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Latin America perspectives a series of information and comment about Latin America with Dr. C. Harvey Gardner research professor of history at Southern Illinois University. These programs are recorded by station w s r u FM. Here now is Dr. Gardner. What do we get from Brazil. Silly question. Tens of millions would say thing during their coffee cups as they say so. But beyond coffee What do we get from Brazil. Thousand government officials might reply. Outstretched hands hoping for financial aid to encourage industry and stifle inflation and beyond. Both coffee and requests for aid. What else do we get from Brazil. A few hundred Americans might reply. And interesting literature. This despite the fact that it is
often been said that the best way to bury an idea is to couch it in the Portuguese language. Our awareness of the Brazilian literary output dates back a little more than a quarter century to World War Two days. Then it was that Nelson Rockefeller heading a cultural unit of the wartime administration was soliciting our awareness of our Southern allies in part by encouraging American intellectuals to go South and Latin American intellectuals to come north and the products of the two to be translated into the languages of the other. In this fashion a cultural operation and World War Two days first brought to the American public to the English language reading public a number of Brazilian masterpieces. Then it was for example that the masterwork by the
rebellion in the back lands came to us in 1944. The following year George Amato's the violent land came to us from Brazil and the following year. 1046 for a few days masterwork The Masters and the sleeves came to us from Brazil. So it was year after year one thousand forty four thousand forty five one thousand forty six. Great work's historical and literary came from the Portuguese came from Brazil to the United States. Incidentally more than one of these came by means of that excellent translator Samuel Putnam and incidentally more than one of these came by way of that well-known publishing house of Alford a KOLOFF. Indeed Mrs. blanch can off was one who personally went to Brazil soliciting an awareness
that few publishers in this country ever bothered to indulge in reference to foreign scenes. Some are sitting and awareness of the contemporary Brazilian scene doing her best to serve as this cultural bridge between their literary world and our reading public. It is not surprising then that I should today refer to yet another work published by canard coming from the Portuguese coming indeed from Brazil. This book is entitled The third bank of the river and other stories. It is authored by you while the first two names with those nasal vowels are difficult for us to hold on to. Call him J. G r o s. Hey. Ross I was born in the prominent and wealthy state of Mena shit ice. In one thousand eight hundred eight. He studied medicine
and practiced both as a country doctor in the back lands and as a military doctor taking part in the civil war of one thousand thirty two. Shortly after that in one thousand thirty four were to be exact. He embarked upon a diplomatic career. And so the last quarter century of his life was spent in a combination of diplomatic and literary activity. He for example served in the late 30s and earliest 40s as a Brazilian consul in Germany during World War Two years. He was in the Brazilian embassy in Bogota Colombia and in post World War Two years. He was an embassy counselor in Paris. And after all these foreign posts he held a desk in Rio de Janeiro. So it was that with the leisure and the sophisticated setting and the literary bent that
he came to pen one volume after another. Others of which incidentally have been translated into other languages. But today we meet him through the third bank of the river and other stories. The Portuguese is a difficult language to work with made even more difficult when you have a person who is inventive. Indeed an exuberant elaborative the experimental in his use of language. Anyone who is experimental in the use of any language becomes doubly difficult when a translator has to work with him. It's fortunate indeed then that Barbara shall be accomplished in the Portuguese language has translated for us. She incidentally is an American and Sochi in an introductory section places him in reference to our own literary world. Men
of talent man of ideas. She insists that Rotha shares the Rosen Emerson's confidence in the self-reliant individualists the anti-materialist who keeps things out of the saddle. His hero too is the man who truly exists to whom nature and intuition are the keys to knowledge. The tone however varies from wildfire to Khalidi to poetic seriousness. The sensuous delight that the robot takes in the following of the clay and a railroad cut near Walden also finds in the dazzling sun drying manioc though no Concord transcendentalists could ever and more's the pity have written the delicious love story in which Russell lets the reader share his delights of nature. The Little Hawk that thorough thrills to see in the sky is not only beautiful but also self-sufficiently
alone and free and full of magic. The two can of tree tops one of our stories also is a wonderfully just the same thing as the role plays games with mice and loons as partners but also respects tiny green frogs and clever red cows and enjoys them in the Rose way. But the only writer in the world. So Shelby continues to come close to Ross is perhaps Whitman too Ross not too. Love means loving old as well as young body as well as spirit place as well as person but also to can get inside the skin of a tree or a young girl or a Spotted Cow he to see. And I mouse miracles to stagger millions of infidels and laughs to pray he too is in
perfect health. He too is untranslatable a word about this. The difficulty of translating. I give you a brief paragraph. From one of the 21 stories in the volume. This one entitled honeymoons you catch the literary flavor. You catch the difficulty of translating him. Indeed you catch the necessity of coining English words to cope with his Portuguese inventiveness. I read just when things are at their same iest sameness something new turns up. I had felt sort of weak and lazy the day before. Could I be going into a kind of no count nothing. It was around the first of November. I remember now I'm a peace loving man as far as people let me be. Not a bit like what I was when I was a young blade. Then it was all rake hell. Rebellion and devil take the hindmost. But later it was real life. All right. And a damned hard one.
I'm a pretty good rancher. That is I'm not dirt poor and I'm not filthy rich either. Self defense and caution are two things that are never in short supply at Holy Cross of the wildcat. This ranch where everybody is welcome. My ranch a real haven. I was so fagged out from the heat that day that I couldn't move anything but my eyeballs. That day was sure nothing time's nothing. Here you catch more than a little of the literary manner and that inventiveness that is part of the artistry of this man rasa. I've indicated that there are 21 stories in the book a wide variety of themes they represent but almost invariably you find that this man is dealing with life in the raw rugged life in the back lands. Indeed more than once. It will also smack of things of our friend here
that you wonder if he hasn't picked up something from a television show. One of our Westerns but indeed a great deal of the interior of the brush country of the back lands of Brazil has known exactly the same time of frontier life and that type of life has been a more recent thing there than here. And so those were also the diplomat Ross the literary poet an artist wrote the doctor of medicine has gone off to the sophisticated capital of Rio to Bogota to Germany to Paris to the centers of the world. He has always in his literary themes gone back to that in which he was rooted. That which he knows best. The to say this is one of the great strength of many successful writers. Seeing to it that they stay close to those themes that they know best.
The third bank of the river the one of the 21 stories which lends its name to the title of the book is of course any theory all thing unreal otherworldly. Indeed there is more than a little about the writing of Ross us. That is if they are real and otherworldly at the same time there is a great deal that is down to earth and gutty and the realism and it is this rare combination of that which is definitely of the fairy tale spawn variety of writing and that which is straight reportage. That which becomes a combination of yesterday and today and that which never was that makes his reading and his writing enjoyable. This is the consummate artist the man who in his clinical precision shows his medical background
Latin American perspectives II
Episode Number
Episode 18 of 38
Producing Organization
WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3544. This prog.: Brazilian Literature
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: WSIU 8 (Television station : Carbondale, Ill.)
Producing Organization: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-31-18 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:13:27
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Chicago: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 18 of 38,” 1969-01-13, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021,
MLA: “Latin American perspectives II; Episode 18 of 38.” 1969-01-13. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <>.
APA: Latin American perspectives II; Episode 18 of 38. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from