Campos Haroldo de (1929–2003)

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Campos Haroldo de (1929–2003)

Haroldo de Campos was an influential Brazilian intellectual and poet. Born on August 19, 1929, in São Paulo, the capital of Brazilian modernism, in 1952 he formed the group Noigandres with his brother Augusto de Campos and Décio Pignatari. This group, which initiated the concrete poetry movement, had a great impact on Brazilian and international literature, reciting its poetry in Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, and England. With a clearly cosmopolitan approach to literature, Campos translated ground-breaking modernist works from English (Ezra Pound and James Joyce), German (Eugen Gomringer, Helmut Heissenbüttel), and French (Stéphane Mallarmé, Francis Ponge), among other languages. He met Pound in Europe in the late 1950s and sustained a significant correspondence with him for years. He also connected with the Argentine avant-garde Grupo Sur (guided by Victoria Ocampo); poets and novelists such as the Chilean Pablo Neruda, the Mexican Octavio Paz, and the Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa; and the Uruguayan literary critic Emir Rodriguez Monegal.

Campos was fundamental to the cultural and intellectual life of Brazil not only for his theoretical and creative work, but also for his efforts to revive interest in the oeuvres of traditional Brazilian writers such as Oswald de Andrade and Sousandrade. In the later 1960s and early 1970s he was linked to such diverse currents as tropicalismo and the Cinema Novo filmmakers. During the 1980s and 1990s he produced innovative studies on semiotics and literary criticism. His most important creative and critical works are Auto do Possesso (1950), Re visão de Sousandrade (1965), Teoría da Poesia Concreta (with Augusto de Campos and Décio Pignatari, 1965), Morfologia do Macunaíma (his doctoral thesis; 1972), and Xadrez das Estrelas (1976). He died in São Paulo on August 16, 2003.

See alsoCampos, Augusto de; Literature: Brazil; Neruda, Pablo; Ocampo, Victoria; Paz, Octavio; Vargas Llosa, Mario.


Campos, Haroldo de. Os melhores poemas de Haroldo de Campos, 3rd edition. Rio de Janeiro: Global, 2005.

Jackson, K. David. Haroldo de Campos: A Dialogue with the Brazilian Concrete Poet. Oxford: Centre for Brazilian Studies, Oxford University, 2005.

                                        Paula Halperin

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Campos Haroldo de (1929–2003)

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