Two journeys have had an important bearing on social thought regarding the Amazon: Carlos Chagas', from 1912 to 1913, and Mário de Andrade's, in 1927. The article examines how their travel experiences influenced these two men's views and interpretations of the relation between malaria and the project to bring civilization to the tropics. In Chagas' texts, wonderment is the category that organizes his perception of the Amazon region, evinced in the idea that the pathology of the tropics challenges established knowledge of the disease. Empathy, on the other hand, is the explanatory key to understanding Mário de Andrade's critical outlook, which entails the valorization of forms of sociability, beliefs, and popular manifestations in the region, including those related to malaria.
Amazon; Carlos Chagas (1878-1934); Mário de Andrade (1893-1945); malaria; modernism