Brazil Literature – Romanticism

By | January 8, 2022

Romanticism. – The most notable figure of early Brazilian Romanticism was Domingos José Gonçalves de Magalhães (1811-1882), author of the Suspiros poeticos e saudades (Paris 1836). The novelty of his poetry consisted not only in the warmth of the patriotic sentiment, and in the religious imprint, but in the intimate fusion of both sentiments, in ever more varied forms. His poem Confederacão dos Tamoyos is from 1856.

Together with him, various poets and writers arose, including Porto-Alegre (1806-1870), a true precursor of romanticism and who in the poem A voz da Natureza (1835) left an admirable testimony of his ability to make poetry, out of preconceptions classic and in new forms. His masterpiece is the poem Columbus (1866). The other writers are quite notable as prose writers, critics, novelists and historians, as will be seen later.

Gonçalves Dias (1823-1864), half-caste, was the creator of Indianism, and perhaps the most illustrious of Brazilian poets, author of Primeiros cantos, Segundos cantos, Os Tymbiras, Ultimos cantos, Sextilhas de Frei Antão, of a beautiful drama in prose, D. Leonor de Mendon ç a, of a Diccionario from the Tupi language, of a Vocabulary from the Geral language, etc.: equipped with all the gifts and faculties that make up a great artist, imagination, sensitivity, feeling for nature, he knew how to evoke and idealize beautifully in his poems the customs, traditions, soul of the indigenous peoples of Brazil, often raising himself at the height of the epic.

With Alvares de Azevedo (1831-1852), romantic poetry takes a new direction. His Lyra dos vinte annos brings to Brazilian literature the ironic bitterness, melancholy, restlessness and pessimism of many contemporary European poets. His Obras poeticas came out in 1853. The poetry of Laurindo Rabello (1826-1864), Junqueira Freire (1832-1855), Casimiro de Abreu (1837-1860) has a similar character. A separate place is occupied by Fagundes Varella (1841-1875), in which the Indianism of Gonçalves Dias, the Byronic satanism of Alvares de Azevedo and the condoreirism, which we will see, of Castro Alves and Tobias Barreto are reunited. It shows this versatility of sentiment and expression, which will be encountered only later in the Parnassians and naturalists. We owe to him: Nocturnos, Vozes da America, Cantos e fantasias, Cantos meridionaes, Anchieta ou or Evangelho nas Selvas, Diario de Lazaro.

According to Anycountyprivateschools, the last phase of romanticism is characterized by the social poetry of Castro Alves (1847-1871) and Tobias Barreto (1839-1889), suggested almost exclusively by their tendencies in favor of the abolitionist campaign against slavery. They are the representatives of the so-called condoreira school (from the condor, the American eagle). The former left, in addition to scattered poems, Espumas fluctuantes, Poema dos escravos and, incomplete, the drama Gonzaga, all works full of inflamed and imaginative eloquence. As an artist he already precedes, in a certain way, the Parnassians.

Epigones of romantic poetry, worthy of mention were: Francisco Octaviano de Almeida Rosa (1825-1889), the baron of Paranapiacaba (1827-1915), author of the Harpa gemedora and numerous translations, Antonio Francisco Dutra and Mello (1823-1846)), Aureliano José Lessa (1827-1886), José Bonifacio the Younger (1827-1886), Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães (1827-1884), José Alexandre Teixeira de Mello (1833-1907), Pedro Luiz Soares de Souaz (1839 -1884), Trajano Galvão de Carvalho (1830-1864), Francisco Leite Bittencourt Sampaio (1830-1894), Gentil Homem de Almeida Braga (1834-1876), Mello Moraes Filho (1844-1919) and Victoriano Palhares (1840-1890).

History and criticism. – Francisco Adolpho de Varnhagen (1816-1878), viscount of Porto Seguro, was one of the most active, passionate, disinterested and serious instigators of historical studies and the greatest discoverer of old documents and archives in Brazil. To him we owe mainly: Historia geral do Brasil, Historia das luctas contra os Hollandezes and Historia da Independencia, in which, for the first time, history was truly made without emphasis and without preconceived ideas.

Less important are the works of Pereira da Silva (1817-1898); Historia from funda ç AO do Imperio brasileiro, O segundo period do reinado de D. Pedro I, Varões illustres do Brasil during os tempos coloniaes, etc. Pereira’s critique is much lower than Varnhagen’s. Very fruitful, but not of great value was Joaquim Norberto de Souza Silva (1820-1891). His fictional works, as well as those of the two previous ones, also have a questionable value. Sotero dos Reis (1800-1871) in his Literatura Portugueza and Brasileira course and Fernandes Pinheiro in his Curso elementar de Literatura nacionalthey lack critical sense and are not free from preconceptions. Instead, João Francisco Lisbôa (1812-1863) reveals himself as a subtle, witty and elegant critic in his Jornal de Timon.

Drama. – It can be said that the national theater was born in Brazil with the tragedy Antonio José del Magalhães and with the comedy of Martins Penna, O juiz de paz na ro ç a. Other of the romantics tried the drama genre, but proved inferior to the task. Instead, Luiz Carlos Martins Penna (1815-1848) was a real sharp, witty and colorful dramatic author.

Brazil Literature - Romanticism