By Sophia Beal (auth.)
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Additional info for Brazil under Construction: Fiction and Public Works
As a consequence of these changes and of the professionalization of journalism, newspapers asked writers for fewer literary contributions and more reporting, copyediting, and interviews (Broca 288; Süssekind 75). João do Rio, and to a lesser extent Lima Barreto, adapted to these changes through an innovative use of the crônica and the folhetim in which they reported on the immediate present of their city in an insistently creative way. In the midst of these transformations of newspaper culture, Lima Barreto criticized the way that their desire for spectacle, sensation, and ornamentation drove carioca journalists toward inaccuracy and unethical practices.
Who is to judge what constitutes good CONQUERING THE DARK 29 taste? If the illuminated avenue connotes the city’s value, how is such worth determined? Ferreira da Rosa and Bilac’s florid language elides the power structures at work and the reformers’ authoritarian efforts to control the citizenry. To celebrate his mayoral achievements, Pereira Passos commissioned a guidebook about Rio de Janeiro. It narrates the story of the reforms as a glorious rupture from the dark aspects of the past. Ferreira da Rosa wrote the guidebook, which was published in 1905.
9 In so doing, he represents the “civilization” and “comfort” of post-bota-abaixo Brazil as characteristics that do not magically appear, but instead must be created by workers. The lamplighters and other gas company workers paradoxically use darkness to make themselves visible: “de repente, só ao cruzar os braços, [uma classe de oprimidos] punha em sombra uma cidade inteira” ‘suddenly, just by crossing its arms, [an oppressed class] made an entire city go dark’ (Cinematographo 194). ’ (193). While previously mentioned portrayals of Rio de Janeiro’s streetlights link light to civilization, João do Rio complicates the connection by drawing attention to the people marginalized by the “Rio civilizes itself” endeavor.
Brazil under Construction: Fiction and Public Works by Sophia Beal (auth.)