Subaltern Writings

Readings on Graciliano Ramos’s Novels

by Rocha Fernando de Sousa (Author)
©2013 Monographs 175 Pages
Series: Latin America, Volume 27


Subaltern Writings focuses on one of the most important Brazilian novelists of the first half of the twentieth century, Graciliano Ramos, and critically examines two of his novels, Caetés and Angústia. The analysis is based on the premise that the reader must bring to the forefront the notion of a subject that is close to non-subjectivity and must develop heterodox forms of cultural production as Ramos himself sketches them. Rather than insisting on the protagonists’ assumed mediocrity or derangement, which has been the norm in previous critical readings of the novels, Subaltern Writings reconstructs how their attempts at composing fictional texts constitute examples of subaltern approaches, often standing alongside «high» cultural production. Unable to enter a circuit of literary writing that silences subaltern speakers, the novels’ protagonists create narratives that, instead of becoming finished objects of consumption, end up as fragments or notes. In this sense, Subaltern Writings consists of exercises in reading an object that resists becoming one. This book will be of great interest to researchers and students of Luso-Brazilian and Latin American studies.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2013 (November)
non-subjectivity cultural production mediocrity
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 175 pp.

Biographical notes

Rocha Fernando de Sousa (Author)

Fernando de Sousa Rocha received his PhD in comparative literature from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Dr. Rocha is currently Assistant Professor of Portuguese at Middlebury College and has been the recipient of the Ada Howe Kent grant. His latest publications are «Recovering Voices: The Popular Music Ear in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Brazil» in Media, Sound, and Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean (edited by Alejandra Bronfman and Andrew Grant Wood) as well as the articles A conexão Alencar-Freyre: ‘comos’ e ‘porquês’ em duas narrativas de formação (2012) and ‘Tudo cato’: as formas do circular no diário Quarto de despejo de Carolina Maria de Jesus (2011).


Title: Subaltern Writings