Readings on Graciliano Ramos’s Novels
Chapter 6: Among Bulls and Goats
C H A P T E R S I X Among Bulls and Goats One of the most crucial aspects of Silva’s narrative in Angústia is that he embod- ies the dissolution of a once affluent family that belonged to the land oligarchy. Such dissolution pervades all of the family members’ life trajectories, in particular his own. His very name—the one to which he must respond at all times—already indicates an erasure, signaling the family’s socio-economic decline: his grandfather had been named Trajano Pereira de Aquino Cavalcante e Silva; his father, Camilo Pereira da Silva, whereas he was a mere Luís da Silva (Brayner, “Graciliano Ramos” 209).1 From one generation to the next there is an increasing reduction, which Silva himself notes in relation to his father’s name, reduced to Camilo Pereira da Silva, and which critics such as Candido have underscored (“Ficção” 38). That Camilo’s name is a reduced form of his father’s only evinces the loss of the most prestigious surnames (Aquino Cavalcante), which results in a nominal value of the proper noun, so to speak. The value of Camilo’s name would have to be derived from the capital Camilo might accumulate on his own and through his feats, rather than by means of the inherited symbolic capital with which socially recognized family names are invested. Operating on the symbolic level, the name reduction parallels that of economic capital, evident in the family’s dilapidated assets: the cattle is reduced in number to...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.