Mário de Andrade, modern discoverer
|In a particular reading of his work, we intend to emphasize the area
of his production that he valued most; the dialogues established with other
intellectual producers of his generation; the concepts constructed toward
defining an identity for Brazil and for Brazilians; the records used to
establish his particular "cartography" of Brazil; and the intellectual field
in which he operated, reinventing Brazilian culture.
Being modern, Mário de Andrade left Paulicéia desvairada (crazy São Paulo) in search of colonial Minas. It is from The religious art in Brazil and from The journey of discovery of Brazil that the larger patrimony of our tradition seems to emerge. But this is not all. With a Kodak machine slung over his shoulder, the author of O empalhador de passarinhos transmutes into an "accidental tourist", travelling other paths and sertões, capturing in images the tensions between modernity and tradition. The constructor of Brazilian memory, he made the Service of National Historical Patrimony his main intellectual citadel.
Included among the monuments left to us by Mário de Andrade are, without doubt, Macunaíma, the various texts of his "ethnographic journeys" consolidated in O turista aprendiz, as well as the photographs with which he documented and recreated some of his journeys. Not forgetting his essays on art and folklore, the "Introductory text" to his investigation into folklore published in the Manual bibliográfico de estudos brasileiros, organized by Rubem Borba de Morais and William Berrien, and his vast epistolary. These works are here taken as being something analogous, on a metaphorical level, to the old discoverers’ logbooks, as they allow us to identify routes, conditions and aims of his particular discovery of Brazil.