A controversial personality, Francis became prominent in modern Brazilian journalism through his critiques and essays in his trademark writing style – a mixture of erudition and vulgarity. Like many other Brazilian intellectuals of his time, Francis was exposed to Americanization during his teens, and in his early career tried to blend Brazilian Nationalist Leftism in Culture and Politics with the ideal of modernity embodied by the USA. Early in his career, he acted mostly as an advocate of Modernism in cultural matters, later becoming embroiled in Brazilian 1960s political struggles as a Trotskyist sympathizer and a Leftist nationalist – keeping a distance, at the same time, from both Stalinism and Latin American populism. After spending the 1970s as an exile and expatriate in the US, in the 1980s he was to forsake Leftism for Americanism's sake, performing a sharp political turn and becoming an aggressive conservative, a defender of the Free Market and political liberalism, and an uncompromising anti-Leftist. In this capacity, he estranged himself from the Brazilian intelligentsia and became mostly a media figure, a role in which he would be embroiled in a legal suit in which his life would come to a close. Critical evaluations of his work were made mostly by Midia scholar Bernardo Kucinski and historian Isabel Lustosa.
- 1 Early life and career (1930–64)
- 2 The middle years: Radical journalism and fiction-writing (1964–79)
- 3 The later years: ideological shift and media celebrity (1979–97)
- 4 Final disputes and death
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Selected works
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and career (1930–64)
Born Franz Paul Trannin da Matta Heilborn into a middle-class family of German descent, Francis received his early education in various traditional Catholic schools in Rio de Janeiro, afterwards attending classes at the National School of Philosophy (at the time a general humanities course) of the University of Brazil in the 1950s. In college, he was admitted into the student troupe (Teatro do Estudante) managed by the critic Paschoal Carlos Magno, with whom he toured northeastern Brazil. On the trip he was shocked and disgusted by what he described as " poverty, backwardness, [and an] unawareness of welfare and civil society".
Inspired towards a stage career after that trip, Francis tried his hand as an actor in Rio de Janeiro during the early 1950s. Although he received an award as a rising star in 1952, he did not pursue the career: according to Kucisnki, through lack of talent; according to his former mentor Paschoal Carlos Magno, because his actual talents directed him towards political activism.From the very beginning Francis saw himself not as an entertainer, but as a public intellectual intent on social change; in his own words, he had returned from his Northeastern Brazil tour "sure of the need for a social revolution".
Deciding on a stage management career, Francis went to Columbia University, where he entered graduate classes in Dramatic Literature, mostly attending the classes of the Brecht scholar Eric Bentley, as well as becoming acquainted with the work of the critic George Jean Nathan. Eventually he dropped out from Columbia—he had already dropped out from his undergraduate studies in Rio, a subject he never referred to publicly.
During his American stay, Francis joined the host of Brazilian intellectuals who during the 1940s and the 1950s foreswore any abstract and aristocratic European concept of "civilization" – meaning mostly French Belle Époque culture – in favor of an American model, which equated modernization with cutting-edge technological development (Fordism) and mass democracy – understood as the necessary material basis for social change,something he expressed through a personal mix of pro-Americanism and Left radicalism.
His embrace of what he saw as American pragmatism led Francis into a lifelong militant empiricism and scorn for theory. According to Kucinski, Francis would always be open about his boredom with the academic method of intellectual analysis, describing it as conventional and unimaginative. He preferred the swift and witty commentary. In the words of one of his critics, psychoanalyst and writer Maria Rita Kehl, Francis never doubted, as he had supposedly understood everything even before realizing what actually happened. He was also repelled by what he saw as the rhetorical obscurity of 1960s Structuralism, striving instead for "a simple, learned prose, with a clear language". In a late interview, he would proudly describe himself as "not [being] a scholar who pens treatises. I'm a journalist who discusses on the facts of the day, political and cultural happenings".
This mode of work, according to critics such as Kehl and Kucinski, would shape his writing to the end. These same critics would see in it a signal of an inability to perform sustained intellectual work and a tendency to rely on flashes of wit and borrowed erudition (the use of incessant quotes and bon mots) something that would make him prone to mistakes and imprecision. According to Kucinski, his "absence of careful research, established facts, precise information [...] became eventually – through excessive generalization and lack of patience [...] – downright bigotry".
His acquaintance with contemporary American criticism had prepared him for the important role he was to play in Brazilian theater, which was at the time in a feverish process of cultural modernization; mostly in the sense of a thorough Americanization of cultural values. This process had begun after the late 1945 fall of the Getúlio Vargas dictatorship, and was to last until the 1964 military coup. After a time as a director between 1954 and 1956 during which he staged five plays, with moderate success, Francis started in 1957 to write as a theater critic for the newspaper Diário Carioca. He was soon praised for his defence of a modern approach to staging. The Brazilian stage had been characterised by a provincial bickering between rival troupes, as well as to a strict attachment to Classic European conventions. With various other critics, such as the theater scholar Sabato Magaldi and the Shakespeare translator and expert, Barbara Heliodora, Francis strived for a kind of social and psychological realism on the Brazilian stage, expressed in his association of Brecht's work to George Bernard Shaw's and Sean O'Casey's (ignoring, in the process, the anti-realist stance of Brechtian theater and submitting it to method acting conventions). In his own words, what he proposed was to approach staging as above all, an intellectual task: "to strive, on the stage, to find an equivalent for the feeling of unity and total expression one finds while reading a text". At the same time, he sponsored, with editor Jorge Zahar, the publication of a collection of translation of foreign plays that would form a canon on which a future Brazilian modernist dramaturgy would develop.
Within this intellectual framework, Francis acted as a cultural nationalist who supported contemporary rising Brazilian playwrights such as Nelson Rodrigues and Gianfrancesco Guarnieri and actors such as Fernanda Montenegro and was generally respected for doing so. However, he remained noted for his compulsion towards unconsidered behavior and personal attack, as in a quarrel with an actress during 1958 in which he reacted to what he supposed to be a hint about his (supposed) homosexuality by penning so demeaning a piece of libel that it got him slapped in public by the actress' husband.
The middle years: Radical journalism and fiction-writing (1964–79)
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Francis worked mostly as a culture and literary critic. Between 1959 and 1962, he was an editor (alongside Nahum Sirotsky) of the culture magazine Senhor, a mostly literary magazine praised for the quality of its contributors as well as for its innovative graphic design created by Bea Feitler. There he published stories by at the time little-known writers such as Clarice Lispector and Guimarães Rosa.
