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Cannibal Angels

Transatlantic Modernism and the Brazilian Avant-Garde


Kenneth David Jackson

In the first three decades of the twentieth century, artists, writers, musicians, and architects from both sides of the Atlantic interacted to create a modern style for Brazil. Their works shaped Brazilian national expression and self-definition for the twentieth century and into the present, with renewed relevance as Brazil plays an increasingly important role in global affairs. Artists such as Tarsila do Amaral and Roberto Burle-Marx are appearing for the first time in museums in the United States and Europe, along with the concept of antropofagia from the «Cannibal Manifesto», a theory of cultural autonomy and a model for fusion, hybridity, and assimilation. This book offers a cultural history and interpretation of Brazilian modernism in the arts and letters, exploring how modernism depends on transatlantic negotiation and develops through interchanges between Brazilians and Europeans.
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I have received the support of many writers, artists, and researchers experienced in the study of Brazilian modernism, both past and present, whose works have been an indispensable model and lesson, including Jorge Schwartz, Augusto de Campos, João Alexandre Barbosa, Alfredo Bosi, Luiz Costa Lima, Silviano Santiago, Walnice Nogueira Galvão, Flora Süssekind, Gênese Andrade, Heitor Martins, Leyla Perrone, Flávia Toni, Manoel Corrêa do Lago, Gérard Béhague, Gilberto Mendes, Willy Corrêa de Oliveira, Caio Pagano, Héctor Olea, Mário da Silva Brito, Arnaldo Saraiva, Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna, Aracy Amaral, and others named in the bibliography to whom I express my appreciation for their guidance and example. I acknowledge my intellectual debts to Jorge de Sena for his direction of my studies of Brazilian literature and in Brazil to Benedito Nunes and Haroldo de Campos for their guidance and exemplary studies of modernism.

I owe thanks to the Benson Collection of the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin for use of its extensive and rich archives, to the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library at Yale, to the Sterling Memorial Library, and to the MacMillian Center for International and Area Studies for a fellowship grant to support research on this project.

I am especially grateful to Tarsilinha do Amaral for her interest in this book and for kind permission to reproduce works by her aunt, Tarsila do Amaral. Leda Rita Cintra...

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