Scene4 Magazine — International Magazine of Arts and Media
Scene4 Magazine-inSight

august 2007


by Andréa Carvalho

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Since the 1990´s, online technologies have enabled a boom of sites and blogs that dispose literary works in diverse forms, styles and quality. 

Each minute a new blog is created.  The storage drawer is no longer the first place of an aspirant writer, every new work gets an URL.  It is easy and  simple to start a blog or a site and publish in any genre – prose, poetry or essay. Machado de Assis,  Guimarães Rosa, E. E. Cummings, James Joyce, Jorge Luis Borges, Virginia Woolf—what would they have done if they have lived, in their time, under such an offering? Could  their literature have been different somehow?

How a writer is born today? Necessarily on the web? Is it powerful enough?

Those are provoking issues that so often bump into the own novelty of the subject.  That is a question so close to our time, we do not have historical distance to elaborate conclusions and observations theoretically. 

However, I have challenged myself to discuss those questions with four brave guys: José Carlos Prioste, Fabricio Carpinejar, Hugo Langone and Márcio-André. 

Fabrício Carpinejar started publishing " printed" books before going to the web. Today he mantains two blogs.  The only book that was written from his Internet writings is "O amor esquece de começar" - chronicles - launched  in 2006.  Fabricio has already published eight books of poetry, two stories for children, has been awarded with some important poetry prizes, is a constant writer in printed newspapers and  magazines, presents radio shows, works as a university professor and has a Master's degree in Brazilian Literature from Rio Grande do Sul Federal University (UFRGS).  His books have been translated and published in German, Italy and France.  

Márcio-André graduated from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ) and edits the Literary Magazine Confraria, together with Victor Paes and Ronaldo Ferrio.  He is also an editor of the Confraria do Vento Publishing House. A multimedia artist, he develops performances with music, poetry and plastic arts.  He writes for the web and printed magazines, especially as a translator.  At present, he is organizing an anthology of young Brazilian poets for the English publishing house Heaventree Press. 

Hugo Langone edits the literary magazine, Pequena Morte, together with Raquel Menezes. He is a literature researcher and also a professional in the publishing business. 

José Carlos Prioste has a Master's degree and a PhD in Literature from UFRJ; he is an essayist and a Professor. His work investigates issues concerned with Brazilian literature and Modernity. 

Far from the wonderment

New writers in a new support of discourse perhaps could be the starting point of new languages in Brazilian literature, especially in poetry and story, genres that seem to be  perfect for the web. Is there something new arising regarding narrative and poetic discourses in this new means of  production and diffusion?

Professor José Carlos Prioste believes that "new means, as the virtuality of non-physical supports, require a concise adaptation.  It is not a matter of a verbal language adaptation with its specificities but the discovering of new formulations to the symbiosis we are still processing".

Prioste advises:  "I think that new writers and new languages will always arise while Man is still Human. New authors must place themselves before the new media without the wonderment of the technical resources, but making use of the contribution it brings to question the values based on prejudice, to make wider the critical conscience and transform reality". 

Hugo Langone considers it a risky task to affirm that a new Brazilian literature is arising due to new web media. In his opinion, this search does not happen only on the web: "If we look for in the right places we will find a lot of people who are searching for new languages." 

Undoubtedly, new places for new authors.  Hugo believes that literature cannot be dissociated from the world in which the writer is living: "We produce in a dynamic world, in a world where the image and the movement are intense, something that will be  present in the written discourse, in the language. It is difficult to talk about a new language only in Brazilian literature. That is a global movement". 

Márcio-André refers to the change from the writing on the typewriter to the computer , as the beginning of a change also in the way writing is conceived, "especially the tool of cut and paste."  He says:  "The sprouting of the Internet is going to provoke a radical change. We haven´t been able to notice the amplitude of that so far. The new generation writers are still not being read enough to make that clear ". 

Fabricio Carpinejar believes that web authors still need to be anchored by print:"Internet, ironically, has valued the printed book. I highlight the growth of the chronicle and its recognition  as a literary genre."

Language is being transposed, not re-created, as Professor Prioste states, although he still believes that a language more concerned with the web literature can arise:  "I believe that as time goes on new languages will arise commited to this environment that requires verbal concentration together with an organised and multiple visual design different from the linear and temporal line."  

He also says: "The literary renewal can occur as a result of an innovation that this new media language provides. But if verbal literature is still to be considered by the web writers as an expression dominated by the "literary" conception—a mere reproduction of the written form in the computer screen—we will be always linked to the writing conventions that obey the linearity of  the time". 

Yes, no and perhaps. When being questioned about literary renewal in the 21st century from web literary works, our poets do not share the same opinion.

Langone considers literature broader than a place of a new way of diffusion: "I find that Internet conjugates other means related to the literary work, it is more a new support. The renewal of literature is something more than that". 

Carpinejar believes in renewal starting from the web because writers are more rigorous:  "They have lost the anxiety and the hurry to publish, they know their work better because it has left the drawer and has faced public exposition. They quizzed styles and forms. They will not be avant-garde to pose themselves, but rather for beliefs.  They will put nothing on paper without previous training . Web writers are always training so they play better in the championship matches". 