In the climate of heady political debate that characterized the early Cold War era in Brazil, Francis styled himself a Trotskyist. Although he was never a member of the various Trotskyist organizations existing at the time, he was a friend of various former members of the 1930s Brazilian section of the International Left Opposition, such as Mário Pedrosa and Edmundo Moniz. It was as a maverick, non-Stalinist, Left-leaning intellectual that he was invited in 1963 to write a political column in the Leftist Vargoist paper Última Hora, where he became known for his radical views. There he advocated for a nationalist Left-reformist agenda (land and franchise reforms and the strengthening of foreign investment controls), advising the Left to support the João Goulart government by means of a strategy of pressure "from below" – i.e. banking on the grassroots mobilization of the broad masses against what he saw as a mostly reactionary Parliament. In short, he supported a kind of radical populism that would eventually break the framework of parliamentary inaction and introduce radical reforming. Although sympathetic to the reformist agenda of the João Goulart government, Francis had misgivings about the President's position, as in his view Goulart "demanded the impossible in institutional terms: to ask from a Congress where conservatives are the ruling force to alter capitalist property relations".
At the time professing to have joined one of the paramilitary "groups of eleven" being organized by maverick leftist leader Leonel Brizola, - according to some, he was a treasurer to Brizola's organization - Francis fell out of favor after Goulart's fall in 1964, being eventually banned from the mainstream press. In 1967, however, he edited the cultural supplement of Correio da Manhã, a major newspaper that would be wound down by the dictatorship in early 1969.
Francis earned a living during the late 1960s mostly as a freelancer, penning contributions for Abril monthly Realidade, acting as a consultant for Editora Civilização Brasileira, editing Revista Diners (a house organ distributed free of charge to Brazil subscribers of the Diners Club credit card) and writing for various minor papers and magazines, especially the satirical weekly O Pasquim and the daily Tribuna da Imprensa. He wrote mostly about international affairs, and manifestly opposed against the Vietnam War, flouting the official pro-American sympathies of the military government in texts considered so uncharacteristically sober that they later produced a remark from Kucinski that "only then he became a real mentsch". In the wake of the late 1968 "coup inside the coup"—the takeover of the already existing military dictatorship by more radical generals—he was arrested four times, on the slimmest of pretexts.
After deciding to live abroad in order to escape political harassment, Francis moved to the US, a move favoured by his previous upbringing in Columbia, his enduring Trotskyist sympathies (and therefore alienation towards the Stalinist Left of the time), and his actual American connections, such as his acquaintance with diplomat John Mowinckel. He moved in late 1971 to New York City as an international correspondent, on a Ford Foundation fellowship. There he assumed a position highly critical of the Richard Nixon administration, offering qualified support to the George McGovern candidacy in the 1972 US presidential election, assuming that McGovern's "naive reformism" offered nevertheless a way out of the frozen consensus around Nixon – a consensus, by the way, which he saw as a product of a conservative victory in a late 1960s "restrained civil war". Late in 1972, he published an essay in Portuguese that offered a continuous account of the said elections: Nixon vs. McGovern: as Duas Américas. After 1976, he began working exclusively for the major paper Folha de São Paulo, then under the editorship of the Trotskyist cadre and famed editor Cláudio Abramo.
Fiction-writing and its repercussion
As a man of letters, Francis remained throughout his life committed to the modernist canon in literature, which he claimed to have received from Gertrude Stein: "things are precisely what they are. Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. [This] has no need of adjectives, except as irony". In his view, what the modernist writer should strive at was historical relevance, by depicting in personal terms the fragmentary character of the social reality around him, described through the objective sensation felt, shunning any kind of commentary wont at offering a sense of coherence and totality. In Francis' words, in modern art, "it's the creator who imposes his untransferable imaging to the universe, with at most a distant relationship to observed reality". Therefore, what literature should strive at was "a curious stance – on purpose, to be sure – to expose things as they seem to us, suggesting in a very casual way what lies beneath". Although rejecting Social realism, Francis strived at socio-politic relevance in his choice of subject-matter, as expressed, e.g., in his rejection of the "apogee of American petty-bourgeois Philistinism" he saw in John Updike's Rabbit novels, or the "constant fall into the anecdotical" he saw in contemporary Woody Allen's films.
Basing himself on these rules, during the late 1970s Paulo Francis was to publish the first two parts of an intended trilogy of social novels in which he intended, in a style reminiscent of James Joyce, to shun what he saw as the populist streak of Brazilian modern fiction i.e., the portrayal of the lives of the rural lower and/or higher classes typical of later Brazilian modernist authors such as Érico Veríssimo, Jorge Amado or Graciliano Ramos. Rejecting what he saw as the portrayal "of the ruling Bourgeoisie as an evil caricature", he chose to offer "the people" the opportunity "to know more about its masters", by describing life among the happy few in 1960s–1970s Rio ("the elite of the charming parochialism of Rio de Janeiro [fashionable boroughs], their parties and sensual pleasures")—a project reminiscent not only of James Joyce, but also of Scott Fitzgerald. By the same token, he associated his embrace of modernist stylish conventions (juxtaposition, non-linear narration) – or, in his own words, the deliberate refusal of earlier formal stylistics – to the necessity of portraying an emerging urban Brazil.
The first novel, Cabeça de Papel (Paperhead, a pun with a Brazilian nursery rhyme), a mix between a memoir and spy thriller, was published in Brazil in 1977. In 1979, he published a sequel, Cabeça de Negro (also a pun, this time with the name of a kind of homemade firework called "black man's head"), which was intended as a thriller and also as one of the various 1970s memorial novels that chronicled the armed underground struggle against the Brazilian military dictatorship. Both novels were moderate sales success and critical failures. Brazilian scholars with both an academic or journalistic background criticised Francis' writing for sloppiness; the literary critic José Guilherme Merquior even said he simply had shunned reading one of Francis' novels to the end for its plain want of literary qualities. Other critics, however, like the writer Silvano Santiago, maintained that Francis' apparent lack of stylish qualities simply meant that he, like many others, simply felt the imprint of the times: in the absence of open public debate, it was unavoidable that literature would assume a parajournalistic function aimed at a transposition of the real. According to the prominent Austro-Brazilian critic Otto Maria Carpeaux, what Francis' novels offered was information "about a fringe of Brazilian society that snorts lines and stays drunk" and "an out of focus look at a seaside [i.e. fashionable] swathe of our age". Francis replied to his critics' restrictions in his usually vitriolic fashion by calling them "smarties who adopt the blurbs of foreign books [as their own] in order to make themselves a career [...] the plague of university professors in Brazil is more serious than the Black Death in the Middle Ages"
Francis was also criticized for an alleged lack of depth in his political and cultural commentaries and confusion arising from his attempt at melding the Joycean stream of consciousness with the plot of a spy thriller, or, in the words of a paper critic for Folha de São Paulo, Vinicius Torres Filho, for producing in his novels something like "a watered-down Graham Greene", expressing a Cold War obsession at displaying a supposedly intellectual sophistication by seeing political issues in terms of conspiracies and spies. The same critics also pointed to the patchy plot of Francis' novels and his shallow digressions – in which the writer showed a weakness for incessant quotes and untimely comment, which, despite their undeniable charm, showed an author who simply couldn't refrain from offering his erudition in a showcase to the prospective reader. This alleged self-centered character of his fictions made literary critic João Luiz Lafetá declare that Francis had intended to write about the anatomy of the Brazilian ruling class but had written only about his (dependent) position towards it as an intellectual.
