Loving Nature in João Guimarães Rosa: The Non-human as 'amável'

  • Ashley Brock University of Pennsylvania
Keywords: Eco-criticism, affect, posthumanism, Primeiras estórias, Grande sertão: veredas


In the present article, I locate an implicit environmentalism JoãoGuimarães Rosa’s writing from the 1950s and 1960s. This sensibility is easy tomiss, in part because it transposes political debates on damage inflicted in thename of development and progress onto the affective-ethical plane; however, itdoes so in a way that resists sentimentality or projecting a misplaced innocenceonto the non-human world. Focusing on emotional relationships between humansand non-humans, I read “As margens da alegria” and “Os cimos” as expressingan eco-critical discourse that was already latent in Grande sertão: veredas.Recasting the natural world as a site of both unfathomable otherness and relationsof tenderness, Guimarães Rosa presents the emotional hold that nature has onhumans and the cost of cleaving oneself from it—a cost that includes diminishingthe human capacity for delight, wonder, and eros.