Nélida Pinon

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dictatorship, eroticism, memory
Written and spoken word (general)
America, South
created on:
April 28, 2005
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since November 22, 2005. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Nélida Piñon was born 1936 in Rio de Janeiro as a child of Spanish immigrants. Here she studied Journalism and worked after that for a long time for the periodicals ´O Globo´ and ´Cadernos Brasileiros´. The author, who now is one of the most important Brasilian writers, became widely known in the early sixties through her novels and short stories which were influenced by Existentialism. Her first novel, ´Guia-Mapa de Gabriel Arcanjo´ (The Guidebook of Gabriel Arcanjo), written in 1961, is a dialogue between the protagonist and her guardian angel concerning the Christian doctrine and its various interpretations.
Under the pressure of dictatorship there developed in Brazil at the beginning of the sixties a new literature, the apparent subjective tendency of which was the result of strict censorship. Nélida Piñon had a decisive influence on this literature through her erotic novels ´A casa de pãixao´ (The House of Passion), written in 1972 and ´A força do destino´ (The Force of Destiny), written in 1977.

Awards at this time made her internationally famous. In 1970 she received the Walmap-Prize for her historical novel ´Fundador´ (Founders), and in 1973 the Association of Arts Critics in San Paulo awarded her the Mario de Andrade-Prize for ´A casa de paixão´.

The author celebrated her greatest success up to now with the novel ´A republica dos sonhos´ (The Republic of Dreams), which was published in 1984 and is meanwhile available also in Spanish, French and English. In almost eighthundred pages Piñon tells here the story of her own family from Galicia. Through four generations she traces the path of Spanish immigrants which they had opened up into the dream repubilic of Brazil. The story is told from the perspective of the grandfather and his granddaughter whose conversations become a testimony of the collective memory which threatens to be forgotten. This is Piñon’s prime concern: "Countries which fail to preserve their memory and forget their human histories and create their peoples anew will suffer spiritual atrophy and become impoverished."

For her contribution to enriching Brazilian literature the author was honoured in 1985 by the Association of Arts Critics and by the Brazilian P.E.N.-Club. Nélida Piñon’s latest novel ´A doce cançao de Caetana´ (The Sweet Song of Caetana) was published in 1987 and was in the same year awarded the Brazilian Writers’ Union Prize. Set in June 1970, this novel, at times very humourously written, does not only give an affectionately malicious portrait of a Brazilian provincial community, but also constitutes a critical look at the dictatorship of the seventies. Alongside numerous teaching assignments at various universities in the USA, Nélida Piñon took over in 1996 and 1997 the Presidency of the Brazilian Academy of Arts, of which she is still a member.
Author: International Festival of Literature Berlin (ilb)


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Record: Rio de Janeiro

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Academia Brasileira de Letras: Rio de Janeiro

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LPM: Rio de Janeiro

Até amanhã, outra vez

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Record: Rio de Janeiro

Tempo das frutas

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O pão de cada dia

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Record: Rio de Janeiro

Tebas do meu coração

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Record: Rio de Janeiro

O calor das coisas

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Record: Rio de Janeiro

A roda do vento

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Atica: Rio de Janeiro

Viagem inteligente

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Geração Editorial: Rio de Janeiro

A doce cançao de Caetana

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Guanabara: Rio de Janeiro

A república dos sonhos

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Alves: Rio de Janeiro

A forca do destino

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Ed. Record: Rio de Janeiro

A casa da paixão

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Mario de Andrade: Rio de Janeiro


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Alvaro: Rio de Janeiro

Madeira feita cruz

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GRD: Rio de Janeiro

Guia-Mapa de Gabriel Arcanjo

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G.R.D.: Rio de Janeiro


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