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The Guarani

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Wikipedia article

'The Guarani: Brazilian Romance' is a 1857 Brazilian novel written by Jos de Alencar. It was first serialized in the newspaper 'Dirio do Rio de Janeiro', but due to its enormous success Alencar decided to compile his writing in a volume. A plausible explanation for this success might be in the fact that the novel spoke of freedom and independence, arguing for a nativeness that could be found in tropical nature and in the indigenous people of Brazil.

Years later the novel was turned into an opera performed in Italian and called 'Il Guarany' (1870), by Carlos Gomes, among other places it was presented in Milan and New York (it is a known fact that the author did not appreciate the final result). 'The Guarani' is regarded a foundational text of Brazilian Romanticism, but it gained international projection by being translated into Spanish, German ('Der Guarany, Brasilianischer Roman', Maximillian Emerich, 1876) and English ('The Guarany, Brazilian novel', James W. Hawes, 1893).

The novel is still widely read nowadays, especially at Brazilian schools as an introduction to novel reading, but also by anyone who enjoys a thrilling adventure story. Literary criticism has tended to link 'The Guarani' to the works of Fenimore Cooper, Chateaubriand and the noble savage from the Rousseauian tradition. However, this interpretation of the novel has become outdated as recent academic works show also how dark, sexual, gothic and lyrical (over narrative, unlike the Fenimore Cooper model) the novel is. Serravalle de S, Daniel, Tropical Gothic. Rome: Aracne, 2010.

Plot introduction

'The Guarani' is set back in 1604, a period when Portugal and its colonies submitted to Spanish dominion due to a lack of heirs to ascend to the throne. Alencar takes advantage of this dynastic complication to resurrect the historical figure of Dom Antnio de Mariz, one of the founders of the city of Rio de Janeiro and a pioneer settler. This historical (factual) background, which orients the novel throughout, is set in the first two chapters; then fantasy, both violent and erotic, starts to prevail.

D. Antnio establishes himself in a deserted inland region, a few days travel from the seaside city of Rio. The land was granted to him through his services to the Portuguese crown, whose legitimacy the nobleman now distrusts. To be politically independent (if not economically) and keep to the Portuguese codes of honour, he builds a castle-like house to shelter his family in Brazilian soil where he lives like a feudal lord with his family and retainers.

His family consists of his severe wife D. Lauriana, his angelic fair, blue-eyed daughter Ceclia, his dandyish son D. Diogo and the "niece" Isabel, a cabocla who is in fact his illegitimate daughter by an Indian woman. Other people are also attached to his household: a few loyal servants, forty adventurers/mercenaries kept for protection, the young nobleman lvaro de S, an appropriate suitor for his lawful daughter Ceclia, and Peri, an Indian of the Goitac people, who once saved Cecys life (as the romantic/romanticised Indian endearingly calls Ceclia) and who has since deserted his tribe and family. Peri is the hero who gives title to the book, he is treated as a friend by D. Antnio and Ceci and as a nuisance by Mrs. Mariz and Isabel. The life of the characters is altered by the arrival of the adventurer Loredano (former friar Angelo di Lucca) who insinuates himself into the house and soon starts subverting the other vassals, planning to kidnap Ceclia and scheming against the house of Mariz; along with the accidental murder of an Aimor Indian woman by D. Diogo.

