Masculinidade em questão: lei, corpo e desejo em "Dão-lalão"

Luiz Fernando Valente


In the present essay, I examine eroticism in "Dão-lalão," by Brazilian fictionist João Guimarães Rosa (1908-1967). Calling into question Benedito Nunes’s argument that the dialectics of love in Guimarães Rosa's oeuvre points to a sense of harmony and totality, I view the erotic element in Guimarães Rosa’s work as a form of transgression. Focusing on the body in “Dão-lalão,” I revisit Guimarães Rosa’s skepticism regarding reason as the primary vehicle for understanding reality. Whereas Nunes relies on Plato, the Neoplatonists, and the mystic traditions of hermeticism and alchemy, I turn to the philosophy of Georges Bataille (1897-1962). Finally, I propose that in addition to asking probing questions about eroticism as an expression of what Bataille called non-savoir, "Dão-lalão" invites its readers to reconsider race and gender relations within a Brazilian cultural and historical context.


Body; desire; eroticism; law; patriarchy; João Guimarães Rosa

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