However, what these same critics acknowledged as the greatest achievement of the two novels was Francis's "stylistics of mockery" (retórica da esculhambação): his grammatically incorrect phrasing, polyglot vocabulary and confused mix between the erudite and the downright vulgar. In a pithy description, his was "a messy (avacalhada), aggressive rhetoric, in itself a critique of the pompous logorrhea and mystification [proper to Brazilian ruling elites]". In a late critique, the scholar João Manuel dos Santos Cunha would say that it was Francis' own logorrhea in these novels which functioned as a "rape" of journalistic language that made clear his forswearing of any pretense at objectivity in order to allow him to build "a dirty language for a dirty time".
Despite the Francis' avowed leftism at the time, the American literary scholar Malcolm Silvermann considered his tone to be already that of a nihilist: in the words this same critic, what every character in Francis' novels displayed – irrespective of political affiliation – was the same "careless erotico-politic debauchery, conspicuous consuming, belligerent use of obscenities and a general disdain for everyone". Such was an outward manifestation of a deeper process that affected Francis as well as other Brazilian Left intellectuals of the time: a general feeling of disenchantment that eventually found a solution in the most extreme aggression directed toward earlier ideals.
After the joint publication, in 1982, of two novellas under the title Filhas do Segundo Sexo ("Children of the Second Sex") – an attempt at tackling the issue of middle-class female emancipation and at the same time at plain language feuilleton – which was very ill-received by both critics and public, Francis stopped publishing fiction. Eleven years after his death, a new novel, left by Francis as a draft, was to be published after being edited by his widow: Carne Viva ("Open Wound"), where the author tried, again, to portray the lives of the wealthy and sophisticated in between a mythical 1960s Rio de Janeiro and an equally mythical French May—something that led critic Vinícius Torres Freire, in Folha de São Paulo, to state that Francis had left only a memoir about the kitsch character of his usual snobbery.
The later years: ideological shift and media celebrity (1979–97)
In 1980, Francis published a mostly political memoir upon turning 50, O afeto que se encerra ("The love enclosed" – a pun again, this time on a verse from the Brazilian Flag Anthem), in which he confirmed his Marxist beliefs. Shortly afterwards, however, he made a sharp and sudden turn from Trotskyism to conservative views. A gulf developed between him and the Left in the Brazilian intellectual and political scene, during the demise of the military dictatorship and after, with Francis hurling insults from New York at various academics and politicians, and especially at the Workers' Party, which in the post-dictatorship democracy quickly became the dominant Brazilian leftist party. According to one of his critics, he chose his targets carefully and used the most sordid adjectives, having as his choicest targets leaders of popular movements, the Left, specially the WP, but also writers and scholars, whom he smeared by name.
Francis' shift, rooted in what was a late 1970s general intellectual frustration with the Left, had nevertheless also personal reasons, on which later scholars differed: Media scholar Kucinski talks about disenchantment and alienation; some fellow journalists propose plain objective interest, noting that Francis, in the early 1980s, had lobbied covertly in his column for private business interests. Others argue for vanity at hobnobbing with Establishment figures. He was also criticised for having little understanding of the Brazilian realities, commenting on Brazil while living abroad – as well as feigning an acquaintance with the New York intellectual milieu which, according to the same critics, he didn't actually possess and whose lack he always resented.
Other authors, however, such as historian Isabel Lustosa, have a different explanation: as a Left intellectual, Francis had already nurtured a deep-seated cultural elitism, as well as a loathing for the emergence of the so-called new social movements, a loathing expressed, for instance, in his lifelong misogyny. His uncompromising anti-feminism caused him to be snubbed by the American poetess Adrienne Rich. Around this elitist streak, possibly developed as a result of a superficial reading of Frankfurt School's authors critique of the Culture Industry, Francis developed his notion of leftism as, above all a means to an end: the social modernization and political democratization of Brazilian society – which ultimately meant embracing mainstream American values and American culture. In Lustosa's words, Francis' opposition to an autarkic Brazilian cultural nationalism was such as to eventually decide him to be "rather the last in the Court than the first in the backwater". Even before the 1964 military coup, Francis had decided to support Goulart's government only to the extent that Goulart stood for a modernizing agenda, in which "the populist politico of yesterday became the historical agent of today". In short, Francis' leftism was but a tool for Westernization.
During the early 1980s, Francis had behaved condescendingly towards the then emerging Workers' Party leader Lula, whom he had described as a supporter of business-as-usual trade unionism, with whom "even Ronald Reagan would agree". In the late 1980s, however, he would develop suspicions before what he saw as the WP's increasing radicalism, which, associated to his usual misanthropy ("by my aristocratic calling I mean setting strict bounds to sympathies for my neighbors"), led him eventually to express a fear that the emergence of a grassroots, mass, trade-union-based and anti-intellectual Left such as that which the Workers' Party represented, meant the risk that Brazil and the Brazilians could distance themselves from "our cultural heritage [sic] which is the Illuminist West, the USA, our North American peers in size, which since Franklin Roosevelt want us to be their South American partners". His increasing disgust with Brazilian society at large, fostered by the failure of the Left to prevent the 1964 military coup as well as his growing sense of alienation from Brazilian politics, also could have had a role at his ideological volteface. Even in the 1960s, commenting on a novel by his friend Carlos Heitor Cony, Francis had pondered on the incompatibility between the activity of the intellectuals and general Brazilian society. In a way, Francis' political rightward shift was an emotional rejection of the backwardness which he came to identify with all things Brazilian ("the climate abominable, the culture a desert, the food excessive and wretched, the political environment unbearable"). Such an a priori rejection, as it was, needed not be very elaborate: in a 1994 interview, Francis offered as a reason for his shift a 1970s trip to the American Midwest, "the industrial center of the country" where he allegedly had seen "nothing to equal it, in the way of progress and workers' welfare".
These and similar views grounded opinions such as the one that was to be expressed, in one of Francis' obituaries, by his late political friend, financial tsar and former Minister of Planning of the Castelo Branco military administration Roberto Campos: Francis' columns were intellectually worthless, but made nevertheless good propaganda; they were "a weird bouquet of [...] economic guesswork" but nevertheless a good "boxing for ideas". Francis' views were actually very simple, consisting in an extreme and shallow variety of Marxist historicism-cum-Reaganian supply-side economics: in order to liberate the forces of production and develop Brazil, it was, in his view, necessary "to surrender the country to people who want and know how to make money – private capital". An essay published in 1985, O Brasil no Mundo, identifying Brazilian authoritarianism with an absence of Capitalism, expressed this ideological shift. In his last book, Trinta Anos Esta Noite (1994), a memoir published on the 30th anniversary of the 1964 coup, he would argue that a socialist transformation of Brazilian society at the time was unachievable, and that Brazil should develop into the American sphere of influence. Notwithstanding his jagged relationship with the various post-dictatorship Brazilian presidencies (specially those of Fernando Collor and Fernando Henrique Cardoso) , the fact is that the later Francis' neoliberal commitment was never directed towards a particular government, but towards an ideal of government.
