George Amado (August 10, 1912 – August 6, 2001) – August 6, 2001.
Writer, Novelist, Storyteller and Brazilian Playwright, recognized for his prolific work. According to critics, Amado is regarded in his country as the writer who laid light on the poor and marginalized, allowing them to shine as characters in the literary scene, through his pen full of humor and sensualism.
From its harvest are collected the famous novels The Country of Carnival (1931), Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon (1958) and Doña Flor and her two husbands (1966), consecrated as the greatest literary works in Brazil. Likewise, both these and other of his creations have been brought to the Theatre, television and cinema, while being used as the inspiration of several samba schools, for their exhibitions at the Carnival.
Jorge Amado was born on August 10, 1912, in the municipality of Itabuna, located in the south of Bahia state, brazil, in a family of ranchers, being his father owner of land. However, when George turned one year old, the family moved to Ilhéus, on the coast of Bahia. Later, in order to study secondary, George moved to Salvador de Bahia.
Already at this time, George Amado had a clear vocation as a writer. In parallel to his later years of secondary, he worked as a collaborator in several newspapers. He also participated actively in the cultural and literary scene of Salvador de Bahia, being even one of the founders of the intellectual youth movement “Academy of Rebels”.
Beginnings as a writer
At the age of eighteen, he wrote and published his first novel, which he titled El País del Carnaval (1931). In his twenties, in 1932, he married his first wife, Matilde García Rosa, with whom the following year he had a daughter, Lila.
A few months later, he published his second novel Cacao (1933) in which the protagonists are the rural workers of southern Bahia and the exploitation who live at the expense of their patrons. As pointed out by literary critics, Amado’s early novels raise a dual world, where poverty is almost always synonymous with goodness, while wealth is related to the negative. In this sense its protagonists and heroes are marginalized characters, such as poor, workers, beggars or prostitutes.
In 1935, Jorge Amado received as a Lawyer at the National Faculty of Law, located in Rio de Janeiro. His political activities as a communist militant forced him to escape exile between 1941 and 1942, a period in which Amado took advantage to settle in Argentina and Uruguay, while visiting several Latin American countries. In 1942, on his return to Brazil, he separated from his first wife Matilde.
The following year he published his novel Tierras endless (1943). In 1945, he was elected deputy of the National Constituent Assembly of the state of Sao Paulo, by the Brazilian Communist Party. His tenure within the Assembly resulted in the approval of the Freedom of Worship.
In 1945 he also married his second wife Zélia Gattai, who was also engaged in the office of the Letters. Together with Zélia he would have two sons: George, who was born in 1947, and his daughter Paloma. However, her first daughter Lila died in 1949. In 1947, the Communist Party was declared illegal, leading to persecution of all its members. This forced the Amado-Gattai family to flee into exile. On this occasion they moved to Czechoslovakia, where they would reside for two years, between 1950 and 1952, during which time they would have their second daughter, Paloma.
Literary Career and Final Years
However, years of exile extended to 1955, when Amado was finally able to return his family to the country. Although he continued to enlist the Communist Party, he ceased his political militancy, dedicating himself entirely to writing, an area where he won numerous accolades, as well as several Honorary Doctorates from the most prestigious universities in America and europa.
His work has been translated into forty-nine languages, being edited in fifty-five countries, including Braille editions and audiobooks, for the visually impaired community. Finally, on August 6, 2001, George Amado died in the city of Salvador de Bahia. His ashes were buried in the garden of his house on August 10, on his eighty-nineth birthday.
The work of Jorge Amado corresponds to several literary genres. In this sense, his novels are: The Country of Carnival (1931); Cocoa (1933); Sweat (1934); Jubiabá (1935); Dead Sea (1936); Captains of the Arena (1937); Land of the Endless (1943); Saint George of the Ilheus (1944); Red Seara (1946); The Undergrounds of Freedom (1954); Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon (1958); The Old Sailors or The Overseas Captain (1961); The Shepherds of the Night (1964); Doña Flor and her two husbands (1966); Shop of Miracles (1969); Teresa Batista tired of war (1972); Tieta de Agreste (1977); Uniform, frac and nightgown (1979); Tocaia grande (1984); The Disappearance of the Saint (1988); How the Turks Discovered America (1994).
Also, within the work of George Amado we can find Stories: The Death and Death of Quincas Berro Dágua (1961) and The Recent Miracle of the Birds (1979). As well as children’s books: El Gato Mallado and la golondrina Siñá (1976) and La pelota y el archer (1984). The biographies: El ABC de Castro Alves (1941) and El Caballero de la Esperanza (1942, corresponding to the biography of Luis Carlos Prestes). In the same way, Jorge Amado entered the Dramaturgy, bringing to the world the play The Love of the Soldier (1947). He also wrote two memoirs: El niño grapiuna (1982) and Navegación de Cabotaje (1992).
Image source: diariocentrodomundo.com.br
August 14, 2019
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