Souza, Márcio Gonçalves Bentes (1946–)

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Souza, Márcio Gonçalves Bentes (1946–)

Márcio Gonçalves Bentes Souza (b. March 1946), Brazilian writer. A native of the state of Amazonas, Souza has been one of the most influential Brazilian writers since 1977, when his best-selling Galvez, imperador do Acre (The Emperor of the Amazon, 1980) was first published. Before then he had been a movie critic in his hometown of Manaus (early 1960s), a journalist in São Paulo (1965–1973), and a filmmaker, theater director, and playwright again in Manaus in the mid-1970s. A highly politicized author, Souza belongs to the generation of Brazilian artists who struggled under the constraints imposed by the military dictatorship between 1964 and the early 1980s. Although his reputation is due mostly to the sarcastic tone of his novels of Amazonian inspiration, including Mad Maria (1980; Eng. transl. 1985) and A resistível ascensão do Boto Tucuxi (1982), the core of his ideological and aesthetic beliefs can be found in A expressão amazonense: Do colonialismo ao neocolonialismo (1978). In this history of the literature of his native state, Souza develops the concept of cultural extractivism, according to which Amazonia has always been exploited aesthetically by authors in search of the exotic for its own sake, without any commitment to the region's social or political realities. He has served in several public administrative positions, including director of planning for the Cultural Foundation of Amazonas and, from 1995 to 2002, president of the Brazilian National Foundation of Art. In 1997 the first part of his Cronicas do Grão-Pará e Rio Negro was published; it includes Lealdade (1997), Desordem (2001), and Revolta (2005).

See alsoLiterature: Brazil .


Gondim, Neide. Sima, Beirado e Galvez, imperador do Acre: Ficção e história. Manaus, Brazil: Editora da Universidade do Amazonas, 1996.

Maligo, Pedro. "Márcio Souza and His Predecessors," in Tropical Paths: Essays on Modern Brazilian Literature, edited by Randall Johnson (1993), pp. 53-75.

Stern, Irwin, ed. Dictionary of Brazilian Literature. New York: Greenwood Press, 1998.

                                            Pedro Maligo

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Souza, Márcio Gonçalves Bentes (1946–)

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