Such ideas would eventually express themselves in a kind of bigotry with ever more markedly racist overtones, directed against "Mediterranean peoples, blacks, poor folk of all hues, Northeastern Brazilians". This trend began with a 1988 column directed against the then Workers' Party candidate to the São Paulo mayorship Luiza Erundina, a female from rural Northeastern Brazil whom he described as a "beefy gentleman", a "hottie", and whose prospects of winning the election he described with a Joseph Conrad quote ("the horror, the horror"). This kind of abuse eventually procured Francis a doubtful fame, built around his various scandalous smears, such as when he expressed his desire to have the WP MP-cum-unionist, the Afro-Brazilian Vicentinho, "whipped as a slave". In another of his pithy statements, he stated that "the discovery [sic] of the clarinet by Mozart was a greater contribution than anything Africa gave us until today". When President Fernando Collor created a Ya̧nomamö Park in Brazil, he wrote that this was the gesture of someone who gave "land in abundance" to a people who "weren't even of use as slaves". In a 1990s column, he would write – in a statement described as "insensitive" by an American historian – that "Brazilian political problems stemmed from the stranglehold of northeastern elites".
TV celebrity (1979–97)
Paulo Francis was attacked by many of his former associates, and the number of disputes in which he became involved heightened his fame as a controversial journalist. Many of these polemics became, in themselves, pop culture events, as with the show of mutual animosity between him and the popular composer Caetano Veloso. From 1979 on, he worked as a TV commentator for Rede Globo—something that was in itself a telling proof of his political shift, as he had during the dictatorship charged the Globo boss Roberto Marinho with manipulating information in order to have him banished from Brazil. He also sustained a heated dispute with the newspaper ombudsman of Folha de São Paulo Caio Túlio Costa—mostly over Francis' repeated insulting of Lula as the WP's presidential candidate for the incoming 1989 elections. What Costa objected to was mostly Francis's description of Lula as "[an individual] named after an octopus and an [association football] Left winger, a half-illiterate with the discreet charm of the Proletariat". Costa also pointed to Francis' racism Francis left the Folha during 1991 and began writing his column for the O Estado de São Paulo.
In one of his later Folha columns, Francis offered support for then President-elect Fernando Collor, whom he described as "tall, comely and white – Western white. It's the image of Brazil with which I was raised". In another, late 1990 piece, he described an altercation between him and a black waiter at the Plaza Hotel Palm Court restaurant, concluding with the remark that "I thought about a whip. I'm thinking very much of whips lately [...] it's astonishing to have a nigger [crioulo] at the Palm Court, and a crude one to boot". As his posthumous editor remarks, "[Francis'] ensuing years were not to be very different from that".
Concentrating afterwards on his activities as a television commentator, Francis quickly became a pop culture phenomenon, playing the persona of the pundit always ready to offer a stinging comment in a basso voice—earning him various impersonators on Brazilian TV. This public persona, regarded by some as a caricature of himself, was often criticised as having a less-than-ideal regard for truth: according to an anecdote told by one of his friends, when Francis was still working for Folha de São Paulo, one reporter, charged with revising his column, approached the then editor-in-chief of the paper, Boris Casoy, saying that "Francis' numbers do not check with truth", to which the editor – known for his rightist political stands – replied "Sonny, it's your numbers that must check with reality; Francis' numbers needn't". In his last years, Francis' activity as commentator centered on the cable TV weekly show Manhattan Connection, where he commented on the current issues, in what was described by a colleague as "three journalists striving uselessly at containing Francis' arrogant and overweening personality, allowing him eventually to have always the last word and to make wild guesses on everything".
Final disputes and death
His style – "a permanent diarrhea of insults, an opera-like performance of a bomber in the service of a single cause- his own" eventually caused lasting grudges. Francis was sued repeatedly in Brazilian courts for libel, to no avail. In early 1996, he was attacked bitterly by the anthropologist and then senator Darcy Ribeiro, who, reacting to Francis' disparaging comments on a bill he had presented on the restructuring of Brazil's education system, called him a neogringo and charged him with lobbying for private universities' interests: in Ribeiro's words, Francis was well aware of the fact that what he offered as "news" was actually a task on behalf of interest groups. Late this year, an entire book was published listing and describing various cases of his supposed plagiarisms and abuses.
The last controversial act in which Paulo Francis was involved was an early 1997 attack, on cable TV, on the management of Brazilian state-owned oil corporation Petrobras as dishonest. Francis also claimed that its directors had US$50 million stashed in a Swiss bank account. After Francis’ statements, Petrobras’ management sued him for libel in an American court, which was possible because the show was broadcast in the US to Brazilian cable TV subscribers. Soon after, he suffered a fatal heart attack and died in New York on February 4, 1997. He was buried in Rio de Janeiro, and is survived by his wife, fellow journalist Sonia Nolasco.
According to his personal friend, political columnist Élio Gaspari, Francis had approached then-senator José Serra, who supposedly asked President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to see that the directors of Petrobras drop the lawsuit against Francis—to no avail, President Cardoso chose to say nothing.
Francis left a divided legacy, as his Leftist critics and Rightist admirers disagreed on the overall evaluation of his career. For the Left, his was a sad tale of betrayal of the leftist culture of the 1950s, and of the 1960s Brazilian intelligentsia in which he was nurtured, for the sake of success in the Cultural Industry. In a Berlin-held congress of scholars on Brazilian intellectuals, papers written on him by Kucinski and Lustosa were almost rejected "as his condition as an intellectual was regarded as doubtful". Some said that, even in his leftist phase, his elitism was already evident, specially in the way he used his supposed erudition as a commodity, for the sake of exerting an authoritarian influence on the cultural debate. Another scholar even coined the expression that, as an individual, Francis had left empty an informal "chair" for journalistic histrionics, for which various columnists competed, to the exclusion of serious journalism. Conversely, his late conservative friends and admirers – as well as some of his remaining leftist friends – praised him heartily for his stylistic and satirical qualities, (in short: his public persona). They downplayed his more controversial statements and praised his clarity in admitting openly the demise of his earlier leftist ideals.
