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Writing Tradition, Modernizing the Nation: Literature and National Identity during Vargas’ Estado Novo (1937-1945)

Abstract

Through primary sources, coming mainly from CPDOC (FGV) and the Public Archive of São Paulo, this article seeks to analyze the policies of book promotion during the Estado Novo (“New State”, 1937-1945), a period in which the State invested in the creation of the category of “books of the Nation”, founding the National Book Institute. The three sections of the Institute (the Encyclopedia and Dictionary Section, the Libraries Section, and the Publications Section) will be analyzed in order to understand if the instruments developed during the period to promote reading were coherent with its objectives and if they were strictly related to the ideology of the regime. We also seek to understand its successes, failures and inconsistencies. By this means, the article intends to comprehend the policy of promoting books and reading, identifying, especially, the role of intellectuals in public policies.

Keywords:
New State; National Book Institute; Literature

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