In Brazil: Encountering Festivals, Gods, and Heroes in one of the World's Most Seductive Nations by Fran Bryson

Reviewed by
April 2016, no. 380
Kevin Rabalais reviews 'In Brazil: Encountering Festivals, Gods, and Heroes in one of the World's Most Seductive Nations' by Fran Bryson

In Brazil: Encountering Festivals, Gods, and Heroes in one of the World's Most Seductive Nations

by Fran Bryson

Scribe $32.99 pb, 320 pp, 9781925321142

In Brazil: Encountering Festivals, Gods, and Heroes in one of the World's Most Seductive Nations by Fran Bryson

Reviewed by
April 2016, no. 380

Before his first Brazilian sojourn in 1936, Stefan Zweig – the Viennese author who enjoyed fame as the most widely translated writer in the world between the two world wars – deemed the South American country 'terra incognita in the cultural sense'. Once it had also been unknown in the geographical sense, this 'land that one should hardly call a country anymore, but rather a continent', as Zweig writes in Brazil (1941). 'There I was confronted not only with one of the most magnificent landscapes on earth – that unique combination of sea and mountains, city and tropical nature – but also with a completely new kind of civilization.'

The cultural and mineral wealth of the country, along with its vast diversities, impressed Zweig so much that he made plans to return for a prolonged visit. History intervened. First came the Spanish Civil War, in 1936. Two years later, Zweig's native Austria fell, followed by Poland. He made plans to leave 'suicidal Europe': 'I more and more passionately wished to escape for a time from a world that was destroying itself, into one that was peacefully and creatively building,' he writes. Zweig returned to Brazil, living there until his death in early 1942.

Kevin Rabalais reviews 'In Brazil: Encountering Festivals, Gods, and Heroes in one of the World's Most Seductive Nations' by Fran Bryson

In Brazil: Encountering Festivals, Gods, and Heroes in one of the World's Most Seductive Nations

by Fran Bryson

Scribe $32.99 pb, 320 pp, 9781925321142

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