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The backlands unveiled

This essay presents readers with the central argument from three books, ranging from Euclides da Cunha to Guimarães Rosa and the hygienist movement of the 1920s, focusing on the theme of the sertão (backlands) in Brazilian literature and social thought. Based on this presentation, the essay emphasizes that linked to the topic under review, Brazilian intellectual tradition has nearly always encompassed classical themes from sociology and political science, like incorporation and nation-building. After digressing to the three authors’ styles, the essay concludes by suggesting the validity of performing comparative studies on approaches to the Brazilian backlands and those conducted by North American scholars.

coast and inland; barbarism and civilization; authenticity; incorporation

Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP) da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) R. da Matriz, 82, Botafogo, 22260-100 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel. (55 21) 2266-8300, Fax: (55 21) 2266-8345 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil