"'Rebellion in the Backlands' has to be read every day to understand what is happening to the poor of the country," said literary critic Walnice Nogueira Galvão at the opening conference of the International Literary Festival in Paraty, FLIP, on Wednesday night (10).
The essayist argued that "as long as the process of capitalist modernization does not end so that a new historical phase can begin," the book will remain relevant to the country's thinking.
The professor emeritus at the University of São Paulo pointed out that reading the book serves to think about the death of young blacks in the Brazilian peripheries, the Brumadinho disaster in Minas Gerais, or the militarization of the country, among other issues.
The critic ended her talk with an exaltation of the militancy of the landless, drawing a parallel with the residents of Canudos, led by Antônio Conselheiro at the end of the 19th century. However, she sees the landless movements as something far ahead of Euclides da Cunha, the honored author of this edition of FLIP, reported in his book "The Sertoes."
While the residents of Canudos, according to her, have "turned in," going to hide in the backlands, the landless invade spaces of others and power. "They are active, while the canudenses were passive," said the critic.
She also recalled the impracticability of Canudos as a political project. "I was not going to get far without disturbing the repressive device, as it really did not. But in one way or another they succeeded, "said Nogueira Galvão, praising the utopian dimension of the village.
Before the conference, Flip's curator, Fernanda Diamant, thanked her daughters and dedicated the opening of the event to her husband Otavio Frias Filho--ex-director of Folha editorial staff who died in August last year, as well as João Gilberto and "to the Brazil that he sang about."
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon