Jungle

Image: Paulo Pasta (Jornal de Resenhas)
Whatsapp
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Telegram

By DANIEL BRAZIL*

Commentary on Paulo Freire's novel

One of the most challenging enchantments – or one of the most enchanting challenges? – of contemporary literature is the coexistence, not always peaceful, of different forms and styles. The last hegemonic literary movements that characterized an era are definitely buried in the XNUMXth century. Romanticism, Realism, Modernism and other isms keep cropping up here and there, but mixed with new ways of telling a story.

It is possible to venture to the limits of language, implode grammatical rules, flirt with graphics, seek unusual sounds, cross the boundaries between prose and poetry, as well as explore the paths of orality, popular language, recovery of myths and ancestral traditions. , shedding new light on veins that have not yet been exhausted.

The romance Jungle, by Paulo Freire, fits into this last category. And it is impossible not to mention the biography of the author, for a more accurate assessment of the work. Paulinho Freire, as he is known, was born in São Paulo, in a literate cradle. He studied journalism, and motivated by reading Grande Sertão: paths, traveled to the north of Minas Gerais where he dedicated himself to the study of the viola caipira. He had a local master, Seu Manelim, from whom he learned secrets of the instrument, in addition to clearing crops, planting rice on the ebb tide and burning firewood.

Back in São Paulo, he studied classical guitar, played with many people, animated dances. He toured Europe and studied in France, but the viola and the sertão imposed themselves on his life. He composed soundtracks, recorded several albums, and developed the art of storytelling on stage. Or stories. His shows are a mix of narratives and compositions, where he filters the various influences, from erudite to sertanejo.

The novel interweaves two distinct trajectories. A family that leaves the hinterland and goes to the South for survival, and that is pulverized by the death of the father. Some die, others are lost, some return after some time, carrying traumas that cannot be erased.

The protagonist of the novel is Maria do Céu, Céu, nicknamed Selva. A young woman who leaves São Paulo, abruptly abandoning her family, and “becomes a hippie”, in the words of an aunt. She experiences drugs, fleeting relationships, lack of money and other setbacks. Interested in medicinal plants and herbs, she ends up in the hinterland of northern Minas, where she establishes an intense relationship with Teófilo, one of the survivors of the first saga.

Freire escapes the obviousness of a love affair between the characters with an ingenious artifice. When they meet, he is in his sixties, and only then do we realize that the initial narratives take place at different times. The relationship that is established, therefore, is that of a master who knows the herbs, bark and roots of the sertão with an apprentice who seeks to make this something that gives meaning to her life.

There are other relevant characters, such as old Luduvina, Teófilo's foster mother, supreme master of teas, ointments and potions. Brothers and sisters are gaining a defined profile, and the subtle arrival of a street vendor, a veterinarian and biology students will change the fragile social balance of the small community. And coal miners threaten on the horizon with the smoke of destruction.

It is clear that Paulo Freire put a lot of his experience into his character Selva, like any good fiction writer. The direct language, without flourishes, seeks the orality of its stories, but without losing sight of the fictional dimension. Not a neophyte. He has written other novels, essays and travelogues. Writers who don't play any instruments often turn up their noses at musicians who write. It's a petty, frustrated feeling. Contemporaries of the writer, playwright and composer Chico Buarque, winner of the Camões prize, should have been less corporate (or envious?).

Jungle it's not a perfect novel. There are some inconsistencies here and there, some episodes ask for more details, some characters could be more detailed. But isn't that the case with the tasty stories that Paulo Freire is used to telling on stage? When we read a string, does it cross our minds that such a character should be more developed, or that that dramatic knot could be explored more? Of course not, we embark on the enjoyment of the story and just hope it's told well. This reconquest of orality gives another flavor to the complex elaboration of the dramatic arc of a 360-page novel, which is emotional at times. As the Italians say, “if it's not true, it's bene trovato! "

Paulo Freire adds an icing to the cake: in each chapter there is a QR Code where you can listen to a soundtrack, composed by the author, to increase the atmosphere of the reading. Not even Chico Buarque thought about it...

* Daniel Brazil is a writer, author of the novel suit of kings (Penalux), screenwriter and TV director, music and literary critic.

Reference


Paul Freire. Jungle. São Paulo, Editora Bambual, 2021, 360 pages.


the earth is round exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.
CONTRIBUTE

See this link for all articles

10 MOST READ IN THE LAST 7 DAYS

______________
  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • Impasses and solutions for the political momentjose dirceu 12/06/2024 By JOSÉ DIRCEU: The development program must be the basis of a political commitment from the democratic front
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • A myopic logicRED MAN WALKING _ 12/06/2024 By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL: The government does not have the political will to make education a priority, while it courts the military or highway police, who do not move a millimeter away from the Bolsonarism that they continue to support
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives

AUTHORS

TOPICS

NEW PUBLICATIONS