- Opinião Pessoal (Cultura e Política) (essays, 1966)
- Certezas da Dúvida (essays, 1970)
- Nixon x McGovern – As Duas Américas (essay, 1972)
- Paulo Francis Nu e Cru (newspaper articles, 1976)
- Cabeça de Papel (novel, 1977)
- Paulo Francis – Uma Coletânea de Seus Melhores Textos Já Publicados (collection of columns, 1978)
- Cabeça de Negro (novel, 1979)
- O Afeto Que Se Encerra (memoir, 1980)
- Filhas do Segundo Sexo (novellas, 1982)
- O Brasil no Mundo (essay, 1985)
- Trinta Anos Esta Noite – 1964: O Que Vi e Vivi (essay, 1994)
- Waaal – O Dicionário da Corte de Paulo Francis (anthology of sayings, 1996)
- Carne Viva (novel, 2008)
- Diário da Corte (collection of Folha de São Paulo columns, Nelson de Sá, org., 2012)
- Ana Carolina D Escosteguy,org. Cultura midiática e tecnologias do imaginário: metodologias e pesquisas.Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, 2005, ISBN 85-7430-505-7 , p. 185.
- Isabel Lustosa, As trapaças da sorte, p. 251
- Francis, O afeto que se encerra, memoir, quoted by Kucinski, Paulo Francis, pg.92
- Kucinski, "Paulo francis", 89
- "I must say that for a man with Francis' abilities and world-views it was very difficult to be an actor"-Paschoal Carlos Magno, 1973 interview, reprinted in Jaguar and Sergio Augusto,orgs. O Pasquim- Antologia: Vol.III, 1973–1974, p. 101
- Quoted by Lustosa, Trapaças da Sorte, 252
- Cf. Alexandre Torres Fonseca, "Paulo Francis, do Teatro à Política: 'Perdoa-me por me traíres'", M.Sc. dissertation, History Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2001, pg.41; Francis later used to say that he had "refused" to write a thesis under Bentley's sponsorship, as well as receiving a PhD in Political Science at Indiana State University during the 1970s, out of "tedium and a lack of respect" for academic life – apud Torres Fonseca, Paulo Francis, do Teatro à Política, 41
- Isabel Lustosa, As Trapaças da Sorte, 258/260.
- Kucinski, Paulo Francis, 87
- Maria Rita Kehl, quoted by Kucinski, Paulo Francis, p.82
- Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva, O adiantado da hora: a influência americana sobre o jornalismo brasileiro. São Paulo: Summus, 1990, p. 109
- Paulo Markun, ed., O melhor do Roda Viva. São Paulo, Conex, 2005, Volume 2, ISBN 85-7594-055-4, p. 115
- Various examples are offered in support of this thesis: in an article purporting to offer a list of masterworks of world literature, available at , Francis lists Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War and then goes on to describe the Athenian demagogue Cleon as a Spartan leader – or Führer, to be precise...(site accessed May 11, 2011)
- In another famous mistake, Francis wrote, in a critique of the film Tora! Tora! Tora!, that Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto had been present at the preview of the film – a mistake so gross that "Yamamoto" became for a time a slang for silly journalistic mistake: cf. Paulo Eduardo Nogueira, Paulo Francis, p. 96
- Kucinski, op.cit., pg.85
- Kucinski, Paulo Francis, 85
- Lustosa, As Trapaças da Sorte, 257
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 89
- Maria Silvia Betti, "Critica norte-americana e debate cultural no teatro brasileiro da década de 196/70:apontamentos introdutórios". Aurora 1:2007, available at 
- "A arte de dirigir 1", Diário Carioca, July 29, 1961, as quoted by George Moura, Paulo Francis: o Soldado fanfarrão, pg.62
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 90
- Moura, O Soldado Fanfarrão
- Cf. Kucinski, "Paulo Francis",84
- Globo.com site, available at , accessed May 6, 2011
- Lucy Niemeyer & Cibele Bustamante, "Revista Senhor e suas Cores".ARCOS DESIGN 4, January 2009, available at . Accessed May 5, 2011
- José Salvador Faro, Revista Realidade, 1966–1968: tempo da reportagem na imprensa brasileira. Porto Alegre: ULBRA, 1999, ISBN 85-85692-66-9 , pp. 81/82
- Benjamin Moser, Why this world: a biography of Clarice Lispector. Oxford University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-19-538556-4 , p. 243
- Eliane Fátima Corti Basso, "Revista Senhor: Jornalismo cultural". UNIrevista – Vol. 1, n° 3 : (July 2006). Available at . Accessed May 11, 2011
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", pgs. 87/88
- On Francis' Última Hora column, see Alexandre Torres Fonseca, Paulo Francis: do teatro à política
- Torres Fonseca, Paulo Francis, Chapter 2
- Francis, Trinta Anos esta noite, apud Cássio Silva Moreira, O projeto de nação do governo João Goulart : o plano trienal e as reformas de base (1961–1964), p. 332, PhD thesis, UFRGS, 2011, available at . Accessed February 11, 2011
- Samuel Wainer, Minha Razão de Viver. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1987, p.245
- Geneton Moraes Neto, Dossiê Gabeira. Rio de Janeiro: Globo Livros, 2013, available at . Retrieved May 27 2014
- Cf. Globo.com site
- Globo.com website; Paulo Francis, "Duas ou três coisas que sei de mim". O Pasquim, issue 102, june 1971, reprint IN Jaguar & Sérgio Augusto, eds. O Pasquim: 1969–1971, número 1 ao 150. São Paulo: Desiderata, 2006, p. 210
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 91 – in the original Yiddish.
- Folha de São Paulo, February 4th. 1997, available at . Accessed May 5, 2011
- During the 1960s, Francis would sponsor the publication, by Editora Civilização Brasileira, of a Portuguese translation of Isaac Deutscher's biographic trilogy on Trotsky: cf. Luiz Renato Vieira, Consagrados e malditos: os intelectuais e a Editora Civilização Brasileira, Brasilia, 1998, Thesaurus, p. 84, note 34
- Lustosa, Trapaças da Sorte, 255. Mowincklel was a Princeton Graduate and OSS veteran, according to his 2003 obituary published in Princeton Alumni Weekly, , acecessed May 7, 2011
- According to Globo.com website, available at , Francis won this fellowship thanks to the sponsorship of publisher and businessman Fernando Gasparian.
