Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)


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Like that poet, Costa wrote what can be considered to be the greatest 'poem' dedicated to his land, when he had left it. His intellectual formation was strongly marked by the dominant prism of Positivism reigning in institutions at the time, and his flowery writings had a strong Parnassian connotation. The word future was really on the agenda of those Sertaneja towns.

Afonso Costa's text is marked both by a discourse which praises the glorious past, and by the hope for the promising future for his town. Despite believing in the future development of his land, Afonso Costa's posture in relation to the aesthetic of the streets and public buildings denoted a grievance for being distant from the 'modern urbe.

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In his memorial, Afonso Costa published four photographs of Jacobina. There is no reference of authorship, something common at the time. In his History of Jacobina, the photograph have the significance of a 'real effect. Itapicuru was probably presented as it was an areas where the directors and workers of Companhia Minas de Jacobina had lived.

The final image, a partial view from above, assumes a distanced and wide-ranging perspective of the urban landscape that was both objective and scientific. In the s, the local press published images which directly or indirectly echoed these four photographs. During the first half of the twentieth century, the press, along with photography, was one of the medias which most contributed to the formation of an education of a viewpoint in Jacobina and to the construction of a self-image of the city identified with civilization.

Between and , there circulated in the region what would be the longest-lasting and most influential newspaper in Jacobina in the first half of the century: O Lidador. O Lidador deserves to be highlighted in regional terms as the newspaper which most invested in the power of image, principally photography, publishing them as portraits, urban views, and advertisements. I believe that this became possible principally due to photographic images. Participating in the experience of the creation and fruition of its self-images, the sertanejo perceived that he was living in harmony with the modernity of the Old World.

Siegfried Kracauer, marked by a feeling of social disenchantment, denounced at the time the flood of photographs becoming part of people's lives.

Review of the book Backlands (Os Sertões).

The great production of photographs was present in various places, especially in newspapers and illustrated magazines, obscuring from society its own economic and cultural reality. Kracauer refered to an attitude of political domination by some sectors of society, promoting, amongst other items, the cleansing of social memory.

He stated that "never was there a time so little informed about itself. In the hands of the dominant society the invention of illustrated magazines is one of the powerful instruments to strike against knowledge" Kracauer, , p. The juxtaposition of images, in my opinion, prevented the formation of consciousness about facts. The 'idea-image,' like an avalanche of photographs attracts indifference in relation to the things that people want to say.

In the illustrated magazine the public saw the world that they prevented themselves from perceiving. Compared with other newspapers from the region, the use of images was a distinctive mark of O Lidador. The commemorative issue of its second anniversary, on 7 September , contained the surprising number of photographs. I did not find in any other newspaper from the region such a significant quantity of photographs in a single edition, which indicates the audacious character of the editor in that venture.

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The massive use of images in the press in the initial decades of the twentieth century was widely diffused in illustrated magazines, which certainly served as inspiration for that anniversary issue in Jacobina. As announced in O Lidador , the photographs published in the special issue had the intention of showing what was related to the "social and economic progress" experienced by the city at that moment.

The director ordered that the clicheries plates be prepared in Salvador for the printing of photographs, which counted on the direct collaboration of the resident photographer in Jacobina, Juventino Rodrigues, one of those praised in this issue for the services he provided to society in his studio, Ideal Photo. The predominance of the use of portraits in the universe of photographs can be seen, corresponding to 75 percent of the total. Among these the most important were individual portraits. In general, they were images of those who were part of the political, economic, professional, educational, and artistic life in Jacobina and in Bahia.

In summary, there prevailed the idea that the city was gifted with special people in a wide variety of areas, and more than this fundamentally these were the ones most responsible for its phase of development. If, as Euclides said, the sertanejo was above all strong, when he devoted this strength to civilization, progress was inevitable. The newspaper suggest this idea, principally with its suggestive name.

In the headline of the leading story - "Two years conquered! The photographs which highlight urban views appear in second place in quantity, and are distributed over various pages of the newspaper. It is valid to point out that the places in the images make a clear allusion to those mentioned in the article by Afonso Costa. This was the 'idea-image,' according to Kracauer, who participated in the public construction of Jacobina as a town at that time.

It can be seen that in the image transmitted by the press the city was experiencing a time of progress. This perception was sensitively captured by the chroniclers at the time, who saw those works as the long desired participation in the civilized world, albeit in a quiet manner, characteristic of a small town without the "infernal movement of the automobiles" which marked life in the metropoles. Even with the permanence of traditions, the report stated that "despite all this, we live with civilization, in civilization.

