The writer and professor Godofredo de Oliveira Neto was sworn in this Friday (2) night, at the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL). Elected on June 9, with 22 votes, the new academic will occupy chair 35 of the ABL, succeeding Professor Cândido Mendes, who died in February of this year, aged 93. The previous occupants of chair 35 were Rodrigo Octavio (founder), Rodrigo Octavio Filho, José Honório Rodrigues and Celso Ferreira da Cunha.
Born in Blumenau on May 22, 1951, Godofredo Neto from Santa Catarina is a novelist and short story writer. He currently holds the chair of full professor of Brazilian literature at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
ABL’s new immortal graduated in letters from the University of Paris III, France (1976), where he also obtained a master’s degree in letters (1979). In addition to a doctorate in letters from UFRJ, he has a degree in international relations from the Institute of Higher International Studies at the University of Paris II. He is also a postdoctoral fellow in research at Georgetown University, United States.
Godofredo de Oliveira Neto is the author of 21 books and also writes articles for newspapers and periodicals in Brazil. He was awarded a statuette at the Jabuti Prize, in 2006. His novels Menino Ocidental and Amores Exilados were translated into French and launched at the 35th Paris Book Fair-2015, now in its 4th French edition. The book Ana e a margin do rio was published in Bulgaria and received, in Brazil, the seal of Highly Recommendable, from the National Foundation for Children’s and Youth Books.
art and knowledge
To Agência Brasil, Godofredo Neto highlighted that the function of ABL, as one of the largest cultural institutions in Brazil, is “to brandish art and knowledge as a weapon for a fairer society. In other words, through art and knowledge, creating an approximation of the Brazilian nation, reconstituting the Brazilian nation as a whole. I see my action (in ABL) like this. That is, non-violence, art, culture and knowledge above all, ahead of anything, with this objective. That’s the biggest goal.”
The new immortal intends to continue the lineage of great writers who are members of the ABL, among whom he mentioned Guimarães Rosa, Jorge Amado, Ferreira Gullar, Antonio Callado. “It’s not easy to follow that same quantitative lineage,” he confessed, smiling.
His most recent work, the novel Esquisse, was published in France, even before it came out in Brazil. The story takes place between the cities of New York, Venice and Florianopolis, where he was before he started writing this book. At the moment, he is dedicated to writing a new novel, still untitled, whose story takes place in the present day, in the states of Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro. “I’ve been writing all the time, since I was 13; I write almost daily,” he commented.
Godofredo Neto said that the news of his election to the ABL was very well received by his UFRJ students. “A super excited youth. They feel super prestigious because their teacher went to ABL. It was a really cool thing, cheers. The reception was very good”.
In his inaugural speech, the immortal made a point of remembering the figure of the writer, educator and intellectual Cândido Mendes, whom he succeeded.
“The greatness of Cândido Mendes encourages and challenges me to follow his example. The energy of Cândido, our august academic, is here, inside us. The fight for a solidary Brazil is also ours. It is a particularly arduous challenge to continue the excellence of the thinkers of Chair 35”, said the new immortal.
He also highlighted the choices made by society, calling for the national reunion necessary for the search for greater harmony among all.
“The human condition is structured like this, there is no other support, but there is a way to soften it. And there are choices, as you well know, academic ladies and gentlemen. Necessary, fundamental and structuring choices that demand – if we want a nation aware of its civilizing path – demand banishing ethnic prejudice, religious prejudice, anti-Semitism, misogyny, homophobia, ageism, violence and gender prejudice, racism – black lives and indigenous lives matter, women’s lives and integrity matter! This meeting between Brazil and the Brazilian nation is essential for the emergence of peace and harmony”, defended Godofredo Neto. (with Brazil Agency)