- Since Francis' fellowship did not yield any publicy acknowledged results, a later historian offers a suspicion that it could be an academic facade to a project wont "at contributing for imperial [i.e. US] policies for counter-insurgency" – Lúcia Maria Wanderley Neves, org., Direita para o Social e Esquerda para o Capital: Intelectuais da Nova Pedagogia da Hegemonia no Brasil. São Paulo: Xamã, 2010, quoted by Alexandre Blankl Batista, "Paulo Francis e o cenário político-ideológico de 1989", Anais do XXVI Simpósio Nacional de História – ANPUH, São Paulo, julho 2011, p. 3, footnote 2
- Francis, Tribuna da Imprensa column, quoted at "Newspapers abroad hit Kissinger, McGovern" -The Daily Register, Middletown, April 5, 1972, available at 
- "O Apocalipse, segundo Francis Ford Coppola". 26 August 1979 column, reproduced in Nelson de Sá, org., Diário da Corte, São Paulo: Três Estrelas, 2012, ISBN 978-85-65339-02-5 , p. 84
- Claudio Abramo, A Regra do Jogo. São Paulo: Cia. das Letras, 1988, ISBN 85-7164-015-7, p. 89
- "A mal amada língua que falamos", September 11, 1982 column, Diário da Corte, 150
- "Vi e não gostei", April 10, 1977 column, Diário da Corte, 45
- "O'Neil ficou, e quem mais...", November 26, 1983 column, Diário da Corte, 180/181.
- "John Updike, um talentoso escritor sem nenhum caráter", October 16, 1982 column, Diário da Corte, 153
- Diário da Corte, 45 – on Annie Hall. Francis had an ambivalent reacion towards Allen, which could be summarized in a comment prompted by Hannah and Her Sisters: "The true artist disturbs his public [...] Allen, well, is brilliant, a comedian of genius, but he doesn't hurt"[não tira pedaço] – May 17, 1986 column, Diário da Corte, 241
- João Luiz Lafetá, Antonio Arnoni Prado: A dimensão da noite: e outros ensaios. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2004, ISBN 85-7326-309-1 , p. 479
- In Francis' own words, in a 1970 article, realist regionalism could not "offer guidelines to the imagination of the 1970s, [concerned as it is] with the industrial-technological complex that shapes future society" – quoted by Heloísa Buarque de Holanda & Marco Augusto Gonçalves, "A Ficção da Realidade Brasileira", IN Adauto Novaes, org., Anos' 70- Ainda Sob a Tempestade, São Paulo: Aeroplano/SENAC, 2005, ISBN 85-86579-63-7 , pp. 97/98
- Paulo Francis, "Romance- uma saída para o populismo literário de Jorge Amado", 28 August 1977 column, Diário da Corte, 54
- Diário da Corte, 148
- Vinicius Torres Freire, "Super-homens nos botecos do Leblon", Folha de São Paulo, 2/4/2007
- Mário Augusto Medeiros da Silva, Os escritores da guerrilha urbana: literatura de testemunho, ambivalência e transição política, 1977–1984. São Paulo: Annablume/FAPESP, 2008, ISBN 978-85-7419-826-2, p. 159, note 45; Angel Rama & Carlos Sánchez Lozano, Crítica literaria y utopía en América Latina. Medellín: Editorial Universidad de Antioquia, 2006, ISBN 958-655-902-5 , p. 107
- Janete Gaspar Machado, Romances brasileiros nos anos setenta. Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 1981, page 92
- Silvano Santiago & Ana Lucia Gazzola, The space in-between: essays on Latin American culture. Duke University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8223-2749-X , p. 117
- Otto Maria Carpeaux, "Francis's fun fair", Veja,issue 468, August 24, 1977.
- Veja, issue 570. August 8, 1979.
- Kucinski, Paulo Francis, p.87.
- Torres Freire, "Super-homens".
- Maurício Osório Krebs, "A estratégia da narrativa memorialística de Paulo Francis", Letrônica, Porto Alegre v.3, n.1, jul. 2010, available at . Accessed May 11, 2011
- Azevedo, Francesca Batista de Azevedo & Cunha, João Manuel dos Santos: "Cabeça de Papel, Papel da Cabeça em Tempos de Repressão Social e Política". Paper available at  Accessed May 12, 2011
- João Luiz Lafetá, A dimensão da noite: e outros ensaios. São Paulo: Duas Cidades/Editora 34, 2004, ISBN 85-235-0038-3 , p. 480
- "[Francis'] phrasing is extremely shocking, [in that] it is grammatically ill-construed, its syntax completely irregular, with oral language deformed under the influence of a foreign language. And with all this he forges a 'badly written' language in academic terms, which at the same time stands as highly elaborate in its context, as it tries to reproduce newspaper lingo" – Davi Arriguci Jr., quoted by Cristiane Costa, Pena de Aluguel: Escritores Jornalistas no Brasil, 1904–2004, p. 141
- interview, Getúlio, March 2009 issue, available at . Accessed December 4, 2011
- Malcolm Silverman, Protesto e o Novo Romance Brasileiro, Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2000, revised edition, ISBN 85-200-0495-4 , p.329
- Kucinski, Paulo Francis, p.87; in the words of Francis' friend, fellow journalist and culture critic Sergio Augusto: "ex-communists are people who feel betrayed, and [Francis] from [sometime on] started to react as the victim of a treason" – quoted by Marcos Augusto Gonçalves, "10 anos sem Francis", Folha de São Paulo, February 4th. 2007, reissued in Observatório da Imprensa site, available at . Accessed May 12, 2011.
- "Children of the Second Sex is unworth of attention" – Cristiane Costa, Pena de Aluguel, 360, footnote 19
- Paulo Francis, Carne Viva, ed. by Sonia Nolasco Heilborn, Rio de Janeiro, Editora Francis, 2008, ISBN 978-85-89362-79-5
- Vinícius Torres Freire, "Memórias de um esnobismo kitsch e clichê", Folha de São Paulo, March 6th, 2008
- Cf. Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 87/88
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 86
- "The modern Left must undergo a deep revision after happenings in China, Kampuchea, Vietnam and the Third World in general, not to speak of the unpalatable presence of the USSR" – Francis, August the 1st. 1979 column, Diário da Corte, 81
- Kucinski maintains that the reason for Francis' ideological shift should be sought in the 1978 South Lebanon conflict, as only Francis' shock before the leniency of liberal American media towards oppression of the Palestinians could explain his self destruction as a journalist – cf. Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", pg. 91. And, indeed, Francis, in his August the 1st. 1979 Folha de São Paulo column, had actually charged the editors of The New York Review of Books with "publishing each and every prattle by Soviet dissidents , riding on the canoes of Vietnamese boat people [...] and not saying what Israel is" – Diário da Corte, 79
- Kucinski compares Francis to Glauber Rocha and the composer Geraldo Vandré, in that all three had to flee Brazil during the repression bout of the 1970s, suffering then a process "of intellectual uprooting [...] that led them to various degrees of mental confusion" (Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", pg. 89)
- José Carlos de Assis, A Dupla Face da Corrupção, reproduced in the Observatório da Imprensa newssite, , accessed May 12, 2011; Nirlando Beirão, Revista Brasileiros, issue 32
- "Vain as he was, Francis enchanted himself with the small world in which he lived in New York – invitations to lunch soaked with the best wines, passing-by politicos, the powerful ones' praise. As an infant, I used to be warned about 'keeping bad company', so I cannot understand how Francis could let himself be enthralled by figures such as Paulo Maluf" – Sérgio Augusto, interviewed by Beirão, Revista Brasileiros, 32.
