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Del Picchia, Menotti

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1892-1988) Brazilian Recognized for his work as poet, painter, author and member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, hia participated in Brazil's Modern Art Week in 1922, a movement influenced by the European vanguard in challenging traditional ideas and tastes in art and literature. In 1927, along with Cassiano Ricardo and Plínio Salgado, Del Picchia founded the conservative modernist group known as Verde-Amarelo, which celebrated Brazil's Portuguese origins and the exalted figure of the Indian living in peace and harmony with nature. After a break with Salgado, Del Picchia formed part of the "bandeirismo" faction of Verde-Amarelo, which looked back to traditional values in order to defend the country against the harmful influence of foreign ideologies. Both Del Picchia and Cassiano Ricardo became ideologues for Brazil's Estado Novo [New State] (1930-1945), the populist regime led by Getúlio Vargas. This conservative nationalism underlies Menotti del Picchia's science fiction, which combines elements of Lost World fiction, Hollow Earth narratives and Hard SF. His first sf novel, A República 3.000 ["The Republic 3000"] (1930; vt A filha do inca ["The Inca's Daughter"] 1933) [for further vts see Checklist] tells the love story between a Brazilian adventurer and an Incan Princess who, as prisoners of a Lost-Race civilization in the Amazon, eventually manage to escape when its members suddenly embark on an interplanetary adventure. In Del Picchia's second Amazonian novel, Kalum, o Mistério do Sertão ["Kalum, The Mystery of the Amazon Interior"] (1936), a German adventurer and filmmaker is captured by Brazilian cannibals but later escapes and hides among a race of undersized blonde women living in a large Underground cave with their normal-sized queen. Later when the cannibals attack, only the German and the queen manage to escape. The third and final novel of this series, Cummunká (1938 as Kummunká; vt 1958), shows how an idealized Indian tribe holds lessons for modern civilization. When the protagonist of this novel, industrialist Sérgio Menha, joins a group of adventurers to re-enact the colonial expeditions known as "bandeiras," he is captured by a tribe led by a chief named Cummunká, whose wisdom leads to Menha's spiritual renewal and awareness of the dangers of modern Weapons. In these works, we see how Brazil's imaginary indigenous past forms the pillars of Del Picchia's brand of science fiction, calling on a notion of mystical nationalism that would ensure a harmonious and peaceful future for Brazil. [MEG]

Paulo Menotti Del Picchia

born Itapira, Brazil: 20 March 1892

died São Paulo, Brazil: 23 August 1988

works (selected)

  • A República 3.000 ["The Republic 3000"] (São Paulo, Brazil: Companhia Editora Nacional, 1930) [binding unknown/]
    • A filha do Inca ou a República 3000 ["The Daughter of the Inca or the Republic 3000"] (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Civilização Brasileira, 1933) [vt of the above: binding unknown/]
    • A filha do Inca: romance fantástico ["The Daughter of the Inca: A Fantastic Novel"] (São Paulo, Brazil: Martins, 1958) [vt of the above: binding unknown/]
    • [República 3.000.] A filha do Inca ["The Republic 3.000: The Daughter of the Inca"] (São Paulo, Brazil: Edição Saraiva, 1949) [vt of the above: binding unknown/]
    • Filha do Inca ["Daughter of the Inca"] (São Paulo, Brazil: Edição Saraiva, 1980) [vt of the above: binding unknown/]
  • Kalum, o mistério do sertão ["Kalum, The Mystery of the Amazon Interior"] (Porto Alegre, Brazil: Livraria do Globo, 1936) [binding unknown/]
  • Kummunká: A novel (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: José Olympio, 1938) [binding unknown/]
    • Cummunká (São Paulo, Brazil: Martins, 1958) [vt of the above: binding unknown/]
    • Cummunká: A guerra da paz ["Cummunká: The War of Peace"] (São Paulo, Brazil: Martins, 1977) [vt of the above: binding unknown/]

about the author

  • Alfredo Bosi. "Menotti Del Picchia" in Pequeno dicionário de literatura brasileira (São Paulo, Brazil: Cultrix, 1980) edited by José Paulo Paes and Massaud Moisés [nonfiction: pp324-325: pb/]
  • Brower, Keith. "Menotti del Picchia" in The Dictionary of Brazilian Literature edited by Irwin Stern (New York: Greenwood, 1988) [nonfiction: pp242-243: hb/]
  • Alfredo Bosi. História concisa da literatura brasileira (São Paulo, Brazil: Cultrix, 1994) [nonfiction: pp367-368: pb/]
  • Roberto de Sousa Causo. Ficção científica, fantasia e horror no Brasil, 1875 a 1950 ["SF, Fantasy and Horror in Brazil, 1875-1950"] (Belo Horizonte, Brazil: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 2003) [nonfiction: pp191-192: pb/]
  • Roque de Barros Laraia. "A filha do Inca: a ficção científica de Menotti del Picchia." (2009 Campos: Revista de Antropologia Social 10.1) [pp101-112: mag/]
  • Cesar Silva. "Resenha de A filha do Inca e Kalum" ["A Review of The Daughter of the Inca and Kalum"] in Anuário Brasileiro de Literatura Fantástica 2005: Ficção científica, fantasia e horror no Brasil edited by Cesar Silva and Marcello Simão Branco (São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil: Edições Hiperespaço, 2006) [nonfiction: pp166-172: pb/]


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