Brazilian literature books launched in Urdu

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ISLAMABAD, MAR 04 (DNA) – The Ambassador of Brazil, Alfredo Leoni, and the Director-General of the National Library of Pakistan Ch. Muhammad Nazir, inaugurated two books of classic Brazilian literature, published in Urdu and English languages, at a ceremony at the National Library, in Islamabad, on Wednesday. In order to make Brazilian literature better known in Pakistan, the Embassy of Brazil in Islamabad decided to publish the translation to Urdu and English languages of two major novels of the Brazilian literature of 19th century: “Iracema”, by José de Alencar, and “Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas”, by Machado de Assis.

These two books are pillars of Brazilian literature and important tools for the understanding of Brazil and Brazilians in the years after the Independence of Brazil from Portugal, in 1822. The publication of these two books has been sponsored by the Brazilian National Library Foundation.

About book “Iracema”: First published in 1865, “Iracema” is certainly one of the most important books of Brazilian romanticism, but also of Brazilian literature as a whole. An indianist (Indigenous) novel, it has also been called a fictional-historical novel, an epic-lyric narrative, a poem in prose, a poetic novel, a mythic poem. The obvious difficulty in defining this work shows its many facets: legendary, narrative, poetic, lyric, mythic.

The story of “Iracema” revolves around the unexpected appearance of a Portuguese warrior in the lands of the Tabajara indians, on the shores of Ceará, in the early years of the 17th century. The Portuguese Martim meets the beautiful and young Iracema (whose name means “honey-lips”) while wandering lost in the forest and an unexpected and forbidden love is born.

About book “Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas” “Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas” caused a big impact in the literature scene of Brazil in the end of 19th century. Narrated by the title character, a single rich empty man who decided to tell his life after he died, the book changed radically the style of Brazilian literature.

It represented a rupture to the established romanticism of those years. Realistic in style and structure, the book is plenty of wit, irony and subtle criticism of Rio de Janeiro’s rich and privileged elite, especially its futility, frivolity and laziness.

The author of Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, Machado de Assis, is the most important Brazilian writer of all times. In 1897, Machado de Assis together with other intellectuals founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Machado was indisputably acclaimed its first President. He chose as patron of his chair in the Academy José de Alencar, the author of “Iracema”, who had died twenty years earlier. Machado had a great admiration for José de Alencar, of whom he had been a close friend.=DNA