- Moreira Alves, apud O Globo, 5 February 1997
- "Francis was a contrived provincial, who actually lived in New York as a nonentity" – Juremir M. da Silva, Revista Press and Advertising, issue 125, available at  Accessed May 12, 2011
- See, e.g., his 6 November 1977 Folha de São Paulo column, "Como vivem os ricos", Diário da Corte, 63/66
- Rachel Soihet, "Mockery as a conservative instrument among libertarians: Pasquim's antifeminism". Revista Estudos Feministas, vol.13 no.3, Sept./Dec. 2005, available at . Accessed May 12, 2011
- Commenting on the Brazilian film Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Francis would approvingly remark that "portraying a woman fond of an exploiting, spanking male partner [...] is to be [intelectually] subversive to the highest degree". March 14, 1978 column, Diário da Corte, 72
- In Francis' own words:"[Adrienne] had written in the New York Review that female submission is so ancient as to be thought of as normal. I replied her that there are centuries and millenia-old accounts of slave and peasant uprisings[...] but that I had never heard of a female uprising [....] She replied to me that women had no awareness of themselves, then. Then it's not the same thing, I replied. But Rich, in a very américaine gesture, started talking to another person". Paulo Francis, O Pasquim, issue 202, May 1973, reprinted in Jaguar and Sergio Augusto,orgs. O Pasquim- Antologia: Vol.III, 1973–1974, p. 40
- Jorge Alberto Benitz , "Um belo (e honesto) documentário". Observatório da Imprensa site, 28th February 2012, available at 
- In Francis' particular interpretation of the Trotsky's concept of Permanent Revolution the world socialist revolution would succeed only when (and if) it reached "leader" countries: Francis, O Afeto que se encerra. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1980, p. 55; as to the mix between Americanism and Marxism in the Brazilian 1960s Left, see, e.g., Raimundo Santos , Um itinerário intelectual no marxismo brasileiro, Gramsci e o Brasil site, available at 
- Isabel Lustosa, As trapaças da sorte,262
- Francis, quoted by Marco Antonio Villa, Jango: um perfil (1945–1964). São Paulo: Globo, 2004, ISBN 85-250-3742-7 , p. 207
- "Viagem, teste que não deve ser ignorado". February 11, 1981 column, Diário da Corte", 136
- "Prefeitos de São Paulo e Rio", August 16, 1985 column, Diário da Corte, 227/228
- "Não quero saber da sua vida", 8 May 1978 column, Diário da Corte, 74
- "Lamúrias da Galeria", February the 3rd. 1990 column, Diário da Corte, 347, quoted by E. Valentine Daniel & Jeffrey M. Peck, eds. Culture/contexture: explorations in anthropology and literary studies.Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996, ISBN 0-520-08446-0 , p. 237
- Commenting on a broadcast of a session of the post-dictatorship Brazilian Congress, he would write that "the males had the looks of crooks, while the few females present had the appearance of harbour stew hookers". Quoted in D'Escoteguy, Cultura Midiática, 190
- Nancy T. Baden, The muffled cries: the writer and literature in authoritarian Brazil, 1964–1985. University Press of America, 1999, ISBN 978-0-7618-1420-7 ,p. 40
- Apud Veja, issue 570, August 8, 1979
- Veja, issue 1,333, March 30, 1994
- Due to his business-friendly policies, Campos had been one of Francis' most enduring bêtes noires, about whom he had written, on his June 25, 1983 column, that "anything is preferable to [Campos'] pedantry, his self-satisfaction masquerading as bonhomie [...] his feral face" (Diário da Corte, 165). Less than two years later, Francis suddenly was to state, on his 9 February 1985 column, that Campos was an unsung champion of the Free Market, as well as of "the entry of capital and technology our miserable country so direly needs": Diário da Corte, 209
- O Globo, 9 February 1997
- O Estado de São Paulo, April 25, 1991
- Daniel Piza, "Paulo Francis, o texto que fica", Revista Cult 1 February 2007, , Accessed May 9, 2011
- cf. Paulo Eduardo Nogueira, Paulo Francis, 107/108
- Blankl Batista, 12
- However, Afro-Brazilian activist Abdias do Nascimento described Francis as racist already in the late 1950s, remembering that, while staging the play Pedro Mico by Antonio Callado, he had the Black protagonist played by an actor in stove black: Nascimento, Brazil, mixture or massacre?: essays in the genocide of a Black people. Dover, MT: First Majority Press, 1989, ISBN 0-912469-26-9 , p. 165
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 92
- arreitada- Northeastern slang for sexually aroused
- Ivo Patarra, O Governo Luiza Erundina. São Paulo: Geração Editorial, 1996, p. 443
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", pg. 87
- Quoted by Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 92
- Geoffrey O'Connor, Amazon journal: dispatches from a vanishing frontier. New York: Penguin (Plume Book), 1997, ISBN 978-0-525-94113-2 , p.302
- Robert M. Levine, Brazilian legacies. Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe, 1997, ISBN 0-7656-0009-9 , p. 157
- Charles A. Perrone, Christopher Dunn, eds.Brazilian popular music & globalization. New York: Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0-415-93695-0, p. 97
- In itself, the polemic developed about Veloso's participation in a Mick Jagger interview broadcast on Brazilian TV: grudging Veloso his capital of intellectual influence, Francis considered him to have been "mocked" by Jagger (June 25, 1983 column, Diário da Corte, 165); to which Veloso reacted by saying casually that "those closet gays (bonecas travadas) are terrible": Folha de São Paulo, July 31, 2007 online edition, available at . Retrieved June the 18th. 2012
- Paulo Francis, "Um homem chamado porcaria", O Pasquim, 14 January 1971. In the article, Francis denounced the fact of his having been listed, during one of his imprisonments, in Marinho's paper O Globo, as one of the political prisoners that should be freed abroad in exchange for the release of the German ambassador to Brazil, who had been kidnapped and held hostage by underground leftist guerrillas -such "ransomed" prisoners being mandatorily deprived of their Brazilian citizenship. The virulence of the attack was evident already at Francis' titling of it ("A man called refuse"), but also in the design of the caption, drawn by the cartoonist Jaguar, where the letters of the word "refuse" (porcaria) were sketched as fly-decked faeces, with an additional sketch besides of the weekly's mascot, the mouse Sig, vomiting heartily: cf.Claudio Julio Tognolli , "Roberto Marinho(1904–2003):K-Pax ou signos em rotação". Observatório da Imprensa newsite, . Accessed May 12, 2011
- "Lula" is the Portuguese for "squid".
