Logos and the Word


Homer’s Proteus is a daimon with the power of assuming all manner of shapes; but if held fast until resuming his true form, old Proteus will answer questions. We can expect no such fixity from the protean text, Grande Sertão: Veredas, and, in fact, to expect it would be a betrayal of the novel’s concerns. A riverlike, ‘riverrun’, novel which invariably contradicts itself, redoubling its ambiguity, GS: V is multiform, eminently plural in its plot, language and narrative structure. Moreover, GS: V’s plural structure is its philosophy. What we have is actually a plural work one of whose major themes is precisely the plurality of the world and the age-old problem of ferreting out its meaning. Refrain from holding me fast,’ this text seems to warn, ‘for my multiplicity lies in my true form.’[1]


[1] Logos and the Word: The Novel of Language and Linguistic Motivation in Grande Sertão: Veredas and Tres tristes tigres, by Stephanie Merrim
Utah Studies in Literature and Linguistics
Peter Lang Publishers, 1983
P.15

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