Otto Maria Carpeaux

Last updated
Otto Maria Carpeaux
MariaCarpeaux.jpg
Maria Carpeaux
Born9 March 1900
Vienna, Austria
Died3 February 1978(1978-02-03) (aged 77)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Occupation Literary critic
Notable worksHistória da Literatura Ocidental

Otto Maria Carpeaux (March 9, 1900 – February 3, 1978), born Otto Karpfen, was an Austrian-born Brazilian literary critic and multilingual scholar. [1]

Contents

Career overview

Carpeaux was born Otto Karpfen in 1900 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary, to a Jewish family, and lived there until 1939. At the age of 20, he enrolled at the University of Vienna to study Law. In 1925, he received a PhD in letters and philosophy and began working as a journalist. Later, he also studied exact sciences and mathematics in Leipzig, sociology and philosophy in Paris, comparative literature in Naples, and politics in Berlin. [2] At some point in his life, Karpfen converted to Roman Catholicism, adding Maria to his name and using Fidelis as his surname for some time. This conversion was evident in his political books (such as Wege Nach Rom) and his thinking, and led to his participation in the right-wing government of Engelbert Dollfuss. [3]

When the Anschluss occurred and the Nazis took over Vienna, Carpeaux fled to Belgium. [4] He stayed there for about a year and, at the break of the Second World War, he went to Brazil. [5] Carpeaux did not speak Portuguese at first, and he mastered the language on his own, eventually also frenchifying his lastname to "Carpeaux", considering that it would seem more prestigious among Brazilian intellectuals. At first, he was given a simple rural job, but he gradually established himself as a literary critic. His first published article was on Franz Kafka, on the newspaper Correio da Manhã, something he did out of desperation when living under severe conditions. He was to introduce writers such as Robert Musil and Kafka to Brazilian audiences, along with the literary criticism of Wilhelm Dilthey, Benedetto Croce, Walter Benjamin and others.

His first book in Portuguese came in 1942, A Cinza do Purgatório. Two years later, he became director of Fundação Getúlio Vargas library. He also published essays on philosophers and sociologists such as Friedrich Engels and Max Weber, as well as on Brazilian writers he came to discover when in the country, writing on Carlos Drummond de Andrade e Graciliano Ramos.

Perhaps the peak of Carpeaux's production was his eight-volume História da Literatura Ocidental (History of Western Literature), [6] available only in Portuguese, in spite of being in public domain. Carpeaux took eight years to write his masterwork, from 1941 to 1947. Late critic José Lino Grünewald labelled it one of the brightest moments of the language in prose, despite the fact that Carpeaux was not a native speaker. It is also unique in that it focuses on creating links between all periods, in order to create an organic vision of the literary history he is telling. The book also include more than 8,000 brief criticisms and expositions of the majority of the figures discussed along the way, minus the ones cited in passing; all are dealt with in their original languages, both in expositions and quotations and in the bibliography offered. The total bibliographical amount of cited works is on the merge of 30,000 books or more.

In this series, Carpeaux begins with an analysis of classical Greek and Latin literatures and proceeds until the twentieth century avant-garde movements such as surrealism and dadaism, encompassing every major literary establishments in between. For this reason, it has been called "definitive, encyclopaedic and multidisciplinary, a fundamental work in Brazilian literary and cultural bibliography". [7] To Antonio Candido, Carpeaux's "universal vision allows him to surmount the eventual limitations of critic nacionalism, whose historic function is important in certain moments, but which must not serve to obliterate the true dimension of the literary phenomena, which, through its own nature, is transcendental as well as national. Carpeaux demonstrates in other moments how Brazilian literature benefits from being seen in a double perspective, such as his, capable of increasing insight and break routine." [8]

Never abandoning his abomination to militarism and tyranny, Carpeaux opposed to the Brazilian Military Regime and abandoned his literary writings by 1968, in order to participate more actively on political debate. However, he did participate in the composition of an encyclopedia called Mirador. He maintained his convictions as a right-wing thinker, and died of a heart attack in 1978.

Recently, his essays have been compiled by Brazilian journalist Olavo de Carvalho, [9] with an added introduction. Critic Mauro Souza Ventura released De Karpfen a Carpeaux, a study in the life and work of Carpeaux. Carpeaux's other works include a dense history of German literature, several books of literary criticism, a popular history of Western music and various political writings.

Works

Related Research Articles

Machado de Assis Brazilian writer

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, often known by his surnames as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho, was a pioneer Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright and short story writer, widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature. Nevertheless, Assis did not achieve widespread popularity outside Brazil during his lifetime. In 1897 he founded and became the first President of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. He was multilingual, having taught himself French, English, German and Greek in later life.

Nilo Peçanha 7th President of Brazil

Nilo Procópio Peçanha was a Brazilian politician who served as seventh President of Brazil. He was Governor of Rio de Janeiro State (1903–1906), then elected Vice President of Brazil in 1906. He assumed the presidency in 1909 following the death of President Afonso Pena and served until 1910.

Adonias Filho

Adonias Aguiar Filho was a novelist, essayist, journalist, and literary critic from Bahia, Brazil, and a member of the Academia Brasileira de Letras.

José Lins do Rego

José Lins do Rego Cavalcanti was a Brazilian novelist most known for his semi-autobiographical "sugarcane cycle." These novels were the basis of films that had distribution in the English speaking world. Along with Graciliano Ramos and Jorge Amado he stands as one of the greatest regionalist writers of Brazil According to Otto Maria Carpeaux, José Lins was "the last of the story tellers". His first novel, Menino de Engenho, was published with difficulty, but soon it got praised by the critics.

Simon Schwartzman is a Brazilian social scientist. He has published extensively, with many books, book chapters and academic articles in the areas of comparative politics, sociology of science, social policy, and education. In 1996, Schwartzman was awarded the Grand Cross of the Brazilian Order of Scientific Merit for his contributions to the cause and development of science in Brazil. In recent years, Schwartzman has written extensively on issues related to brain drain and brain circulation in the academic world, the Affirmative Action program in Brazilian higher education, and equity in education. He has been part of international teams of experts convened by OECD and The World Bank to advise governments on higher education, science and technology policies.

Carlos Nejar

Luis Carlos Verzoni Nejar, better known as Carlos Nejar, is a Brazilian poet, author, translator and critic, and a member of the Academia Brasileira de Letras. One of the most important poets of its generation, Nejar, also called "o poeta do pampa brasileiro", is distinguished for his use of an extensive vocabulary, alliteration, and pandeism. His first book, Sélesis, was published in 1960.

José Joaquim Emerico Lobo de Mesquita was a Brazilian composer, music teacher, conductor and organist.

Lúcia Benedetti – was a Brazilian storyteller, writer of Children's Literature, novelist, playwright, chronicler and translator.

Olavo de Carvalho Brazilian essayist, journalist, self-taught philosopher

Olavo Luiz Pimentel de Carvalho is a Brazilian polemicist, self-promoted philosopher, political pundit, former astrologer, journalist and far-right conspiracy theorist living since 2005 in Richmond, Virginia.

São Paulo Prize for Literature Award

The São Paulo Prize for Literature is a Brazilian literary prize for novels written in the Portuguese language and published in Brazil. It was established in 2008 by the Secretary of Culture for the State of São Paulo. Though not as old as other literary prizes in Brazil, such as the Machado de Assis Prize, the São Paulo Prize has quickly risen in prestige. For example, in 2011, there were 221 submissions for the prize. This rapid rise in popularity is partly because of the large cash prize. Every year two prizes of R$200,000 each are awarded—one for the best novel of the year by an established author, and the other for the best novel of the year by a debut author—making the São Paulo Prize the largest prize for a published work in Brazil, and one of the largest literary prizes in the world. Ten finalists are listed for each award, during the Festival da Mantiqueira, and the winners are announced on the first Monday of August in the Museum of the Portuguese Language.

