Ivo, Lêdo 1924-

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IVO, Lêdo 1924-

PERSONAL: Born February 18, 1924, in Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil; son of Floriano (a lawyer) and Euridice Placido de Araujo Ivo; married Maria Leda Sarmento de Medeiros, June 25, 1946; children: Patricia, Maria da Graca, Gonçalo. Education: University of Brazil, J.D., 1949.

ADDRESSES: Home—Rua Fernando Ferrari, 61 apto. 710, 22231 Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; fax: 2-551-9801. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Journalist based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1943-71; writer, 1971—. Gives readings from his works, including the sound recording Brazilian Poet Lêdo Ivo Reading from His Work, Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (Washington, DC), 1975.

MEMBER: Brazilian Academy of Letters.

AWARDS, HONORS: Graca Aranha Prize, 1947, for As alianças; PEN Club of Brazil Prize, Jabuti Prize, Poetry Prize from Cultural Foundation of Brazil, and Casimiro de Abreu Prize, all 1972, all for Finesterra; Walmap Prize, 1973, for Ninho de cobras: Uma Historía mal contada; Memory Book Prize from Cultural Foundation of Brasilia, 1979, for Confissões de um poeta; Mario de Andrade Prize, 1982, for collected literary work.

WRITINGS:

POETRY

As Imaginações (title means "Imaginations"), Pongetti (Rio de Janeiero, Brazil), 1944.

Ode e elegia (title means "Ode and Elegy"), Pongetti (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1945, 3rd edition, Orfeu (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1967.

Ode ao crepúsculo (title means "Ode to Twilight"), Pongetti (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1948.

Acontecimento do soneto (title means "Birth of the Sonnet"), O Livro Inconsútil (Barcelona, Spain), 1948, Orfeu (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1950.

Cântico (title means "Canticle"), illustrated by Emeric Marcier, José Olympio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1949, 2nd edition, Orfeu (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1969.

Linguagem (title means "Language"), José Olympio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1951.

Ode equatorial, illustrated by Anísio Medeiros, Hipocampo (Niteroi, Brazil), 1951.

Um Basileiro em Paris, e O Rei da Europa (title means "A Brazilian in Paris, and The King of Europe"), Orfeu (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1955.

Magias (title means "Witchcrafts"), AGIR (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1960.

Uma Lira dos vinte anos (title means "A Lyre of Twenty Years"), Livraria São José (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1962.

Estação Central (title means "Central Power Station"), Tempo Brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1964, 2nd edition, Orfeu (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1968.

Antologia poética (title means "Anthology of Poems"), Editôra Leitura (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1965.

Cinqüenta poemas escolhidos pelo autor (title means "Fifty Poems Selected by the Author"), Ministério da Educação e Cultura, Serviço de Documentação (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1966.

Finisterra (title means "Land's End"), José Olympio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1972, translation by Kerry Shawn Keys published as Landsend: Selected Poems, Pine Press (Harrisburg, PA), 1998.

O Sinal semafórico (title means "The Semaphore Signal"), José Olympio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1974.

Central poética: Poemas escolhidos (title means "Collected Poems"), Editora Nova Aguilar (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1976.

O Soldado raso (title means "The Common Soldier"), illustrated by Genésio Fernandes, Edições Pirata (Recife, Brazil), 1980, expanded edition with illustrations by Marcelo Bartholomei, Massao Ohno Editor (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1988.

A Noite misteriosa (title means "The Mysterious Night"), Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), c. 1982.

Os Melhores poemas de Lêdo Ivo (title means "The Best Poems of Lêdo Ivo"), Global Editora (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1983.

Calabar, Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1985.

Cem sonetos de amor (title means "100 Sonnets of Love"), José Olympio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1987.

Mar oceano (title means "Ocean Sea"), Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1987.

Crepúsculo civil, Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1990.

Antologia poética, selected by Walmir Ayala, Ediouro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1991.

Curral de peixe, 1991-1995, Editora Topbooks (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1995.

Noturno romano, Impressoes do Brasil Editora (Teresopolis, Brazil), 1997.

O Rumor da noite, Editora Nova Fronteira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 2000.

Work represented in anthologies, including Introduction to Modern Brazilian Poetry, Clube de Poesia do Brasil, 1954.

NOVELS

As Alianças (title means "Alliances"), AGIR (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1947, 33rd edition, Parma (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1991.

O Caminho sem aventura (title means "The Road without Adventure"), Progresso Editorial, 1947, 3rd edition, illustrated by Newton Cavalcanti, Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1983.

O Sobrinho do general (title means "The General's Nephew"), Editôra Civilização Brasileira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1964, new edition, Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), c. 1981.

Ninho de cobras: Uma Historía mal contada, José Olympio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1973, translation by Kern Krapohl published as Snakes' Nest; or, A Tale Badly Told, New Directions (New York, NY), 1981.

A Morte do Brasil (title means "The Death of Brazil"), Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1984.

OTHER

Lição de Mario de Andrade (title means "The Lesson of Mario de Andrade"), Ministério de Educação e Saúde, Serviço de Documentação (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1952.

O Preto no branco: Exegese de um poema de Manuel Bandeira (criticism), Livraria São José (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1955.

A Cidade e os dias: Crônicas e histórias (history), Edições O Cruzeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1957, 2nd edition published as Rio, a cidade e os dias: Crônicas e histórias, Tempo Brasileiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1965.

(Editor and author of introduction and notes) Raimundo Corrêa, Poesia (essays), AGIR (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1958.