However, like Afonso Costa, the newspaper critic was concerned with the non-existence of aesthetic public works consistent with its economic importance and natural beauty, such as public gardens. The modernizing image of the city was emphasized by the newspaper with the use of photographs in which directly or indirectly machines appear as symbols of progress, such as the train station or cotton processing machines.

One of these, set up in the town, authenticated the idea of a phase of prosperity. According to the text, "with everything good and useful that Jacobina possesses, it cannot be denied that 'Cia. Alongside this are the inside of the mill and the dam built on the Ouro River. It can be used where it is unknown whether any enhancements have been made, as well as when the enhancements are clear but insufficient. For usage, see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.


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Structured data. Captions English Add a one-line explanation of what this file represents. This image is in the public domain because it is a mere mechanical scan or photocopy of a public domain original, or — from the available evidence — is so similar to such a scan or photocopy that no copyright protection can be expected to arise. Opposing this cross-section was an alliance of Brazilian elites: the Catholic Church, which wanted to see the heretical views of the Counselor stamped out; the local landowners, who felt their monopoly on land and labor being threatened by Canudos; the army, which saw itself as the defender of the Republic wherever challenged; and the politicians, who drew support from the first three groups and had nothing to gain from taking sides with a peasant rebellion.

The only attempt at negotiating peace with Canudos came in the form of a mission of two priests, who arrived in May to preach to its people. The townspeople, the priests said, must leave Canudos; they must abandon their adoration of the Counselor as a miracle-worker and an incarnation of Jesus; and they must renounce the medieval customs they had adopted—prolonged fasting, flagellation, and other extreme forms of penance—along with the idolatry, fetishism, and other practices absorbed from indigenous and African religions.

Perhaps this explains why in October not a single protest emerged from the Catholic Church against the decapitations, rapes, and kidnappings that were perpetrated on the population of Canudos. In the Conselheiristas bought wood in the city of Juazeiro. A local deputy there, an old enemy of the Conselheiro, pressured the seller not to deliver the product.

The deputy then sent telegrams to the governor of Bahia predicting that Juazeiro would soon be invaded by the angry Conselheiristas. In order to avoid the reputation of being a crypto-monarchist, the governor acceded to the demand for support, and in November sent men to protect Juazeiro. Despite their superior resuits,. Three reasons contributed to this: Rome, the source of official Catholic doctrine, was very far away; there were insufficient priests for the population the ratio was estimated at one priest for every 20, people ; and the racial mixing of the population brought indigenous and African practices and beliefs into contact with those derived from Europe.

Nothing is more expressive of the differences between the practices of the official Church and that of the backlanders than the failed mission of two Church emissaries to Canudos. Beebee, p.

The battle hardened positions on both sides. New inhabitants streamed into Canudos. A second expedition of soldiers, and a third of 1, were defeated in January and March of , respectively. The death of the commander and vice-commander of the third expedition made Canudos a national concern, a threat to the fledgling Republic. The town was rumored to have extraordinary armaments, the only explanation for its amazing resistance in the minds of those unfamiliar with the local conditions;the arms, they said, were supplied by foreign powers interested in restoring the monarchy.

Monarchist newspapers were destroyed, and monarchist sympathizers were lynched by angry mobs as far away as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. An eyewitness to part of the fourth expedition, Euclicfes da Cunha had conceived a profound respect for the people of the bactclancb, and also wished to counter the simplistic ideas of the war that the public had been fed. The fourth expedition, which eventually involved half of the Brazilian army, could and would not fail. Having learned from the rout of the third expedition the foolhardiness of a direct assault on Canudos, the fourth expedition carefully established its preliminary siege line on June 27, but succeeded in totally encircling the town only on September Repeated assaults by government forces, combined with bombardment, gradually drew the net tighter, until Canudos fell to the government forces on October 5, In the narrative da Cunha follows a line of Darwinist reasoning that the Canudos war was a.

File:Os sertões 1905.pdf

This reasoning is in keeping with the notions of scientist Charles Darwin about the survival of the fittest. The central plateau of Brazil descends, along the southern coast, in unbroken slopes, high and steep, overlooking the sea; it takes the form of hilly uplands level with the peaks of the coastal mountain ranges that extend from the Rio Grande to Minas. To the north, however, it gradually diminishes in altitude, dropping eastward to the shore in a series of natural terraces which deprive it of its primitive magnitude, throwing it back for a considerable distance in the direction of the interior.

