Haroldo de Campos

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Haroldo de Campos, (1929-2003), gained worldwide recognition in the early 1950s as one of the founders of Noigandres, the Brazilian group of poets who set the agenda for concrete poetry. Campos earned a law degree in 1952, but never practiced in that profession. He taught literary theory at the Pontif’cia Universidade Católica, in São Paulo, for most of his life, and published several volumes on translation theory and on Brazilian and international literature. In 1972 Campos defended a controversial doctoral dissertation on Macunaima, a landmark of Brazilian modernism, based on the theories of Vladimir Propp. A decade later, his book on Gregório de Mattos, an elusive figure of the Brazilian baroque, also created a stir among academic circles in Brazil. Campos's "anti-logocentric" readings of Brazilian literature, admittedly influenced by Derrida's deconstructive model, have been of capital importance in the re-evaluation of authors such as Mattos, Kilkerry, Sousândrade and Oswald de Andrade -- authors who, according to Campos, constitute a "tradition of rupture" in Brazilian literature. He was a prolific translator who introduced the work of many foreign poets to Brazil, beginning in the early 1950s with Ezra Pound, and most recently Charles Bernstein. His last work of translation, Homer's Iliad, has been published in two volumes by Mandarim, in São Paulo. An English volume of his collected poems and essays is due next spring by Northwestern University Press.

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Haroldo de Campos
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Luciana Gattass