O Girassol às avessas (essays), Assoc. Bras. do Congresso pela Liberdade da Cultura (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1960.

Use a passagem subterrânea (short stories; title means "Please Use the Underground Way"), Difusão Européia do Livro (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1961, 2nd edition, Editora Record (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1984.

Paraísos de papel (critical essays; title means "Paradises of Paper"), Conselho Estadual de Cultura, Comissão de Literatura (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1961.

Ladrão de flor (essays; title means "Thief of Flowers"), ELOS (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1962.

O Universo poético de Raul Pompéia; em apéndice: Canções sem metro, e Textos esparsos (criticism; title means "The Poetic Universe of Raul Pompeia"), Livraria São José (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1963, 2nd edition, Academia Brasileira de Letras (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1996.

O Fautim e outras histórias cariocas (short stories), Bloch Educação (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1966.

Poesia observada: Ensaios sôbre a criação poética e matérias afins (critical essays; title means "Poetry Observed: Essays on Poetry Criticism and Related Matters"), Orfeu (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1967.

80 crônicas exemplares, compiled by Herberto Sales, De Ouro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1968.

Modernismo e modernidade (criticism; title means "Modernism and Modernity"), Livraria São José (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1972.

Estado de Alagoas (juvenile nonfiction; title means "The State of Alagoas"), Bloch Educação (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1976.

Teoria e celebração (critical essays; title means "Theory and Celebration"), Livraria Duas Cidades (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1976.

Confissões de um poeta (autobiography and critical essays; title means "Confessions of a Poet"), Difusão Editorial (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1979.

A Ética da aventura (criticism; title means "The Ethics of the Adventure"), F. Alves (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1982.

(Editor) Os Melhores poemas de Castro Alves, Global Editora (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1983.

O Menino de noite (juvenile), Companhia Editora Nacional (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1984.10 contos escolhidos, Horizonte (Brasilia, Brazil), 1986.

O Canário azul (juvenile), Scipione (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1990.

O Aluno relapso (autobiography; title means "The Lapsed Schoolboy"), illustrated by Gonçalo Ivo, Massao Ohno Editor (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1991.

A República da desilusão (essays), Topbooks (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1995.

Os Melhores contos de Lêdo Ivo, Global Editora (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1995.

(Presenter) Sebastião Guimarães Passos, Poesias: Versos de um simples; Horas mortas, Academia Brasileira de Letras (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 1997.

Un Domingo perdido, Global Editora (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1998.

O Rato na sacristia (juvenile), Global Editora (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 2000.

Also translator of various works by Jane Austen, Guy de Maupassant, Arthur Rimbaud, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky into Portuguese.

Ivo's works have been translated into Spanish, Italian, and Dutch.

SIDELIGHTS: Lêdo Ivo is a prolific and versatile Brazilian literary figure. Best known in his native land for his verse collections, Ivo captured national attention in 1944 with his first volume of poems, As Imaginações, and has since written numerous other works of poetry, several of which have won literary prizes in Brazil. The author identified early in his career with the neomodernist Brazilian literary movement known as the "Generation of 1945," rejecting the stylistic innovations of modernism in favor of classical forms and rhythms, especially those present in the sonnet. Yet the body of Ivo's poetic work defies categorization, revealing a broad range of themes in language by turns effusive and spare.

Critics have noted that Ivo's poetic vision is also evident in his novels. Ivo also relies on allusive language and evocative place descriptions to create a mood of exotic mystery in Ninho de cobras: Uma Historía mal contada, his first novel to be translated into English (as Snakes' Nest; or, A Tale Badly Told). Set in the northern Brazilian port of Maceió during the Getulio Vargas dictatorship of the 1940s, the narrative functions at once as a mystery novel, political allegory, and philosophical meditation on the nature of good and evil. Ninho de cobras features an unreliable narrator whose circumlocutions and outright deceptions—according to some critics—might be attributed to malice, political necessity, or simply the moral uncertainty that defines most human endeavor. Reviewing the translated version, Snakes' Nest, in the Los Angeles Times, Alan Cheuse praised Kern Krapohl's "fine translation" of this "startlingly compact and beautiful" work. Ivo's "piercing imagery and powerful not so 'badly' told tale turns unscribbled lives into a short novel of astonishing pith and depth," the critic added.

Ivo's other writings include volumes of short stories and critical essays and translations of prominent fiction works into Portuguese. In 1984, he published another novel, A Morte do Brasil. Offering a deeply pessimistic vision of Brazil's present and future, the novel takes the form of a detective story in which a cynical protagonist awakens to his country's lost grandeur and moral degradation in the course of a murder investigation.

Ivo once told CA: "I live by writing, but I sometimes envy people who live their lives remote from art, distanced from the words and materials which engender the creation of poetry—people who are simply absorbed by the very pattern of life."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Ivo, Lêdo, Confissoes de um poeta, Difusão Editorial (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1979.

Ivo, Lêdo, O Aluno relapso, Massao Ohno Editor (Sao Paulo, Brazil), 1991.

Meyer, Doris, editor, Lives on the Line, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1988.

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, January 7, 1982, Alan Cheuse, review of Snakes' Nest: A Tale Badly Told.

New Yorker, December 14, 1987.

New York Times, February 16, 1982, Edwin McDowell, "U.S. Is Discovering Latin America's Literature."

Times (London, England), March 23, 1989, Stuart Evans, "From a View to a Death."

World Literature Today, spring, 1984; spring, 1985.