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Biography of Jorge Amado

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The Bard of Bahia August 10, 1912
August 6, 2001

Who is: Jorge Amado


The great Brazilian writer Jorge Amado was born on August 10, 1912 on a farm in Itabuna, Bahia State in Brazil. The son of a big landowner cocoa producer (a so-called "fazendeiro"), witnessed since childhood of violent fights that were unleashed for the possession of the land. It is memories, repeatedly reused in the writing of his works.

Attracted by the literature since adolescence, aims for as a young rebel, both literarily and politically, among other choice to which big "Bard of Bahia" has never deflected, even when the dangers were threatening (e.g., during the years of Nazi dictatorship, which, if won, could infect even the civilizations of South America).

It is also useful to note that the youth of Brazil Amado was a country quite backward and anchored in traditions that threw their roots even in the slavery system, however at that time recently dismantled. A country that looked suspiciously and fear any form of "subversion". Finally, the economic crisis and the consequent opening of borders, which caused a massive migration of all races (including Italian), wasn't that undermine the sense of security of citizens, eager and guarantees more stability.

In this world crossed by deep transformations Jorge Amado's Debuts not yet twenty years old with his first novel "the country of Carnival, the story of a young man who can't find his way in a society that refuses to deal with the problems to ignore or mask with all kinds of tricks, including the legendary Carnival. About this first novel, the Literary Encyclopedia Garzanti writes: "here already outlines its physiognomy of realist storyteller, tilts to a sort of romantic populism, linked to the people and the problems of Bahian land".

Soon after followed two novels of social commitment "Cacao" and "sweat": the first on the dramatic problem of "rented" (basically slaves used cocoa plantations), the second on condition no less dramatic urban underclass. But the big debut that really puts everyone's attention, even outside the world of letters, takes place in 1935 with the novel "Jubiabá", from the name of the hero, the great sorcerer negro to Bahia. What other provocative novel ever to Brazilian mentality, due to intense narrative starring culture and negri characters (in a country whose official culture had until then denied the value of culture negra as such), as well as a love story of a black man with a white woman (absolutely taboo topic). Finally, in the background are dashed the fortunes of a big strike, looked like overcoming the racial differences in the class struggle. In short, a mishmash that violated a one grand narrative all fragile, but at the same time rooted resistances of Brazilian culture

At that point the path of Jorge Amado's path, his choice of life will find in later works a series of precise confirmation while his political choices, such as joining the Communist Party, will result in more times her arrest and exile. After the second world war, in fact, forced to move away from Brazil with the ascent to the Presidency of Henry Gaspar Dutra, Jorge Amado lived first in Paris and then, Stalin Prize winner, spends three years in the Soviet Union. In 1952 he published a three-volume "the dungeons of freedom", the story of the struggles of the Communist Party in Brazil. Other public works on his stay in the countries of the Soviet Union.

Shortly after, though, here's another great breakthrough, which occurred in 1956. This is the date of his resignation from the Brazilian Communist Party for disagreement about the development of communism in the Soviet Union.

In 1958, he returned to Brazil, to everyone's surprise public "Gabriela, clove and cinnamon". A return to the past, to his homeland and the struggles of the "fazendeiros" for the possession of lands; in the novel, including a shooting and riding the beautiful Gabriela loves and claims the right to love. This right to love women, this combination exceeded-sex sin, corny nowadays, but at that time, in 1958, he completed a provocative effect perhaps higher than that of the same "Jubiabá" twenty years earlier. A retry? Amado could not put foot to Ilhéus for a long time due to threats for having offended the honour and respectability of women.

Many years later, when she turns eighty years, the "land of Carnival" will pay tribute to him with a great feast, a giant Carnival in the old quarter of Pelourinho bahiano, so often described by "more Bahia Bahian bahiano". Towards the end of his life, the old balance and indomitable couldn't be that writer based on pride and satisfaction. His books, published in 52 countries and translated into 48 languages and dialects, have sold millions of copies, helping to raise awareness but also to relax and to amuse (mainly due to its "second phase", "carefree" by Gabriella clove and cinnamon "). The legendary singer of Bahia passed away on August 6, 2001.

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