Cintia Moscovich's Brazilian View on Jewish Literary Themes

By Rozenchan, Nancy | Journal for the Study of Religion : JSR, July 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

Cintia Moscovich's Brazilian View on Jewish Literary Themes


Rozenchan, Nancy, Journal for the Study of Religion : JSR


Since the arrival of European explorers in Brazil in 1500, local culture has been subjected mainly to the influence brought by Portuguese navigators and their descendants. These included many Jews, newly converted to Christianity, but who continued to profess their Jewish religion or, at least, keep some Jewish practices. Even though there are still Indian tribes who speak their own languages, as well as evidence of the cultural influence of African slaves in some regions of the country, Portuguese was-and is-the only language predominant in literature. Short periods of Spanish, Dutch and French domination during the colonial period have not left obvious traces in the language, culture or literature of Brazil. During the second half of the 19th century, Brazil began opening its ports and received immigrants from various European and Asiatic countries. Intermixing with local inhabitants soon resulted in the disappearance of languages spoken by immigrants. Although most of the first generation immigrants did not produce literature, it was not uncommon for Jewish immigrants to write in Yiddish. However, very soon, Portuguese became the literary language for their descendants. Interestingly, a particular partiality for the ethnic and cultural themes of their ancestors is apparent amongst second, third or even fourth generation writers. The same can be said of writers of Arab descent. As for writers of other ethnic origins, however, this tendency is almost imperceptible.

Thinking about minority literature, I turned to the writings of Cintia Moscovich, born in 1958: writer, translator, journalist and literary consultant.2 As stressed above, minority literature in Brazil does not refer to literature in the language of a minority, since today there is no expressive literature being produced in the country in languages other than Portuguese. Minority literature may be linked to ethnic or gender literature-in any event, it is considered fully Brazilian literature without evident connections to any current foreign language, or the foreign languages of authors' ancestors. Prize-winner writer Moscovich, was born and lives in Porto Alegre in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul which borders Argentina and Uruguay-both Spanish-speaking countries, with a strong influence on southern Brazilian culture and habits. She is the author of four books, published and republished since 1996.3 At this point, I could also stress a direct relationship between gender and literary style, but that is something I have chosen not to do, although it was only in the 1960s that literature by women began to acquire significant status in Brazil. At the time, it was necessary to establish a gender divide in relation to male control in order to survive and ensure visibility. This changed in the 1970s when a strategic struggle opened space for dialogue between minorities. From then on, women's literature has been viewed in the same way as the discourse of any other minority. It is noteworthy that in her southern state, Moscovich, herself a Jewess, ensured prominence for the most representative of a number of writers of Jewish origin writing in Portuguese-at least fifteen. Consequently, my emphasis will be on the position of the Jewish writer. However, since Moscovich is one of the very rare Brazilian female writers of Jewish origin, her being a woman could also be borne in mind.

Jewish immigration to that part of Brazil began more than 100 years ago. Most of the Jewish population there, as all the other Brazilian states today have Portuguese as the one and only language. Most of the prominent writers mentioned above used, as background for their books, rural life in the agricultural colonies of the Jewish Colonization Association-a unique Jewish South American, and particularly Brazilian-experience. People of Italian and German descent have also had important agricultural experiences in that state. While these immigrants' descendants still live in the countryside, however, Jews became urban people. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Cintia Moscovich's Brazilian View on Jewish Literary Themes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.