Printer Friendly

The French Jorge Amado.

This essay deals with Brazilian novelist Jorge Amado (1912-2001). Firstly, it addresses Amado's many connections between his work and France and French writers. Secondly, it examines more deeply one of these connections by focusing on the opposition between truth and fiction in Amado's Navegacao de cabotagem. Apontamentos para um livro de memorias que jamais escreverei (1992).

Spanish and French are the only languages into which the integrality of Amado's oeuvre has been translated into. In addition, Amado is one of the very few foreign writers to have been invited to all the most renowned cultural shows on French television: Apostrophes, Thalassa, Ex Libris, Droits d'auteurs, Le Cercle de Minuit. He was even the guest of honor in three television shows entirely dedicated to him: Le Grand Echiquier, Un Siecle d'ecrivains, and Etoile Palace. He was awarded some of the most prestigious honors and awards in France, among which two doctorates honoris causa from the university of Paris-Sorbonne and from the University of Lyon 2 and the Legion of Honor, in 1984. The Amados traveled all around the world but it is in France that they sojourned most often and where they ended up buying an apartment in Paris, quai des Celestins, in the district of the Marais. If Amado wrote several of his novels during prolonged stays in both London and Paris, he never talks about his experiences in the English capital in his memoirs Navegacao de cabotagem. He provides no records either of the four months that he spent as writer in residence at Pennsylvania State University in the early 1970s. (1) On the other hand, he does write pages and pages on his life in Paris. On many occasions, Amado has claimed his love for France and Paris in particular. For example, in a long interview published in 1988, Amado declares to feel very French and to feel at home in only two places: Bahia and Paris (Assis Pacheco, 12, 14).

Along with Ralph Schoolcraft, I have addressed the historical mutual attachment and exchanges characterizing Franco-Brazilian relations. We have also discussed the important roles played by several French intellectuals, writers, and politicians such as Louis Aragon, Michel Berveiller, Albert Camus, Pierre Daix, Pierre Hourcade, Frederic Joliot-Curie, and Andre Malraux in translating and promoting Amado's works in France, and providing him with a second home (including when Amado was persona non grata in Brazil, exiled in Paris and then expelled in September 1949). During that year in Paris, Amado helped Aragon, Daix, Paul Eluard, Andre Kedros and Pablo Picasso, prepare the first World Congress for Peace of April 1949. He gave articles and interviews to communist French newspapers like L'Humanite and Les Lettres Francaises. This weekly publication edited by Aragon published during twenty-eight weeks on the entire back cover of each issue the French translation of Amado's Seara vermelha (1946). It is as well during this first stay in Paris that the Amados met Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir with whom they maintained a long friendship and correspondence. In 1954, Sartre published in his journal Les Temps Modernes Amado's Cacau (1933) followed by A morte e a morte de Quincas Berro d'Agua (1961), with a preface by Roger Bastide. (2) Sartre and Beauvoir even visited Brazil along with the Amados in 1959. (3)

The announcement of the Amados' expulsion from France by the Minister of the interior, Jules Moch, generated a series of articles in the French communist press. in a piece published on the front page of Les Lettres Francaises in September 1949, Claude Morgan speaks in praise of his comrade Amado: "Le monde intellectuel apprend avec stupeur l'arrete d'expulsion pris par le ministre de l'Interieur contre ce fidele ami de notre pays et vaillant combattant de la paix qu'est le romancier bresilien Jorge Amado, l'un des plus grands ecrivains de ce temps, dont nous sommes fiers d'avoir publie ce chef d'oeuvre: Les Chemins de la faim" (1). (4) In another paper, France d'abord, Jean Noaro is equally outraged but ends his article on a note of hope on September 29, 1949: "Un jour viendra, Amado, oU le peuple de France, debarrasse de ses Jules Moch, vous fera signe et vous accueillera dans Paris libere une seconde fois, avec tous les honneurs et toute l'affection dus au grand ecrivain, au grand citoyen que vous etes" (qtd. in Indiani de Oliveira, 203). Noaro was right, but one had to wait until 1965 when Andre Malraux, then Minister of Culture in the General de Gaulle's government, personally requested the cancellation of Amado's banning orders. (5)

The publication in France of every one of Amado's novels systematically generated more reviews in the press. On the one hand, analyzing these reviews as well as the numerous television and radio shows dedicated to Amado tends to underline the French public's great interest in the Brazilian novelist. On the other hand, it allows us to take a look at the many French and Francophone writers who are associated with Amado. To that effect, one must make the distinction between two groups of writers.

