Eccentrics, Extravagants, and Deviants in the Brazilian Belle Époque, or How João Do Rio Emulated Oscar Wilde

César Braga-Pinto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores the reception and circulation of Oscar Wilde’s works and persona, including his sexuality and the news of his trial and imprisonment, among Brazilian writers at the turn of the century. Contrary to the readings of renowned Brazilian critics who have argued that Wilde’s impact can be reduced to a mystique, I trace the rapid translation and dissemination of Wilde’s work among Brazilian writers, especially João do Rio, Brazil’s most famous translator, emulator, and disciple of Oscar Wilde. Although “homosexuality” was present in Brazilian writings from the turn of the century, it was not until the early twentieth century–when the aestheticism of Oscar Wilde and the decadents was introduced and began to circulate in Brazil (or at least Rio de Janeiro)–that the figures of the homosexual and other sexual deviants became objects of literary and scientific interest, and occasionally even imitation. João do Rio (Paulo Barreto) and other writers of the period associate these emergent sexual identities, practices, and lifestyles with one recurrent term:extravagance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • Brazilian culture
  • João do Rio (Paulo Barreto)
  • literature
  • Oscar Wilde

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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