Benjamin Abdala Júnior Brazilian writer, scholar, and literary critic

Benjamin Abdala Júnior is a Brazilian writer, scholar, and literary critic. His first book, A Escrita Neo-Realista, was published in 1981. He published the book Antologia da Poesia Brasileira - Realismo/Parnasianismo in 1985. He has written over 40 published books and hundreds of chapters in book collection,articles in newspapers and literary magazines .He has worked with the main Brazilian Scientific Agencies evaluating scholarships and grants requested by researchers from the main Brazilian universities. Benjamin has also lived in Portugal and France, where he expanded his research and gave lectures on Comparative, Portuguese and African Literatures. He has been invited to the main universities in Africa, China, United States, Canada, France, England, Portugal, Austria, Tchecoslovaquia, Russia and Chile, giving lectures on African Literatures of Portuguese Speaking Countries, Comparative Literature, Neo-realism in Portugal and Brazil, among other subjects. Grandson of Lebanese immigrants, he received a Merit Medal celebrating 130 years of Middle Eastern Immigration to South America from BibliASPA - Biblioteca e Centro de Pesquisa América do Sul - Países Árabes. He has 3 children and 3 grandchildren, and lives in São Paulo. He is retired from University of São Paulo after 35 years of contribution as professor and administrator, but he is still actively involved in the Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras and Ciencias Humanas as a researcher.

Luiz Ruffato

Luiz Fernando Ruffato de Souza is a contemporary Brazilian writer. An alumnus of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, Ruffato worked as a journalist in São Paulo and published several fiction books including Historia das Remorsos e Rancores (1998) and Eles eram muitos cavalos [They were Many Horses] (2001). The latter book garnered the APCA literary prize.

Mariana Coelho

Mariana Coelho was a Portuguese Brazilian educator, essayist and poet, and a feminist pioneer in Brazil.

José Veríssimo

José Veríssimo Dias de Matos was a writer, educator, journalist, literary critic, and founding member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Araripe Júnior

Tristão de Alencar Araripe Júnior was a Brazilian lawyer, literary critic, and writer.

Sheila Leirner

Sheila Leirner is a French Brazilian curator, journalist, and art critic, as well as a writer. She was chief curator of the XVIII and XIX São Paulo Art Biennials.

History of the book in Brazil

The history of the book in Brazil focuses on the development of the access to publishing resources and acquisition of the book in the country, covering a period extending from the beginning of the editorial activity during colonization to today's publishing market, including the history of publishing and bookstores that allowed the modern accessibility to the book.

João Cruz Costa Brazilian philosopher

João Cruz Costa, was a Brazilian philosopher, "first student" of the Philosophy Faculty at Universidade de São Paulo, later becoming full professor at the same institution.

Mary del Priore Brazilian historian and teacher

Mary Lucy Murray Del Priore is a Brazilian historian and teacher. She wrote several books on the history of everyday Brazilian people during the colonial, imperial and Republican periods.

Gonzaga Duque

Luís Gonzaga Duque Estrada, known as Gonzaga Duque was a Brazilian writer and critic. He was of Swedish descent on his father's side.

References

  1. Menezes, Raimundo de. Dicionário Literário Brasileiro. Rio de Janeiro: LTC, 1978.
  2. "Otto Maria Carpeaux".
  3. Carvalho, Olavo de. "Introdução," Archived 2013-06-08 at the Wayback Machine Ensaios Reunidos, 1942-1978, (Vol.1). Rio de Janeiro: UniverCidade Editora, 2005.
  4. Kestler, Izabela Maria Furtado. Exílio e Literatura: Escritores de Fala Alemã durante a Época do Nazismo, EdUSP, 2003.
  5. Miguel, Salim. "Carpeaux Revisitado," Diário Catarinense, 20 de Maio de 2006.
  6. Muggiati, Roberto. "Carpe Carpeaux!," Gazeta do Povo, Janeiro de 2012.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2016-08-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. "Otto Maria Carpeaux".
  9. Guimarães, J. C. "O Destino de Otto Maria Carpeaux," Revista Bula, Dezembro de 2008.
  10. Siscaio, Sérgio. "Carpeaux: Três Mil anos no Bolso," Diário do Comércio, Janeiro de 2013.

Further reading

Online works

Other