In 1978, Jon S. Vincent, then Associate Professor and Associate Chairman of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kansas, published his critical survey (in English): João Guimarães Rosa . In his preface he writes: “It is no doubt excessive to preface a critical study with the admonition that readers of the study take the time to learn another language before proceeding further, but I know of few writers more worthy of that effort than Guimarães Rosa.” I can affirm: it’s worth it. A year or so ago I set out to learn Portuguese in an effort to more closely approach Grande Sertão: Veredas. I understand that even among Lusophones an approximate reading is, in many cases, the most a first-time reader of Grande Sertão: Veredas can ask for, so I don’t worry that I’m too (too) far behind.
Besides being able to read GS: V (relatively speaking), I can also now take advantage of the abundance of literature by and about the author available in Brazilian Portuguese. For example, this:
In 1983, Vilma Guimarães Rosa, João Guimarães Rosa’s daughter, an author in her own right, published Relembramentos: João Guimarães Rosa, meu pai  (Remembrances: João Guimarães Rosa, My Father), which includes an interview she gave to Brazilian writer and journalist, Suzi Frankel Sperber. The following is one question and response from that interview, translated by myself.
[Keep in mind that João Guimarães Rosa spoke six languages and read in fourteen.]
I’m going to be giving a short talk on:
Assembling: A Missing Book: An investigation into the disappearance of João Guimarães Rosa in America: Independent Scholarship in the 21st Century: Translation: Political/Cultural/Geographical/Linguistic Crossings: ∞
If you’re in Los Angeles, come by and say hello.
Avenue 50 Studio
Saturday, May 19, 2012
131 N. Avenue 50
Highland Park, LA, CA
David P. Earle
[click the image above for event info]
Today, for the first time, I read a passage from Grande Sertão: Veredas. In Portuguese, I mean. Ergo the paucity of posts: I’ve been taking Portuguese courses at UCSD.We’re nine weeks in. So while my work on the A MISSING BOOK project has not manifested itself here, it continues on each day as I learn the language. And so back to the beginning: I’ve read the words of João Guimarães Rosa. I can say that now! Ilana Gorban of flamingofeather once told me reading a page out of Grande Sertão: Veredas is like running up a hill only to find another hill. I know I don’t know how difficult the path is ahead, but I see it. I set out.
A Missing Book
Let’s do something just for fun, in the spirit of spreading the word:
I have two copies of The Jaguar & Other Stories to give away. Just email amissingbookATgmailDOTcom with your name, mailing address, and as many or as few words as you’d like to include regarding your interest in João Guimarães Rosa. I’ll randomly select two.
Recent Visitors March 31, 2011
Wherever You Are: Thank you for visiting AMISSINGBOOK.COM!
You can also follow us on
A Conversation with Janie Geiser, Avant-garde Puppeteer (U.S.)
A Conversation with Dr. Piers Armstrong, Brazilianist & Literary Comparatist, CSULA
Happy New Year!
I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who visited AMISSINBOOK in 2010, and for sharing the link with your friends and colleagues. Nine months ago the project began with a simple notion: a very important book is missing, and in less than one year’s time, João Guimarães Rosa’s name has appeared on the computer screens of more than 3,000 visitors from around the world (click on READ MORE below to see a list of cities & countries), and a new translation of his seminal work, Grande Sertão: Veredas, (a missing book in the English language) is rumored to be in the planning stages.
I cannot express how excited I am by the progress we’ve made thus far and how eagerly I look forward to 2011.
I already have some great new features in the works, which include collaborations with new artists working in new mediums; new and emerging scholars and translators; and, of course, more from the contributors previously featured on AMB whom we’ve all come to appreciate and respect for their willingness to share.
I would like to especially thank the following individuals for their continual and dedicated support of AMISSINGBOOK:
Amália Dos Santos, University of São Paulo
Ilana Gorban & Simon Rice, flamingofeather Physical Theater
Professor Earl Fitz, Vanderbilt University
Professor James Krause, Brigham Young University
Professor David Treece, King’s College London
Professor Luiz Valente, Brown University
Professor Sandra Guardini Vasconcelos, University of São Paulo
Professor Daniel Werneck, Univeristy of Minas Gerais