Haroldo de Campos - As a poet and as a cofounder of the renowned group Noigandres, de Campos has made a unique and substantial contribution to the theory and practice of experimental writing, particularly the form known as concrete poetry, and to the Latin American avant-garde as a whole
Haroldo de Campos, Novas: Selected Writings, Ed. by Antonio Sergio Bessa and Odile Cisneros, Northwestern University Press, 2007.
The first full-scale English translation of one of Brazil's-and the world's-most influential avant-garde literary voices.
A generous introduction to one of the key literary figures to emerge from Brazil in the second half of the twentieth century, this book offers English-speaking readers an ample selection of this prodigious writer's celebrated poetry and widely influential critical work. As a poet and as a cofounder of the renowned group Noigandres, Haroldo de Campos has made a unique and substantial contribution to the theory and practice of experimental writing, particularly the form known as concrete poetry, and to the Latin American avant-garde as a whole. These contributions, acclaimed worldwide by figures such as Umberto Eco, Jacques Derrida, Octavio Paz, and Guillermo Cabrera Infante, can be observed unfolding here, first in poetry selections ranging from de Campos' early work before concretism through his most recent production; then in theoretical texts that trace his evolution as a critic from an early interest in baroque and modernist writers to his development of an innovative model for reading, translating, and writing. This second, critical section of the book includes de Campos' encounters with the tasks of translating and reading some of the most important texts of Eastern and Western culture-from Ecclesiastes to the No play Hagoromo, from Dante to Paz-thus charting a genealogy of modern literature.
Together, these poems and critical writings afford English-speaking readers their first sustained exposure to a unique personality within the international avant-garde, a writer described by Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo Neto as "that wonderful thing: / a poet and a translator who came to literature armed with an enviable / knowledge of the literary phenomenon."
Haroldo de Campos (1929–2003) taught literary theory at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica, in São Paulo for most of his life and published several volumes on translation theory and on Brazilian and international 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 Brazil.