Costigan, Lúcia Helena. Diálogos da conversão. Campinas: Ed. Unicamp, 2005. 207 pp. ISBN: 85-268-0665-3.
Descrição do Produto
Lihat lebih banyak...
Luso-Brazilian Review 43:2
likely communication with the indigenous peoples of Brazil was limited, and whatever the Portuguese needed from them may have been obtained by force instead of dialogue. This is a topic of tremendous importance, especially if we take into consideration the current historical context in Brazil. Contemporary Brazil is in such an effervescence as a nation in all of its aspects of identity that I would even take the risk of comparing the linguistic context of current Brazil with the linguistic context of Spain at the end of the 15th-century. Of course, this is not at all a comparison with the economic and influential power of Spain back then, but simply the establishment of Spain as a unity, as a nation and the imposition of the Spanish language in this process. Queen Isabel of Spain trusted Antonio de Nebrija to write the Gramdtica castellana of 1492 to impose a linguistic unity over the Spanish territories. Brazilianists, Brazilian linguists, philologists and grammarians are currently working on a number of projects which may result in a more realistic, unifying grammar of Brazilian Portuguese in terms of its language, memory and nation, and beyond. Soon, in 2022, Brazil wiU have completed two centuries of independence. This could be a repeat of the impact of the Week of Modern Art of 1922. At the opening of Bethania Mariani's book, we find an inspiring quote from Mario de Andrade in a letter to Camara Cascudo, ". . . nos nao herdamos de Portugal uma lingua: herdamos uma gramatica." This citation fits rather well the focus of Mariani's book which is the study of "language" in terms of its culture, history, memory, nation and socio-political network. In closing, I want to emphasize that Colonizagao lingUistica, despite its need of polishing, is an important contribution to understanding the formation of Brazilian Portuguese. Antdnio R.M. Simdes University of Kansas
Costigan, Lucia Helena, ed. Didlogos da conversao. Campinas: Ed. Unicamp, 2005. 207 pp.
Didlogos da conversao brings together seven essays by some of the most innovative scholars working in the field of early colonial Brazilian studies today. The essays are the product of several meetings—including a final 2001 NEH Seminar "Brazil: The Invisible Giant"—that intended to familiarize Anglo and Hispanic Americanists with Brazilian colonial themes. The book's greatest strength hes in the quality of the writings and their interdisciplinary range—with articles by historians, literary critics, anthropologists and specialists on religious studies. The essays touch on a number of significant colonial topics, such as the methods of religious conversion, the representation and contestation of Jewish stereotypes, the genealogy of Portuguese millenarianism, and early modern French representations of Brazilian Native Americans. Varied enough, these essays share
a concern with the production of colonial subjects either through a careful examination of hegemonic discourses or by surveying subaltern practices that disrupt and challenge them. However, more than themes, the collection evokes a sense of coherence because of a shared theoretical language. Indeed, the choosing of "culturalist" coordinates, such as discourse, representations and practices, mark the transition within Brazil's academia that gave way to a more interdisciplinary brand of cultural history. This history seeks to re-position the role and importance of the symbolic domain in the constitution of social antagonism and the subordination of social subjects—in the case of this anthology. Native Americans, Jewish and, to a lesser extent, Afro-Brazilians. This transition began during the 1980s, when the pre-eminent historian Laura de Mello e Souza published her Desclassificados do ouro (1982) and O diabo e a Terra de Santa Cruz (1986). Ever since, Brazilian scholars have made invaluable contributions to the study of popular culture, domination and resistance. Due to the outstanding quality of the book's contributors, it is important to produce a succinct examination of its contents. The book opens with an essay by Joao Adolfo Hansen, professor at tbe Universidade de Sao Paulo, on the rhetorical strategies of religious conversion. Well-known as the author of A sdtira e o engenho. Gregdrio de Matos e a Bahia do seculo XVIII (Campinas 1989; 2nd edition Atehe 2004) and as the editor of Antonio Vieira's Cartas do Brasil (Hedra 2003), Hansen strives to reveal the discursive economy or, as he names it, the poetics of catechism, that made possible and legitimated the systematic appropriation and transformation of American bodies, spaces and resources by Europeans. Ronaldo Vainfas, professor of Modern History at tbe Universidade Federal Fluminense, returns in this volume to a topic he treated extensively in his magnificent Heresia dos Indios (Companhia das Letras 1995), the "santidade de Jaguaripe," the largely Tupi rebellion in the Northeast during the second half of the sixteenth century (c. 1585). If others in this collection prefer to focus on hegemonic discourses, Vainfas endeavors to understand the meanings underlying the millenarianism that transformed caraibas or paje-agus (Tupi prophets or sacred men who could talk to spirits, interpret them and even embody them) under the colonial regime. Alcir Pecora, professor of Literature at Unicamp, contributed an essay on the famed seventeenth century Jesuit theologian, Antonio Vieira. Through a careful reading of key early modern philosophical texts, Pecora examines Vieira's arguments about the nature and place of the Brazilian Indian within the Portuguese Empire's Corpus Mysticum. Though many of Pecora's ideas can be traced back to his Teatro do sacramento (Unicamp 1994, particularly 209-212) and, to a lesser degree, Mdquina de generos (Edusp 2004), the essay in this volume re-examines Vieira's double bind whereby he condemned colonial settlers who enslaved Indians while chastising the latter for their reluctance to submit to the colonial regime. Jacqueline Hermann, professor of history at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, contributed with an essay on Vieira and Sebastianism, the widely accepted belief that King Sebastian of Portugal (1554-1578) would return to assist
