'Le Brésil Littéraire' (1863) by Ferdinand Wolf. Literary History and Ideologie in the 19th Century
Laura Rivas Gagliardi was born in São Paulo, Brazil, where she studied Portuguese and French Language and Literary Studies between 2001-2007 at Faculty of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, and Human Sciences at the University of São Paulo. She taught Foreign Languages (French and German), was proof-reader by many publishing Brazilian houses such as Cosac Naify, Martins, Editora 34 and Companhia das Letras, was Assistant Editor in Instituto Moreira Salles and translated Adorno, T. W., Georg Simmel – and Cornelia Funke into Portuguese. In 2010 she moved to Berlin, and began the Master Applied Literary Studies at Free University Berlin. In Berlin she was Trainee by Suhrkamp Publishing House, and began in 2015 her PhD at Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies under the supervision of Prof. Susanne Zepp and Prof. Joachim Küpper.
My dissertation reconstructs the process through which the study, Le Brésil littéraire: histoire de la literature brésilienne (1863), came into being. This work, the first literary history of Brazil, was composed by Ferdinand Wolf (Vienna, 1796-1866), a Romanist and civil servant within Vienna’s Imperial and Royal Court Library. While Wolf first wrote the study in German, it was only published in French translation. The philological comparison of the unpublished German manuscript ‘Geschichte der brasilianischen Nationalliteratur’ with the French translation constitutes the focus of this dissertation. This comparison draws out the differences between the two versions and the two versions’ different undergirding paradigms. In the German version, Wolf’s literary political project can clearly be identified with the dominance of the ‘German spirit’ (deutscher Geist) and the Habsburg monarchy, elements which are considerably less prominent in the French version. In the published book, the intentional avoidance of specific concepts, and the introduction of terminology taken from emancipatory intellectual traditions emanating from the French Revolution, detract from the coherence of Wolf’s conception of history, which operates with the language and thought of German Idealism. In addition to this, Wolf‘s correspondence with Brazilian scholars in the service of the Emperor Dom Pedros II shows the way in which these scholars exerted a decisive influence on the work. One of Dom Pedros II’s main concerns was to push a cultural-political agenda in order to conserve the monarchy and the unity of the country. In order to this, it was necessary to propagate a very specific narrative about the nation’s past and colonial history. Through an analysis of the discursive inversion of the real historical circumstances, we can see how such discursive operations can serve to justify and solidify positions of domination and power. Finally, this study makes a collection of heretofore unpublished archival materials and transcriptions thereof available to the scholarly community.
“Kontraste des brasilianischen Buchmarkts in den letzten fünf Jahren” Workshop: Consumerism and Prestige: The Materiality of Literature in the Postindustrial Age, Freie Universität Berlin, 01.07.2016
"Writing Portuguese and Brasilien Literary History: Ferdinand Wolf", International Conference Portuguese Literature as World Literature, Freie Universität Berlin, 9.-10.11.2016
"Drummond: das Gefühl der Welt und der Dinge", Triangel-Colloquium Berlin-Cambridge-Chicago, Epiphane Wirklichkeiten: Sprachen der Dingen in Literatur und Künsten, 16.-18.02.2017
"Literaturgeschichtsschreibung am Beispiel von Le Brésil littérarie (1863)", Jahrestagung der Friedrich Schlegel Graduiertenschule für literaturwissenschaftlichen Studien, Fabrics of time, 29.-30.09.2017
"Die Novara-Expedition in Rio de Janeiro, 1857", Workshop: Verdichtung der Welt im Sprachraum des Hafens: Die kleinen Formen des Maritimen, Humboldt Universität Berlin, 26-27.04.2018
"O avesso de si, o outro: tensões históricas e literárias em Clarice Lispector", Conferência Internacional: “Memory and Belonging”, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 18-19.12. 2018.
"Nacionalismo e escrita da história brasileira no século XIX", II Congresso ABRE. Associação de brasilianistas na Europa, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 18-21.09.2019.
Organisation of events
Simmel, Georg. „Ponte e porta“. Revista Serrote. São Paulo: Instituto Moreira Salles, 2014, B.17, Juli 2014, S. 69-75
Funke, Cornelia. O cavaleiro fantasma. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras: 2013.
Simmel, Georg. O conflito da cultura moderna e outros escritos. Hrsg. Bueno, Arthur. São Paulo: Senac, 2012.
Adorno, T. W. „O curioso realista“ (Zusammenarbeit mit Vicente A. de Arruda Sampaio), in Novos Estudos Cebrap, B. 85, 2009, S. 5-22.