Hunger's Victory

Image: Kazimir Severinovich Malevich


Considerations on Pausilippo da Fonseca's novel-feuilleton

On May 01, 1903, the newspaper The strike, under the direction of writer Elísio de Carvalho. As an epigraph to the journal's name appeared the famous phrase by Karl Marx, inscribed in the Inaugural Message to the International Working Men's Association: "The emancipation of the workers must be the work of the workers themselves". Fruit of the anarchist phase of Elísio, who places himself with the editorial staff as “born representatives of the proletarian aspirations”, The strike, like most small newspapers linked to social causes, was short-lived and did not reach its second year. Elísio was in charge until September, when he left the direction to dedicate himself to the creation of the magazine Culture, also of libertarian orientation, whose first edition circulated in March 1904. The magazine did not pass the fifth issue, which came out in October.[I]

That same year, Elísio de Carvalho, together with the historian Rocha Pombo and the doctor and anarchist Fabio Luz, coordinated the foundation of the Popular University of Free Education, which had the collaboration of names such as Curvelo de Mendonça, Evaristo de Moraes, Joaquim Murtinho, José Veríssimo , Martins Fontes, in addition to the support that the initiative received from intellectuals such as Sílvio Romero and Manuel Bonfim. UPEL had an ephemeral life, it did not complete a year of life, but it was an important milestone for the libertarian movement.[ii]

In the latest edition of Culture, Elísio published a long essay entitled “The ruins of Icaria: Essay on anarchist decadence”, a somewhat delirious text, inspired by the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Stirner and the Frenchman Jean Marestan and which caused a huge revolt among the anarchists of the time, above all because of the outrageous tone of passages like this one: “…anarchism is on the verge of dismembering itself to shipwreck, on the one hand in Tolstoism, and on the other in socialism, leaving as vestiges some philosophers and orators without effective social reach the rudiments of an art that did not arrive to be, and a certain number of people without conscience, terrible birds of prey devoid of scruples who desert, with laughter on their lips, from the herds of the weak and the irreducible remnants of the UP, fetuses of social action groups, impregnated of revolutionary brandy, of taverns and which will later deserve to appear in the strange list of the small religions of Paris, among the Swendenborgians and the disciples of Kardec, the blessed one”.[iii]

Elísio also published some articles of a libertarian nature in the newspaper New path, which began to circulate in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of 1906. From 1907 onwards, its first major transmutation began – from individualist anarchism to the police criminology departments. As Lená Medeiros de Meneses pointed out, Elísio’s anarchist phase came to an abrupt and surprising end and the writer would soon start to use his knowledge and energy “in favor of the police institution, the same that represented the arm of the State over the anarchists”.

The researcher comments that Elísio de Carvalho: “In 1909, in the book Five o'Clock, finally, explicitly announced his renunciation of anarchist ideas. From then on, he made a career in public service, entering spaces of power that represented the antithesis of everything that his former militancy companions, among them, the police of Rio de Janeiro. This attitude earned him severe criticism from international anarchism, demonstrating the prominent role that Elísio de Carvalho had played within the libertarian movement. For the writer [Marcel Vereme] of Bulletin of International Anarchiste (1908) he would be that “comrade” who made a lot of noise, but who, in practice, showed all his inconsistency, considering that, after an anarchist past, he ended up becoming the Deputy Chief of the Brazilian Identification Bureau, an attitude which, according to him, was worthy of the repudiation of libertarians the world over”.[iv]

Elísio was one of those intellectuals that Antonio Candido described as “radicals of the occasion”: anarchist, “of a passing and confused anarchism, linked in part to his adherence to the French poetic school called Naturism, with a very participative spirit, founded by Saint-Georges de Bouhélier under the influence of the late Zola's humanitarian naturalism. But as he was also influenced by Stirner and Nietzsche, he mixed it with an aristocratic and individualist anarchism, which, associated with his repressed aestheticism, ended up leading to dilettante snobbery and, later, to a refined and racist reactionary nationalism. Big salad, strange evolution as you can see”.[v]

Although less accomplished as a writer, as an intellectual Elísio de Carvalho became an important figure in his time; well connected with the “literate elite”, with politicians and “rich” people, he was one of the leading figures of conservative dissidence in the 1920s and, as demonstrated by Antonio Arnoni Prado, he contributed decisively to the flowering of fascist nationalism in the 1930s .[vi] His most enduring work, however, and which is still present among us today, is the one he developed at the Police Identification Office in Rio de Janeiro. From 1907 onwards, “Elísio launched himself in defense of the police and the techniques that supported him with the same intensity with which he criticized them years before when he wrote about anarchism”.[vii]

