In the introduction to his Structure of Modern Lyric (1991), Hugo Friedrich recognizes three ways of actions for the subject when related to something external. According to him, the poet could describe, feel or modify objects by transposing them into poetry. His attempt to categorize poetic making still understands the possibility of recognizing in each of the prevailing attitudes the affiliation to three paradigms of poetic production. Hence, the following correlation is set: the classical poet describes the romantic feels and the modern transforms.
It seems that throughout the 20th century only three possibilities to define and decode poetry were established. One of them was the attempt to apprehend the nature of the code and its limits. To understand the processes of codification based on the recognition of objects was another model of criticism. Finally, the attempt to describe the position and limits of the subject’s voice in the poetry. In all of these possibilities there seems to be a belief that the figurative object, the subject that figures the object and the material that serves to establish this process of linking, could be segmented between the components of this triad and the existence of a hierarchy between them.
Bringing Brazil into discussion, the twentieth century witnessed "modernist revolution" of São Paulo, undertaken as an effort to innovate and twist existing models, and its subsequent conversion into a role model. From subversive to authority, the process of converting non-modernist Brazilian poetry into Brazilian poetic tradition was accompanied by a process of institutionalization and gradual specialization of the critical activity. Therefore, this system was responsible for the creation of a, apparently universalistic, chain of methods. Methods that helped to explain and consolidate the poetry’s production mode chosen by the experts themselves.
Antonio Candido, maybe the most established authority of Theory of Literature in Brazil, exposed his method in O estudo analítico do poema and applied it in Na sala de aula: caderno de análise literária. The method seems to understand the conception of structure - which until then seemed to turn the poem into an autonomous aesthetic object, isolated as possible from a subject and a historical situation/background - as the product of the dialectical and continuous tension that allows "the external to become internal and responsible for structuring the literary work." Thus, the activity of the poetry criticism is apprehending the object from its key of interpretation, observing closely how, in that specific poem, the relation of poet, poetry and the external object that the poetry represents takes place.
It may seem that set this way, the reading of poetry of the twentieth century would be excluded from the attempt to isolate the elements of its composition and the hierarchy between them. However, that attempt to conciliate the elements is to recognize their possibility of isolation or correlation and, therefore, an understanding of their compartmentalized existence. Besides that, the assumption of the existence of a leaked structure in which other elements interpenetrate themselves, sustains the existence of a unit. That can be done by the critics who are chained to a method which promises the jackpot of a final meaning of the poem, even though unstable and mutable.
The research project is to analyze some issues of the literature magazine Inimigo Rumor, published between 1997 and 2008 by the publisher Sete Letras in co-edition with the publisher Cosacnaify. The proposition is to observe how the magazine and its editors choose what they were calling contemporary poetry, wrapping in a single volume essays and poems that exemplify models of composition and parameters for reflection on the poetic.
The pair lyricism / anti-lyricism are the two terms intended to be traced. From the vast collection of terms that can be mapped, I understand that this pair would function as a kind of hyperonym that would allow us to describe and analyze a sequence of oppositions working on the corpus of Brazilian poetic and critical production of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. I suppose that around these two terms would gravitate a whole critical apparatus and a poetic repertoire that are anchored at the belief in this opposition. What could lead us to the following hypothesis: the critical vocabulary and the compositional collection generated by and for an earlier poetic production is in line with the new objects that is intending to institute?
The main objective of the project is to analyze the volumes of the magazine Inimigo Rumor, focusing on the use of the terms lyricism and anti-lyricism, and or equivalent terms, in its 10 years of publication. Thus, I believe that this will let us:
A) Describe and evaluate a significant portion of the production of contemporary poetry in Brazil;
B) Understand the attempts to extend a repertoire of terms chosen to describe the production of modernist poetry in Brazil for another, and perhaps different, model of poetic production;
C) Analyze a possible asymmetry between the terms used to describe and introduce a poetic production already segregated from the manufacturing scenario of the vocabulary that are used by the criticism.
AZEVEDO, Carlito (org.): Inimigo Rumor. Rio de Janeiro/ São Paulo: 7 Letras/ Cosacnaify. 20 vols. 1997/ 2008
FRIEDRICH, Hugo: Estrutura da lírica moderna. São Paulo: Duas Cidades. 1991. Trad. de Marise M. Curioni e Dora F. da Silva.
CANDIDO, Antonio: O estudo analítico do poema. São Paulo: Humanitas. 1993.
_______________: Na sala de aula: caderno de análise literária. São Paulo: Ática, 1998.
Unfinished books by great authors have always fascinated readers even by their literary quality as well as for the mystery aura that surrounds some of them. Franz Kafka’s The Trial, possibly the most memorable one, was not only unfinished but also had its publication prohibited by the author. Thanks to his “unfaithful” friend Max Brod, the Czech’s masterpiece is available to still disturb us whenever we fancy a good read. Truman Capote had also made his contribution to the list. With the intention to “do in America what Proust did to France” Capote decided to make an accurate portrait of the very high society. However, he used as feedstock for his production the stories (mainly gossips) from close friends, all of them from the jet set of Americas 60’s. Consequently, Answered Prayers was left incomplete and Truman saw himself isolated as his friends didn’t react the way he expected when recognized themselves in a couple of stories previously published by the magazine Esquire.
