Alencar Iracema

ISBN 13: 9789721030565

Iracema

 
9789721030565: Iracema

Jose de Alencar's prose-poem Iracema, first published in 1865, is a classic of Brazilian literature--perhaps the most widely-known piece of fiction within Brazil, and the most widely-read of Alencar;s many works. Set in the sixteenth century, it is an extremely romantic portrayal of a doomed live between a Portuguese soldier and an Indian maiden. Iracema reflects the gingerly way that mid-nineteenth century Brazil dealt with race mixture and multicultural experience. Precisely because of its nineteenth-century romanticism, Iracema strongly contributed to a Brazilian sense of nationhood--contemporary Brazilian writers and literary critics still cite it as a foundation for their own work.

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About the Author:

Naomi Lindstrom, Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Texas, Austin.

From Library Journal:

This novel, written in 1865 and last translated into English in 1921, is part of the Indian glorification movement that arose during Brazil's independence period (1808-22) and became fundamental to that country's 19th-century Romantic tradition. De Alencar's theme shares similarities with James Fenimore Cooper's Leather-Stocking Tales, and one of the first criticisms of de Alencar was his alleged imitation of Cooper. This concerns the doomed love of a Tabajara shaman's daughter, Iracema (an anagram of America), for an atypically genteel Portuguese soldier named Martim. When the sacred virgin/ priestess elopes with Martim, she is ostracized by her tribe. Although the pair produce an heir, Moacir, Iracema soon begins to lose her hold on Martim because when she abandoned her tribe, she forfeited her supernatural powers. Much of the novel's strength lies in the poetry of its imagery, its deft rhetorical orchestration, and the melodious cadences of its exotic words. De Alencar was so great an indigenous cultures enthusiast that he appended 17 pages of notes etymologizing the Tupi words interspersed throughout his Portuguese original, which are retained in the translation. This is a classic work of Brazilian romanticism that has sorely needed a modernized English translation.
-Jack Shreve, Allegany Coll. of Maryland, Cumberland
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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