Macunaíma: The Hero with No Character (Paperback)

Macunaíma: The Hero with No Character By Mário de Andrade, Katrina Dodson (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mário de Andrade, Katrina Dodson (Translated by)
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A brilliant new translation of the Brazilian modernist epic that aims to capture the country’s complex identity

Here at last is an exciting new edition of the Brazilian modernist epic Macunaíma: The Hero with No Character, by Mário de Andrade. This landmark 1928 novel follows the adventures of the shapeshifting Macunaíma and his brothers as they leave their Amazon home for a whirlwind tour of Brazil, cramming four centuries and a continental expanse into a single mythic plane. Having lost a magic amulet, the hero and his brothers journey to São Paulo to retrieve the talisman that has fallen into the hands of an Italo-Peruvian captain of industry (who is also a cannibal giant). Written over six delirious days—the fruit of years of study—Macunaíma magically synthesizes dialect, folklore, anthropology, mythology, flora, fauna, and pop culture to examine Brazilian identity. This brilliant translation by Katrina Dodson has been many years in the making and includes an extensive section of notes, providing essential context for this magnificent work.

About the Author

Mário de Andrade (1893–1945) was a poet, novelist, critic, piano teacher, ethnomusicologist, and leading figure in Brazilian culture. He was a central instiga­tor of the 1922 Semana de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Week), which marked a new era of modernism. He spent much of his life pioneering the study and preservation of Brazilian folk heritage and was the founding director of São Paulo’s Department of Culture.

Katrina Dodson’s translation of the Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector was awarded the 2016 PEN Translation Prize, the Lewis Galantière Award, and a Northern California Book Award. She holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.

Praise For…

Macunaíma is a miracle. There’s nothing like it in all of literature. Katrina Dodson is a hero.

— Mario Bellatin

An explosion of language… The obvious comparison for English speakers would be Ulysses, as an encyclopedia of styles, of language forms.
— Fredric Jameson

We are so fortunate that Mário de Andrade’s rollicking Macunaíma is finally reappearing in English in Katrina Dodson’s dazzling translation.

— John Keene

Macunaíma is above all a vision of mythical Brazilian consciousness, a picaresque epic of birth, triumph, decline and death.

— The New York Times

Mário wrote our Odyssey and, with a swing of his native club, created our classical hero and the national poetic idiom for the next fifty years.

— Oswald de Andrade

He’s an anti-hero hero, questioning and contradictory. Macunaíma is an emblem of the marvelous, metamorphosed into the errant question mark of his one-legged constellation. An anti-normative hero who points to a future, eventually more open, world.
— Haroldo de Campos

An explosion of language… The obvious comparison for English speakers would be Ulysses, as an encyclopedia of styles, of language forms.

— Fredric Jameson

Macunaíma is a self-consciously nation-founding novel that reads like a thick broth of painful historical truth, quoted myth, and irreducible pleasures. Rarely is so much pleasure given and pain revealed by overlapping languages.

— Arto Lindsay

A deliberately provocative text, slangy, comical, antiliterary, assuming all the apparent contradictions of the struggle against European seriousness in its various forms.
— Pascale Casanova

Electrifying and perplexing, this cornerstone of Brazilian literature shouldn’t be missed.
— Publishers Weekly

To describe Macunaíma as sui generis would hardly scratch the surface.

— Ratik Asokan - 4Columns

One of our sacred books, whose name we dare speak only on our knees.
— César Aira

The translation of the year for me was Katrina Dodson’s of Mário de Andrade’s Macunaíma, a brilliant, creative re-creation and creation and recreation, full of radical translation decisions and countless superb less radical ones too. 

— Damion Searls - The Millions

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811227025
ISBN-10: 0811227022
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 224
Language: English