Likewise, the American writer David Foster Wallace left to his editor, Michael Pietsch his third and unfinished novel, The Pale King. Being written since the release of Infinite Jest (1996), the novel was kept secret from anyone before his death in 2008. Maybe Wallace believed, as George Orwell did, that it was bad luck to discuss work-in-progress. Hence, when pressed by Michael about the progress, Wallace described working in his new novel as like “wrestling sheets of balsa wood in a high wind”. He also used to refer to the book by calling it by terms such as “something long” or “a long thing”.
In addition, a sort of detective job was required from Michael. Searching in David’s office, Karen, his widow, found “hard drives, file folders, three ring binders, spiral bound notebooks, and floppy disks contained printed chapters, sheaves of handwritten pages, notes” and hundreds of pages designated with the title The Pale King. According to Michael, David did not leave any clue regarding what he intended to be the order of the chapters. Besides a few notes, “there was no list of scenes, no designated opening or closing point, nothing that could be called a set of directions or instructions for The Pale King. On the other hand, this situation was for Michael, “the closest thing to seeing his amazing mind at play upon the world”. With that said, we can ask ourselves the following: How much of DFW will we get when reading his posthumous novel? How different to the version we have in hands would The Pale King be if he survived to finish it?
The Brazilian translator of Wallace, Caetano Galindo, believes that “even incomplete, the novel is still sensational”. Galindo had translated Infinite Jest to Portuguese and is familiar to David’s high-order perfectionism. As the plot of The Pale King takes place in an IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, David took accounting classes so he could explore the unceasing repetition of bureaucratic procedures. Michael knew what from working with David in Infinite Jest what he was capable of doing and was sure that if “anyone could make taxes interesting, this person was David”. So, answering the first question, a lot.
The second question is tricky at the same proportion as it is superficial. DFW was the kind of author with a high potential to leave something behind. His mental illness progression (Wallace suffered from severe depression since he was an undergraduate) that led to his suicide in 2008 work as an evidence along with his prolific behavior. Even thou The Pale King did not have a deadline to be concluded, Wallace published many books (from story collections to essays) from 1999 and 2005.
The Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges said once that writers publish their books in order to get rid of them. Likewise, the twentieth century classic novel 1984 has been accused of killing its author, George Orwell due to the incessant revising of his “unbelievably bad manuscript”. In Infinite Jest David writes that “the truth will set you free, but not until it’s done with you” and maybe this is the deal with the great writers. They transcend the relation between creator and creature and repeating Mary Shelley’s plot, they are killed by their own creation
The American writer David Foster Wallace committed suicide almost ten years ago. The premature gesture (he was 46 when he hanged himself) took away one of the most promising and creative fiction authors of our generation. The one who could read our pleasure-addicted society so creepily well. Oddly, there are only a few (actually 3) of his books translated to Portuguese and despite the students and professors from UFPR, it is difficult to hear any bell ringing when the name of DFW is mentioned. With that said, I would like to use this space to list 8 things that maybe will raise some curiosity towards out talented writer. Here they are:
Wallace and Mary end up dating and David got her name (along with a heart) tattooed in his arm;
When asked about how good he was as a (tennis) player, he used to say that he was “near great”.
Besides a few exceptions, it is common sense that having money is a crucial condition to live in a world where you need to buy goods if you need to survive. However, quite closer to the surviving way of life one can find an oasis of security, comfort, luxury, ostentation and satisfaction that apparently can only be delivered by wealth. Generally those are synonyms of happiness. Nevertheless, can this assertion be applied to all situations? Or even, can happiness be manipulated to the point of a massive and unique conception of it?
Being happy and its relation to financial condition is highly connected to the context one is inserted. Hence, social position, economy and country policies can balance and define standard satisfaction levels. Access to happiness is different for every individual, so money will have a different impact depending on the reality that is being faced. For example, a considered standard condition to a citizen living in a country with high HDI level is completely opposite from basically all African nations. Therefore, the meaning of “being happy” may differ.
Even being responsible for instantaneous pleasure, buying expensive luxury objects is associated with vicious consumption and consequently should not be identified as a positive feeling. By contrast, using money to buy experiences that will help to grow, let’s say, spiritually, based on feelings and accomplishments, seems more rewarding than acquiring shiny junk. Certainly, global marketing is aware of this tendency and will work to convert feelings in things and instigate consumption whereas is convenient. Therefore, even manipulated, the concept of happiness and its relation with money will never satisfy people in all contexts due to its complexity.
After all, I believe the notion of happiness is misinterpreted and excessively generalized. A feeling impossible to measure or to classify as it relies in different, unstable and unpredictable aspects of life, showing a feature that forbid one to take it for granted even when it seems to be sure.