Wednesday, February 18, 2009


"A cannibalism scene, by Montanus: signed on year 374 of Bishop Sardinha’s murder, in allusion to the practice of cannibalism, which seduced chronic writers and voyagers of past centuries, the Anthropophagic Manifesto proposes the devouring, without guilt, of all assets of the European civilization." (12.5 x 16 cm) engraving, 1671 from the Map collection of the Ministry of External Relations.

This from the Ministry's excellent Art and Culture website, Anthropophagism, by Walnice Nogueira Galvão. The Anthropophagic Manifesto by Oswald de Andrade (1890-1954) was a key document of Brazilian Modernism, and helped Villa-Lobos to develop his aesthetic of modernism, "indianism", and nationalism. Oswald de Andrade is a key member of the group who arranged the Semana de Arte Moderna in Sao Paulo in 1922; Villa-Lobos was the most important musical participant.

"I asked a man what Law was. He told me it was the guarantee of the practice of the possible. This man was called Galli Matias. I ate him (...)"

It all happened 87 years ago: February 11th to the 18th. In the early 1920s Villa-Lobos was busy devouring, without guilt, all the avant-garde music of Paris. Is Villa the most guilt-free of composers?

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