- apud Caio Túlio Costa, Ombudsman: O Relogio de Pascal. São Paulo, Geração Editorial, 2006, ISBN 85-7509-152-2 , p. 116; Lula himself reacted at the time in a cavalier fashion, by simply stating that "Francis has been living abroad far too long" to say anything proper about the ongoing campaign: Diário da Corte, 350, editor's footnote 140
- In one of his columns at the time, Costa wrote that "if [Francis'] prejudices were taken to the letter, and punished according to the statute book, he would now be serving more than a hundred-year term in jail" – Caio Túlio Costa, Folha de S. Paulo, February 18, 1990
- "Collor de Mello", January 27, 1990, Diário da Corte, 345
- "Um dia em Noviorque", September 29, 1990 column, Diário da Corte, 373/374
- Nelson de Sá, Foreword to Diário da Corte, 16
- In his TV commentaries, Francis raised intonation at the last word of each sentence – allowing even children to imitate him: Marcio Poetsch Ferreira, A Retórica do Título e o Polemismo: O Desafio da Conquista da Atenção do Público Leitor no Contexto da Comunidade Blogueira. M.Sc. Dissertation, 2009, PUC-RS, available at . Accessed May 11, 2011, p. 16
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 93
- As told by Aluisio Maranhão to documentary-maker Nelson Hoineff, cf. O Globo, 20 January 2010, available at . Accessed May 12, 2011
- Moacir Werneck de Castro, "Versões de Paulo Francis", Jornal do Brasil, February 11, 1997, available at . Accessed June 25, 2012
- Nirlando Beirão, "Paulo Francis, o Homem Bomba"
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 94
- Darcy Ribeiro,"Mr. Heilborn". IN Crônicas Brasileiras, Rio de Janeiro: Desiderata, 2009, ISBN 978-85-99070-91-8 , p. 75
- Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 94/95
- Folha de S. Paulo, May 5 2013, . Retrieved May 26 2014
- Cf. Élio Gaspari, "Parabéns, Dr. Joel Rennó, o Sr. matou Paulo Francis" – syndicated column published in Folha de S.Paulo, 5 February 1997. Francis was regarded by the Cardoso government as notoriously unreliable; when Cardoso's Minister of Communications Sergio Motta made a trip to the USA in order to canvass American corporate support for privatization of public enterprises, he was briefed by his team that he should talk personally to Francis "in order to prevent him from saying anything stupid" on broadcast – cf. José Prata, Sergio Motta: O Trator em Ação. São Paulo: Geração Editorial, 1999, ISBN 86-86028-83-5 ,p.188
- For Kucinski, "Paulo Francis", 89, Francis had the "luck of being born in the right place and grow up in the best moment [as] he could go round a corner and run across Jaguar, around another and across Jorge Amado, he would sip a coffee with Millor Fernandes or [the editor] Ênio Silveira. He learnt his Trotskyism from Mário Pedrosa and had Oscar Niemeyer as his scenographer".
- See, e.g., the scathing appreciations of his by the historian Mario Maestri, "O Intelectual Raivoso",  and by the journalist Moacir Werneck de Castro, "Versões de Paulo Francis", as well as the later comments by his former colleague at TV Globo Paulo Henrique Amorim, available at . Links accessed May 13, 2011
- Lígia Chiappini Moraes Leite, Antônio Dimas, Berthold Zilly, orgs., Brasil, país do passado?. São Paulo: Boitempo, 2000, p. 20
- "One realizes that nothing was easier for Francis than to let his reactionary strivings run loose. It's visible how natural sound his racist, sexist and rightist remarks by watching his TV broadcasts, specially when he was not aware of his being recorded" – Jorge Alberto Benitz , "Um belo (e honesto) documentário"
- In the words of another later journalistic commentator, Francis' critiques were "colonized, pretentious, heralding a supposed knowledge that frequently proved devoid of consistency, [as well as] offering a a welter of references [...] ungrounded in anything in the way of an original interpretation". Francisco Bosco, O Globo June 20, 2012
- Wellington Pereira, "Jornalismo cultural: procedimentos pedagógicos". Paper, available at . Accessed May 13, 2011
- Fernando Lattman-Weltman, "A 'Era Lula' e a 'Grande Imprensa': crônica de uma relação viciada". revistafaac, Bauru, v. 1, n. 1, abr./set. 2011.Available online at . Retrieved June the 21st. 2012
- Cf., e,g, the tribute offered by Millor Fernandes, Veja, issue 2,025, 12 September 2007, as well as the comments on a recent documentary directed by Nelson Hoineff: ; ; .Links accessed May 13, 2011
- Costa, Cristiane – Pena de Aluguel: Escritores Jornalistas no Brasil, 1904–2004, São Paulo: Cia. das Letras, 2005, ISBN 85-359-0663-0
- D'Escoteguy, Ana Carolina,org – Cultura midiática e tecnologias do imaginário: metodologias e pesquisas.Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, 2005, ISBN 85-7430-505-7
- Jaguar& Augusto,Sérgio, orgs. O Pasquim- Antologia: Vol.III, 1973–1974. Rio de Janeiro: Desiderata, 2009, ISBN 978-85-99070-54-3 .
- Kucinski, Bernardo – "Paulo Francis: uma tragédia brasileira", IN A Síndrome da Antena Parabólica, São Paulo: Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, 1998, ISBN 85-86469-12-2.
- Lustosa, Isabel – As trapaças da sorte: ensaios de história política e de história cultural. Belo Horizonte: UFMG, 2004, ISBN 85-7041-405-6 .
- Moura, George – Paulo Francis: o Soldado fanfarrão, Rio de Janeiro, Objetiva, 2nd. edition, 1996, ISBN 85-7302-089-X.
- Nogueira, Paulo Eduardo – Paulo Francis: polemista profissional. São Paulo: Imprensa Oficial, 2010, ISBN 978-85-7060-761-4
- Batista, Alexandre Blankl – "Paulo Francis e o cenário político-ideológico de 1989: Análise do discurso sobre "o fim do socialismo no leste europeu" e "o perigo Lula" no processo político-eleitoral brasileiro daquele ano", Anais do XXVI Simpósio Nacional de História – ANPUH, São Paulo, julho 2011
- Beirão, Nirlando – "Paulo Francis, o homem-bomba". Revista Brasileiros, 32, March 2010 .Accessed June 21, 2012
- Freire, Vinicius Torres – "Super-homens nos botecos do Leblon", Folha de São Paulo, 2/4/2007, available on line at .Accessed May 9, 2011.
- Fonseca, Alexandre Torres – "Paulo Francis, do Teatro à Política: 'Perdoa-me por me traíres'", M.Sc. dissertation, History Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2001, available for download at www.dominiopublico.gov.br as Adobe Acrobat document, . Accessed May 10, 2011
- Memória Globo – Globo.com – Perfis – Paulo Francis, . Accessed May 7, 2011