The first group includes authors that Amado mentions himself in Navegacao de cabotagem as his main inspiration: "Se devoro livros ate hoje, eu o devo ao pai Dumas, ao mulato Alexandre, foi ele quem me deu o gosto de ler, o vicio. [...] Devo a Rabelais. [...] Devo a Zola, com ele desci ao fundo do poco para resgatar o miseravel"(471). To that list, one can add Honore de Balzac, Guy de Maupassant, Aime Cesaire, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Henri Lopes, and Georges Simenon. Among all of these writers, Amado places Rabelais above everyone: "Rabelais est le plus grand maitre de tous. Il m'a appris la plus importante des choses. Il m'a appris la liberte de l'ecrivain. La liberte de tout dire. De ne pas avoir de limites. De prendre la vie avec ce qu'elle a de propre et de sale" (Un siecle d'ecrivains). French critics agree since Rabelais is the name that comes back most often in reviews of Amado's works. (6)

A second group gathers French and francophone authors that Amado influenced, consciously or not. One may cite some of these authors and novels that may be linked to Amado's thematics and style: Jean-Marie Blas de Robles' La oU les tigres sont chez eux (2008), Tony Cartano's Bocanegra (1984), Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco (1992), Jean-Paul Delfino's Corcovado (2005), Rene Depestre's Alleluia pour une femme jardin (1981), Conrad Detrez's L'herbe a bruler (1978), (7) Patrick Grainville's Colere (1992), Gilles Lapouge's La mission des frontieres (2002), and Jean Metellus' Les Cacos (1989). Others such as Francoise Xenakis or the French singer and composer Georges Moustaki credit Amado for their decision to start writing novels.

Concerning the critics who have written on or talked about Amado's works, one notices in France, in some cases, an unfortunate tendency to over-emphasize exotic and picturesque aspects, giving them more importance than they truly have (Indiani de Oliveira, 241). (8) In summary, some critics fall into the stereotypical and do not always seem to take Amado's novels very seriously. A good illustration of this inclination is Amado's participation in the famous French television book show Apostrophes (for the publication of Tieta do Agreste in French translation). This episode is also an example of the constant ambiguity that prevails between truth and fiction in the Brazilian novelist's books. For fifteen years (10 January 1975-22 June 1990), the weekly ninety-minute Apostrophes television show kept the same unchanging format: four to five writers seated around a table (often chain-smoking and drinking anything but water) and discussing in front of a live audience their most recent novel with superstar host Bernard Pivot. Invited on the show on March 14, 1980 Amado begins to describe Tieta, his novel's Brazilian protagonist. This is what Amado says: "C'est une femme de 44 ans qui scandalise sa famille en arrivant habillee en rouge avec des jeans a l'enterrement de son mari. Quelques jours plus tard elle couche avec son neveu seminariste." At that moment, Bernard Pivot interrupts Amado and here is the dialogue that follows:

Pivot : Mais alors est-ce qu'il y a beaucoup de femmes au Bresil comme cette Tieta parce que non seulement elle est belle mais enfin elle a beaucoup de fantaisie, beaucoup de drolerie, beaucoup de volupte. Il y en a beaucoup comme ca au Bresil ?

Amado (in a shy tone): Je pense que oui, elles sont belles les femmes ...

Pivot (enthusiastic): Ah ! bon, vous m'emmenez la-bas ?

Daniel Boulanger (another guest): Moi aussi je peux venir?

