The black butterfly: Brazilian slavery and the literary imagination

Wood, Marcus (2019) The black butterfly: Brazilian slavery and the literary imagination. West Virginia University Press, USA. ISBN 9781949199024 (Accepted)

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

The Black Butterfly focuses on the slavery writings of three of Brazil's literary giants-Machado de Assis, Castro Alves, and Euclides da Cunha. These authors wrote in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as Brazil moved into and then through the 1888 abolition of slavery. Assis was Brazil's most experimental novelist; Alves was a Romantic poet with passionate liberationist politics, popularly known as "the poet of the slaves"; and da Cunha is known for the masterpiece Os Sertoes (The Backlands), a work of genius that remains strangely neglected in the scholarship of transatlantic slavery.

Wood finds that all three writers responded to the memory of slavery in ways that departed from their counterparts in Europe and North America, where emancipation has typically been depicted as a moment of closure. He ends by setting up a wider literary context for his core authors by introducing a comparative study of their great literary abolitionist predecessors Luis Gonzaga Pinto da Gama and Joaquim Nabuco. The Black Butterfly is a revolutionary text that insists Brazilian culture has always refused a clean break between slavery and its aftermath. Brazilian slavery thus emerges as a living legacy subject to continual renegotiation and reinvention.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: Slavery, Brazil, nineteenth century literature
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Laura Vellacott
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 13:53
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2019 13:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84577
📧 Request an update