Conservative intellectuals, sociability and practices of immortality: the Brazilian Academy of Letters during the military dictatorship (1964-1979)

Diogo Cunha


This article is part of a broader study about the Brazilian Academy of Letters under the military regime (1964-1979) and the behavior of its members during this period. The central question that guided this research was to determine to what extent this officially “apolitical” institution could serve as an agent of legitimization for the dictatorship. The aim of this paper is to look at politics through what I am referring to as “practices of immortality”. This study seeks to know whether the “House of Machado de Assis”, through its supposedly apolitical daily activities, contributed in some degree to legitimizing the regime implemented in 1964. The swearing in, the visits received by the academics and the way in which the official memory was established by the “immortals” are examined in this paper. The results reveal a close relation between the Brazilian Academy of Letters and the military dictatorship evidenced by the recruitment of its members and their social networks. They also show that the political, military, and cultural elites shared values that were remembered and praised at the events of the Brazilian Academy of Letters: good citizenship and patriotism; the idea of an “authentic culture” and a national identity based on a common language and on the Christian religion; as well as myths such as the cordiality of the Brazilian people and the absence of violence in the country’s history. Besides being a place where a conservative discourse was developed and where conservative men and ideas circulated, this cultural institution was associated to the military dictatorship and, consequently, to a supposedly “national” memory, culture, and identity by the “immortals”.

Keywords: military dictatorship, Brazilian Academy of Letters, conservative intellectuals.

Texto completo: PDF (English)

Licença Creative Commons
Este trabalho está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 .

ISSN: 2236-1782 - Melhor visualizado no Mozilla Firefox

Licença Creative Commons
Este obra está licenciada com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional

São Leopoldo, RS. Av. Unisinos, 950. Bairro Cristo Rei, CEP: 93.022 -000. Atendimento Unisinos +55 (51) 3591 1122
Projeto gráfico: Jully Rodrigues

SCImago Journal & Country Rank Crossref Member Badge Crossref Similarity Check logo