José da Silva Lisboa and the Pathology of Revolution

  • Pedro Meira Monteiro Princeton University
Keywords: Viscount of Cairu, morality and literature, Brazilian empire, conservative thought, madness and politics.


Focusing on José da Silva Lisboa’s Constituição Moral e Deveres do Cidadão (1824/1825), this article explores how the image of Revolution, modeled on the "catastrophic" experiences of France and Haiti, projects itself onto the scenario of the nascent Brazilian empire. For Lisboa, the moralizing discourse should be capable of founding a new order in the tropics, of protecting "Brazilian youth" from the seduction of renovating principles, of maintaining well-tied the knots of a social fabric threatened by the madness of revolutionaries, who brought to the horizon of a young nation the danger of dissolution and corruption of the body politic. 

Author Biography

Pedro Meira Monteiro, Princeton University

Pedro Meira Monteiro is Professor and Chair in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University. He is the author of, among other books, Mário de Andrade e Sérgio Buarque de Holanda: correspondência (2012), and the editor of The First Class: Transits of Brazilian Literature Abroad (2014, available online, with versions in Portuguese and Spanish).