At first, Amado seems to play along and answers: "Si vous arrivez labas, ca va etre la folie, ah ! mon Dieu."But then he quickly adds, in a mischievous tone, looking at one of the other guests, French novelist Florence Delay: "a commencer par les femmes ecrivains. Pardonnezmoi madame je parle uniquement des femmes bresiliennes." Everybody laughs. It is Amado who eventually tries to return the discussion's focus on writing: "l'humour et la fantaisie sont des armes tres puissantes. On n'ecrit jamais gratuitement, je pense que les choses racontees dans un livre doivent servir."

Let's be clear. These critics who do emphasize those exotic elements that are often characteristic of the stereotypical French collective imaginary when it comes to Brazil and its people (Carnival, beautiful sensual women, soccer, and partying atmosphere) (9) remain fervent admirers of Amado's works. Simply, they have a tendency to ignore the true stake of Amado's novels: that is, its social criticism. Once again, Roger Bastide is prophetic when he writes in 1971: "Le Bresil est connu comme le pays des carnavals, tapageurs, joyeux, mais cette liesse ne doit pas nous faire oublier qu'elle n'est qu'une compensation, un arrachement, helas ! ephemere, a la vraie realite bresilienne, qui est celle d'un peuple miserable, sous-alimente, exploite" (18).

And this is exactly what all of Amado's novels, the earlier serious and committed works as well as the later witty narratives, are about. Nevertheless, Amado's best-selling period and his recognition by the general public in France mainly begins in the 1960s and early 1970s with the translation of his more humorous, sensual, and "exotic" works such as Gabriela and Dona Flor e seus dois maridos. This explains the French critics' tendency to emphasize the colorful aspects of Amado's novels and to somewhat ignore their social implications. Finally, what is both interesting and paradoxical with Amado is that he is one of the writers who has changed and given a new direction to Brazilian literature; he is one of the first who became interested in recounting the daily reality of the masses. But, at the same time, Amado himself was highly influenced by French writers and many of Amado's novels were not written in Brazil but in Paris, France where they were immensely popular.

Oliveira lists the broad outlines of Amado's works' popularity in France and throughout the world (247). First of all, Amado uses in his novels a language close to the working-class, full of humor and sensuality. As a result, his works are closer to the people and address a larger readership. Second, without a doubt, Amado's political involvement (and its reflection in his works, especially in those published during the first half of his career) greatly contributed to his popularity abroad, and more particularly in communist countries. On that note, the fact that Amado's novels were often interpreted as "realist" certainly facilitated his popularity in the Soviet Union, a nation that has always recognized realism as a genre. Furthermore, in 1950s and 1960s France, Amado's novels are a welcome alternative to the excessively abstract literary avant-gardes, such as the Nouveau Roman (featuring authors like Alain Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon, Samuel Beckett or Nathalie Sarraute). It may also be the case that in these troubled historic times in France, escaping through Amado's exoticism may have felt more comfortable than facing issues such as the war in Algeria, the riots of May 1968, or the economic crisis of 1973. At last, the ways in which Amado goes from a simple, ordinary situation to an extraordinarily exalting one that goes beyond reality's limits definitely attracted and continue to attract French readers. According to Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, "[ao misturar-se] Jorge Amado a sua producao literaria, e esfumacado os campos que separam a ficcao da propria realidade" (10). It is this last aspect, the passing between truth and fiction, that I shall examine in the last part of this essay.

Any reader of Amado will notice a profusion of characters in his books that Paulo Tavares patiently recorded in the two volumes of Criaturas de Jorge Amado which includes no less than 4,910 names. For Ariane Witkowski, "il y a dans la fiction de Jorge Amado, peuplee de heros imaginaires et de personnages bien reels, qui apparaissent parfois sous leur nom d'etat civil, une libre circulation, un mouvement de va-etvient constant avec le monde reel, mis en abyme dans les livres, nombreux, qui traitent precisement de la confusion qui peut naitre entre reve et realite" (60-61).

