After Translation: The Transfer and Circulation of Modern Poetics across the Atlantic

By Ignacio Infante | Go to book overview

4 / Transferring the “Luminous Detail”:
Sousândrade, Pound, and the Imagist Origins
of Brazilian Concrete Poetry

In 1964, the Concrete poets Augusto and Haroldo de Campos published ReVisão de Sousândrade, an anthology and critical study of the Brazilian romantic poet from Maranhão, Joaquim de Sousa Andrade (1832–1902), generally known within Brazilian literature simply as “Sousândrade.” Despite the fact that ReVisão de Sousândrade was originally published in a small edition of five hundred copies, it constitutes an extremely relevant work within Brazilian and Latin American literary history, as well as within the global history of the avant-garde. In ReVisão de Sousândrade the de Campos brothers not only manage to recover a seminal romantic writer almost completely forgotten by literary scholars on both sides of the Atlantic during a period spanning more than sixty years, but they also successfully established a Brazilian precursor for the avant-garde Concrete poetics they developed during the 1950s and 1960s. Chronologically, the reevaluation of the work of Sousândrade carried out by the brothers de Campos constitutes a relatively late event within Brazilian concretismo, taking place when the three main poets associated with the group—namely Augusto de Campos (born in 1931), Haroldo de Campos (1929–2003) and Décio Pignatari (born in 1927)—were reconsidering their own historical relevance as an avant-garde collective both in terms of the global impact of their Concrete poetics, as well as specifically within the local realm of Brazilian literature and culture.

ReVisão de Sousândrade was published twelve years after the initial burst of the concretista revolution inaugurated by the de Campos brothers and Pignatari in 1952 with the publication in São Paulo of the first issue of the journal Noigandres, which quickly became the main artistic and

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