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47 All of them (except Rivera) had been to Brazil in 1922 and belonged to the circle of artists and intellectuals around Vasconcelos’s Ministry of Education. ” The reference to the mural, a wide-angled panorama composed of smaller, fragmentary, self-sufficient scenes is felicitous beyond its reference to Mexican painting. In both books the Americas are a monumental totality made up of fragments as the two poets cross over frontiers with joyful appreciation of the continental landscape as a common territory.
In none of Carvalho’s essays about Brazil is one to find the same kind of honest assessment of social injustice. 41 When speaking about art Carvalho is closest to Reyes’s prose, writing as an elegant, ingenious essayist who is also a poet. That is the main reason why Imagens do México, condensed in a few evocations quickly sketched, aged much better than Estudos Brasileiros—1a Série, which was based on historical analysis but tended to the genteel, superficial commentary. Writing about a national and continental spirit whose primary expression is aesthetic in Imagens do México Carvalho relies on poetic description rather than prosaic exposition and argumentation and structures the book around impressionistic poetic recollections from his trip.
Estudos Brasileiros—1a Série, originally addressed to a Mexican audience in the midst of a revolutionary process, and Imagens do México, published on the verge of the revolution that brought Getú lio Vargas and his gaúchos to the government, converge ideologically. Carvalho conflates racial and cultural discourses under an ideology of hierarchical order and religious discipline that views the colonial enterprise as the heroic endeavor of a few remarkable Catholic R O N A L D D E C A R VA L H O ( A N D C A R L O S P E L L I C E R ) 25 Europeans of Iberian origins that generously allowed for the “contributions” of other races.