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    hey, Fall

    In Brazil, the March equinox means the beginning of Fall. This means nothing, but it’s crazy if you’re reading me from the North Hemisphere. Yep… 😅 so… #ontheblog today, I wrote a book review on Macunaíma by Mario de Andrade, a book written as a playful hobby but that carries years of study by the author on the Brazilian Culture. A little related #writingupdate: I took March to write the final draft of my novel. I’m still working on it, but as I was doing my research to write today’s review, I cursed Mario de Andrade for a few hours. I can’t believe he wrote that book in six days…

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    Macunaíma, the hero of our people

    It’s said that Mario de Andrade wrote Macunaíma in six days in Araraquara (a city in the countryside near São Paulo), lying on a hammock, like the hero of his story would be in many scenes of the book. Although this novel is the fruit of years of studies of the Brazilian culture in every corner of the country, when I read that he wrote it in six days and thought that I’ve been trying to write my way simpler dystopian literary fiction for seven years and that I also have everything in my head, I just thought… yea, f you, Mario de Andrade. *laughs* I’m kidding. He was a…

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    untranslatable words…

    Everything’s connected somehow. This week, we talked about reading in other languages and the influence of foreign cultures in our countries. I also told you that MACUNAÍMA by Mario de Andrade is one of those books you can’t translate. There’s no equivalent to the words and even tones and sentence structures used in that book. You have to know Portuguese, and you have to know the Brazilian culture to understand the book. What I wrote on the blog about reading without a dictionary does not apply to this book, even for me. I’m a native speaker, and I didn’t know more words than usual there. That’s what makes it untranslatable.…

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    For English to See

    I love you, forget sclaine Maine Itapiru / Forguet five underwood I Shell no bonde Silva Manuel / Manuel, Manuel, Manuel / I love you too heavy Steven via Catumbay / Independence lá do Paraguai, Studbaker Jaceguai Lamartine Babo, “Canção Para Inglês Ver” You don’t have to understand that song. I don’t know everything in those lyrics either. But I know what Lamartine Babo was criticizing. Actually, many people might think that I do exactly what he’s protesting against in that song. The use of English instead of Portuguese, our mother tongue. Trying to do what the gringos do. Do things “for English to see,” which can mean a lot…

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    Backlands, by Euclides da Cunha

    The land. The men. The battle. And then there was a sea of blood in the backlands. I’m trying to digest rereading this book after a long time. Even with better knowledge and background these days I still can’t decide what I feel about what happened in my country and what’s been repeating and repeating and repeating. Not the kind of repetition I encouraged this week. As part of my Brazilian literature project, I read Backlands (“Os Sertões”), by Euclides da Cunha, this week. This book is a beautfyl literary narrative and a history book about a racially diverse land, its people, and their massacre, or one of the deadliest…

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    Reading can be experienced in over a thousand ways, here’s one of them

    Reading can be experienced in over a thousand different ways. One of the most common types of reading makes you follow the quest or journey of a great hero, and you embark on adventures with them. Usually, you have a protagonist, someone who wants something, but there’s an obstacle for them to have it. So they face a conflict, they struggle, they resolve it, and, finally, they get what they want. But that is not what happens in O Cortiço (“The Slum”) by Aloísio de Azevedo. This novel written in Brazil, in 1890, is not about a protagonist with a name, it’s about protagonists. Archetypes. A society. A country. It’s…