regionalist novel is a type of narrative produced by authors of the brazilian romanticism, in the 19th century, and by modernist writers, in the 20th century. While the romantics sought to enhance the regional culture, the modernists pointed out the social problems existing in some regions of Brazil.
Thus, the romantic works had authors such as Bernardo Guimarães, José de Alencar and Visconde de Taunay. Modernist books were produced by writers such as Erico Verissimo and Graciliano Ramos. Furthermore, regionalism continued to be part of the national literature through authors such as Guimarães Rosa and Milton Hatoum.
Read too: Urban novel — the narrative whose action space is the city
Summary of the regionalist novel
The romantic regionalist novel shows the customs of 19th century rural society.
The modernist regionalist novel abandons romantic idealization and carries out sociopolitical criticism.
One of the main representatives of romantic regionalism was Visconde de Taunay, with his work Innocence.
One of the main representatives of modernist regionalism was Graciliano Ramos, with his work Dried lives.
The regionalist novel emerged during the second reign, in the 19th century, with the book The hermit of Muquém, by Bernardo Guimaraes.
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What are the characteristics of the regionalist novel?
The romantic regionalist novel portrays landscapes and characters typical of certain regions of the country. Thus, instead of narrating events that took place in urban centers, he goes back to the countryside, in order to show the customs of the inhabitants of the interior. Therefore, its protagonists are, for example, cowboys and sertanejos.
By highlighting rural society, he shows readers the moral values of people who live in the countryside. These values would be distinct from those of urban society. In this way, the so-called “country man” is considered more severe and conservative in his principles.
This kind of romance has nationalist stamp, as it aims to create a sense of national identity by showing the country's cultural diversity. Despite being more realistic than the urban novel, it also presents idealization of love and woman, however, in a more patriarchal environment, where women are controlled by men.
THE description in this type of work has an important role: show “local color”, that is, the geographic and cultural characteristics of a given region. Furthermore, the regionalist novel portrays the rural man as a strong individual, capable of resisting the difficulties of the environment in which he lives. He is a rude and often ignorant man, but brave.
Later, in the 1930s, regionalism is resumed in the literature through the novel of the 30's mbrazilian odernism. However, the authors of the period abandoned the romantic idealization to show, in a very realistic way, the problems faced by inhabitants of certain regions of the country, such as the Northeast.
In the works of these authors, space and characters are mixed, as the influence of the medium becomes very important. In this respect, the writers also dialogued with the noauralism, since they returned to determinism. Thus, with simple language and dynamic plots, had donem sociopolitical criticism.
These two literary periods were remarkable in Brazilian regional literature. However, regionalist novels continue to be produced in the country. Such works have a regional characteristic in terms of the narrative space and cultural elements.
Thus, the critic considers the regionalist works of the postmodern Guimarães Rosa as being universal, but has some difficulty in defining contemporary regionalism, “so that there seems to be no consensus - sometimes not even a discussion - about the problem, which becomes even more broader if one takes into account works produced after the context in which Guimarães is inserted Pink".|1|
Read too: General field — analysis of this novel by Guimarães Rosa
Influences of the regionalist novel
O 19th century in Brazil, was marked by nationalist sentiment, which emerged after the proclamation of the Independence, in 1822. Artistically, the romanticism it was the main movement that undertook the search for a national identity. In addition, most of the Brazilian population, in the second reign, was rural.
Influenced by this sociopolitical context, some romantic authors dedicated themselves to the creation of regionalist novels. later this Romantic enterprise ended up influencing modernist authors, however, they carried out a reinterpretation of Brazilian regionalism. Thus, idealization was replaced by social and political criticism.
Authors of the regionalist novel
→ Authors of romanticism
Bernardo Guimarães (1825-1884)
Franklin Távora (1842-1888)
Jose de Alencar (1829-1877)
Maria Firmina dos Reis (1822-1917)
Viscount of Taunay (1843-1899)
→ Authors of modernism
Erico Verissimo (1905-1975)
Graciliano Ramos (1892-1953)
Jorge Amado (1912-2001)
Jose Lins do Rego (1901-1957)
Rachel de Queiroz (1910-2003)
→ Postmodern or contemporary authors
João Guimarães Rosa (1908-1967)
Ronaldo Correia de Brito
Works of the regionalist novel
The following are the main regionalist novels of Brazilian romantic literature:
The hermit of Muquém (1869);
the slave Isaura (1875).
the hair (1876).
Jose de Alencar:
the gaucho (1870);
the sertanejo (1875).
Maria Firmina do Reis:
Viscount of Taunay:
From Brazilian modernist literature:
The time and the wind (1949-1961).
Dried lives (1938).
Sand captains (1937);
Gabriela clove and cinnamon (1958);
Tieta do agreste (1977).
Jose Lins do Rego:
ingenuity boy (1932);
dead fire (1943).
Rachel de Queiroz:
the fifteen (1930).
And from the postmodernist or contemporary literature of Brazil:
this land (1976).
João Guimaraes Rosa:
Grande Sertão: paths (1956).
northern ash (2005).
Ronaldo Correia de Brito:
Read too: Historical novel — type of narrative that mixes fiction with historical fact
Creation of the regionalist novel
The Brazilian regionalist novel came with the arrival of romanticism. Thus, the first regionalist novel of our literature was the book The hermit of Muquém, by Bernardo Guimaraes. This novel, although it was first published in 1869, was written in 1858.
Historical context of the regionalist novel
The regionalist novel of Brazilian romanticism is inserted in the historical context of the Second Reign (1840-1889). During this period, events such as the Lhey Eusébio de Queiros, a Paraguay War and the decadence of the monarchy influenced the view of the authors of the time.
The novel of 30 appeared during the dictatorial government of Getulio Vargas (1882-1954), who implemented in Brazil the so-called new state. In this context, the works had a strong political and ideological character. Some authors, such as Graciliano Ramos, were even persecuted by the regime.
|1|Juliana Santini, quoted by: PELINSER, André Tessaro; ALVES, Marcio Miranda. The permanence of regionalism in contemporary Brazilian literature. Studies of Contemporary Brazilian Literature, v. 59, 2020.
 Publisher L&PM (reproduction)
By Warley Souza