Pausilippo da Fonseca

who took the helm The strike, with the departure of Elísio de Carvalho, it was the journalist and then anarchist Pausilippo da Fonseca. Unlike his predecessor, we have almost no information about his life. A libertarian journalist, he worked for most of his life in the Correio da Manhã and was a very good friend of Lima Barreto. Francisco de Assis Barbosa, who coordinated the publication of the Complete Works of Lima Barreto (Brasiliense) describes a concise but important portrait of Pausilippo: “A curious figure of a bohemian, Francisco Pausilippo da Fonseca was born in Goiana, State of Pernambuco, on February 28, 1879 and died in Rio de Janeiro, on July 15, 1934 He was still a teenager when he emigrated to Rio, where he enlisted in a battalion, later joining the Military School as an attaché. Exalted nationalist, red Florianist, he was, however, dismissed from the school in 1897, in the middle of Prudente de Morais' four-year term, being deported to Mato Grosso, together with seventy colleagues”.

Returning to Rio in 1899, he published a small volume: Martyr for the faith, which he calls a “literary essay”, invoking the memory of Floriano Peixoto, in a delirious dedication. Integrated into civilian life, Pausilippo dedicated himself to the life of the press, starting his career as a graphic worker, in the workshops ofthe fatheriz, successively rising to the posts of composer, proofreader, reporter and editor. When the appearance of Correio da Manhã, started to work simultaneously in both newspapers. In 1906, she was still writing the section “the father in the suburbs”. Shortly afterwards, however, he left the father to settle in Correio da Manhã, newspaper where he worked until his death.

A restless spirit, Pausilippo da Fonseca would very soon exchange his nationalist convictions for anarchist ideas, placing himself at the head of libertarian weeklies, such as New path e The strike. A popular orator, owner of a resounding voice and great personal sympathy, he appears around 1906 as the founder and main organizer of an Independent Workers' Party.

Life, however, would manage to attenuate the combativeness of the pamphleteer journalist. At the Correio da Manhã he was promoted from editor of the “Vida Suburbana” section to reporting and political chronicle. He was the newspaper's representative in the Senate and, in that capacity, accompanied Rui Barbosa on excursions to São Paulo and Minas Gerais, on the occasion of the civilist campaign [1909-10]. As a senatorial debate editor, he would complete his bourgeois metamorphosis with marriage. But he continued on Mail, now responsible for one more section: “In the crucible of national sovereignty”. The 1930 revolution took his place as a legislative official. Fired at the age of fifty, he had to reorganize his life, only getting a job as a clerk at the Quinze de Novembro Professional School. Pausilippo da Fonseca died at the age of fifty-five, leaving a wife and two children in extreme poverty”.[viii]

Pausilippo's involvement with anarchism most likely had its origins in his experience as a graphic worker in the newspaper's workshops. the father. It was to the labor movement that the journalist channeled the 'hot blood' of Florianist Jacobinism. This more nervous portion of republicans fell into decay after the assassination attempt on President Prudente de Morais, which took place on November 05, 1897 and which resulted in the death of Marshal Carlos Machado Bittencourt, then Minister of War, on the day of the disembarkation of the forces. victorious against the Canudos insurrection.[ix]

Pausilippo was one of those exiled to Mato Grosso, as reported by Francisco de Assis Barbosa, after the repression promoted by the government of Prudente de Morais. Returning to Rio, the Jacobin agitation, although present, no longer had the same vigor as in previous years. Like many republicans unhappy with the direction the Republic was taking, increasingly dominated by the political caste that survived the fall of the monarchy, the former Florianist decided to close ranks with the workers. Such a procedure was not abnormal. Names like Domingos Ribeiro Filho, anarchist, also a friend of Lima Barreto and colleague of his in the Secretary of War, and Fabio Luz himself, one of the greatest names of anarchism in Rio de Janeiro, migrated from the “Jacobin” republican militancy to the leftist movements linked to the political class. hardworking.[X]