Among all of Amado's works, three use an autobiographical form:

Conversations avec Alice Raillard is a series of conversations that took place between Amado and his French translator at the novelist's home in Salvador; O menino grapiuna (1981) and Navegacao de cabotagem, written between 1986 and 1992. Critics have a tendency to ignore Navegacao de cabotagem, often describing the book as a list of very uneven and minor anecdotes that will only interest Amado's family and relatives. (10) On the contrary, I shall argue that this work is more complex than it seems, especially when it comes to analyzing its narrative structure's ambiguity.

As noted by Witkowski,

Navegacao de cabotagem se presente comme un ouvrage sans equivalent dans l'histoire de l'autobiographie. Il s'agit d'une succession d'annotations precedees d'un nom de lieu, d'une date, et d'un titre qui en resume le propos, ou une partie de celui-ci. [...] Aucun lien logique, ni chronologique entre ces souvenirs, consignes au fur et a mesure qu'ils se presentent a l'esprit de l'ecrivain [...]. On passe ainsi de New York a Salvador, de Prague a Lisbonne, de Pekin a Rio, d'un souvenir recent a une reminiscence de la jeunesse ou de la maturite. (63)

Let's take a look at two examples among the book's 617 pages (including an index of more than 1,300 names) of how these brief entries truly become short fiction pieces. According to Marc Auge and Jean-Paul Colleyn, "l'enregistrement du reel reste toujours partiellement subjectif et il renvoie a l'imaginaire du preneur d'images et a celui du recepteur" (Auge, qtd. in Colleyn, 151) and any kind of writing implies the use of imagination, the selection of information, the choice of narrative principles, editing, reflection, etc. (Colleyn, 147). From the moment Amado decides to make a selection of the memories he will recount in Navegacao de cabotagem, how he will present them and in which order; from the moment he decides to insert real people in his accounts, he fictionnalizes (to use Auge's expression, 108) his recit and his characters who now become part of his readers' collective imaginary, readers who unlike Amado's family and relatives do not personally know and therefore have no way to recognize these real characters.

For example, in the eight-page entry entitled "Paris, 1990. O Victor Hugo" (494-501), Amado gives an exhaustive list of the restaurants, bookstores, businesses, and a complete description of the people (newsvendors, store owners, taxi drivers, chefs, inn-keepers, etc.) in his Parisian neighborhood of the Marais. At first, it looks like a simple description, a sort of acknowledgment from the author, similar to the kind of thank you notes one may find on CD covers or in the prefaces of academic books. Nevertheless, the entry's title takes its full meaning at its end. After spending the first seven pages of the entry discussing the joy he felt living as a simple anonymous citizen among the Marais' inhabitants, Amado ends it by recounting how on the day the famous French daily newspaper Le Figaro had published his photo on half of a page, he was shouted out to, in front of all clients, by the owner of the cheese shop he visited on a regular basis:

Ora, acontece que certa tarde penetro na queijaria lotada come sempre, coloco-me na fila a espera de ser atendido, Madame Peron me avista, perde a continencia, exclama aos berros:

--Alors, Monsieur Amado, c'est pas bien, je suis fachee avec vous. Vous etes celebre et vous ne dites rien ...


Madame Peron aponta-me aos fregueses, todos se voltam para mim, a estudar a avisrara, Madame Peron esta exaltada.

--Ce Monsieur la est un ecrivain fameux, vous ne le connaissez pas?

Elogio de corpo presente me apavora, sou alergico, sinto-me no banco dos reus, quero afundar terra adentro. Madame Peron explica a clientela que o Le Figaro daquele dia dedica meia pagina a M. Amado, nao meia coluna o que ja e muito, meia pagina, nada mais, nada menos. Parte para o fundo do negocio, volta com o jornal na mao, esfrega meu retrato na cara dos presentes, esta contente de saber das merdolencias do fregues. Dou-me conta do que se trata, naquela manha Le Figaro publicara entrevista minha na qual falei de literatura e da Bahia, das terras do cacau e de Gabriela, ao lado da entrevista artigo de Andre Brincourt sobre as traducoes francesas de meus livros, ele os estima. Com o dedo Madame Peron aponta a legenda sob a foto, rejubila:

--Vous etes le Victor Hugo du Bresil, et vous ne dites rien, c'est pas serieux. Sou o Victor Hugo do Brasil, Madame Peron proclama a noticia aos quatro ventos, so que eu nao sabia. (500-501)

We are dealing in this excerpt with the fictionalization and star characters described by Marc Auge, Regis Debray, Christian Metz, and Edgar Morin. (11) But here we have a "star" author (Jorge Amado) who is called to order. Feeling betrayed, the cheese shop owner demands that Amado immediately resume his fictitious role (that of the "star," the Brazilian Victor Hugo). One must restore the order in which everyone may continue to imagine the other in his own role.

