The integration of the mythical narrative of Amazon women and their aesthetic function in the South American trilogy Amazonas, by Alfred Döblin

Elisângela Redel About the author


This work analyzes the integration and construction of the mythical narrative of Amazon women in the first volume of the South American trilogy Amazonas, by Alfred Döblin. It is a novel still little known in Brazil, written between 1935 and 1937, when the author was exiled in Paris. From the perspective of Jan Assmann (1999; 1992) in relation to the notions of foundational mitomotricity and counter-present mitomotricity, we focus on how the mythical narrative of Amazon women is incorporated into the trilogy and what meanings it raises. We consider that the author operates in two ways in the novel: the first is the incorporation and functioning of certain myths in the fictional representation of the life of the indigenous people; the second is the adaptation of myths in the construction of the fictional plot, with the reader having a dual participation in the mythical narrative: as an observer at the level of fictional reality and as a receiver at the level of the novelistic narrative. In this sense, indigenous mythology is introduced in the novel in a complex way, acts as an aesthetic element that seeks to reconfigure the position of man in nature and has a “counter-present” effect on readers, as it induces a critical reflection on the development of human civilization and of its destructive power, especially in the first half of the 20th century.

Amazonas; Indigenous mythology; Foundational and counter-present mitomotricity

Universidade de São Paulo/Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas/, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Língua e Literatura Alemã Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 403, 05508-900 São Paulo/SP/ Brasil, Tel.: (55 11)3091-5028 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil