Os mundos misturados de Gilberto Freyre

Alfredo Cesar Melo


This article attempts to argue that Gilberto Freyre’s work, far from being a nostalgic lament against modernity, displays great awareness of the upcoming modernity. Freyre’s main intellectual concerns focused on how Brazilian society should incorporate features from modern (and, at same time, keep the values of patriarchal) society. In this article I discuss: (1) Freyre’s strategy to reconcile nostalgia with an enthusiastic tone towards Brazilian future (2) the aesthetization of politics played out by Freyre in order to rationalize the violence and power asymmetry in the process of modernization, (3) the advantage of reading—against the grain—a modern conservative as Gilberto Freyre. Articulating these three points, I offer a new angle to analyze how modernity was grasped by Freyre’s thought, and how his thought, once deconstructed, bares the consciousness of a conservative—yet non-reactionary—elite.


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