Lobato forever

04/13/2012 20:11 – Tribuna do Planalto – Newspaper

Lobato forever (Click to see the original news)

He is the most admired Brazilian writer of the country. His primary work appears in fourth place in the public’s preference from the list of the most remarkable books as shown reading the research of Portraits in Brazil in 2012. The main reference when it comes behavior of the Brazilian reader.
Thinking about of a contemporary author, who still alive? Not at all! The master of literature described above is called José Bento Monteiro Lobato and born on April 18, 1882. In the same survey, only in 2007, Lobato already appeared as the most admired author.
Between 2007 and 2011, the Yellow Woodpecker Ranch fell from second to fourth place among the most prominent books, but its creator remains in the memory of Brazilians. He is so important that the April 18, his birthday, was chosen to celebrate the National Day of Children’s.
Specialist in Child and Youth Literature and a Masters in Literature from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Cristiane Madanêlo Oliveira says. That choice is one of the indications of the importance that Lobato has to the Brazilian literary scene.
There are many reasons for this recognition. With twenty-six books published for children. “The Author of a vast work that has titles for children and adults. Lobato took an active role in society he lived in, not standing out only as a man of letters, but also as an editor and entrepreneur,” recalls the teacher.
The writer founded the first publisher in Brazil, in 1918, Monteiro Lobato & Cia. Before that, all books written in Brazil need to be sent to Portugal for printing. Imagine the work that gave and how long it took! Author of two biographies of Monteiro Lobato, Nereide Santa Rosa informs that the writer worked as a critic for newspapers and was a questioner of politics, culture and society.
Only after that did he decide to write for children in Brazil. “He threw himself with love and dedication to the children’s universe, rightfully by to be disappointed with the adult world,” adds Cristiane.

Inspiration in real life

“Monteiro Lobato wrote for children when he consecrated writer and editor,” says Nereide. The writer says he inspired himself from his childhood to build his characters. The Sabugosa Viscount based on a teacher of Portuguese, Dona Benta in his grandmother Anacleta and Pedrinho and Emilia in himself.
More than the universe of Lobato, the Yellow Woodpecker Ranch rescues important aspects of Brazilian culture. This opinion is shared by Cristiane, Nereide and also the managing editor of Globe Books, Cecilia Bassarani. “Inspired by the childhood that he had, Lobato created literature with strong Brazilian traits. which featured folklore characters with a lot of fantasies mixed with the actual daily life of the child,” she says.
In the opinion of Cecilia, the stories of the Yellow Woodpecker Ranch characters gave a Brazilian style to children’s literature, respecting the intelligence of children and youth. The manager says, before him, the children’s books brought from Europe have a very distant history of Brazilian reality.
On the other hand, domestic production showed an exclusively educational concern. “He set a very fun educational project in which children were experiencing exciting adventures, seasoned with a variety of outbound cultural references of prodigious Lobato mind,” says Cristiane. Cecilia adds that Lobato was a great innovator in relation to language, always looking for a direction to approach the written language of colloquial speech. The writer was also responsible for bringing the children many issues considered out of their reality.
Cristiane highlights that Lobato addressed issues that are still present, without treating the child as unable to understand the references to the adult world. More than that, she explains that the author broke with the didacticism that reigned in the literature of the time. “For him, the child intelligence could achieve topics such as politics and oil since there was proper adaptation.”
With the enthusiasm of a follower, Cristiane says the writer gave voice to children. “The Yellow Woodpecker Ranch creator showed how children’s questions can reveal a dissonant look forward to the established, and that we must consider the ideas of the little ones.


With children affinity Monteiro Lobato was great, it was not the case with adults. “Just like his more illustrious character, Emilia, Lobato was outspoken and publicly defended his positions,” explains Cristiane.
One of his most famous clashes occurred with the modernists. The writer did not approve of strong European influence on art made in Brazil, and on December 20, 1917, criticized an artistic presentation of Anita Malfati in the article “Paranoia or Mystification?”.
The artist performance culminated in the creation of the Modern Art Week in 1922. Since then, the estrangement between him and the modernists became permanent. In 1926, the writer returned to provoke artists to criticize a book of Oswald de Andrade.
Cristiane explains that criticism launched by Lobato to Anita presentations took him out of the literary scene for adults. “Since then, he invested more in the editor function and the creation of a vast work for children.” In the United States, it still faced another clash. The story of a black candidate elected to the presidency of that country narrated by him in “The Black President and the Races” was not well accepted.
Lobato also suffered for his insistence on Brazil’s ability to produce oil. He argued that the private sector must extract the oil, and defended his position, including by means of a letter sent to President Getúlio Vargas. In it, the author denounced the foreign interest in denying the existence of Brazilian oil. Because of that was arrested three times.

Current and modernized

The Lobato stories continue to be read, even after his death 60 years ago. And nothing indicates that will be forgotten. “Read Lobato still show as an attraction for children, as many topics addressed by him continue today. As the question of oil in The Viscount Well, for example,” says the Master of Arts, Cristiane Oliveira Madanêlo. For the biographer of the writer, Nereide Santa Rosa, it is a classic and his style still enchant generations. “The magic, adventure, intelligent observations of Emilia, the danger, competitions, and fantasy are elements of their literature that are universal,” she believes.
Nereide emphasizes that these elements are, today, also in new media and technologies, entertaining the readers. Lobato, incidentally, is already integrated with technological advances. The book The Narizinho Arrebitado girl was the first Brazilian interactive publication launched in iPad version. Managing Editor of Globe Books, responsible for the copyright rights of the author, Cecilia Bassarani explains that the work was chosen because it is a milestone in children’s literature.
For her, the story remains as fun and surprising as if it had just been written. “He was always very strong and revolutionized the book market in the 20’s Our idea was to pay tribute to him, that has always been ahead of its time,” Cecilia adds that what makes the difference is the quality of the content. Online you can also find Lobato in the virtual world with characters of Brazilian literature at the web address (www.mundodositio.com.br).
Still, Nereide believes that contact with the physical book will not be lost. “The flip through the handle, look the illustrations, imagine yourself as one of the characters, find the words one by one on each page, is a unique process, intimate between the reader and the work;” she says.
Does not strip the space of e-books, for example. “Dona Benta goes buy them for her grandchildren, sure,” jokes Cristiane. For her, there will always be room for quality literature in the market. “His stories are current and always will be because they work with the child at its best, fantasy and authenticity.”