From the anarchist phase of Pausilippo there are the articles he published in the newspaper The strike and New path, which are available at Unicamp's Edgar Leuenroth Archive.[xi] Thanks to these rare copies and to the research of Pedro Faria Cazes, we can have access to the combative period of this journalist, before his adherence to the bureaucratic and 'sectoralist' journalism of the Correio da Manhã. Still according to the researcher: “The newspaper The strike already had basically the same internal organization as other anarchist periodicals that would appear throughout the 1900s and 1910s. It carried opinion articles both on national politics and on questions of doctrine, news of the main events of the social struggle in other countries (mainly from Europe and the Americas), translated excerpts from well-known works by leading anarchist intellectuals, and columns on the local and national labor movement. The column dedicated to denouncing the appalling working conditions and the demeaning humiliations and excesses suffered by male and female workers within the unhealthy environments of the capital's factories and workshops was entitled “Pelourinho”. Pausilippo da Fonseca signs articles with his own name from the first edition and little by little, with the departure of Elísio de Carvalho from the direction of the newspaper, he becomes its main editor, being the main contributor to published texts”.[xii]

a fragment

In the 1st edition. of November 1903, of The strike, one text in particular caught my attention. With the title “Dum unpublished novel” appears Chapter XV of a story, or story, which I was unable to apprehend in its broadest sense, as I did not have access to the previous chapters. Of the newspaper numbers available for consultation Online only editions number 1 (1/5/1903), 2 (15/5/1903), 8 (15/08/1903), 10 (10/10/1903) and 11 (1/11/1903) are included. , in addition to an extraordinary edition, released on August 24, 1903, due to the general strike that took place that year. In none of these editions does another part of the novel appear.[xiii]

The fragment in question deals with a visit to a factory, which provided the subject for many days of conversation within a bourgeois family, especially for Madam Elizabeth, a “sectarian enthusiast of collectivism, who believed the definitive solution to the social problem”. The text presents a heated conversation between three characters; Madam Elizabeth makes a long speech about the inevitability of a future full of freedom, conquered by the revolutionary hands of the proletariat, “as long as the workers come to understand their capital importance, become a regulatory force in social life, in which they are the main actors … For face the injustice of accumulated capital, we will have the cooperative system, the supply of the scarcity of individual resources by mutual funds... The triumph of the proletariat is a logical consequence of industrialism that will rule the future world in obedience to the fatality of historical evolution”.

The text is more like a newspaper editorial than the speech of a character and the thing continues in this vein, with asides from the artist (musician) Álvaro Alberto and the young Judith, who also “had been dragged into social affairs by the persistent impression and absorbing experience she received on her visit to the factory” and which “made her immerse herself in serious reflections on the inequalities of life, feeling the need to find out about the fate of the humble, as if a great redemptive mission had been imposed on her by fate.” Until then, Judith had been brought up European, “dreaming a perfectly artistic existence. This was the purpose she had set herself on during her pilgrimage through Europe, with the hope of creating an Art environment around her, in which time elapsed wrapped in a cascade of aesthetic emotions”.

Shaken by the visit to that factory, “the testimony of that appalling scene of real life”, Judith begins to rethink her life: “under the reflective depression of dominating piety, it seemed to her an iniquity that so many people would suffer so that a tiny portion enjoy all the benefits of civilization - How to accept the justice of such inequality? Are we not all derived from a common principle? Can good reason accept progress built into the blood of most men? His conscience told him no. The good cause is with Tolstoy; He is the great defender of human dignity.”

Álvaro Alberto, the musician, having observed this point of uneasiness in Judith's soul, tried to exert his strongly positivist influence. Admitting his admiration for the great 'Slavic philosopher' Tolstoy, he mused that his theories were “the fruit of Platonism and therefore impracticable: No doubt it is necessary to do something for the workers; but this reparation should be limited and never extend to the renunciation of conquests accumulated through the efforts of so many generations. Certainly, there would be no lack of ways to harmonize humanity with progress.” Judith, once again ratified that something should be done, because “That show had a more vibrant accent whose tragic echo conveys confusedly through the palpitations of my heart…”.

The fragment takes a different direction after the dialogues between Judith and Álvaro Alberto, as Dr. André, Judith's father, arrives with the news that he had managed to grab the portfolio of a ministry, as a result of which they would have to move to Botafogo, "where it would be more appropriate with his very high teaching position". The remainder of the text resumes narrative threads that I did not have access to; another family appears, “from mr. comendador”, with whom Judith's family approached in Botafogo, Madam Elizabeth's concerns with Judith's future, “already at the time of marriage”, other characters, D. Hortência, Irene etc. The text is unsigned and ends with the traditional “To be continued”.