Rebellion, p. Everything is accounted for in this largest of overviews: starting with the whole of the coast, then traveling from south to north, Rio Grande to Minas Gerais. The sertao, excluded from Brazilian cultural memory, nevertheless expresses itself in Brazilian life— the result is a tragedy that could have been avoided if Brazilians had paid attention to the needs of the backlanders.

The subtext is that regional rebellions must be suppressed but also that all Brazilians must be identified with the nation—da Cunha repeats several times that the Republic had a duty to bombard the people of Canudos with education rather than cannonballs. They arm themselves for the combat, take the offensive. The activity and aggression of the caatinga in this brief description typify the way da Cunha uses land scape in his text.

The economy, customs, and appearance of the sertanejo are the subject of the second part of the book, which treats the mixed racial origins and retrograde civilization of the people of the interior. In the late nineteenth century Darwinism had been pressed into the service of Eurocentrism in the view that the white races were more highly evolved than others.

Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)

Da Cunha shared the abhorrence of miscegenation that this view supported— despite the fact that his personal background was not entirely European. The Counselor and his followers are described in vivid terms that testify to equal measures of fascination and repugnance in the author.


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Nina Rodriguez and other members of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bahia examined his brain for evidence of propensity to crime and madness, in keeping with the philosophy of physiological psychology at the time. They claimed to have found it. In this section, fictionalized scenes from the lives of the Canudos residents give way to portrayals of the soldiers sent against them.

The Counselor virtually disappears from the story in this last section; the text assumes the viewpoint of the federalists almost exclusively. Da Cunha narrates the wearisome march to Canudos and the retreat of the wounded from the battle site by following an imaginary band along the route.

Several times the text describes the corpses of fallen soldiers, speculating on exactly how they died without reconstructing the actual scene of combat.

File:Os sertões pdf - Wikimedia Commons

Da Cunha apparently used, but did not cite, several published accounts of the war at Canudos. The first account to be published, that of Afonso Arinos, depended, in fact, on second-hand information. Not only was Canudos not the only case of defenders holding out to the last man—the Roman siege of the Jews at Masada is but one example—but Rebellion in the Backlands also chooses not to mention that there was a large exodus from Canudos following the death of the Conselheiro on September 22, and not to relate the aftermath of the final clash. Real-life survivors suggest that this version of the tragedy is misleading.

Da Cunha weaves many of these same details into the second section of Rebellion in the Backlands. It takes every opportunity to counter the official view of Canudos as a redoubt of banditry and mysticism. The book concludes that if the Counselor was a bad Catholic, he was also a true martyr who died, like Jesus, for his faith. Canudos has served as the source for more literary works than any other single incident of Brazilian history.

These works embrace a variety of genres, from ballad to epic to novel. The significance of Canudos was in large part shaped by its reception and transformation in the Brazilian imagination. During the war itself, Canudos was interpreted—contradictorily—as a redoubt of religious fanatics and bandits, and as a counter-revolutionary state-within-a-state, financed by the substantial number of monarchists remaining in Brazil. Almost immediately after the war, a counter-memory of Canudos began to be constructed by such authors as Afonso Arinos, Manoel Benfcio, and Euclides da Cunha. Fiction, along with other genres, has played an important role in that evolution.

This long fiction, which tells the Canudos story from a variety of points of view, quickly outsold Rebellion in the Backlands , and became the single most important medium by which people all over the world came in contact with the Canudos story. Vargas Llosa has paid a fitting tribute to Euclides da Cunha in this novel by making him into a major character—the nearsighted journalist—in this retelling. From its first appearance, the generic status of Rebellion in the Backlands has been hotly disputed. Certainly da Cunha himself never witnessed such an episode. He not only fictionalizes events, but also admits that he is doing so, and implies that the participants themselves fictionalized their own situation, as if they were actors in a tragic drama.

At a crucial moment in the fighting, says the narrative,. Focusing their binoculars through all the crevices in the walls, the audience stamped, applauded, shouted bravos, and hissed. In their eyes the scene before them—real, concrete, inescapable—was a stupendous bit of fiction which was being acted out on that rude stage. Positivism, the conviction that using the scientific method would create social progress, became a leading ideology in Brazilian universities and military academies such as the ones da Cunha attended in his formative years.

Da Cunha seems to feel that history, as a genre, was reserved for the great events of Europe, and could not possibly be used to describe the slaughter of peasants in a remote part of Latin America.

Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition) Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)
Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition) Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)
Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition) Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)
Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition) Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)
Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition) Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)
Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition) Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)
Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition) Os Sertões (Portuguese Edition)

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