Chapter

A Nation on the Ground Floor: The Face of Brazil, Drawn with Hilda Hilst’s Political Pen

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Abstract

Hilda Hilst is not usually considered among those Brazilian writers who were intimately engaged in the construction of national identity, but this did not mean the nation or national politics disinterested her. On the contrary, Hilst engaged in acts of national identity–deconstruction. Taking Hilst’s novella “Axelrod (da proporção)” from the novella trilogy Tu não te moves de ti as its primary tutor text, this chapter demonstrates how Hilst appropriates the marginal position of the poète maudit to critique Brazilian bourgeois nationalism through a strategy of combining genres and pushing language to the borders of sense.

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