The necessities and dangers of translation: Brazilian literature on a global stage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines how translation helped to establish Brazil as a tropical site of desire for foreign audiences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and how translations of contemporary literature often struggle to break free from this established dynamic. By studying the discursive construction of a modern Brazil in the nineteenth century and the practices of translation in contemporary Brazilian literature, I contend that the insertion of Brazil into realms of world literature often depends upon acts of representation and translation that frame the nation and its peoples as exotic. Analysing the Brazilian government's recent translation grants and contemporary English-language anthologies of Brazilian literature reveals a tendency to translate either an exotic Brazil marked by violence and poverty or a global Brazil inhabited by cosmopolitan characters. The piece concludes by reflecting on how a politics of untranslatability could transform the translation and global circulation of Brazilian literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-24
Number of pages20
JournalComparative Critical Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'The necessities and dangers of translation: Brazilian literature on a global stage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this