Covering more than one hundred years of history, this multidisciplinary collection of essays explores the vital connections between popular music and citizenship in Brazil. While popular music has served as an effective resource for communities to stake claims to political, social, and cultural rights in Brazil, it has also been appropriated by the state in its efforts to manage and control a socially, racially, and geographically diverse nation. The question of citizenship has also been a recurrent theme in the work of many of Brazil’s most important musicians. These essays explore popular music in relation to national identity, social class, racial formations, community organizing, political protest, and emergent forms of distribution and consumption. Contributors examine the cultural politics of samba in the 1930s, the trajectory of middle-class musical sensibility associated with Música Popular Brasileira (MPB), rock and re-democratization in the 1980s, music and black identity in Bahia, hip hop and community organizing in São Paulo, and the repression of baile funk in Rio in the 1990s. Among other topics, they consider the use of music by the Landless Workers’ Movement, the performance of identity by Japanese Brazilian musicians, the mangue beat movement of Recife, and the emergence of new regional styles, such as lambadão and tecnobrega, that circulate outside of conventional distribution channels. Taken together, the essays reveal the important connections between citizenship, national belonging, and Brazilian popular music.
Contributors. Idelber Avelar, Christopher Dunn, João Freire Filho, Goli Guerreiro, Micael Herschmann, Ari Lima, Aaron Lorenz, Shanna Lorenz, Angélica Madeira, Malcolm K. McNee, Frederick Moehn, Flávio Oliveira, Adalberto Paranhos, Derek Pardue, Marco Aurélio Paz Tella, Osmundo Pinho, Carlos Sandroni, Daniel Sharp, Hermano Vianna, Wivian Weller
The Untimely Present examines the fiction produced in the aftermath of the recent Latin American dictatorships, particularly those in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Idelber Avelar argues that through their legacy of social trauma and obliteration of history, these military regimes gave rise to unique and revealing practices of mourning that pervade the literature of this region. The theory of postdictatorial writing developed here is informed by a rereading of the links between mourning and mimesis in Plato, Nietzsche’s notion of the untimely, Benjamin’s theory of allegory, and psychoanalytic / deconstructive conceptions of mourning.
Avelar starts by offering new readings of works produced before the dictatorship era, in what is often considered the boom of Latin American fiction. Distancing himself from previous celebratory interpretations, he understands the boom as a manifestation of mourning for literature’s declining aura. Against this background, Avelar offers a reassessment of testimonial forms, social scientific theories of authoritarianism, current transformations undergone by the university, and an analysis of a number of novels by some of today’s foremost Latin American writers—such as Ricardo Piglia, Silviano Santiago, Diamela Eltit, João Gilberto Noll, and Tununa Mercado. Avelar shows how the ‘untimely’ quality of these narratives is related to the position of literature itself, a mode of expression threatened with obsolescence.
This book will appeal to scholars and students of Latin American literature and politics, cultural studies, and comparative literature, as well as to all those interested in the role of literature in postmodernity.