Secondly, this episode is reminiscent of Jamin's pertinent study of the Castle of If in Alexandre Dumas' novel The Count of Monte Cristo (1844), one of Amado's favorites. Jamin argues that "La visite guidee qui nous est aujourd'hui proposee, lorsqu'on se rend au chateau d' If, a ete prevue et programmee par la fiction" (179). The Castle of If is obviously very much real: it exists off the coast of Marseilles, France and used to serve as a prison. It inspired Alexandre Dumas in the writing of his novel. Edmond Dantes, however, is a purely literary invention. No one by that name ever escaped from that prison or returned to visit it years later. These events are the product of the author's imagination. Of course, Amado's case is different because--unlike Edmond Dantes--the Jorge Amado featured in the Paris cheese shop did exist. But the simple fact that Amado the novelist had to transcribe into writing and therefore edit and organize this anecdote (the selected dialogue format, a narrative alternating Portuguese and French, including an effort to render oral expression) (12) several years later results in a fictionalization of the Brazilian Victor Hugo.

Moreover, that specific article and interview of Amado in Le Figaro was indeed published (13) and I personally tracked several Parisian acquaintances of the Amados mentioned in Navigacao de cabotagem. Yet, I faced two major problems: none of them were actually present that day nor had any recollection nor were able to localize Amado's cheese shop when asked, and all of them were characters of Navigacao de cabotagem. Indeed, I had an experience similar to that of the Dumas fans who go on pilgrimages to the Castle of If. In March 2006, thanks to the late Zelia Gattai (Amado's wife) I was able to establish contact with several of the people that Amado mentions in Navegacao de cabotagem: some well-known (Tony Cartano, Rene Depestre, Gilles Lapouge, Jean Metellus, Georges Moustaki, Jean d'Ormesson, Francoise Xenakis) and others anonymous such as Gerard Moreau (the owner of Amado's favorite bookstore in his Marais neighborhood) and Anny-Claude Basset (a retired Air France flight attendant, personal friend of the Amados). I personally met with Moreau and Basset. In some ways, similar to what happens in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, both came out of the book to come get me and take me back with them into the fiction, looking for the French Jorge Amado. Basset even volunteered to kindly give me a two hour guided tour of Amado's Marais neighborhood. During the visit, though, when I asked Basset to take me to the Amado's favorite cheese shop featured in the anecdote of Navegacao de cabotagem, she hesitated for a moment and then accepted. But after we walked for a while around the area, she stopped in front of a pharmacy and said that it was no longer there. And when I asked Zelia Gattai (in writing) and Basset (during our walk) about Madame Peron, both had no recollection of such a name.

Interestingly, when one consults the massive index of names inserted at the end of Navegacao de cabotagem, it appears at first that Amado chose to list all the people he refers to in the book. However, through a closer examination, one discovers that unlike Albert Camus, Alexandre Dumas, Gerard Moreau and Anny-Claude Basset, both Victor Hugo and Madame Peron are not listed. It makes sense. In the "Paris, 1990. O Victor Hugo" entry, we the readers are not dealing with Victor Hugo, the French poet. We are introduced to the so-called "Brazilian Victor Hugo" by Madame Peron, a woman that none of Amado's closest friends or Amado's wife could remember; the owner of a cheese shop that "vanished." One may conclude then that Amado decided not to list fictional characters in his index and that he remained true to his long standing desire of never writing memoirs. Until the end, he remained faithful to fiction.



Amado, Jorge. Cacau. Rio de Janeiro: Ariel, 1933.

