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Wednesday’s Wise Women … Cecilia Meireles etc.

April 5, 2012

While I was away in Rio, it was my intention to write about three women for my Wednesday Women slot; Clarice Lispector, Carmen Miranda.  Today,  planned to add Cecilia Meireles (1901 – 1964) Brazilian born poet who was orphaned at three years went on to win literary acclaim very early in her career and won the Brazilian Academy of Letters Poetry Prize for 1939 (2009) Merieles died of cancer in Rio de Janeiro.

I had some background knowledge but inadequate for the job in hand; so I planned to research more while in Rio.  Unfortunately, this fell rather flat when I discovered early in my visit that I would be unable to access the internet at ‘home,’ also other access points were a bike ride away.  Besides which any research materials found would be in Portuguese and to get any understanding and to do them justice I would need time and a good translation – neither of these I have!!

So I remain an empty kettle without the resources I have readily available at the Reading University Library and the WWW – I am ashamed to say.

However, I did not waste my time I have visited some cultural centres and art galleries and discovered other female artists who deserve my recognition and further research – Tarsila do Armoral for instance.

I did get to the Carmen Miranda Museum; in Flamengo which was one of Rio’s finest residential districts before Copacabana was developed and the upper classes move south.

The museum building is described in the Lonely Planet as being like a ‘public toilet’ and this right when it is compared with the other grand buildings we have seen during our stay.  But it was easy to find, free and a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon if you have any interest in cinema, costume, fashion, music and social history of Rio.

I was able to find some book shops for which Rio is notable; not only for their abundance but also for their fine architecture, coffee served and a small selection of English titles.  Sadly, I was unable to find translations of reputed Brazilian works as I hoped.

Nonetheless, the whole experience has been much more that I expected and I have added collection lots of information that I can draw on in future and make a more measured contribution to my blog when I return – sadly too soon!

Music shops – or rather CD shops in Rio are again a delight to visit; beautifully displayed in grandiose buildings, serving fine coffee and pastries.  Unlike literature,  music can to some degree transcend the language barrier,  I managed to find some musicians such as Elis Regina and Joao Gilberto who were strongly influenced by Carmen Miranda and went on to develop a new musical movement  from Bossa Nova – Tropicalia – Musica Popular Brasiliera (MPB)

So all is not lost!!

(2009). The Oxford book of Latin American poetry Oxford Oxford University Press.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Rose-Ann permalink
    April 9, 2012 3:58 pm

    I’ve also come back from my travels with a renewed appreciation of our privileged access to the internet but am missing the wider horizons of the desert and of the developing world

  2. April 23, 2014 8:01 am

    Reblogged this on Living, Libraries and [Dead] Languages and commented:

    Today marks a half way point ; it has been 3 months size my daughter and her partner returned to their home in Brazil and it is 3 months until we spend a a holiday with them. We are lucky because we get to enjoy parts of Rio de Janeiro that other tourists will not even see. We are beginning to make tentative plans; but mostly hopping they will be recovered from their recent accident.

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