Buarque, Chico 1944-

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Buarque, Chico 1944-
(Chico Buarque de Holanda, Chico Buarque de Hollanda)


Born June 19, 1944, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; son of Sé Buarque de Holanda (an historian) and Maria Améelia Cesário Alvim (a pianist). Education: Studied architecture at the University of Sao Paulo.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Grove/ Atlantic, Inc., 841 Broadway, 4th Fl., New York, NY 10003.


Writer, composer, poet, and dramatist.


Roda-viva (musical comedy), Ed. Sabia (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1968.

(As Chico Buarque de Holanda with Ruy Guerra) Calabar; o elogio da traição (play), Civilizacao Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1973.

Fazenda Modelo: novela pecuária (novel), Civilizacao Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1974.

(With Paulo Pontes) Gota d'água(play), Civilizacao Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1975.

Opera do malandro (title means "Hustler's Opera"; produced in Rio de Janeiro, 1978), Livraria Cultura Editora (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1978.

Chapeuzinho amarelo (juvenile), illustrated by Donatello Berlendis, Berlendis & Vertecchia (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1979, reprinted, J. Olymio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1997.

Chico Buarque de Hollanda, edited by Adilia Bezerra de Meneses Bolle, Abril educacaio (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980.

(Translator and adapter) Luiz Enriquez and Sérgio Bardotti, Escalada apresenta Os saltimbancos: fábula musical inspirada no conto dos Irmãos Grimm "Os músicos de Bremen,"Global Editora e Distribuidora (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1980.

(With Vallandro Keating) A Bordo do Rui Barbosa (poetry), Palavra e Imgagem (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1981.

Chapeuzinho amarelo, illustrated by Donatella Berlendis, Berlendis & Vertecchia Editores (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1982.

(With Ruy Guerra; and composer of music) Calabar: o elogio da traição,Civilizacao Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1983.

(With Augusto Boal and Edu Lôbo) O Corsério do rei (play), Civilizacao Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1985.

Chico Buarque, letra e música, Companhia das Letras (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1989.

(With Naum Alves de Souza) Suburbano corcçaño: um apeça, Civilizacao Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1989.

Estorvo (novel; title means "Trouble"), Companhia das Letras (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1991.

Turbulence (novel), translated from the Portuguese by Peter Bush, Pantheon Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Chico Buarque: letra e música; incluindo Carta ao Chico de Tom Jobim e Gol de letras de Humberto Werneck; edição gráfica Holio de Almeida, Companhia das letras (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1994.

Benjamim (novel), Companhia das letras (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1995 translated by Clifford E. Landers asBenjamin, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1997.

Chico Buarque (printed music), produced and edited by Almir Chediak, Lmiar Editora (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1999.

A Imagem do som de Chico Buarque: 80 composições de Chico Buarque interpretadas por 80 artistas contemporaneous, F. Alves (rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1999.

Budapeste: Romance, Comanhia das Letras (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 2003, translated by Alison Entrekin as Budapest (novel), Grove Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor of poetry to Terra: Struggle of the Landlessby Sebastiao Salgado, Phaidon (London, England), 1997. Buarque's writings have been translated into several languages, including English and French.


Morte e vida severina, Philips, 1966.

Chico Buarque de Hollanda, RGE, 1966.

Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Volume 2, RGE, 1967.

Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Volume 3, RGE, 1968.

Chico Buarque de Hollanda, Volume 4, Phillips, 1970.

Construcao, Phillips, 1971.

(With Caetano Veloso) Catano e Chic Junto e Ao Vivo, Phillips, 1971.

(With Nara Leao and Maria Bethania) Quando O Carnaval Chegar, Phillips, 1972.

Chico Canta, Phillips, 1973.

Sinal Fechado, Phillips, 1974.

(With Maria Bethania) Chico Buarque & Maria Bethania Ao Vivo, Phillips, 1975.

A arte de Chico Buarque, Fontana (Brazil), 1975.

Meus Caros Amigos, Phillips, 1976.

Os Saltimbancos, Phillips, 1977.

Chico Buarque, Phillips, 1978.

O Malandro, Phillips, 1979.

Vida, Phillips, 1980.

Almanaque, Phillips, 1981.

Chico Buarqe En Espanol, Phillips, 1982.

Grande circo místico, Somlivre, 1983.

Chico Buarque, Abril Cultural (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1982.

Chico Buarque, PolyGram/Barclay, 1984.

(With Caetano Veloso) Melhores Momentos de Chico e Caetano, Sigla, 1986.

Francisco, BMG-Ariola, 1987.

Chico Buarque, BMG U.S. Latin (New York, NY) 1989.

Ao Vivo Paris-Le Zenith, BMG-Ariola, 1990.

(With Quarteto Em Cy) Chico Em Cy, Companhia Industrial de Discos, 1991.

Perfil (collection), Polygram-Brazil, 1993.

Paratodos, SP (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1993.

Serie Grandes Nomes (collection), Polygram, 1994.

Uma Palavra, BMG-RCA, 1995.

Chico Buarque de Mangueira, BMG Brazil (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1997.

As Cidades (title means "The Cities"), BMG, 1998.

(With Escola de Samba Mangueira) Chico Buargue De mangueira, BMG, 1998.

Millennium (collection), Polygram, 1998.

Focus: O Essencial De Chico Buarque (collection), BMG, 1999.

(With Ennio Morricone) Chico Buarqe & Ennio Morricone, Rym Musique, 2000.

Serie Sem Limite (collection), Polygram, 2001.

Duetos, BMG Brasil (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 2002.

Also contributor to Bossa 4 Two: Great Duets for Great Moments, Universal Music Latino (Miami Beach, FL), 2004; other albums include Paratodos, 1993.


