A Portrait of Brazil in the Twentieth Century
The Universe of the "Literatura de Cordel"
About the Book
A Portrait of Brazil in the Twentieth Century: The Universe of the “Literatura de Cordel” is Curran’s most recent project. The book, in effect, is the English version of a major work published in Brazil in Portuguese in 2011, Retrato do Brasil em Cordel. Curran returns to Portrait for several reasons: primary is his strong feeling that the amazingly broad view of Brazil in the twentieth century seen in the thousands of booklets in verse from the Cordel represents a major aspect of Brazilian culture in that century. Second, because there are many important bodies of folk-popular verse in the Western tradition, all distant relatives of the Greek and Roman epic traditions, and because Brazil’s folk-popular poetry is one among them. And because a very large reading public interested in such things does not know Portuguese, this volume in English strives to make the tradition available to such readers. Finally, the book in two volumes represents the cumulative efforts of research and writing of Professor Curran in a career of forty-three years of scholarly research and teaching. It reveals a unique portrait of Brazil and its people, informative, instructive, and mainly, entertaining.
About the Author
Mark Curran is a retired professor from Arizona State University where he taught Spanish and Portuguese languages and their respective cultures from 1968 to 2011. His research specialty was Brazil, and he made more than twenty trips to that country to collect Brazil’s folk-popular poetry, the “Literatura de Cordel,” and study its relationship to Brazilian erudite literature and history. Some twenty-five articles in research journals and eleven books published in Brazil, the United States, and Spain are the results of this endeavor. In retirement since 2011, Curran has written and published eight volumes of memory books from The Farm, growing up in Abilene, Kansas, and Coming of Age with the Jesuits, years of undergraduate and graduate education with the Jesuits, to books recounting travel and study in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico—the latter treating topics he taught at ASU. This book is the latest in the series.