Joao Guimaraes Rosa


Rosa is the father of imagery. Unlike many writers whose writings are essentially sentence constructed, Rosa writes with phrases. Unfinished thoughts. However, Rosa's phrase breathes, touches you, illuminates you, and brings heat without you really feel it. Before anything, Rosa is imagery. I would like to say more, but I have to go. Bye.

>>By Luiz Paulo Ribeiro de Carvalho   (Thursday, 30 Jan 2003 05:10)

Language of Guimaraes Rosa shows brazilian culture. So, it is important read him in original, I mean, in portuguese. That is my advice.

>>By maria do rosario   (Wednesday, 19 Feb 2003 22:30)

I also agree that it is very important to read this author in his original language, which is of course, portuguese. If there weren't so many problems in translations and american people didn't have the mania of interfere in the 'original' making it almost unreadable... in english... so make some efforts and pretend that english is not the only language in the world.... and just to remember the more dummy... portuguese ain't no spanish and the capital of Brazil isn't buenos aires... ok ?
good then....

>>By Phillip Camarota   (Sunday, 23 Feb 2003 00:12)

Since the translation of his novel, The Devil To Pay In The Backland is out of print, when will
we have a reissue or another translation. I find this an oversight
on the part of Portuguese/English translators. This is one of
the five best novels of Latin America. It should be required
reading among 20th century novels.

>>By M. Wescott Berton   (Saturday, 3 May 2003 22:23)

Definitely, Rosa – as any writer, but also particularly more than most writers – is someone you want to read in the original. Unfortunately, his Portuguese is one that many Brazilians can’t read, much less foreigners. (I would compare the sheer complexity of Grande Sertão to that of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.)

To make things worse, the English translation – The Devil to Pay in the Backlands – is garbage, waste, refuse, trash. It omits extensive sections, mistranslates others, fails to reproduce any of the original’s explicitly rural language (essential in the construction of the novel’s naïve narrator) and – for some obscure reason – often substitutes it with archaic English. The result is as comical as a cowboy ranting in Shakespearean “thou arts”.

Still, the German and Italian translations are superb. I can’t be sure about the French one, because I don’t read French, but I’ve also heard good things about it.

>>By Andrei Soares   (Sunday, 25 May 2003 17:08)

i agree. the english translation is awful. i suggested that a british friend of mine read the book in english, and when i spoke to him, he was confused by the bizzare usage choices of the translators. someone should really retranslate it into english. it is a book that could be as widely popular as other south american 'magical realism' novels of the 60s. that the translation is so poor, and that its complexity, as Andrei said, is Faulknerian in its nature caused the book to receive little or no recognition in the united states or england. i also agree that the italian translation is excellent (as is the spanish of course).

>>By Joao Baltazar   (Sunday, 6 Jul 2003 21:56)

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