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Forbidden Writing. Romantic Expression and African Diaspora in the Manuscripts of Carolina Maria de Jesus

Grant number: 12/10784-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Brazilian Literature
Principal researcher:Marcos Antonio de Moraes
Grantee:Elena Pajaro Peres
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros (IEB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):12/21347-6 - Carolina Maria de Jesus and her manuscripts in the Atlantic context of Diasporas: cultural connections with Africa and with the African experience in the Americas, BE.EP.PD


Studying the work of Afro-Brazilian author Carolina Maria de Jesus, the proposal of this project includes a detailed investigation of her unpublished manuscripts and a new reading of her published production, seeking to unveil her creative trajectory, based on a critical interpretation and historical analysis. In this analysis, the intention is to indicate the connections of her writing with cultural elements from her group of origin in Africa and in the state of Minas Gerais, with the literature to which she had access, especially that with a romantic character, and with her experiences as a migrant in the city of São Paulo. The central issue will be, on the one hand, to analyze this tense combination present in her work between knowledge and popular beliefs from oral tradition and the literate universe, and on the other, to understand how the experience of spatial and cultural displacement manifests itself in the composition of a unique form of artistic expression. To achieve this critical dimension, it is understood that it will be necessary first to center on Carolina's work, taking the focus away from the intense attention received for her first book, Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus, published in 1960, and to seek a broader historical and cultural context in which the author, granddaughter of a former slave, son of Africans, is included, from the time of her birth, in the small city of Sacramento, in the state of Minas Gerais, probably in 1914, until her death at her home in the neighborhood of Parelheiros, in the city of São Paulo in 1977. This context, therefore, cannot be summed up just as the years she lived with her children in the Canindé favela, despite the undeniable importance of this period. With this deviation, it will be possible to perceive with greater clarity the details of how she created her fictional writing, refused by publishers of the time, and also of her own best-selling diary that won her worldwide acclaim. In this manner, studying the work of Carolina can be revealing of a process of "cultural translation" that involved delicate connections built over the course of her experiences of diaspora and migration, and which transformed itself into creative work.

Matéria(s) publicada(s) na Revista Pesquisa FAPESP sobre a bolsa::
Poética de residuos 
Poetry out of scraps 
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