|Born||Raul d'Ávila Pompeia
12 May 1863
Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Died||25 December 1895
Rio de Janeiro City, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Occupation||novelist, short story writer, chronicler|
|Literary movement||Realism; Naturalism; Impressionism|
|Notable works||O Ateneu|
He is patron of the 33rd chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
Pompeia was born in 1863, to Antônio d'Ávila Pompeia and Rosa Teixeira Pompeia. As a young man, he entered the Colégio Abílio, run by the Baron of Macaúbas, Abílio César Borges, where he was a good student, and the editor of school journal O Archote. In 1879, he was transferred to Colégio Pedro II, where he wrote his first book, Uma Tragédia no Amazonas.
In 1881 he moves to São Paulo in order to graduate in Law, where he was influenced by the Abolitionist and Republican ideals, and befriended Abolitionist Luís Gama. He wrote for many journals of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, frequently under pen name Rapp, but he had many others, such as Pompeu Stell, Um moço do povo, Lauro, Fabricius, Raul D., Raulino Palma. He published his book Canções Sem Metro and the novel As Joias da Coroa in the Jornal do Commercio.
After the Lei Áurea was proclaimed, Pompeia dedicated himself exclusively to the Republicanism. And after the republic was proclaimed in Brazil, he became Mythology teacher in the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes and director of the National Library of Brazil, being named for both positions by Brazilian president Floriano Peixoto. However, as a die-hard florianista, he was eventually fired from his post by President Prudente de Morais, towards whom he was charged with disrespect in a speech he made at the burial of Floriano Peixoto, who had died untimely shortly after the end of his presidential term. He had already been personally slandered for his allegedly closet homosexuality — something which led him to challenge his former friend, the poet Olavo Bilac, to a duel in 1892; he had also broken other friendships in the same resounding fashion. Eventually, he suffered a fatal breakdown: after being slandered for his Floriano speech in a piece by journalist Luís Murat entitled "A Madman in the Cemetery", feeling himself scorned everywhere, he killed himself on Christmas, 1895.
- The Athaeneum. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015.
- Braga-Pinto, César,"The Honor of the Abolitionist and the Shamefulness of Slavery: Raul Pompeia, Luiz Gama and Joaquim Nabuco." Luso-Brazilian Review. 51(2), Dec. 2014. 170-199.
- Braga-Pinto, César, “Darwinism, Max Nordau and Raul Pompeia’s Struggle for Existence.” Foreword to The Athaeneum. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015. p. vii-xvii.
|Portuguese Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Raul Pompeia's biography at the official site of the Brazilian Academy of Letters (Portuguese)
- Works by Raul Pompeia at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)