Opera do malandro was adapted for film; Turbulence was made into a feature film, Skylight Cinema, c. 2000.


Chico Buarque is a much respected Brazilian musician and the author of plays, novels, and poetry. As a result of the political and social commentary in many of his writings, Buarque has battled often with Brazilian government censors. In the musical play Calabar; o elogio da traição, which Buarque wrote with Ruy Guerra, the authors present the true story of a Brazilian landowner named Calabar, who joined the Portuguese army to fight the Dutch in Brazil. However, Calabar switched sides and helped the Dutch defeat the Portuguese in the northern area of Brazil. Like the notorious American traitor Benedict Arnold, Calabar was eventually captured, tried, and executed. The authors compare this historical story to contemporary discontent in Brazil, including references to "Brazil's imperialistic practices toward its poorer neighbors," as Severino João Albuquerque noted in Hispania. As a result, the play, its printed version, and the album were highly censored. Noting the Brechtian nature of the character, Albuquerque went on to write that the play "lends itself well to an examination of the notions of loyalty and treason in the light of Brecht's concept of the hero."

In Opera do malandro, which means "Hustler's Opera," Buarque comments on various points in Brazilian history. In particular, the author makes satirical comments on Brazil's change from a primarily agrarian economy to industrial capitalism in the 1940s. Writing in the book Methods for the Study of Literature As Cultural Memory, a contributor referred to the opera as "an intense parodic exercise in explicit intertextuality, sustained at almost every line of the text." The writer also noted: "No better illustration could be found, if need be, of the role of musical spectacle in the active, critical preservation of a country's cultural memory."

Buarque has also written several novels. In his first novel, Turbulence, the author presents a nameless, alienated narrator who recounts a day in the life of a decaying city filled with people whom he perceives as going mad. The narrator's elitist background enables him to mingle with both the leisure class and the poor in the slums. During his day, the narrator experiences the worst of human actions, from rape to murder. In addition, the city's decadence proves pervasive and overwhelming, even reaching far out into the country and his family's old estate. Bernardine Connelly, writing in the New York Times Book Review, commented: "Mr. Buarque's writing is both sharp and hypnotic." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the "novel elliptically evokes the moral malaise of a Brazil rife with class tensions and ready to explode."

In his novel Benjamin,Buarque tells the story of Benjamin Zambraia, a small-time actor and model who is recognized on the streets of Rio de Janeiro but still remains relatively unknown. Benjamin has longed for thirty years for Castana Beatriz, whom he unknowingly turned over to the authorities along with her revolutionary lover. When he has a chance encounter with Ariela Masé, an estate agent who is disconnected from her own past, Benjamin begins to imagine a new life with Ariela, who, in turn, is concocting in her own mind an imaginary life for Benjamin based on her brief and haphazard encounters with him. Writing in the New Internationalist, a contributor called the book "an intriguing, dreamlike and original novel from a writer of real imaginative power." Michael Kerrigan, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, called the novel "a haunting love story, a romance which draws its melancholy from the backcloth of the world's least sentimental city."

Buarque's third novel, Budapest, focuses on a ghostwriter named Jose Costa who finds himself in Budapest after attending the Anonymous Writers Conference in Istanbul. Although Budapest is just a temporary stop on his trip home, the writer soon becomes entranced with the Hungarian language and begins a love affair with Krista, the woman who is teaching him the language. Costa soon masters the language and begins to write in Hungarian. Eventually, the writer returns to Rio to find that his wife has left him and that a book he has ghostwritten has become a best-seller. Soon, Jose is trying to find his way back to Budapest and Krista. Brad Hooper, writing in Booklist, noted Buarque's "exploration of language as one's primary sense of identity." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that "dark comedy abounds" in the novel. In a review for theLibrary Journal, Jack Shreve recommended the book "for readers of imaginative fiction and the linguistically curious."



Bueno, Eva P., editor, Imagination beyond Nation, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1998, pp. 227-264.

Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Vervliet, Raymond, and Annemarie Estor, editors, Methods for the Study of Literature As Cultural Memory, Rodopi (Atlanta, GA), 2000, pp. 431-444.


Booklist, September 15, 2004, Brad Hooper, review ofBudapest, p. 206.

Hispania, September, 1991, Severino João Albuquerque, "In Praise of Treason: Three Contemporary Versions of Calabar," pp. 556-563.

Latin American Theatre Review, spring, 1989, Charles A. Perrone, "Dissonance and Dissent: The Musical Dramatics of Chico Buarque," pp. 81-94; spring, 1994, "O Prazer Da Influêcia: John Gay, Bertolt Brecht e Chico Buarque de Hollanda," pp. 29-38.

Library Journal, October 15, 2004, Jack Shreve, review of Budapest, p. 52.

New Internationalist, October, 1997, review of Benjamin, p. 32.

New Statesman & Society, December 4, 1992, Amanda Hopkinson, review of Turbulence, p. 39.

New York Times Book Review, May 9, 1993, Bernardine Connelly, review ofTurbulence, p. 18.

Publishers Weekly, December 7, 1992, review of Turbulence, p. 54; August 30, 2004, review ofBudapest, p. 29.

Times Literary Supplement, July 25, 1997, Michael Kerrigan, review of Benjamin, p. 23.


All Brazilian Musique,http://www.allbrazilianmusic.com/(April 24, 2006), "Chico Buarque."

Brazzil,http://www.brazzil.com/ (April 24, 2006), "Chico Lives."

Universidad Federale de Minas Gerais Web site,http://www.dcc.ufmg.br/ (June 9, 2006), "Chico Buarque."