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Literary and Cultural Circulation


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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13 The Circulation of Ideas within Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism between France and Brazil: The Role of Travellers (Maria Elizabeth Chaves de Mello)


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13  The Circulation of Ideas within Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism between France and Brazil: The Role of Travellers

Les Français ont presque toujours quelque vue d’intérêt dans leurs voyages. — JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU

In this chapter I intend to study the circulation of ideas in the nineteenth century, when awareness of the struggle to shape a national reality first properly took hold in Brazil. Literary criticism was committed to this project, working in various ways to discover what it meant “to be Brazilian”, and thus be able to detect this “Brazilianness” in the works it studied, as well as raising the awareness of the public. Within this process, the ideologies of the age played a major role, directly influencing criticism. To attempt to study these interactions is also to attempt to study the formation of theoretical thinking in Brazil. Therefore, discussions of the fictitious and the imaginary, based on these texts, as well as the role of travel narratives in the formation of Brazilian literature and of the concept of Brazil as seen by Brazilians, can serve as the point of departure for new explorations within literary studies.

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