Revelation of the fragment by the serial-novel

Even without the signature of the so-called “Chapter XV” it was possible to find its probable authorship as being by Pausilippo da Fonseca. How it happened: We had already been informed, by Francisco de Assis Barbosa, that Pausilippo had written some works: “Martyr for the faith, literary essay, 1899; Children's parties, children's literature, 1913. Morning mail, published in serials The victory of hunger, in editions from 17-10 to 8-12-1911.”[xiv] The same information appears in the collection “Contos Anarquistas”, organized by Antonio Arnoni Prado and Francisco Foot Hardman. The authors published part of chapter XI of the novel, along with five other texts grouped in the daily worker section.[xv]

In view of this information and researching the archives of the Morning mail it was possible to find the entirety of the novel which, as far as I could research, was not published in a book.[xvi] What enables the link between the 1911 serials and the 1903 fragment is precisely the character Judith, but not only, as we will see later. It is possible to conjecture, then, that back in 1903 there was already a novel that touched on the issue of the situation of the working class in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the 1911th century, if not finished, then at a very advanced stage. Perhaps that first version was irretrievably lost. But, fortunately, we have the XNUMX version in its entirety.

The first consideration of a more general nature to be made, between the 1903 fragment and the 1911 version, concerns the language that appears in the latter. The text is leaner, both from the lexical point of view and the elaboration of phrases and periods. The novel, in the 1911 version, almost completely escapes the 'aesthetic spirit of the time', marked by the elevated tone, grandiloquent and art nouveau of the 'official' prose practiced by the epigones – Coelho Neto, Afrânio Peixoto, Ruy Barbosa, Medeiros e Albuquerque, João do Rio, Elísio de Carvalho himself, etc.[xvii] Pausilippo seems to have “dried up” on the language. Of course, for this comparison we have only the fragment from 1903, but everything indicates that the novel underwent a technical and content revision or even an almost complete re-elaboration.

Another important element in the comparison between the two versions of the text is the disappearance of that bourgeois nucleus present in the chapter published in The strike. Only the character Judith reappears from him, in chapter VI of the new version. And here comes another important difference in relation to the 1903 fragment, which concerns the development of the character herself. It is important to emphasize that, from the narrative point of view, Hunger's Victory it is a novel written in the third person; access to Judith's interiority, as well as that of the other characters, is mediated by the free indirect discourse of this omniscient narrator. Even if at times the characters are placed in direct discourse, autonomy is always relative and subordinated to the defining instance of meaning, which is none other than the narrator himself. We will see later that there are not negligible implications between the author [Pausílippo da Fonseca] and the person who narrates the story.

Let us remember that in the fragment from 1903, the “solidarity malaise” present in that bourgeois family environment had been awakened by that visit to the factory, from direct contact with the situation of the working class. Judith's father lived in the world of high politics and, as far as we can conjecture, had no relations with the environment outside that sphere. Judith's reappearance, in the 1911 version, as well as her concern for the workers, gains a more organic ballast in relation to the set of narrated material.

Now, she appears as a participant in one of the meetings of the International Libertarian Circle, an organization born “from a small meeting, held on a Sunday, without complaints, nor previous fuss”, with the resolution of “all engaging in a vigorous propaganda of libertarian ideas” in addition to the creation of a newspaper “of a doctrinal nature, to better publicize the new theories, at the same time that a series of conferences on topics pertinent to the life of the worker would begin in the workers’ centers.”[xviii]

It was at one of these conferences – “always developed in a subversive language of social institutions”[xx] – that the character Judith enters the novel. At that point, both the International Libertarian Circle and its propaganda organ – “expounding the most audacious theories, advocating a new social order based on a free conception of life free from all prejudices and secular conventions” – had already begun to pique the hearts of the citizens. workers. These were mainly represented by the weavers, who throughout the meetings and assemblies “were taking courage and reflecting, with a spirit forewarned by the insinuations of the agitators, on their own situation”. There was a hushed cry among the weavers – “a dull, inward irritation, creating the state of latent revolt”.

According to this excerpt from the novel: “The first major explosion was motivated by the dismissal of a married worker, out of mere revenge on the master of the workshop where she worked, who had unsuccessfully tried to seduce her. Outraged by the management's procedure, maintaining the iniquitous act of its assistant, the workers, gathered in a rally to decide to declare the wall. The first card of challenge was launched: – either the partner would be readmitted the next day, or no one would show up for work. The question was posed in these terms by a worker, after a long speech in which he crudely and sincerely analyzed the situation of the proletariat vis-à-vis the bourgeoisie. A large audience supported the declaration of strike with applause, and several speakers made themselves heard, condemning the behavior of the bosses, whom they called insatiable parasites. It looked like a crazy meeting. Each had the wildest idea. You could see old people screaming like children and young people turning pale with fright. Nobody understood each other. Thus passed half an hour of veritable turmoil. During that time, only one person witnessed the spectacle of such disorientation, with the necessary tranquility to criticize the feelings that agitated that crowd. It was Judith.”

