Wandering and Ecological Ethos in 'A hora e vez de Augusto Matraga'

  • Rex Nielson Brigham Young University
Keywords: Ecocriticism, Guimarães Rosa, Nature, sertão, wandering, community


João Guimarães Rosa locates nearly all his fiction in the Brazilian sertão, the vast, semi-arid backlands of Brazil's interior, yet surprisingly few studies exist regarding Guimarães Rosa’s environmental attitudes or the ecological ethos present in his work. Pressing environmental concerns in Brazil have nevertheless inspired new readings of Guimarães Rosa's work that consider the ecological consciousness latent in his fiction. Guimarães Rosa's well-known novella, "A hora e vez de Augusto Matraga," reveals a powerful ecological ethos by modeling the concept of wandering—a way of relating to nature and to others. The story demonstrates that acquiring aesthetic sensitivity and developing ecological understanding occur simultaneously, and they work together to establish social and communal harmony.

Author Biography

Rex Nielson, Brigham Young University
Rex P. Nielson is an Assistant Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University. Before joining the Spanish and Portuguese Department at BYU, he held appointments at Harvard University and Bryant University.