Oswald de Andrade

José Oswald de Souza Andrade (January 11, 1890 – October 22, 1954) was a Brazilian poet and polemicist. He was born and spent most of his life in São Paulo.

Oswald de Andrade
Photograph of Andrade in 1920
BornJosé Oswald de Souza Andrade
(1890-01-11)January 11, 1890
São Paulo, Brazil
DiedOctober 22, 1954(1954-10-22) (aged 64)
São Paulo, Brazil
OccupationBrazilian poet and polemicist
Literary movementFounder of Brazilian modernism; member of the Group of Five
Notable works
  • Manifesto Pau-Brasil (1924)
  • Pau-brasil (poems, 1925)
  • Estrela de absinto (1927)
  • Manifesto Antropófago (1928)
  • Meu Testamento (1944)
  • A Arcádia e a Inconfidência (1945)
  • A Crise da Filosofia Messiânica (1950)
  • Um Aspecto Antropofágico da Cultura Brasileira: O Homem Cordial (1950)
  • A Marcha das Utopias (1953)

Andrade was one of the founders of Brazilian modernism and a member of the Group of Five, along with Mário de Andrade, Anita Malfatti, Tarsila do Amaral and Menotti del Picchia. He participated in the Week of Modern Art (Semana de Arte Moderna).

Andrade is very important too for his manifesto of critical Brazilian nationalism, Manifesto Antropófago (Cannibal Manifesto), published in 1928. Its argument is that Brazil's history of "cannibalizing" other cultures is its greatest strength, while playing on the modernists' primitivist interest in cannibalism as an alleged tribal rite. Cannibalism becomes a way for Brazil to assert itself against European postcolonial cultural domination. The manifesto's iconic line is "Tupi or not Tupi: that is the question." The line is simultaneously a celebration of the Tupi, who had been at times accused of cannibalism (most notoriously by Hans Staden), and an instance of cannibalism: It eats Shakespeare. On the other hand, some critics argue that Antropofagia, as a movement, was too heterogeneous to extract overarching arguments from it and that often it had little to do with a post-colonial cultural politics (Jauregui 2018, 2012)


Born into a wealthy bourgeois family, Andrade used his money and connections to support numerous modernist artists and projects. He sponsored the publication of several major novels of the period, produced a number of experimental plays, and supported several painters, including Tarsila do Amaral, with whom he had a long affair, and Lasar Segall.

Andrade joined the Communist Party in 1931, but left it, disillusioned, in 1945.[1] He remained controversial for his radical political views and his often belligerent outspokenness. His role in the modernist community was made somewhat awkward by his feud with Mário de Andrade, which lasted from 1929 (after Oswald de Andrade published a pseudonymous essay mocking Mário for effeminacy) until Mário de Andrade's untimely death in 1945.

Selected worksEdit


In English:

  • Jauregui, Carlos, A. “Antropofagia.” Dictionary of Latin American Cultural Studies. Edited by Robert McKee Irwin and Mónica Szurmuk (eds.). Gainesville: The University Press of Florida (2012): 22-28. The University Press of Florida, 2012, 22-28. [1]

In Portuguese:

  • Boaventura, Maria Eugenia. A Vanguarda Antropofágica. São Paulo: Ática, 1985.
  • Helena, Lúcia. Totens e tabus da modernidade brasileira: símbolo e alegoria na obra de Oswald de Andrade. Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro. 1985.
  • Justino, Maria José. O Banquete Canibal: A modernidade em Tarsila do Amaral 1886-1973 Curitiba: Editora UFPR, 2002.
  • Nunes, Benedito. Oswald Canibal. São Paulo: Perspectiva, 1979.
  • Nunes, Benedito. A Utopia Antropofágica: A Antropofagia ao alcance de todos. São Paulo: Globo, 1990
  • Netto, Adriano Bitarães. Antropofagia Oswaldiana: Um Receituário Estético e Científico. São Paulo: Annablume, 2004.
  • Morais Junior, Luís Carlos de Lui Morais. O Olho do Ciclope e os Novos Antropófagos: Antropofagia Cinematótica na Literatura Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Quártica Editora, 2009.

In Spanish:

  • Jauregui, Carlos A. Canibalia. Canibalismo, calibanismo, antropofagia cultural y consumo en América Latina. Premio Casa de las Américas. Madrid, Spain: Vervuert, ETC: Ensayos de Teoría Cultural 1, 2008.


  1. ^ "Oswald de Andrade". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Retrieved 17 May 2020.

External linksEdit