In the genealogy of the figurative composition of this 'new' Judith, the bourgeois extraction remains, but not that of the hereditary high bourgeoisie, but rather as a result of her father's undertakings, “an engineer who managed to make his fortune based on work and pertinacity and on risky professional undertakings”. Thanks to her father's activities, says the narrator, Judith "had spent her childhood in constant contact with workers, having frequent occasions to observe the life of deprivation they led". Touched since childhood by the miserable situation of the proletariat, even though she was born “in the bosom of the bourgeoisie and possessed of an unusual education”, she began to take an interest in the world outside her class and “in questions that were debated outside the intrigues of boudoir and salon coquetry”.

This penchant that freed her a little from the tedious “handling of fashionable newspapers and reading Bourget’s novels” made Judith develop a great camaraderie with “a boy who had a brain full of chimeras and a heart overflowing with aspirations” . It was the journalist Carlos Augusto. It didn't take long for insinuations to begin on the part of acquaintances, who already supposed the two to be “boyfriends on the eve of being engaged”. With irony they commented on the advantages of that marriage, “judged by all to be an excellent match for the boy”. “She was young, rich, well-groomed and beautiful, whereas he had neither wealth nor a prominent position. He was nothing more than a simple newspaper scribbler, who lived on a meager salary, preaching absurd theories, spreading paradoxes. Colleagues themselves laughed at her ideas, which led to the account of a mania for originality. And the big argument against her opinions was that it couldn't help but be foolish to think about socialism, in a land like Brazil, where nobody dies of hunger”.

Carlos Augusto brought Judith closer to the labor movement, himself an enthusiast of socialist and revolutionary ideas, somewhat diffuse it is true, but in any case a certain sensitive change of perspective in relation to the “social question” that was beginning to gain importance in the intellectual debate of the time. Judith maintains an attitude of independence towards Carlos Augusto and the other men with whom she has relationships. Through his own intellectual means, he arrived at the findings of the reasons that led to human degradation, “verifying, not without deep regret, that the scarcity of pecuniary resources has a powerful influence on the depravity of customs, due to the breach of modesty, resulting from the existence of promiscuity.”

Even though she was truly touched by the undignified situation in which the majority of the population lived, Judith remains trapped in the ideological circumstances of her class. Socialist theories “had a decisive influence on her spirit” and made her see in this situation of misery “the violent inequality of fortunes and the unjust distribution of earthly goods”. However, she "could not accept in all its fullness the canon of revolutionary dogmatism” and his spirit, “repelling the hateful idea of ​​the class struggle, could not conceive the Machiavellian thought of the infernal division of humanity into two enemy camps to fight each other without truce until the complete defeat of one of the parties”.

Still, something had to be done. If revolutionary action and the class struggle were not consistent with her feelings, in choosing the political route “she saw only a means of action capable of producing relative advantages”. It was, without a doubt, the best of alternatives, but in the long run. By demonstrating strength in electoral contests, “electing their representatives to defend their rights within the assemblies”, workers could, Judith thought, “impose themselves to universal respect, thus moving from the category of human machines to that of conscious beings” – a claim to be consummated in the future. On a more immediate level, without allowing herself to be influenced by extreme actions, Judith believes she can mobilize the rich in favor of the poor. Once moved by their “noblest altruistic feelings”, the rich would come “to meet the miserable, recognizing the injustice of their aspirations for a better life, thus strengthening the social edifice on the indestructible basis of human solidarity”.

Taken as a whole and taking into account the historical sense to which the novel points, we will see that Judith represents one of the conservative cores within the narrative – one that is present in the same field as the proletariat; and that Carlos Augusto mimics a typical occasional radical. Despite all the concerns and endeavors carried out mainly by it, which include the best intentions, including a reasonable intelligibility of the concrete situation perceived in the light of socialist theory, this conservative core is the very contradiction through which “the social question” passed. in this period and which was transposed into the form of the novel.

