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Literary and Cultural Circulation

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José Luís Jobim

An important question concerning literary studies is the circulation of literary works beyond their place of origin. Many other aspects must also be taken into consideration, such as the asymmetric positioning of authors and their work in international circulation, which is conditioned by the relative position of languages and cultures in the global market. This volume focuses on literary and cultural circulation and includes essays that explore this topic through case studies, analysing works and authors from diverse literatures and cultures, and discussions of the theoretical issues surrounding circulation and all that it entails: temporality, place, method, material objects and concepts.

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17 Cannibalism as Cultural Appropriation: From Caliban to the Cannibalist Manifesto (José Luís Jobim)

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José Luís Jobim 17 Cannibalism as Cultural Appropriation: From Caliban to the Cannibalist Manifesto Within literary and cultural circulation between the Americas and Europe, cannibalism played different roles at different times. Here I will present an overview of the appropriation of the figure of the cannibal on two par- ticular occasions. First, I will explore how this figure is structured around the character Caliban, a supporting actor who becomes a main character in Latin American essays, in his relationship with other characters in The Tempest (1610–1611), on the circuit between Europe and the Americas. Second, I will briefly discuss how anthrophagy is taken up again by Oswald de Andrade in his Cannibalist Manifesto (1928), “like the promise of a theoretical imagining of alterity, via the creative appropriation of the con- tribution of the other” (Rocha 2011: 648). Cannibalism in the New World In the first decades of the sixteenth century, an Italian living in Spain, Pietro Martire d’Anghiera (1457–1526), was already describing the danger posed by cannibals in the New World. According to d’Anghiera, upon disembarking in the Americas, the Spanish were allegedly confused by the inhabitants of Hispaniola,1 taken for ferocious people, monsters that ate human flesh: 1 Today this island is composed of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. 352 José Luís Jobim The cannibals captured children, whom they castrated, just as we do chickens and pigs we wish to fatten for the table, and when they were grown and became fat they ate...

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