Manuel Nardi

A photograph of Manuel Nardi featured at the exhibition "Maureen Bisilliat: Photographs" at the Art Gallery of Sesi in São Paulo. (Click on the Photo.)

Here’s an article published by the New York Times in the obituaries section (May 9, 1997 ) concerning the death of Manual Nardi, the man who served as the inspiration for the character of Riobaldo in Guimarães Rosa’s masterpiece, Grande Sertão: Veredas:

“Manuel Nardy, 92, Brazilian Character in Life and Literature”
a scanned image of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette which ran the same New York Times piece.

I find it very interesting that the NYT published the obit, and even more interesting that other national newspapers followed in suit. How many North American readers in 1997 knew who João Guimarães Rosa was? How did Robert McG. Thomas come to know of either the author, the subject, or of the subject’s death on that very day?

Even if you don’t understand Portuguese, here’s a great video of Manuelzão on a popular TV show. According to the above article, he embraced his celebrity. Listen to him make the crowd laugh.


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