From the collection of ideas that we could observe in the 1903 fragment, the positivism embodied in the character Álvaro Alberto was preserved beyond the paralyzing chatter and transferred to Judith, with a certain mixture of reformist and charitable socialism. And she decides to act to avoid the worst, as the strike had been declared and the “war climate” in the city was already too charged. In the possible intellectual horizon of that time, in order to avoid open social conflict, the socialist ideals, with a reformist bias and softened by positivism, especially through the concept of altruism, provided “convincing” elements for those with a certain inclination to the social question, hence a certain confluence, at the time, between rudimentary tendencies of Marxism with positivism and other non-revolutionary doctrines.[xx]

Since the 1880s, and mainly after the Proclamation of the Republic (1889), Brazilian positivists grouped in the Apostolado Positividade do Brasil, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro [the movement was also very important in Rio Grande do Sul], strove to spread the teachings of Auguste Comte. In an article published in 1917, under the impact of the general strikes that took place that year, mainly in São Paulo, Raimundo Teixeira Mendes warned of the fact that “for about thirty-seven years positivist propaganda has striven to vulgarize, in Brazil, the teachings of Auguste Comte on the incorporation of the proletariat in modern society.[xxx] José Murilo de Carvalho comments that Raimundo Teixeira Mendes, in 1889, had held meetings with about 400 state workers, from different categories, from which he prepared a document that was delivered to Benjamin Constant himself (another great positivist), then Minister of War in the government by Deodoro da Fonseca. According to the historian, such a document, “as expected, was based on the positivist notion of the need to incorporate the proletariat into society”. The proposal did not go ahead, as it was too advanced for the time: “a seven-hour day, weekly rest, 15-day vacation, paid leave for health care, retirement, widow’s pension, tenure after seven years of service, etc.” .[xxiii]

Looking at it from another angle, that of building citizenship, José Murilo de Carvalho considers the positivists' action to be somewhat deleterious. First, because “all republican leaders who were concerned with the proletariat did so as a result of Comtean influence”. And, within the positivist philosophy, political rights were not contemplated as a prerogative for the general population and even less for workers. Still according to the historian, the doctrine of Augusto Comte admitted “only civil and social rights. Among the latter, he requested primary education and the protection of the family and the worker, both obligations of the State. As it vetoed political action, both revolutionary and parliamentary, it resulted that social rights could not be conquered by pressure from interested parties, but should be granted paternalistically by rulers.”[xxiii]

The influence of positivist thought, contrary to what many people think, was not just reduced to the motto “Ordem e Progresso” inscribed on the national flag. The case of Euclides da Cunha is almost paradigmatic in this regard. Quite instigated by the thought of Marx, the author of the sertões published some articles in the ephemeris of May 1st, under the pseudonym of Proudhon. in the newspaper O State of Sao Paulo, on May 1, 1904, wrote “An Old Problem”, in which he evokes the figure of Marx, “this inflexible opponent of Proudhon”, who gave scientific socialism “a firm, comprehensible and positive language”. Let's see some excerpts: “The unique source of production and its immediate corollary, value, is work. Neither the land, nor the machines, nor the capital, still connected, produce them without the worker's arm. Hence an irreducible conclusion: – the wealth produced must belong entirely to those who work. It is a deductive concept: capital is plunder. One cannot deny the security of the reasoning […] The unjust trait of the economic organization of our time is made manifest. Capitalist exploitation is astonishingly clear, placing the worker on a lower level than the machine. […] This confrontation exposes the sinful injustice that capitalist selfishness aggravates, not allowing, thanks to the insufficient salary, to preserve as well as its metallic devices, its devices of muscles and nerves; and this is largely the justification of the socialists in arriving at the double fundamental principle: (i) socialization of the means of production and circulation; (ii) individual ownership of use objects only. This principle, unanimously accepted, dominates all socialist heterodoxy - so that the divisions, and there are many, existing between them, consist only in the means of achieving that objective. For some [João Ligg and Ed. Vaillant], economic and political privileges must fall under the shock of a violent revolution. It is destructive socialism. Others, like Emilio Vendervelde, have an expectant attitude: the reforms will be violent or not, depending on the degree of resistance of the bourgeoisie. Finally, others still – the calmest and most dangerous ones – like Ferri and Colajanni, rightly evolutionists, recognizing the lack of a ready-made plan of social organization capable of replacing, en bloc, in one day, the current order of things, relegate to second violent measures, always fruitless and only acceptable temporarily, in passing, at one point or another, to pave the way for evolution itself. […] Because the revolution is not a means, it is an end; although, sometimes, it needs a means, revolt. But it is without the dramatic and noisy form of yesteryear. The May Day festivities are, in terms of this last point, very expressive. To shake the entire earth, it is enough for the great legion on the march to practice a very simple act: crossing its arms... Because its triumph is inevitable. This is guaranteed by the positive laws of society that will create the peaceful reign of the sciences and the arts, sources of a greater, indestructible and growing capital, formed by the best achievements of the spirit and the heart…”.[xxv]

