Facets, Phases, Titles, Trends:
Brazilian Lyric
In the second half of the twentieth century, the domain of lyric - in the
general sense of genre - has expanded in curious and instigative ways far
outside the bounds of conventional verse. Poetic endeavor in Brazil has
been remarkably creative and diverse, at times with notable international
projection. Makers of poetry have drawn from graphic arts, music, inter-
disciplinary theory, and other nontraditional elements in addition to
literary heritage. Such exercises in lyric difference had begun in Brazil
with its modernist movement in the 1920S. More so than in any other
nation in the Americas, the avant-garde of Brazilian modernism had a
tremendous impact on cultural discourses. The prime impetus of the
modernist enterprise was poetry, which was a centerpiece of early-
century intellectual life beyond the field of literature. Lyric remained a
key frame of reference for aesthetics into midcentury and later, and ideas
that were argued vis-a-vis poetry in the twenties have continued to stim-
ulate discussion. Especially with the emergence of loquacious neovan-
guards in the late 1950S and 1960s, poetry has been at the forefront of
dispute and dialogue about numerous matters: the nature of national-
ism, the social duties of artists, the practice of experimentalism, limits
and variant uses of the arts, Brazil's place in the international arena.
This book is about practices of Brazilian poetry in the contemporary
period, from the 1950S to the final decade of the century. Since informed
discussion of this span depends on reference
the legacies of modern-
ism in Brazil, an introductory chapter reviews that early-century move-
ment to set the stage for what follows. The ensuing chapters study move-
ments, currents, tendencies, and environments, phenomena that overlap
in time and purpose. Consideration of groups, generational manifesta-
tions, and novelty here takes deliberate precedence over attention to
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