Comic adaptations

The Guarani is the Brazilian novel with the largest number of adaptations for comics.Cirne, Moacy (January 24, 2011) [http://www.revistadehistoria.com.br/secao/artigos/quadrinhos-nos-bracos-de-peri Quadrinhos - Nos braos de Peri] . Revista de Histria da Biblioteca Nacional. The first adaptation of the comic book was published in 1927, made by Ccero Valladares for the children magazine 'O Tico-Tico', however, only one page was published, in 1938 was published a adaptation made by Francisco Acquarone for newspaper Correio Universal. In 1950, it was again adapted by Haitian comic artist Andr LeBlanc for Edio Maravilhosa #24 published by EBAL. The comic book initially published novels from global literature originally published in Classic Comics and Classics Illustrated.[https://www.editorapeiropolis.com.br/arquivos/classicosemhq.pdf Clssicos em HQ]Junior, Gonalo, A guerra dos gibis: a formao do mercado editorial brasileiro e a censura aos quadrinhos, 1933-1964, Companhia das Letras, 2004. Le Blanc adapted other works by the author: Iracema (scripted by his wife)Carlos Patati, Flvio Braga. Almanaque dos quadrinhos. [S.l.]: Ediouro Publicaes, 2006. 44 p. 9788500016905 and the O Tronco do Ip.Cirne, Moacy Literatura em quadrinhos no Brasil: acervo da Biblioteca Nacional. [S.l.]: Nova Fronteira, 2002. 9788520914960 The same year the Portuguese illustrator, Jayme Cortez, adapting the novel to the format of comic strips, published in the Dirio da Noite.Fernando Lemos, Rui Moreira Leite, Waldomiro Vergueiro e Fabio Moraes. A misso portuguesa: rotas entrecruzadas. [S.l.]: Editora UNESP, 2002. 205 e 206 p. In the 50s it was the turn of the comic writer Gedeone Malagola. He also adapted Iracema and Ubirajara, for the publisher Vida Domstica. Another adaptation was made by Nilo Cardoso and published by La Selva.Oscar C. Kern. (1981).Historieta (5) "Entrevista Gedeone Malagola" In the 1970s it was adapted by Edumundo Rodrigues.Toni Rodrigues, Sidney Gusman (September 13, 2012). [https://web.archive.org/web/20130122130305/http://www.universohq.com/quadrinhos/2012/n13092012_01.cfm HQ nacional de luto: morreram Naumim Aizen e Edmundo Rodrigues] Rodrigues also illustrated a new version of the novel by Jos Alberto Lima.[http://catalogo.bnportugal.pt/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=13I5831V56812.47386&profile=bn&uri=link=3100018~!485253~!3100024~!3100022&aspect=basic_search&menu=search&ri=1&source=~!bnp&term=Campos%2C+Jos%C3%A9+Alberto+de+Lima&index=AUTHOR Campos, Jos Alberto de Lima in Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal] Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal In 2009, the brothers Walter and Eduardo Vetillo published an adaptation by Editora Cortez.Bira Dantas (June 14, 2010)[http://www.bigorna.net/index.php?secao=entrevistas&id=1276519782 Entrevista: Walter Vetillo]. Bigorna.netIara Tatiana Bonin and Daniela Ripoll (January/April, 2011). Universidade Estadual de Maring / Revista Teoria e Prtica da Educao The same year the publisher Editora tica printed an adaptation by Ivan Jaf (script) and Luiz Ge (art),Adilson Thieghi (October 21, 2009).[http://hqmaniacs.uol.com.br/principal.asp?acao=reviews&cod_review=905&lista=autor O Guarani] . HQManiacs

In 2012, Editora Scipione (a publisher of the "Grupo Abril", which also is part of the Editora tica), published an adaptation of the opera of Carlos Gomes, scripted by Rosana Rios, with drawings by Juliano Oliveira, inks by Sam Hart.Carlos Costa (May 10, 2012). [http://hqmaniacs.uol.com.br/Editora_Scipione_lanca_adaptacao_de_O_Guarani_34417.html Editora Scipione lana adaptao de O Guarani]. HQManiacs

Film adaptation

* In 1926 it was adapted into the Brazilian film 'O Guaran' directed by Vittorio Capellaro.

* In 1948 it was adapted into the Italian film 'Guarany' directed by Riccardo Freda.

Modern fiction

In the short story "The Last of the Guaranys" by Brazilian writers Octavio Arago and Carlos Orsi, published in the anthologies 'The Worlds of Philip Jos Farmer 3: Portraits of the Trickster' (Michael Croteau, ed., Meteor House, 2012) and 'Tales of the Wold Newton Universe' (Win Scott Eckert and Christopher Paul Carey, eds., Titan Books, 2013),

Peri is one of the identities adopted by time traveler John Gribardsun (meant to be Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan) in 'Time's Last Gift', a novel by Philip Jos Farmer in his Wold Newton family series.


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