In the same vein as Euclides, several other socialists and leaders of sectors of the labor movement insisted on the path of conciliation, seeking to mediate conflicts between workers, employers and government; either by founding parties with the aim of participating in the political arena, or through workers' leagues, centers and associations of various trades. Another emblematic case is that of Vicente Ferreira de Souza, professor of Latin, philosophy and logic at Colégio Pedro II, who had already taken part in the writing of the Socialist Manifesto to the Brazilian People, dated December 17, 1889, alongside the founders of the Socialist Circle of Santos.

Between 1902 and 1904, Vicente de Souza was at the head of the Center of the Working Classes of Rio de Janeiro which, although not being a party, had great political and demanding action, both in the general strike of 1903 and in the events of the Vaccine Revolt, in November 1904. He exposed his doctrine in the newspaper The Social Question, which was none other than the defense of a non-revolutionary socialism, under the pretext that “current conditions do not allow viewing socialism as a measure that is imposed by revolutionary agitation”. Under the banner of reformist collectivism, “The Social Question, without passions, which he considers antagonistic to the idea of ​​progress, he proposes to fight tenaciously so that the effects of the scientific evolutionist movement are faster, which should result in the new organization of society.”[xxiv] This was the heart of the question that opposed and separated anarchists, enthusiasts of direct action, against the State and the bourgeoisie on the one hand, and reformist socialism and the non-revolutionary social-democratic ideology on the other.

Seeing in the purposes of the character Judith a motive at the same time pacifist and conservative, the narrator of Hunger's Victory considers that the “solution of the problem”, for her, mainly due to the solidarity of the rich, “seemed to be of an enchanting simplicity.” If the character Judith is the element that allows the connection between the serials of Hunger's Victory with the fragment from 1903, the development of the new version seems to have incorporated another historical moment of that beginning of the Republic, in which the formation of an organized working class began, along the lines of the great industrialization process and under the dynamics of the class struggle itself of that period. The figurative elements that make up the ideological background in the general plot of the novel will be better understood after a complete presentation of the story, which will be the subject of the next articles.

*Alexandre Juliete Rosa Master in Literature from the Institute of Brazilian Studies at USP.


[I] copies of the magazine Culture are available in the Edgard Leuenroth Archive, with the five issues gathered in a single PDF, which can be accessed from the link:

[ii] On the Popular University of Free Teaching, there is the study carried out by Milton Lopes: “The Popular University: Anarchist Educational Experience in Rio de Janeiro”. In: History of Anarchism in Brazil – Vol. 1. Rafael Deminicis and Daniel Aarão Reis (Orgs). Rio de Janeiro: Mauad, 2006, pp. 203 – 230.

About Elísio de Carvalho, his venture at the head of Culture, the creation of UPEL and the intellectual debates of that moment, I indicate the research of Pedro Fazia Cazes: The libertarians of Rio: visions of Brazil and dilemmas of self-organization in the anarchist press of the First Republic. Rio de Janeiro. Doctoral thesis. UERJ. 2020, especially pages 117 to 143.

The text that ratifies the creation of UPEL already appears in the first edition of Culture. “The Popular University of Free Education”. Kultur: International Journal of Philosophy, Sociology, Literature, etc. YEAR 1. N. 1. March 1904, p. 03.

[iii] Elísio de Carvalho. “The ruins of Icaria: Essay on ANARCHIST DECADENCE”. Kultur: International Journal of Philosophy, Sociology, Literature, etc. YEAR 1. N. 5. October 1904, pp. 1 – 4.

[iv] Lená Medeiros de Menezes. “Elísio de Carvalho: a controversial and controversial intellectual”. Magazine Intellectus. Year 03, Vol. II – 2004, p. 3–4. Available in:

[v] Antonio Candido. “Occasional Radicals”. In: Teresina etc. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1980, p. 87.

[vi] Antonio Arnoni Prado. “Elísio de Carvalho and the timeless diary”. In: Itinerary of a false avant-garde. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2010, pp. 92 – 106.

