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They don’t wear black-tie: intellectuals and workers in São Paulo, Brazil, 1958–1981

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Universidade Federal de Uberlândia

Abstract

Aristóteles afirmou serem três os gêneros retóricos (judiciário, deliberatico e epidítico), distinguindo-os pelas circunstâncias, auditórios e tempo em que se fala. Tal divisão, ainda que com nuanças, mantém-se em Quintiliano. Os tratados eclesiásticos de retórica também a seguem, embora mudanças significativas aqui sejam efetuadas, tendo em vista o efeito persuasório próprio da prédica religiosa. Utilizando-se de tal prescritiva, sobretudo conforme a apresenta frei Granada, o padre Antônio Vieira no Sermão da Sexagésima exemplarmente apresenta um modelo para os gêneros que, via de regra, decorosamente se adéqua à finalidade do que ele próprio prescreve como paradigma para qualquer sermão. PALAVRAS-CHAVE: gêneros retóricos; retórica eclesiástica; Sermão da Sexagésima. ABSTRACT: In 1979, film-maker Leon Hirszman (1937–1987) collaborated with playwright Gianfrancesco Guarnieri on a film adaption of Guarnieri’s famous play about Brazilian working-class life, They don’t wear black-tie. The resulting film, released in 1981, reconfigured the politics and content of the 1958 play to fit the new era of the late 1970s when dramatic metalworkers’ strikes placed São Paulo on the front lines in the fight against the Brazilian military dictatorship. Using biography and the dramatic and cinematic texts, this article traces the political and aesthetic challenges facing these two important cultural figures and their generation of radical intellectuals. In particular, the article will explain why an image of “workers” proved so central in the making of modern Brazilian theater and film since the late 1950s, while exploring the changing configuration of intellectual and povo (common people) between the late Populist Republic and the remaking of the Brazilian working class during the late 1970s. Throughout, it will ask: What is the cultural, political, and historical substance or significance of the presentation of workers in Black-tie? Does it represent an expression of social reality? And if so, what reality, and whose vision?

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