“This Immersion into the Past is a Very Poignant One” Cover Image

„Elevenünkbe vág ez a múltba merülés”
“This Immersion into the Past is a Very Poignant One”

The Aesthetic Quality of Sociography – Gilberto Freyre the Sociographer

Author(s): Éva Bánki
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Sociology
Published by: Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem
Keywords: Gilberto Freyre; The Masters and the Slaves; narrative structures; racial democracy

Summary/Abstract: Gilberto Freyre is one of the most impressive Brazilian social scientists. His main work, The Masters and the Slaves (Casa-Grande and Senzala), was considered even in the days of its publication a literary book and a scientific product at the same time. In the 1930s Gilberto Freyre’s innovations were regarded simply as a literary caprice, but since then a lot of them have been taken over by historical scholarship. The author of this article mainly deals with the peculiarities of Freyre’s work which seem to be unique by this very day – with his creation of metaphors and the narrative structures. Certain questions cannot be answered even if we employ the methods of literary scholarship. Namely, how to regard and evaluate the very self established in this work. Is this self a real scientist? Can we take him to be simply an actor? Or is he really a lyrical self? The questions which the author is chiefly interested in concern the special contradictions of the work, otherwise do not disturb the reception process of The Masters and the Slaves at all. How could these contradictions contribute to the unsurpassed popularity of the work? How could they shape the ego-ideal of Brazil in the twentieth century? And how could they contribute to the spread of the idea of ‘racial democracy’ all over the world?

  • Issue Year: VI/2014
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 44-51
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Hungarian