[vii] See the exceptional study by Rodrigo Maia Monteiro: “Elísio de Carvalho and police writing.” In: Police, prison and circulation of criminological ideas: The Police Bulletin and the consolidation of Police Writing in Rio de Janeiro (1907-1918). Masters dissertation. São Gonçalo: State University of Rio de Janeiro, 2019, pp. 111 – 140. Available at:

[viii] Francisco de Assis Barbosa. Lima Barreto: Active and Passive Correspondence, 1st Volume. São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1956, p. 153–4.

[ix] An overview of the period can be found in Edgard Carone: “Governo Prudente de Morais”. In: The Old Republic II – political evolution. Rio de Janeiro: DIFEL, 1977, pp. 151 – 189.

[X] A very well reconstructed picture of this complex conjuncture was written by Pedro Fazia Cazes, in the chapter “Anarchism among the radicalisms of the time”, of his Doctoral thesis – The Libertarians of Rio: visions of Brazil and dilemmas of self-organization in the anarchist press of the First Republic. Rio de Janeiro. UERJ, 2020, pp. 67 – 148. Pedro used the newspaper as one of his primary sources. The strike and we owe to this research much important information.    

[xi] In this study we will dedicate special attention to the newspaper The strike. It is important to stress that Pausilippo played a leading role in the other journal he worked for, also anarchist, New path. Here, however, the texts in which we find his signature are rare. One of the exceptions appears in the inaugural edition of the periodical, in January 1906, in which he signs the short story “O Traidor”. From the style of the texts, it is quite plausible to conjecture that the front page editorials were written by Pausilippo, who was the newspaper's director; some editorials appear signed by “Grupo New path”. The copies of New path are available for consultation Online in the Edgar Leuenroth Archive, gathered in a single PDF, and present the editions of the years 1906 and 1910, the year in which the newspaper returns, without the presence of Pausilippo. For editions from 1906 and some from 1910, access the link:

For the 1910 editions:

[xii] Pedro Fazia Cazes. Op cit., p. 88.

[xiii] “Of an unpublished novel – Chapter XV”. The strike. Year 1, nº 11, Rio de Janeiro, November 1, 1903, p. 4. Copies available for consultation Online from the Edgar Leuenroth Archive are gathered in a single PDF and can be accessed through the link:

[xiv] Francisco de Assis Barbosa. Op cit., p. 155.

[xv] Antonio Arnoni Prado and Francisco Foot Hardman (Eds.). Anarchist Tales. São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1985, pp. 111–115.

[xvi] Pausilippo da Fonseca. “The Victory of Hunger – Socialist Novel”. Morning mail. Editions of October 17th, 18th, 20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 27th, 28th and 30th; November 1st, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 20th, 21st, 28th and December 8th.

[xvii] As José Paulo Paes pointed out: “Art nouveau in Brazilian literature.” In: Greeks and Bahians. São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1985 and Alfredo Bosi: “Letters in the First Republic.” In: General History of Brazilian Civilization – Vol. III Society and Institutions (1889 – 1930). Rio de Janeiro: Bertrand Brasil, 1990. Another characterization for the period was proposed by Flora Süssekind in Cinematographer of letters: literature, technique and modernization in Brazil. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1987.

[xviii] Quotations in quotation marks are at: Pausilippo da Fonseca. “The Victory of Hunger – Socialist Novel (Chapter V)”. Morning mail, October 25, 1911, p. 6. Link:

[xx] All quotations, from now on, are in Pausilippo da Fonseca: “The Victory of Hunger – Socialist Romance (Chapter VI)”. Morning mail, October 27, 1911, p. 6. Link:

[xx] Claudio HM Batalha. “The Diffusion of Marxism and Brazilian Socialists at the Turn of the 2th Century”. In: João Quartim de Moraes (Org.). History of Marxism in Brazil – Vol. 1995. Campinas: Editora UNICAMP, 11, pp. 45 – XNUMX.

[xxx] Raimundo Teixeira Mendes. “The incorporation of the proletariat in modern society and the teachings of Auguste Comte. Church and Positivist Apostolate in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro, 1917, p. 2. The full text can be consulted from the link:

[xxiii] José Murilo de Carvalho. The bestialized. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2012, p. 52-3.

[xxiii] Ditto, p. 54.

[xxv] Euclides da Cunha. "An old problem". In: Contrasts and Confrontations. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1975. Edition of the Student's Virtual Library, pp. 51 – 54.

[xxiv] Quoted in Evaristo de Moraes Filho. “The proto-history of Marxism in Brazil” In: João Quartim de Moraes and Daniel Aarão Reis Filho (Eds.). History of Marxism in Brazil – Vol. 1. Campinas: Editora UNICAMP, 2003, p. 39.

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