Misplaced Ideas: Essays on Brazilian Culture (Critical Studies in Latin American and Iberian Culture)

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9780860915768: Misplaced Ideas: Essays on Brazilian Culture (Critical Studies in Latin American and Iberian Culture)

How can Latin Americans understand their past? Do ideologies which have been imported from Europe necessarily distort their view, or is that to underrate the power and objectivity of the ideas themselves? These questions are at the heart of this selection of essays, spanning twenty years of critical work on history, culture and identity, by one of the foremost Latin American intellectuals of our time. Roberto Schwarz’s writings have had a profound effect throughout Latin America. This is the first volume of those writings to appear in English. 

Taking its title from what has probably been Schwarz’s most influential essay, Misplaced Ideas first examines the slave-owning Brazil of the nineteenth century, to show the persistent gap between liberal ideology based on the free market, and the reality of forced labour. The essays which follow range across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and across film and fiction, theatre and music. They include four pieces on the great novelist Machado de Assis, and a powerful essay on the sometimes bizarre ways Brazilian culture reacted to the imposition of military rule. Throughout, Schwarz continually demonstrates the wit and sharpness which make his writings both a challenge and a pleasure to read. 

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About the Author:

Roberto Schwarz, born in Vienna in 1938, grew up in São Paulo, studying there and later in the United States and France. His books in English include Two Girls, Misplaced Ideas: Essays on Brazilian Culture and A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism, the central component of his study of Machado.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Portugese, French

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