National Gallery film, lecture to explore common theme in Guyanese and Brazilian literature

The National Gallery presents the film Macunaima, next Monday and on Tuesday a lecture by Brazilian academic and writer, Dr Miguel Nenevé, exploring a common theme in works of Guyanese and Brazilian literature. Both events start at 5 pm at the gallery premises, Castellani House, Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.

According to a press release, Dr Nenevé, will show the connections between the modernist novel, Macunaima, by Brazilian author, Mário de Andrade, and the postmodernist The Ventriloquist’s Tale, the prize-winning work by Guyanese author Pauline Melville, which Ms. Melville begins by citing de Andrade’s work. He further contends that “the presence of Macunaima is visible from the beginning to the end of the Guyanese novel”.

By way of introduction to his lecture Dr. Nenevé will introduce the satirical comedy, Macunaima, an adaptation of the novel, by Brazilian director Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, made in 1969 during the military regime in Brazil. In the story, Macunaima, born fully formed from an androgynous parent, is lazy and complaining, unlike his industrious siblings. When he changes magically from black to white, he still complains though others’ views of him dramatically change. Through shifting fortunes he ends up alone, telling his story to a solitary listener.

This recently restored version has been shown at many film festivals around the world.

Dr Nenevé is Professor of Literature at Rondonia University, in the Amazon region of Brazil. He is Visiting Professor in Portuguese Language at the University of Guyana, and has previously been Visiting Scholar at York University, Canada and Visiting Professor at Texas Tech University, USA. He is the author of academic works and articles in Brazilian and international journals on the subjects of Psychology, Health and Education, and on Literature and Culture, amongst others. He has also written collections of poetry and short stories.

The public is invited to both events and admission is free.

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