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Oliveira, Manuel Bothelho De (1636–1711)

Oliveira, Manuel Bothelho De (1636–1711)

Manuel Bothelho De Oliveira (b. 1636; d. 5 January 1711), Brazilian writer and politician. Born to a wealthy plantation family that belonged to the petty aristocracy, Oliveira studied law at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, where he knew Gregório de Matos. He practiced law on his return to Bahia, and eventually entered politics and held several important offices. Oliveira's importance comes largely from his being the first Brazilian to publish his poetry in book form. His Música do Parnasso (1705) contains a variety of poems written in Spanish, Italian, and Latin, as well as Portuguese. Its emphasis on linguistic and formal virtuosity, including both cultism and conceptism, identifies it aesthetically as a late baroque work in the European tradition. Only the 325-line silva "Ilha da mare" is notably Brazilian in content. (A collection of poems on religious themes, Lira sacre, was posthumously published in 1971.)

Admitting that Oliveira is a minor though skillful poet, Wilson Martins has nevertheless identified him as the writer who, given his dates, consciousness of his profession, and responsiveness to a specific literary theory, became the founder of the Brazilian literary tradition. He also wrote two plays in Spanish, both imitative of contemporary Spanish comedias. Although lightly regarded today, they secure him a place in the history of Brazil's secular theater.

See alsoLiterature: Brazil .


Claude L. Hulet, Brazilian Literature, vol. 1 (1974), pp. 51-57.

Wilson Martins, História da inteligência brasileira, vol. 1 (1977), pp. 259-269.

Additional Bibliography

Muhana, Adma, editor, and Manuel Botelho de Oliveira. Poesia completa: Música do parnasso, Lira sacra. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2005.

Teixeira, Ivan, editor. Musica do Parnaso. Cotia: Ateliê Editorial, 2005.

                                  Norwood Andrews Jr.

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