Márcio-André is not so certain. He thinks that maybe a renewal can start from the web because " we are going in a direction where everything is more electronic and dynamic." He  mentions the renewal concerned about new ways of cosuming and approaching the literary work: "I believe that in the future people will see a book on the web and will print it in a online bookstore with all the details of a printed book.  And that will be great because what increases the book price in Brazil, mostly, is the power of the bookstores." 

Concerning the bookstores, Professor Prioste also rememebers  the possibility of better circulation of a literary work:  "As a promotion resource, the web is independent from printed support  and enables a bigger circulation of the work and this is not a business in the Publishing Houses and Bookstores domain. As a new discourse support, it qualifies inventive creators to an experimental diversity that broadens more and more the human expression". 

Bonking to get married

Blogs and literary sites are reviewed as printed books. Famous bloggers become hits in printed publications.  Authors that have published printed books blog on the web. There is a constant interchange between those means.  An approach between readers and authors.  However, we are far from a web best seller list... 

Is the literature of the virtual screen the same we find on the printed page?  What is the collaborative partnership between them? 

"We bonk to marry not just for bonking. " With that curious sentence the poet Fabricio Carpinejar thinks about the question.  He claims that web writers want to be writers of books on the shelf: "The book is the formal work. It is rare to see a writer that blogs for  three years or more and does not show an interest to publish a printed book. The resistance on the Internet is literature, because there is a project and a vision of world behind an URL.  An ambition of visibility."

Hugo Langone and Márcio-André agree.  Hugo says that: "There is a kind of halo around printed books. Everybody starts in a virtual environment and afterwards goes to printed support.  That is a common movement.  The book continues being a book and the Internet is a good mean of publicity." 

Márcio-André believes that the printed book is still the desire of any writer.  Not only writers, but readers also look for the book.  "The writer to be considered so still needs to produce something material. Even if a printed book could be less read than on the web.  The work is only taken seriously if printed." 

Poetry, readers and places

Poetry, a literary genre that has always been considered difficult to find a large audience, seems to have found on the web a perfect place for promotion and experiment.  The use of visual media and text-editor software are attractive resources for any poet.  Is that web poetry more  "popular" than the printed one?  Is the web poetry reader the one that buys a book? 

Langone disagrees with the use of the word "popular" related to poetry. He thinks that "even with the immense promotion that poetry can have with the advancement of online technologies, the problem is something else.  If poetry-readers' absence were just a problem of publicity, that would not be so hard to solve. The heart of the question is the lack of interest to the poetic language. Those interested in poetry read it online or in the books."

Márcio-André does not believe in the popularity of poetry specially on the web. He also states that "a good writer is going to be read anyway, printed or not. The media will not attract or repel the reader.  However, it is necessary to recognize that the Internet is a promotion environment  infinitely more powerful and quicker than any printed stuff." 

Carpinejar assumes that one of the risks of the web poetry is that it gets exhausted easily:  "We would not have so much poetry to publish monthly, not even weekly! Poetry requires a slower rhythm, something as seeing the world at night by lightning.  Undoubtless, I consider poetry the most proper art for the web. It´s more emphatic.  It´s risky." 

And he says more about it: "Poetry is losing its stigma with the readers, poets are talking directly to them. They are becoming readers of their readers.  That depressing concept  that poetry does not sell, that there is no interest in it, is being buried by the electricity of the blog comments. No more excuses!  The reader who likes a writer will look for him in every corner, including in a book". 


We greet with a Welcome that future Brazilian literature—any literature but a Literature.

The future is so provocative and seductive as much as the questions we currently have. The most important is that besides all the  pessimism of our time we still have the movement ahead.  

It really seems that, so far, the Internet is an important  tool to start writing, to risk  and to show up to a large audience—a kind of drawer opened to all. But who dares to say what are we gonna do after all that? 

Fabricio Carpinejar is at
His official website
His Blog
Superinteressante Magazine – Consultório Sentimental
and he recommends
Doidivana – by Ivana Arruda Leite
João Filho
Digestivo Cultural
Carapuceiro - by Xico Sá
Hugo Langone is at
Pequena Morte Literary Magazine
and he recommends
Confraria do Vento Literary Magazine
Forum de Literatura
Desfolhar Magazine
Márcio-André is at
his official website
Confraria Literary Magazine
and he recommends
Cronópios  Magazine
Germina Literatura Magazine
Agulha Magazine
Andréa Carvalho is at
The [Puzzle]
Para teu canto ouvir...
and she recommends
Emendas e Sonetos Рby Andr̩ Luiz Mansur
Fragmentos do olho da rua – by
Marcelo da Veiga and Marcelo Losekann
Gironianas – by  Luiz Antonio Giron

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About This Article

©2007 Andréa Carvalho
©2007 Publication Scene4 Magazine


Andréa Carvalho is a producer, writer and teacher in Rio de Janeiro
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives
Read her Blog
Clique aqui para Português


Scene4 Magazine-International Magazine of Arts and Media

august 2007

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