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On a Knife-EdgeThe Poetry of João Cabral de Melo Neto$
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Sara Brandellero

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199589524

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199589524.001.0001

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In between wor(l)ds: the image of the ‘entre‐lugar’ in Agrestes

In between wor(l)ds: the image of the ‘entre‐lugar’ in Agrestes

(p.79) 3 In between wor(l)ds: the image of the ‘entre‐lugar’ in Agrestes
On a Knife-Edge

Sara Brandellero

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses João Cabral's collection, Agrestes (1985). Taking its cue from Silviano Santiago's formulations on the entre-lugar as a locus of enunciation where forms of cultural colonialism are undermined, the chapter discusses Cabral's figurations of marginality and hybridity, which transpire in the title of the collection itself — taken to allude to the North-Eastern region of Brazil between the zona da mata and the sertão. The chapter considers Cabral's postcolonial perspective, as it emerges for example in his inter-textual dialogues (such as with Fernando Pessoa and Manuel Bandeira). Ambiguous configurations of life and mortality are also analysed, such as in the theme of haunting in Cabral's revisitation of Pernambuco and in representations of the plight of postcolonial West Africa and Spanish America. Thus, the chapter considers how the collection reflected the poet's experience of a peripatetic life as a career diplomat, in a work in which physical and emotional journeys are conflated.

Keywords:   cultural colonialism, Agrestes, Pernambuco, Silviano Santiago, postcolonial West Africa, Fernando Pessoa, Manuel Bandeira

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