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From Cannibalism to Global Mastication: When Glissant, Ruiz, and the Tropicália movement chew on Oswald de Andrade’s Manifesto Antropófago


This paper aims to analyze the influence of Oswald de Andrade’s Manifesto Antropófago on the musical, literary, and cinematic works of the Brazilian musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, the Martinican writer Edouard Glissant, and the Chilean director Raúl Ruiz.

Though a filiation between de Andrade’s Manifesto and the Tropicália movement has been drawn by several authors such as Dunn, Sovik, Harvey, Moehn, and the tropicalists themselves, approaching the work of Glissant and Ruiz through the legacy of cultural anthropophagy is less common. This paper argues however that analyzing the continuity between the postcolonial tone of de Andrade’s manifesto and the center-periphery dynamic present in the Tropicália movement, Glissant and Ruiz’s works can help shed new light on Veloso and Gil’s first album Tropicália: ou panis et circencis (1968), Glissant’s Poétique de la relation, and Ruiz’s Poétique du cinema. When de Andrade uses his Manifesto to defend the authenticity and validity of Brazilian culture, I argue that Veloso, Gil, Glissant and Ruiz, through the invention of the concepts of tropicalismo, créolisation and image d’image respectively re-appropriate de Andrade’s notion of anthropophagy to extend it beyond the limits of the nation and adapt it to the world at large. Taking the Manifesto as a starting point, and building on these notions of tropicalismo, créolisation, and image d’image, this paper suggests a reading of the quest for totality as a metaphor for these authors’ quest for a world as a whole; that is, a world that overcomes the center-periphery dynamic.


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