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The Devil to Pay in the Backlands (1956)

by João Guimarães Rosa

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9981321,321 (4.51)59
Rioboaldo, an old rancher, tells a silent vistor from the city about his life as a bandit in the backlands.

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» See also 59 mentions

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Nesta Obra, O Autor Utiliza Da Linguagem Própria Do Sertão Para Que Riobaldo Conte Sua História. Rosa Busca Apresentar A Vida Dos Personagens De Seu Próprio Ponto De Vista, Narrando A Vida De Jagunço Com Suas Características - O Amor, A Morte, O Sofrimento, O Ódio E A Alegria.
  saladeleituraberna_ | Jul 3, 2024 |
Uma das obras fundamentais da literatura brasileira, em nova edição.

Publicado originalmente em 1956, Grande sertão: veredas, de João Guimarães Rosa, revolucionou o cânone brasileiro e segue despertando o interesse de renovadas gerações de leitores. Ao atribuir ao sertão mineiro sua dimensão universal, a obra é um mergulho profundo na alma humana, capaz de retratar o amor, o sofrimento, a força, a violência e a alegria.
Esta nova edição conta com novo estabelecimento de texto, cronologia ilustrada, indicações de leituras e célebres textos publicados sobre o romance, incluindo um breve recorte da correspondência entre Clarice Lispector e Fernando Sabino e escritos de Roberto Schwarz, Walnice Nogueira Galvão, Benedito Nunes, Davi Arrigucci Jr. e Silviano Santiago. Dispostos cronologicamente, os ensaios procuram dar a ver, ao menos em parte, como se constituiu essa trama de leituras.
A capa do volume é reprodução da adaptação em bordado do avesso do Manto da apresentação, do artista Arthur Bispo do Rosário, com nomes dos personagens de Grande sertão: veredas. O projeto gráfico conta ainda com desenhos originais de Poty Lazzarotto, que ilustrou as primeiras edições do livro.

A edição limitada com tira de tecido esgotou. Os exemplares de Grande Sertão: veredas acompanham uma cinta vermelha de papel. A imagem do bordado na capa pode ter pequenas variações.
  Camargos_livros | Aug 30, 2023 |
Wonderful. ( )
  vhfmag | May 20, 2020 |
"João Guimarães Rosa is sompletely the Melville-Faulkner-Rulfo-Joyce-Proust-Mann of Brazil. Only few English readers know it. A so-far proven translational impasse, Grande Sertão: Veredas, Guimarães Rosa’s seminal and single novel, was only published in English once, in 1963, and has since been out of print. My project posits that given the absence of Grande Sertão: Veredas from most any English literary discourse outside of (most often) Brazilianist circles, Grande Sertão: Veredas (or João Guimarães Rosa) is a missing book." ( )
2 vote FWMartinez | Dec 15, 2011 |
I have quit reading this book. I'm about half way through and I've read enough. Please understand that it isn't that I've quit for any negative reason, no, I've gotten what I needed or wanted from what I have read of it.

The story takes place in the sertão, the Brazilian backlands at the turn of the century (19th to 20th). It's a monologue told in Riobaldo's voice and that voice goes on for the 500 pages plus. It's long-winded and uses Portuguese names and name places in a way which makes the entire book challenging to read. I started reading and found it dense, difficult to read, but I had worked so hard to get my hands on a copy that I decided that I needed to put the effort in and read it. So I have, and I'm glad that I did. It's taken me a month to read half the book and that's where I've quit.

This is Riobaldo's musings of traveling as a jagunço, an outlaw, a fighter against government forces. He wanders, with affiliation to first one chieftain and then another. He's a man with a heart and with a sense of right and wrong and strong loyalties. It's the story of his actions, emotions about his actions, his loves, confusions, really, I guess his inner feelings about everything in life. He talks about his love for two people: Diadorim, a man who he travels through life with and whom he loves and is strongly attracted to but never acts upon his attraction; and Otacília, a girl he meets in his travels whom he has placed on a pedestal, loves romantically, and has vowed to marry. Religion, or at least God and the Devil (So-and-so, he whose name is not spoken) come up in Riobaldo's thoughts about life often, his thoughts on warring and suspecting that the devil is in the street, in the whirlwind, in the backlands.

The aspect of this book that I connect with is Riobaldo and his feelings. He is a romantic figure and a terribly lovable character. His emotions are expressed in the writing. The language is complex and there are some beautiful images, especially of the landscape and the warriors, but it is the emotional aspect that has caught me. As I said, I read half the book and it was enough, that is, I am satisfied.

I've fallen in love with Riobaldo. I guess it's the fact that he is emotional, that he expresses his thoughts and emotions. He isn't the first character that I've fallen for, but he's the most recent. What he does is give me a feeling of connection to an certain place. It's the Brazilian backlands, yes, but it's also an emotional state of being, of being in his mind, what he is, a jagunço, firmly rooted in the sertão. I appreciate who he is.

This book is virtually impossible to find. I spent a year trying to buy a used copy. I was finally able to borrow it through my library via InterLibrary Loan. If you have a copy of this book, treasure it or send it to me.

The original story was published in Portuguese as "Grande Sertão: Veredas" in 1956. It was translated into English in 1963 and reprinted in 1971. There has been a rumor that New Directions would republish it but it has not yet happened. It would be really nice if someone would once again make it available to those who are trying to find it to read (as opposed to collect). I've read somewhere that a movie has been recently proposed (2009) based on this book. And there is a summary of the story in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_to_Pay_in_the_Backlands ( )
4 vote estellak | Feb 26, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (85 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rosa, João Guimarãesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amado, JorgeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lidmilová, PavlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Onis, Harriet deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, James L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
וולק, ארזTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Rioboaldo, an old rancher, tells a silent vistor from the city about his life as a bandit in the backlands.

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