By Zita Nunes
Zita Nunes argues that the existing narratives of id formation through the Americas proportion a dependence on metaphors of incorporation and, usually, of cannibalism. From the location of the incorporating physique, the development of a countrywide and racial id via a strategy of assimilation presupposes a the rest, a residue. Nunes addresses works through writers and artists who discover what's left at the back of within the formation of nationwide identities and make contact with the boundaries of the modern discourse of democracy. Cannibal Democracy tracks its crucial metaphor’s movement in the course of the paintings of writers corresponding to M?rio de Andrade, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Toni Morrison and newshounds of the black press, in addition to paintings by means of visible artists together with Magdalena Campos-Pons and Keith Piper, and divulges how exclusion-understood when it comes to what's left out-can be fruitfully understood when it comes to what's left over from a strategy of unification or incorporation. Nunes indicates that whereas this the rest may be deferred into the future-lurking as a possibility to the specified balance of the present-the residue haunts discourses of nationwide harmony, undermining the ideologies of democracy that declare to solve problems with race. Zita Nunes is affiliate professor of English on the collage of Maryland, collage Park.
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Additional resources for Cannibal Democracy: Race and Representation in the Literature of the Americas (Critical American Studies)
Macunaíma: O herói sem nenhum caráter (Macunaíma: The Hero without Any Character) is a work widely regarded as a masterpiece of Brazilian literature. The “mal” of the poem’s title “Improviso do mal da América,” (Improvisation on America’s Ills) recalls the “mal” of the couplet repeated throughout the novel: “Pouca saúde e muita saúva, os males do Brasil são” (Poor health and many ants / These are the ills that plague Brazil). As I will demonstrate, the novel shares several important words with the poem: prequiça (sloth), mal (ills), and also the fact that the hero Macunaíma becomes white.
Like Oswald, most of the participants of the Week of Modern Art were members of the São Paulo’s elite, the sons and daughters of the wealthy planters and industrialists. They had studied and traveled abroad, mainly to France, but also to Germany and the United States, and they both mined and disavowed the European avant-garde movements — primitivism, Dadaism, surrealism — that provided them with the tools to forge the speciﬁcity of Brazil. ” and decides that cannibalism would be the appropriate model for deﬁning a properly Brazilian relationship to the world.
41 I emphasized “as such” in the quotation from “The Charter of Rights” because this phrase recalls a question formulated by Du Bois in his earliest writings, a question that provides the foundation for his conception of double consciousness. 42 As I will show in detail in chapter 3, Du Bois uses a metaphor of cannibalism to suggest that the answer is no, because becoming American requires a choice that remainders blackness. Through Du Bois, it is possible to see how this persistent and seemingly North American question resonates in and in relation to a South American context.