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Dalcídio Jurandir was a novelist and journalist. He was born on 10 January 1909 in Ponta de Pedras, on Marajó Island, Pará. Son of Alfredo Ramos Pereira and Margarida Nascimento, at thirteen he went to live and study in the state capital, Belém.
In 1928, he abandoned his studies and travelled to Rio de Janeiro. There he worked as a dishwasher and acted as a proof-reader for the women’s magazine Fon-Fon without pay. Back to Belém in 1931, Jurandir worked in some public positions and began collaborating with the Pará press, the newspapers Imprensa Popular and O Radical and at the magazine Diretrizes.
He married Guiomarina Luzia Freire in 1935, with whom he had four children (one died in infancy and another in adulthood aged twenty-four). A communist and an active member of the National Liberation Alliance, he faced political persecution and was arrested twice during the Getúlio Vargas regime. In 1938, Jurandir returned to the city where he was born, on Marajó Island, going to work as a school inspector.
His first novel, Chove nos Campos de Cachoeira (Rain in the Waterfall Fields), published in 1941, won the Vecchi-Dom Casmurro award, making him known in the literary world. This book began a series of ten fictional stories, later called Ciclo do Extremo Norte (the Far North Cycle). Of these novels, nine “form a mosaic of everyday life in Vila de Cachoeira, at the mouth of the Amazon River, and the city of Belém, Pará”. (MALIGO, 1992, p. 49). The main character of these books is a boy named Alfredo. The author deals with his moves from Vila to Belém, and later from Belém to Ilha, as well as his mother’s struggle to send him to study in the big city to improve his life. In Marajó (1947), a book that differs from the others in the Far North Cycle, Jurandir presents “another set of characters; its focus, however, is also the daily life in a small community on that island.” (MALIGO, 1992, p. 49).
The main subject of Jurandir’s novels is the social condition of the people of Marajó Island and Belém, their identity, their ways of survival and support networks. His characters have a complex internal construction, and personal transformations are highly valued in his novels. According to Pressler (2002, p.4), three characteristics mark the work of Dalcídio Jurandir: highly poetic language; free indirect discourse; the story/narrative’s construction of time.
In 1941, Jurandir returned to Rio de Janeiro, where he took up residence and worked in various newspapers and magazines. On a trip to Rio Grande do Sul, has the idea to write a new cycle of novels, Extremo Sul (Far South). However, he wrote just one: Linha do Parque (Park Line). In 1952, he travelled to the Soviet Union on a writers’ tour, making contacts that would later be valuable for the translation of one of his books into Russian.
Jurandir retired as a self-employed writer, as declared by INPS (the Brazilian Social Security Service) in 1971. In 1972, he received the Machado de Assis Award from the Brazilian Academy of Letters for his lifetime’s work. He suffered from Parkinson’s disease, a disease that he considered cruel as it affected that which was most important to him – his brain. The writer died on 16 June 1979 at seventy and was buried in St John the Baptist Cemetery, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. His name was given to a street in the Barra da Tijuca neighbourhood by the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Israel Klabin.
In 2003, his heirs donated the writer’s collection to the Casa de Rui Barbosa Foundation – more than 750 books from his library, correspondence with Jorge Amado, Graciliano Ramos and Cândido Portinari, as well as originals of his novels. In the same year, the Dalcídio Jurandir Institute was founded in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which in 2008 was closed down and in its place the Casa Da Cultura Dalcídio Jurandir was created in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, with his son José Roberto Freire Pereira as president and daughter Margarida Pereira Benincasa as vice-president.
In 2008, the Tancredo Neves Cultural Foundation of the Pará State Government established the Dalcídio Jurandir Literature Prize.
Far North Series
• Chove nos Campos de Cachoeira (Rain in the Waterfall Fields) (1941)
• Marajó Editora José Olympio (1947)
• Três Casas e um Rio (Three Houses and a River), Editora Martins (1958)
• Belém do Grão Pará (Belém, Pará), Editora Martins (1960)
• Passagem dos Inocentes (Passage of the Innocents), Editora Martins (1963)
• Primeira Manhã (The First Morning), Editora Martins (1967)
• Ponte do Galo (Rooster Bridge), Editora Martins/MEC (1971)
• Os Habitantes (The Inhabitants), Editora Artenova (1976)
• Chão dos Lobos (Floor of the Wolves), Editora Record (1976)
• Ribanceira, Editora Record (1978)
Far South Series
• Linha do Parque (Park Line) (1959)
Recife, 27 May 2014.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2015.
DALCÍDIO Jurandir. Biografia. Available at: <http://dalcidiojurandir.com.br/home/biografia/>. Accessed: 27 maio de 2014.
FUNDAÇÃO Cultural do Pará Tancredo Neves. Dalcídio Jurandir. Available at: <http://www.fcptn.pa.gov.br/index.php/homenageados/dalcidio-jurandir>. Accessed: 27 maio 2014.
JURANDIR, Dalcídio. In: ENCICLOPÉDIA Itaú Cultural Literatura Brasileira. Available at <http://www.itaucultural.org.br/aplicexternas/enciclopedia_lit/index.cfm?fuseaction=biografias_texto&cd_verbete=8765 >. Accessed: 27 maio 2014.
MALIGO, Pedro. Ruínas idílicas: a realidade amazônica de Dalcídio Jurandir. Revista USP, São Paulo, n. 13, mar./abr./maio 1992. Available at: <http://www.usp.br/revistausp/13/06-pedro.pdf>. Accessed: 27 maio 2014.
PRESSLER, Gunter Karl. Dalcídio Jurandir – a escrita do mundo marajoara não é regional, é universal. Revista do GELNE, v. 4, n. 2, 2002. Available at: <http://www.gelne.ufc.br/revista_ano4_no2_27.pdf>. Accessed: 27 maio 2014.
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Source: MORIM, Júlia. Dalcídio Jurandir. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, Recife. Available at: <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Ex: 6 ago. 2009.