Cordel Art of Brazil

Standard

I have recently gone on a Brazilian kick.  I almost bought a ticket to visit there, even.  On Travelocity.com last Friday, I was doing a random check on airfare and found out it was only $525 RT to Sao Paolo!  I have friends who have relatives there, and was waiting to find out if anyone would be home.  (Interestingly enough, that was more important than waiting for the “go ahead” signal from my hubby…).  Alas, by the time I got an answer, the airfare had shot up to $760.  Dang!  You snooze, you lose.

So I have had to satisfy my urges by visiting my local Brazilian grocery.  There, I bought two savory pastries, one called coxinha and the other was a Brazilian kibbeh concoction called quibe.  I loved the former – a lovely chicken croquette with crispy bread crumbs on the outside (Here is a recipe link).  The kibbeh was too salty.  I also bought a square of orange colored cake with a cocoa icing.  I gave that to my Brazilian co-worker because I am supposed to be on a diet.

The main cultural aspect of Brazil that I have been researching is called cordel literature, or literatura de cordel. (from Maria-Brazil.org): “Literatura de cordel” (string literature) are pamphlets or booklets that hang from a piece of string (cordel) in the places where they are sold. These are long, narrative poems with woodcut illustrations on the cover, often done by the poet himself. There are traditional themes (romances, fantastic stories, animal fables, religious traditions) and themes based on current events, famous people, life in the cities, etc.  Cordel literature can be hilarious and very racy, too.”

Links:
Here is an article on electronic cordel literature.

Here are photos of cordel displays in Brazil.

The poetry of d.s. levy, which follows the cordel form.

Article on literature de cordel on Tobetupi.com.

Another piece on cordel literature.

Brazilian Collection and information site on Cordel Literature (in Portuguese).
Acrobat file on native poetry forms of the Americas – first page is on cordel literature.
Arizona State University professor’s article on his cordel collection.

Lesson Plan:  Stories on a String from Saxarts.com

Article on a family day at a San Angelo Texas museum focusing on Brazilian culture.

Another Event: the Green Cordel Festival May 2009

Galleries with Brazilian Woodcuts:
Indigo Arts
A Hopeful Madness
Mariposa Arts
Tesoros Trading Company – You can even buy Cordel Literature by J. Borges

Books about Cordel Literature:
Lampion and his Bandits – English Version of Cordel literature legend, Lampion – a sort of Brazilian Robin Hood.
Stories on a String – by Candace Slater – very important resource.

Jorge Amado: New Critical Essays
Article in Callaloo Journal
The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature by Roberto González Echevarría, Enrique Pupo-Walker

That’s just the beginning.  One of the reasons I am going to the John C. Campbell School is to learn a bit about woodcut printing!

Advertisements

One response »

  1. Very interesting piece. Isn’t research so much more fun when you are looking for what interests you?

    One of Sam Armistead’s Spanish Medieval lit /oral traditions seminars (oral traditions & lyric poetry) at UC Davis touched on 16th c. Spanish version of cordel literature. Romances/ ballads in single single sheets and instead of hanging from a string, they hung from a line- similar name that I cannot quite remember at the moment but will no doubt bug me until I track it down.

    Tamra Hays gave me a Kreativ Blogger award for plog (poetry blog) that I am now to pass on to 4-7 other bloggers, so you’ll be getting yours as soon as I finish writing up the post for it. It’s mostly done – I could post it now but brain fog is rolling in. Should have posted earlier this evening and beat the fog, a real drag on proofreading.

    A sort of local artist (moved here from Florida) has been doing some painting with a loteria theme. They reminded me of your cards, which I like better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s