University of São Paulo: New collection presents “the flower of what Oswald de Andrade wrote”

A prominent figure of Modernism in Brazil, Oswald de Andrade (1890-1954) revolutionized the way of writing novels by transgressing traditional standards of literature. A significant part of the writer’s production, which goes beyond prose texts, was explored in a critical edition released by Editora da USP (Edusp).

The entitled Obra Incompleta brings together in two volumes all the poetry written by Andrade; the novels Memórias Sentimentais by João Miramar and Serafim Ponte Grande , in addition to manifestos, theses and critical texts that share themes related to the Anthropophagic Movement . The manuscripts related to the works, all produced in the 1920s, are also explored.

The edition’s coordinator, Professor Jorge Schwartz, from USP’s Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH), said that the choice of the title that names the collection is an indicator of the free spirit that Andrade had as a writer.

“Oswald got the reputation of being an improvised person, who by instinct was undisciplined. In fact, one thing is true: he was not systematic, he was not an academic type and his writing was crossed by biographical questions”, he reported.

Still, the author was a perfectionist with his production. “There is a poem called Ateliê that has six manuscripts with different titles; the play O Santeiro do Mangue has 16 manuscripts. It shows how careful he was, how he improved and wanted, in a perfectionist way, for him to come out in the best shape”, said Schwartz.

The edition also features critical essays on the work of the modernist produced by Brazilian and foreign authors, such as Albert Camus. Some of the texts are unpublished, for example, the introduction to the volume, written in 1998 by Antonio Candido (1918-2017), literary critic and sociologist at USP, in addition to analyzes by the poet Haroldo de Campos (1929-2003) and the historian of USP Nicolau Sevcenko (1952-2014).

The edition had the collaboration of several researchers. Among them, there is the outstanding contribution of Gênese Andrade and Maria Augusta Fonseca, responsible for the establishment of the text and for critical essays on poetry and novels.

The construction of the incomplete work
Obra Incompleta , by Oswald de Andrade, is part of the Archivos Collection of publications on Latin American classics. The idea of ​​bringing together Andrade’s production was conceived more than 30 years ago, in 1985, when Professor Jorge Schwartz was appointed to coordinate a critical edition of the author, including the literary production and manuscripts that demonstrate how the texts were constructed. .

Since then, around 20 contributors have worked to gather and analyze the material that makes up the edition. The delay in finalizing the title involved issues over the copyright of the novels that are part of the book, Schwartz explained.

The materials gathered in the volumes came from the collections of the Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin Library at USP, the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) and family members of Oswald de Andrade. The production was supported by the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp).

“What I can say is that these two volumes have what Antonio Candido, in the introduction, says is ‘the flower of what Oswald de Andrade wrote’”, commented Jorge Schwartz.

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