The World-Literary Formation of Antonio Candido
The central claim of this essay is that the Brazilian critic Antonio Candido (1918-2017) combines an ostensibly universal but de facto Eurocentric conception of literature with a historicising sensitivity towards the locally grounded ways in which literature evolves, especially in colonial and postcolonial Brazil. This doubleness invites a concept-historical analysis of how “literature”, pressured by social conflict, becomes semantically layered. From his early reading of Brazilian literary history to his late essay on human rights, one can detect a continuous process of such semantic layering in Candido’s work. By extension, this has implications - as discussed towards the end - for how the African reception of the work of João Guimarães Rosa can be understood.
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Re-Mapping World Literature: Writing, Book Markets and Epistemologies Between Latin America and the Global South, ed. Gesine Müller, Jorge Locane and Benjamin Loy. Berlin: De Gruyter.