Augusto de Campos’s Outro: The Limits of Authorship and the Limits of Legibility

  • Odile Cisneros University of Alberta
Keywords: Concrete poetry, Brazil, paratexts, translation, the illegible


This essay analyzes Augusto de Campos’s 2015 poetry collection Outro, titled not only after the Portuguese adjective, but also referencing the English music recording industry term for the concluding portion of a piece of music, as opposed to the “intro.” The collection explores many of his earlier devices and proposals—the materiality of language, particularly, visuality and typography, and the appropriation of past masters (both through translation and rewriting). I argue that, while these devices are not new, in this volume Augusto takes them to extremes that in turn probe the limits of legibility and authorship and constitute both an affirmation and a negation of concrete poetry’s legacy.