Haroldo de Campos

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Haroldo de Campos (19 August 1929, São Paulo – 16 August 2003, São Paulo) was a Brazilian poet, critic, professor and translator. He is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in Brazilian Literature since 1950. He did his secondary education at the Colégio São Bento, where he learned his first foreign languages (Latin, English, Spanish, French). He and his brother Augusto de Campos, together with Décio Pignatari, formed the poetic group Noigandres that published the experimental journal of the same name, which would launch the Brazilian movement of poesia concreta (concrete poetry). Haroldo received his doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences of USP (Universidade de São Paulo), under the guidance of Antonio Candido. Haroldo was professor at the Catholic University, PUC-SP, and visiting professor at Yale and the University of Texas at Austin. His biography was included in the Encyclopædia Britannica in 1997 and he was awarded the Premio Octavio Paz de Poesia y Ensayo, Mexico, in 1999.

In addition to his vast repertory of original poetry and literary essays, Haroldo translated some of the most important literature of the Western tradition into Portuguese, such as Homer's Iliad, prose by James Joyce and poetry by Mallarmé. When he died he left unfinished a translation of Dante's Comedia, a manuscript that Umberto Eco had a chance to read, which compelled him to say that "Haroldo de Campos is the best Dante translator in the world". Translation, according to Haroldo de Campos, is much more than moving text from one language to another. Elements of the structure of the poem, like rhythm and sound combinations (rhyme, echoes, assonance, etc.) are often more important than semantics per se. His translations include poetry, Chinese, Japanese, Greek and Hebrew texts. He translated, major names of world literature, such as Goethe (German), Ezra Pound, James Joyce (English), Mayakovsky (Russian), Mallarmé (French), Dante (Italian) and Octavio Paz (Spanish) .

Volumes of poetry[edit]

  • Xadrez de Estrelas (1976)
  • Signância: Quase Céu (1979)
  • Galáxias (1984)
  • A Educação dos Cinco Sentidos (1985)
  • Crisantempo (1998)
  • A Máquina do Mundo Repensada (2001)

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jackson, K. David., ed. Haroldo de Campos: A Dialogue with the Brazilian Concrete Poet. Oxford: Centre for Brazilian Studies, Oxford University, 2005.
  • Else Vieira and Bernard Mc Gwirk, eds. Haroldo de Campos In Conversation, In Memoriam. London: Zoilus Press, 2009.
  • Charles A. Perrone, Seven Faces: Brazilian Poetry since Modernism (Duke U P, 1996), chs. 2 and 6.