Brazil's Aesthetic Condition: João Cabral de Melo Neto on Poetry and Society


Thursday, November 2, 2017, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S050, 1730 Cambridge Street

Speaker: Nathaniel Wolfson, College Fellow, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University

In the post-war years, the poet João Cabral de Melo Neto reflected on the state of literature in Brazil and in particular the question of how poetry can represent poverty. In this talk, I rely on poems, correspondences and essays to explore Cabral's repudiation of elitist poetics and the operations he undertook to investigate poetry's social dimensions.


Nathaniel Wolfson is a College Fellow in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, where he teaches and researches Brazilian literature. He received his PhD from Princeton University and is currently writing a book on post-war literature and visual art tentatively entitled Versions of the Concrete.