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São Paulo

Perspectives on the City and Cultural Production

David William Foster

Publication Year: 2011

David Foster brings an intense curiosity and lifelong familiarity to this unique examination of the cultural tapestry of São Paulo, the largest city in South America and the second largest in Latin America.

Examining everything from the poetics of Mário de Andrade to the Eisner Award–winning graphic novels of Fabio Moon and Gabriel Bá, Foster paints a portrait as colorful and multifaceted as the city it reveals. He offers representative examples of poetry, fiction, graphic art, photography, film, and social commentary to introduce readers to some of the most important cultural dimensions of the city as well as some of its most outstanding writers and artists.

Foster selects his featured artists and works with care and precision in order to reveal insights into the development of the city throughout the twentieth century. This is a tour-de-force overview of the cultural output of one of the world’s great urban centers, one that future researchers on Brazilian culture will ignore at their peril.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

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pp. vii

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Introduction. São Paulo, Brazilian Megacity

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pp. 1-12

By most accounts São Paulo is not a user-friendly city, and it may even be viewed as hostile. The paradigmatic megacity (along with Mexico City or Tokyo), São Paulo has grown exponentially in the past one hundred years,...

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1. Mário de Andrade: On Being São Paulo-Wise in Paulicéia desvairada

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pp. 13-26

When Mário de Andrade published his book of poetry Paulicéia desvairada in 1922,1 São Paulo was only beginning to present the interesting urban landscape that a...

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2. The Feminization of Social Space in Patrícia Galvão’s Parque industrial

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pp. 27-44

Patrícia Galvão’s novel, Parque industria (1933), is, as noted by the critics who have devoted attention to it in recent years, a textual anomaly. It is now possible to see, as K....

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3. Appendix: Patrícia Galvão: The Private Autobiography of a Brazilian Feminist Writer

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pp. 45-54

Only two women’s names have routinely been attached to the momentous Semana de Arte Moderna. Both of the women mentioned were painters: Anita Malfati (1889–1963), who...

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4. Downtown in São Paulo with Hildegard Rosenthal’s Camera

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pp. 55-68

One of the best known images created by Hildegard Rosenthal (1913–90), the Swiss-born (but registered as a German national) photographer who produced some three thousand images in São Paulo in the ten-year period beginning with her arrival in...

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5. Saudades do Brasil: Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Photographic Gaze on the City of São Paulo

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pp. 69-81

In 1934 the young French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908–2009) set out from the French port of Marseilles to assume a position in sociology at the newly formed Universidade de São Paulo. Unlike Spanish-speaking Latin America, which had...

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6. Films by Day and Films by Night in São Paulo

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pp. 82-97

It is impossible to determine, of the approximately eighteen thousand films that have been produced in Brazil in one hundred and ten years of filmmaking, how many are devoted...

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7. Madalena Schwartz: A Jewish Brazilian Photographer

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pp. 98-111

Madalena Schwartz (1922–93) belonged to a generation of European photographers, in large part Jewish or Jewish-identified, who ended up working in Argentina and Brazil...

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8. Days and Nights at the Copan: Regina Rheda’s Arca sem Noé

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pp. 112-121

For those who may have always felt that Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist architecture is highly overrated, the thirty-six-story Edifício Copan in downtown São Paulo can serve as a convenient—although...

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9. Trekking the Urban: Eduardo Emílio Fenianos’s Expedições Urbenauta; São Paulo, uma aventura radical

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pp. 122-134

São Paulo is, by some accounts, the fifth-largest demographic concentration in the world, the second in Latin America after Mexico City, which in most accounts is the largest in the Western hemisphere...

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10. Drawing São Paulo: The Graphic Fiction of Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

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pp. 135-150

So-called graphic fiction is intrinsically urban in nature, both in terms of the circumstances of its production and distribution and in its themes (see Smylie for basic information on the development of the...

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pp. 151-154

As a city fast approaching twenty million inhabitants, there are many different São Paulos, and it is unlikely that anyone today could write a comprehensive analysis of the city and its cultural production...


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pp. 155-180

Works Cited

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pp. 181-192


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pp. 193-197

About the Author

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pp. 198

E-ISBN-13: 9780813045832
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813036656
Print-ISBN-10: 0813036658

Page Count: 212
Illustrations: 17 b&w illustrations
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Brazilian literature -- History and criticism.
  • Literature and society -- Brazil -- São Paulo.
  • São Paulo (Brazil) -- In literature.
  • São Paulo (Brazil) -- In motion pictures.
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