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.
12 The Idea of Sobranceria in the Luso-Brazilian Essay of National Interpretation (Robert Patrick Newcomb)
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ROBERT PATRICK NEWCOMB
12 The Idea of Sobranceria in the Luso-Brazilian Essay of National Interpretation
In this chapter I address the use of the term sobranceria by three noted Luso-Brazilian intellectuals, all preoccupied with the question of Brazilian civilization’s Iberian, and more specifically Portuguese “roots”: Portuguese historian J. P. de Oliveira Martins, and Manoel Bomfim and Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, from Brazil. I also observe similarities and differences between the three authors’ understandings of sobranceria, in the context of the circulation of ideas between Portugal and Brazil during the final years of the nineteenth century, and the first decades of the twentieth.
In As Raízes e o Labirinto da América Latina (The Roots and the Labyrinth of Latin America, 2006), a comparative study of Sérgio Buarque de Holanda’s Raízes do Brasil (Roots of Brazil, 1936) and Octavio Paz’s El laberinto de la soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude, 1950), the Brazilian literary and cultural critic Silviano Santiago looks to the “vocábulo castelhano ‘sobrancería’ (guardado na língua original)” (Castilian word sobrancería, which Buarque uses in its original language) as a key term for understanding the interpretation of Brazilian history that Buarque offers in his classic essay. The passage from Raízes do Brasil which Santiago references, in which Buarque describes individualism as a fundamental component of the Iberian and Latin American character, reads as follows: “Essa concepção espelha-se fielmente em uma palavra...
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