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Brazilian literary books launched in Urdu language for the first time
Ambassador of Brazil H.E. Alfredo Leoni at Book launching Ceremony at National Library of Pakistan. Photo: Brazil Embassy Facebook page

Brazilian literary books launched in Urdu language for the first time

Embassy of Brazil in Islamabad inaugurates two books of classic Brazilian literature, published in Urdu and English

Islamabad – To introduce Brazilian literature in Pakistan, two classic Brazilian literary books have been translated into Urdu and English. The books that are the first ever publications of Brazilian literature translated into Urdu were launched in Islamabad.

Ambassador of Brazil, H.E. Mr. Alfredo Leoni, and the Director-General of the National Library of Pakistan, Mr. Ch. Muhammad Nazir, inaugurated the book launch ceremony at the National Library, in Islamabad.

The Embassy of Brazil in Islamabad published the translation of two major novels of the Brazilian literature of 19th century, “Iracema”, by José de Alencar, and “Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas”, by Machado de Assis to introduce Brazilian culture and literature in Pakistan.

“We want to promote Brazilian literature in Pakistan, but, at the same time, we want to show our respect for the National Language of Pakistan” which is why classic books have been published in Urdu language, said the Brazil Ambassador,  H.E. Mr. Alfredo Leoni.

It is not the first time that the Embassy of Brazil published texts in Urdu as in October 2012, the National Library of Pakistan, and Brazil Embassy corroborated to publish the book “Knowing Brazil”, a guide of Brazil for the Pakistani youth, the Ambassador informed. Last year, the Embassy of Brazil also published a 100 page magazine on football in Urdu and English language, to celebrate the Football World Cup in Pakistan, which was hosted by Brazil in 12 different Brazilian cities.

Books, culture and languages play a significant role in bringing people of two cultures together. The book launch would strengthen ties between Brazil and Pakistan; to make our two countries closer together, the Brazilian Ambassador maintained.

The two books are pillars of Brazilian literature and important tools for the understanding of Brazil and Brazilians in the years after the Independence of Brazil from Portugal, in 1822. The publication of these two books has been sponsored by the Brazilian National Library Foundation.

Book “Iracema”

First published in 1865, “Iracema” is one of the significant books of Brazilian romanticism and also of Brazilian literature. An Indigenous novel, it has also been called a fictional-historical novel, an epic-lyric narrative, a poem in prose, a poetic novel, a mythic poem. The obvious difficulty in defining this work shows its many facets: legendary, narrative, poetic, lyric, mythic.

The story of “Iracema” revolves around the unexpected appearance of a Portuguese warrior in the lands of the Tabajara indians, on the shores of Ceará, in the early years of the 17th century. The Portuguese Martim meets the beautiful and young Iracema (whose name means “honey-lips”) while wandering lost in the forest, and an unexpected and forbidden love is born.

Book “Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas”

This book created a meaningful impact in the literary scene of Brazil in the end of 19th century. Narrated by the title character, a single rich empty man who decided to tell his life after he died, the book radically changed the style of Brazilian literature and represented a rupture in the established romanticism of those years. Realistic in style and structure, the book is full of wit, irony and subtle criticism of Rio de Janeiro’s rich and privileged elite, especially its futility, frivolity and laziness.

The author of Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, Machado de Assis, is the most important Brazilian writer of all times. In 1897, Machado de Assis together with other intellectuals founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters. Machado was indisputably acclaimed its first President. He chose José de Alencar, the author of “Iracema”, who had died twenty years earlier, as patron of his chair in the Academy. Machado had a great admiration for José de Alencar.

This post first appeared in Islamabad Scene

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