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Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Anthropophagy is a cultural trope that takes a practice colonially attributed to indigenous Brazilians and redefines it as a mechanism of cultural appropriation and redistribution that questions dependence and allows for action from the periphery. In this sense, anthropophagy is linked to other notions that allude to processes of cultural assimilation such as transculturation and hybridity. Therefore, rather than being an anthropological practice associated with the European imagination since the beginning of the colonization of Brazil and its inhabitants, anthropophagy is an aesthetic current and cultural theory. Defined by Oswald de Andrade in 1928 (1990b) in his “Manifesto Antropófago” (“Anthropophagic Manifesto”) and in the Revista de Antropofagia ( Journal of Anthropophagy ), anthropophagy constituted, as João Cezar de Castro Rocha stated, “an essential nucleus for the examination of the complexity of Brazilian culture” ( Rocha 2011a , 12). This is the heart of the modernist poetics of Andrade, already tested in the previous manifesto and in his book of poetry, both entitled Pau Brasil (1924; Brazilwood Poetry ). In a way, it is a nucleus that Andrade did not abandon even during the years of communist militancy and that he attempted to recover, with little success, in the philosophical production of the 1950s. The persistence of this notion tells us of its centrality. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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