--. Jubiaba. Rio de Janeiro: Jose Olimpio, 1935.

--. Terras do sem fim. Sao Paulo: Martins, 1943.

--. Seara vermelha. Sao Paulo: Martins, 1946.

--. Gabriela, cravo e canela. Sao Paulo: Martins, 1958.

--. "A morte e a morte de Quincas Berro D'Agua." Os velhos marinheiros. Sao Paulo: Martins, 1961.

--. Dona Flor e seus dois maridos, historia moral e de amor. Sao Paulo: Martins, 1966.

--. Tieta do Agreste: pastora de cabras. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1977. Trans. As Tieta d'Agreste ou le retour de la fille prodigue.

--. O menino grapiuna. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1981.

--. Conversations avec Alice Raillard. Paris: Gallimard, 1990.

--. A descoberta da America pelos turcos: romancinho. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1994.

--. Navegacao de cabotagem. Apontamentos para um livro de memorias que jamais escreverei. 1992. 2nd ed. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2006.

Assis Pacheco, Fernando. "Jorge Amado. 'Eu sou muito frances'." O jornal ilustrado 26 Aug.-1 Sept. 1988: 12-19.

Auge, Marc. The War of Dreams: Exercises in Ethno-Fiction. 1997. Trans. Liz Heron. London: Pluto, 1999.

Bastide, Roger. "Preface." Les deux morts de Quinquin la Flotte. Jorge Amado. Trans. Georges Boisvert. Paris: Stock, 1971.

Bourdon, Albert-Alain. "Les Religions afro-bresiliennes dans l'oeuvre de Jorge Amado." Bulletin des Etudes Portugaises et de l'Institut Francais au Portugal 35-36 (1974-1975): 145-203.

Brincourt, Andre. "La vie des voyages." Le Figaro 28 Apr. 1989: 14.

Colleyn, Jean-Paul. "Fiction et fictions en anthropologie." L'homme: Revue francaise d'anthropologie 175-176 (2005): 147-164.

Debray, Regis. Teachers, Writers, Celebrities. The Intellectuals of Modern France. 1979. Trans. David Macey. London: Verso, 1981.

Durand, Alain-Philippe. "Jorge Amado." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 307. Brazilian Writers. Eds. Monica Rector and Fred Clark. Columbia, SC: Bruccoli, 2004. 26-39.

Durand, Alain-Philippe and Ralph Schoolcraft III. "Jorge Amado and Albert Camus: Formative Literary Visions and Prewar Politics." PMLA 124.3 (2009): 918-25.

Jamin, Jean. "Fictions haut regime. Du theatre vecu au mythe romanesque." L'homme: Revue francaise d'anthropologie 175-176 (2005): 165-202.

"Jorge Amado." Un siecle d'ecrivains. Dir. Henri Raillard. France 3. 22 Mar. 1995. Television. Inatheque. BN Francois Mitterrand.

Morgan, Claude. "Apres Joliot-Curie et Aragon, P. Daix et J. Amado ..." Les Lettres francaises 23 Sept. 1949: 1.

Morin, Edgar. The Stars. 1972. Trans. Richard Howard. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2005.

Moritz Schwarcz, Lilia. "Apresentacao."O Brasil best seller de Jorge Amado. Literatura e identidade nacional. Ilana Seltzer Goldstein. Sao Paulo: SENAC, 2000. 9-14.

Moser, Gerald. "Jorge and Zelia Amado's Long Visit to Pennsylvania State University in 1971: Surprise and Success." Jorge Amado. New Critical Essays. Eds. Keith H. Brower, Earl E. Fitz, and Enrique Martinez-Vidal. New York: Routledge, 2001. 145-58.

Oliveira, Maria Thereza Indiani de. "L'oeuvre de Jorge Amado en France. Enquete sur les traductions de ses oeuvres et les reactions de la critique." Diss. U of Grenoble 3, 1977. Seltzer Goldstein, Ilana. O Brasil best seller de Jorge Amado. Literatura e identidade nacional. Sao Paulo: SENAC, 2000.

