Rangel, Alberto (1871–1945)

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Rangel, Alberto (1871–1945)

Rangel was a prolific and versatile Brazilian writer of regional Amazonian literature, stories, chronicles, historical novels, literary essays, and political histories. He was born on May 29, 1871, in Recife but lived in São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, and Rio de Janeiro through his adolescence. He attended the Military Academy in Rio de Janeiro during the transition from the Empire to the Republic and graduated with a degree in science, surveying, and engineering. In 1900 he relocated to Belém do Pará, but, disillusioned with Republican rule and his military career, he left the army and published Fora de forma, an antimilitary pamphlet. Previously he had published a few stories in the Symbolist magazine Cenaculo (Curitiba, 1895). Upon leaving the army he made his way to Manaus, where he lived until 1907. As secretary of lands, mines, navigation, and colonization of the Amazonas State Government, he traveled throughout the entire region. These experiences are recounted in his books Inferno verde (1908; Green Hell, with a preface by Euclides da Cunha) and Sombras n'água (1913; Shadows in the Water), two collections of his stories, chronicles, and tales of the Amazon.

From 1907 to 1942, because of his adoption of anti-republican ideas, he lived in self-imposed exile, in Europe, with short trips to Brazil. He took up residence in France, with long stays in Italy, Switzerland, and England. He was one of the few Brazilian writers to be an eyewitness to both world wars in Europe: From World War I came the book Quinzenas de campo e guerra (1915; A fortnight of battlefield and warfare); from World War II, he wrote recollections in the introduction to his unpublished memoirs, Águas revessas (Backwaters), written between 1937 and 1942 (National Archive, 5 vols). Fleeing that war, he returned to Brazil in 1942 to live in Rio de Janeiro and Nova Friburgo, where he died on December 14, 1945. His other books include Dom Pedro I e a Marquesa de Santos(1916; Dom Pedro I and the Marquis of Santos), Quando o Brasil amanhecia (1919; When Brazil Awoke), Livro de figuras (1921; Book of Figures), Lume e cinza (1924; Fire and Ash), Papéis pintados (1929; Colored Papers), and Gastão de Orléans (1935).

See alsoLiterature: Brazil .


Filgueiras, Philomena. "Cronologia biobibliográfica" and "Notícias da obra de Alberto Rangel." In Quando o Brasil amanhecia: Fantasia e passado, by Alberto Rangel. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Nacional do Livro, 1971.

Hardman, Francisco Foot. "Visões da guerra: O Brasil na crise da civilização." In Discurso histórico e narrativa literária, edited by Jacques Leenhardt and Sandra Pesavento. Campinas: Unicamp, 1998.

                            Francisco Foot Hardman