Byron and Álvares de Azevedo: Byronism in Brazil

Freire, Rafael Argenton (2010) Byron and Álvares de Azevedo: Byronism in Brazil. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This research consists of a study of two major Romantic poets: Lord Byron from Great Britain and Álvares de Azevedo from Brazil. It discusses the link between the poetical movement of Romanticism in Brazil and in Great Britain, showing how European Romanticism was received and practiced in Brazil especially focusing on the image of Byron as the disillusioned and macabre hero to inspire the Brazilian. Chapters include The Social Context in the Romantic Brazil, Romanticism in Brazil, The Epicurus Society and Life in São Paulo, Byron and Álvares de Azevedo, and Byron Translated.
Romanticism in Brazil played a key role on defining a national cultural and literary identity in the recently independent country that was Brazil. In its foundation, however, it still dialogued with many European countries such as Britain, France and even Portugal in order to create, shape and cultivate its own culture. Brazilian Romanticism assumed distinct voices throughout the nineteenth century; this thesis is developed considering the existence of three generations of poets and focusing on the second or intermediate generation, mainly known as ‘the Byronic generation.’ The main characteristics of the Byronic generation were associated with the principal features of Lord Byron’s poetry or life for the Brazilian: individualism and subjectivism, doubt, disillusionment, melancholy, pessimism, cynicism and bohemian negativism.
Amongst Brazil’s prominent authors of the period is Álvares de Azevedo (1831-1852) – the foremost Brazilian Byronist. Azevedo is the most popular amongst his contemporaries - and also amongst twentieth century Brazilian writers. Azevedo’s life and writing related to the type of dark and satanic imaginary associated with Byronism in Brazil showing him to be one of the best interpreters and disciples of Byron.
The findings underline that the image of Byron seems to have played a key role in the formation and development of a national literature. Although Byron was still a European author, he had his image and work adapted to suit the Brazilian literary ideas and interests. Byron’s work and life assumed mythical proportions when they were brought together into the image of his heroes such as Don Juan, Childe Harold, and Manfred, by his Brazilian readers and translators. Thus, although Brazilian Romanticism is generally understood as a blend of all things from European Romanticism, it was, however, adapted by the hands of Brazilian writers to a ‘local colour’ corresponding to their literary project.
The thesis was developed with the hopes of being continued in the future as part of a PhD project involving other poets, and it could be published as an introductory volume in English to the study of Brazilian Romanticism and its relation to Byron. The volume could perhaps place Brazilian Romanticism in a place of recognition and stature in the international literary canon. As the research has shown, Brazilian Romanticism – although a very distinctive and important literary movement with strong European roots – has been neglected by a canon predominantly consisted of European authors.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Romanticism, Byron, Álvares de Azevedo, Byronism, Brazil
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Benchimol, Dr. Alex and Pena, Dr. Karen
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Mr Rafael Freire
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1990
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:49

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