporary literary studies and whose vast and complex oeuvre taps into the knowledge sets of linguistics, anthropology and philosophy. Based on this research I plan to write an interpretive essay on José de Alencar's Iracema. Written in poetic prose, the novel, which ranks among the author's Indianist works, constructs a founding myth for the Brazilian identity. Machado de Assis considered it a "prose poem" and the book does indeed conjure a lyrical atmosphere that I would be very interested in analysing in greater depth. Most interpretations associate the work with the nationalistic debates that surrounded Brazil's independence, and yet the novel is rarely studied in terms of its form and genre-precisely the aspects we plan to emphasise here. Towards this end, we believe a thorough exploration of Meschonnic's ideas would be of great value. Of particular interest, for example, is his notion of rhythm, which he saw as associated with "the manifestation of a gestural mode, a corporeality and a subjectivity". This is the focus I plan to take in exploring the discursive strategies of Iracema.