Stories on a String: Literatura de Cordel | Center for Latin American Studies
Attribution: Ensayo sobre la literatura de cordel. UCLA's Young Research Library and mounted on the Online Archives of California, .. Date: 25 August Texas Archival Resources Online Dates: 20th cent. Abstract, Collection of literatura de cordel publications from Brazil. Literatura de cordel, or "string literature" are popular and inexpensively produced chapbooks of poetry, songs, or folk. While the material objects in the collection resemble medieval European chapbooks, aspects of literatura de cordel date back to an improvised.
As people read, they learn the songs of the violeiros [guitar players], and they sing along. And the Northeasterner is used to reading verse.
A literatura de cordel no Brasil – Bc. Lucie Šafránková
Pamphlets are effective, according to Manoel de Almeida Filhobecause they are written in verse composed according to a pattern that favours collective sessions of reading aloud. Although the form is effectively fundamental, the superiority of pamphlets is also due to the fact that they present the news interpreted according to the values shared by their public.
For this reason, they are perceived to be better than newspapers in which news is presented in prose.
- Stories on a String: Literatura de Cordel
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But if the public wants to discover stories produced within so-called classical literature, why not read the originals instead of resorting to pamphlets? Why were some literary works selected and others ignored from the many available? What criteria are involved in these choices? What is preserved and what is altered during the process of adaptation? What criteria influence these alterations and preservations?
Coleção de Literatura de Cordel Preliminary Inventory
The responses to these questions help reveal specific ways of dealing with writing and narration. Many folhetos are the mere retelling of some well-known story, with minor changes proper names, etc.
As to the fantasy-related themes, the wide range of the cordel may become clear through the reading of some typical titles of folhetos In translation an effort was given to maintaining the folhetos' peculiar style of phrasing: Some of those acknowledged cycles involve fantastic elements.
There is, for example, the Bull Cycle, stories of a wild and untamed bull who fights and eludes the bravest cowboys. This thematic bull appears under a large variety of names and disguises.
Sometimes its deeds are clearly of a fantastic nature. Another cycle is mixed with what is generally called the "journalistic", or the "news" cycles more or less what in French is called divers.
These folhetos are about crimes, accidents, and other extraordinary events that make the headlines. Mostly, they are the age-old retelling of crimes, or the sensationalist chapbooks of the last centuries. There are also fantastic events told in the folhetos: There is a small, but visible, category of folhetos about space travel. They can be roughly divided in two categories: One of the most interesting categories of fantastic folhetos are the folhetos about "Marcos" "Marks" - that is, about inexpugnable fortresses that a poet conceives in the most baroque terms.
The name "Marco" means "landmark, boundary mark, or milestone," but in this case it is generally used with the meaning of "fortress," or "something inexpugnable and unassailable, a symbol of his poetical superiority over his peers. They are ideal constructs, self-consciously artificial. They do not purport to be "realistic" or even "plausible": Then, they purport to be a "model," an embodiment of desirable or ideal qualities in the case of the "Marks", military or strategic ones.
And, like most Utopian texts, they consist primarily of description, with little space given to action a Mark folheto is never a story; it is a catalogue of features. The Marks frequently include aspects of classical, Eden-like Utopias. Often a Mark consists of a ring of fortifications high walls, deadly traps, warriors, weapons, beasts, etc.