Luso-Brazilian Review 43:2
Portugal in her darkest hour. The essay draws from her landmark work No Reino do Desejado: a construgao do sebastianismo em Portugal, seculos XVI e XVII (Com-
panhia das Letras 1998), wherein she traces the genealogy of Sebastanism to a popular mentality best exemplified by the early sixteenth century shoemaker, Gon^alo Annes Bandarra, the author of popular prophetic verses. By focusing on Vieira's letter "Esperanija Portugal, Quinto Imperio do Mundo" (c. 1660), Hermann suggests that the prophetic intent had been present all along in Vieira's work, both intensifying the myth and re-interpretating it. Lucia Helena Costigan, a professor at Ohio State University and editor of this volume, is the author of A sdtira e 0 intelectual criollo na colonia (Latinoamericana Editores 1991). She has been an untiring promoter of Brazilian culture and an organizer of international seminars and events. Her article juxtaposes Spanish and Portuguese representations of Jews. The inclusion of Jewish diasporic figures, such as Menasseh ben Israel, an Amsterdam based rabbi who polemised with Antonio Vieira when the latter stopped by Amsterdam, expands the literary canon while questioning received ideas of what national histories should be like. Jonathan Schorsch, assistant professor of Jewish Studies at Columbia University, authored an essay on the relation between conversos (Jewish converts) and black slaves in the Iberian world. The essay draws on his Jews and Blacks in the Early Modern World (Cambridge 2003), though its breadth is narrower as the book engages the Ottoman Empire, Holland, Italy and the British Caribbean as well. The essay focuses on the possible representations each marginalized group made of the other and the possible alternate modes of empathy that could have existed between them. Finally, the volume closes with an essay by Andrea Daher, professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, on French religious explorers, Jean de Lery and Claude d'Abbeville in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Daher has been working on the topic since the mid 1990s and recently pubhshed Les singularites de la France Equinoxiale. Histoire da la mission des peres capudns
au Maragnan (1612-1615) (Honore Champion 2002). For Daher, the complex and often times contradictory repertoire of early modern French representations about Native Americans is much more related to religious debates in Europe than to genuine ethnographic accounts of their nature and spirituality. Such a diverse array of contributions could easily have resulted in an inchoate anthology. It does not feel so, partly because of the shared theoretical language I mentioned earlier and partly because the title of the collection, Didlogos da conversao, adequately conveys the variety while suggesting a unifying thread. Didlogos da conversao sets off an interesting polysemia, one that evokes the discursive scene and the material milieu on which hegemonic and non-hegemonic selves are inducted into the domain of spiritual conquest. To begin with, the idea of dialogues conveys a complicated scene of negotiation. It undoubtedly refers to a prestigious form of elite discourse during the early modern period. Most distinctly, it names in the colonial domain the arsenal by means of which spiritual conquest and colonial fashioning is carried out.
However, despite its pedagogical intent, the dialogue was effective precisely because it remained highly unstable. It opens up the scene of encountering wherein polemic engagements inevitably resulted in alteration and contamination. Indeed, though the colonial dialogue used the language of avowal, by opening up a scene of engagement it was forced to acknowledge a dissenting presence. It was thus a vehicle for estabhshing authority while unwittingly negotiating social difference. The stories behind such dialogues are certainly not of neat conversions. Rather, they reveal a manufacturing process of radical difference. Indeed, conversion simultaneously suggests the constraining norm and the desired goal so that it necessarily results in both radical lack (a subject whose performance never quite meets the norm) and excess (a subject whose performance reveals an excess that deems her unfit). Conversion, therefore, is never the social act by which neat identities are produced, but the social process by which subjectivities are littered with residues and remnants. The unifying thread of these essays, I would like to suggest, is a relentless focus on the colonial encounter that draws on the excesses resulting from conversion. These essays represent a vibrant and diverse academic milieu and will surely offer powerful insights worth pursuing for a non-Brazilianist audience. My suggestion would be that the book's audience be expanded through a future English and/or Spanish edition. Francisco A. Ortega
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota
Monteiro, Pedro Meira. Um moralista nos tropicos: O visconde de Cairu e 0 duque de La Rochefoucauld. Sao Paulo: Boitempo Editorial, 2004,326 pp. The eighteenth century was, among other things, the age of the maxim. Maxims ofren analyzed the behavior and the character—virtues and vices—of human beings, as with "hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue." The most celebrated writer of maxims was Fran9ois, duke of La Rochefoucauld, who died in 1680. By 1695 the sixth edition of his maxims, originally published anonymously, had appeared. The eighteenth century saw the publication of no less fourteen works, based on La Rochefoucauld but reorganizing and amending his maxims, commenting on them, and incorporating the aphorisms of other writers. In the 1820s, almost a century and a half afrer La Rochefoucauld's, there appeared in Rio de Janeiro a work, Constituigao moral, e deveres da cidadao, by Jose da Silva Lisboa (future viscount of Cairu) with an appendix containing La Rochefoucauld's maxims. Pedro Meira Monteiro is enamoured by La Rochefoucauld. A major theme of his wide ranging study, composed of three disparate parts, is the contrasting perceptions of human nature and behavior presented by La Rochefoucauld and