Tavares, Paulo. Criaturas de Jorge Amado. Sao Paulo: Martins, 1969.

Tettamanzi, Regis. Les ecrivains francais et le Bresil. La construction d'un imaginaire de La Jangada a Tristes tropiques. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2004.

Vidal, Laurence. "Jorge Amado. Je crois aux contes de fees." Le Figaro Litteraire 23 Oct. 1989: 8.

Witkowski, Ariane. "Jorge Amado ou la tentation autobiographique."Jorge Amado, Lectures et dialogues autour d'une oeuvre. Eds. Rita Godet and Jacqueline Penjon. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2005. 59-70.

(1) See Moser for a recount of Amado's stay at Penn State U.

(2) In Navegacao de cabotagem (177), Amado wrongly recalls 1950 as the year of publication of Cacau in Les Temps Modernes. It was in fact published in issues 104 and 105 in July and August 1954.

(3) See the long account that Beauvoir writes of that trip in La Force des choses (1963) and the one written by Zelia Gattai in Senhora Dona do Baile (1984).

(4) Les Chemins de la faim is the French translation of Seara vermelha.

(5) See Amado's Conversations avec Alice Raillard on Malraux's two decisive interventions on his behalf (241).

(6) See for example Albert-Alain Bourdon (192).

(7) Conrad Detrez translated into French several of Amado's novels.

(8) See Seltzer Goldstein for a fascinating study of the conveyed cliche images of Brazilian national identity through the promoting, packaging, and reception of Amado's novels in France and in the rest of Europe.

(9) See Tettamanzi for a list and discussion of Brazilian cliches in France (16-19).

(10) See Witkowski (62-65).

(11) For Auge, on television, people become "stars and 'fictional characters' in the sense used by Christian Metz, and [are] compelled moreover to exist as fictional characters in order to exist as political, artistic, even scientific personalities. What matters is not what these personalities think about their entry into fiction so much as the effect produced by this fictional leveling on those whose access to the world outside is mainly through television" (109). According to Morin, "the same impulse that draws the imaginary to the real identifies the real with the imaginary. [...] Like the caliphs of Baghdad, who dissimulated their sovereignty under a merchant's cape, the star travels 'incognito,' supreme ostentation of simplicity. The mere wearing of enormous dark glasses in white frames long permitted the population of Hollywood to recognize the stars. [...] The star belongs altogether to her public" (11, 39, 46). For Debray, "In a village, you become someone by having your picture in the paper. [...] In a proletarianized intelligentsia with a mass audience, anonymity is the stigma of powerlessness, and powerlessness the punishment for anonymity. [...] Basically, everyone is afraid that he does not really exist--since he exists only in so far as he is recognized by others as worthy to exist. He exists only in so far as others talk about him - or watch, quote, criticize, slander or praise him" (145-46).

(12) The addition of the circumflex accent (Amado) emphasizes in a humorous way the French pronunciation of Amado's last name. Also, most French people have a tendency to contract the negative form when speaking: "c'est pas bien" instead of "ce n'est pas bien." See Paloma Amado's preface to the second edition of Amado's Navegacao de cabotagem which may be read as yet another fascinating Amadian anecdote. Amado's daughter recounts the writing and composing of the book in the Amados' apartment in Paris and in a more chaotic and very funny fashion, on a cruise boat between Greece and Turkey.

(13) Once again, Amado's memory fails him and he mixes two articles into one. Andre Brincourt's article was in fact published in April 1989 in Le Figaro. In it, Brincourt considers Amado as the Victor Hugo from Brazil (14). In another article published in October 1989 in Le Figaro Litteraire, Amado talks about Bahia and his novel Yansan des orages, the French translation of O sumico da santa: uma historia de feiticaria (Vidal, 8).
COPYRIGHT 2010 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Romance Languages
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Romance Notes
Date:Jan 1, 2010
Previous Article:Not man apart: the dialogue between nature and art in Francois Cheng's Le Dit de Tianyi.
Next Article:Portrait of a turning point: Ana Miranda's O retrato do rei.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters