Nuno Medeiros1
Translated by Eoin O’Neill

This is a revised version of: Nuno Medeiros, “O espaço transatlântico do livro: circulações e assimetrias entre Portugal e Brasil,” in O livro no Portugal contemporâneo (Lisbon: Outro Modo, 2018), 183-234.

In the history of Portugal-Brazil relations, with reference to the book industry, we can identify the time and circumstances when changes in the structures of publishing and bookselling transformed the universe of the book in both countries, and especially in Brazil. In the thirty years between the second half of the 1930s and the end of the 1960s, the relationship between Portugal and Brazil made a 180-degree turn, and what I call an inversion occurred in the processes of typographic influence between the two countries.2 During this period, Portugal ceased to be a net exporter and became a net importer in its book-related transactions with Brazil.

The framework for these changes – the international Portuguese-speaking book market – was more imagined and desired than it was real. Within it, the two countries occupied symbolic places in the context of the historical primacy of cultural and literary influence, though their relative positions were undergoing a process of inversion. The process exposed the structures supporting the methods of production and sale of books, as well as the ideological components through which this production and commercialization were interpreted. The representations and perceptions resulting from this process, capable of reproducing over time, acquired a meaning based on a relationship between two book-systems historically seen and understood asymmetrically.

These dynamics of change had disturbing effects on the established commercial and representational order, giving rise to responses and counter-responses whose logic is laid bare in the tense strategic game of influence and counter-influence put into play by each of the book-systems, each seeking to assert old or recently conquered legitimacies in a range of spheres – productive, economic, cultural, political, and even diplomatic. Up to a certain point this appears to have been the case of Brazil and Portugal in terms of book publishing and selling. However, this model was challenged by a number of agents, above all individual publishers and booksellers, who sought to establish or renew collaborative ties by selling and publishing books by Brazilian authors on Brazilian themes in Portugal and vice-versa. This set of processes illustrates the importance of understanding the world of the book and print culture as a space of contestation and power capable of generating contradictory and fluctuating consequences.3

The relations of subalternization and counter-domination covered in this article are not conceptualized as inert products of an asymmetry forged in a vision of domination between parties with disproportionate resources. The point of view adopted here centers on a conception of the relationship between book systems founded on complex and inter-connected networks, with the production and circulation of (printed) ideas and objects located on various national fronts, even in those usually studied as dominated. Examining Portugal and Brazil as particular units of inquiry is not, in this sense, equivalent to observing book culture in the two countries as objects of study disconnected from broader units, and even the whole world. As Roger Chartier4 and Márcia Abreu5 have noted, in explaining the reality of the book we should contemplate ideas of opening, overlap, and appropriation. This applies whether we are dealing with the understanding of reading in terms of the distance between the intentions of the publisher when printing a book and the deviations from these intentions made by readers,6 or clarifying the multiple typographic and literary connections between countries.

While the environment in which the forms of circulation of print culture emerged encompassed multipolarity and manifestations and circuits of capillarity and infidelity,7 these forms of circulation occurred in a varied and unequal set of scenarios, shaped by specific modes and temporalities in the constitution of print culture in each country or region. From this point of view, developing an analysis aimed at clarifying the differential in influence – and thus in power – between book cultures in various national or pluri-national spaces means exploring the object in a non-linear fashion, by employing explanatory categories such as autonomy or dependency. These categories, essential to the argument presented here, refer both to objective market circumstances and subjective modes of understanding the market. While the nineteenth century did indeed see an increase in the circulation of books and all sorts of print artefacts between both countries, no less important was the fact that “the strength of the Portuguese publishing world”8 corresponded to a sector significantly more dynamic than the Brazilian equivalent. This points to an inversion in typographic power, despite the myriad of small oscillations recorded during the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth, representing – from a given moment, in an indelible way in the discourse of Portuguese publishers – a clearer and more lasting change in the structure of the relations between the two book systems.

Dynamics of Influence and Counter-influence

Feelings and Strategies

During the twentieth century, the relations between the publishing sectors in Portugal and Brazil followed a path marked both by confluence and obstacles, advances and setbacks, and cycles of conquest and the reversal of publishing dominance. From the point of view of discursive practices and representations, Brazilian book and reading culture was for a long time omnipresent in the rhetoric of a significant number of publishers from Portugal on the development of the Portuguese book and its market, as well as on the Portuguese publishing position in relation to Lusophone cultural exchange, a mission which many Portuguese agents of the book trade believed belonged naturally to Portugal. Until the 1960s the prevailing discourse among Portuguese book publishers, booksellers and printers vis-à-vis the Brazilian market still clung to the old idea of dependency as a by-product of cultural colonization. In effect, the residue of a mythicized market such as the Brazilian one still resonated at that time in the Portuguese typographical world. Portuguese publishers, strongly accustomed to the historical situation of the relative dependence and underdevelopment of the book market in Brazil, long tended to see themselves as the center dominating the supply of books to readers and a faithful bookshop system.

The principle of the historic right to cultural influence over Brazilian territory, not explicitly stated but evident in the discourse of Portuguese publishers, was based on the perpetuation of a vision of Brazilian book culture from a perspective which reduced this space to a recipient market, a condition partially resulting from the weaknesses which Brazil had previously demonstrated in terms of the growth and maturity of book publishing. As Aníbal Bragança explains, “the full arrival in Brazil of the exercise of the practice of the publishing function was late, searching for texts, publishing books, and looking for readers, wherever they were. […] In reality, only in the second half of the nineteenth century did Brazil begin to construct a book-purchasing public – as well as, in fact, consolidating its urban life and internal consumption – which allowed for the development of a publishing industry.”9 This condition of underdevelopment was certainly historically rooted, being symbolically represented by the establishment of the Impressão Régia [Royal Printing Press] in Rio de Janeiro in 1808. Until 1821, it had the exclusive prerogative of printing in Brazil, preventing the appearance of other printing houses, especially private enterprises.10 This initial landmark of permanent typographic activity in Brazil appeared markedly later than its equivalents in other colonies on the American continent.11 It should be noted that the causes for the late establishment of the Impressão Régia went beyond the desire for exclusive control of metropolitan publishers and booksellers and their capacity of political influence.12 However, the lasting perception of Brazilian under-development on the Portuguese side was henceforth conveniently myopic in light of the undeniable surge of development and autonomy of Brazilian book publishing.13 It was revealed to be effectively incompatible with the increasingly inescapable fact that reality had been transformed. Moreover, it had changed so much that in the three decades between the mid-1930s and the late 1960s, the balance of power relations in the book trade was reversed.

Contributing to the loss of influence felt by Portuguese actors of the book were, first of all endogenous factors such as censorship and intellectual and social repression, the absence of public policies related to books, the persistence of high levels of illiteracy, and the survival of artisan practices among book manufacturers.14 Beyond the interference of the Estado Novo15 in the world of print which shaped how publishers worked, they were even more limited by an unfavorable external context in relation to Brazilian typographic culture. For instance, Portuguese publishers regularly exporting books across the Atlantic faced differences in foreign exchange rates and the cost of postage to Brazil, the devaluation of the cruzeiro,16 and the consequent inflation in Brazil of the final price of the imported volumes: the Banco do Brasil could freeze debt payments to exporters of Portuguese books. Other issues were the differences between markets regarding the acquisition of publishing rights for the Portuguese language and the lack of unified spelling.17

In addition to the purely commercial obstacles to the export of books to Brazil, Portuguese publishers were faced with legal restrictions in the form of Brazilian legislation forbidding the sale of Portuguese translations and Brazilian originals published in Portugal. The ban exemplifies a strategy of counter-influence in which different actors, such as the state itself, can play a role. Portuguese publishers, accustomed to sending part of their output to Brazil, faced a very difficult choice at the end of the 1940s. On September 3, 1948, the Brazilian government enacted Decree no. 25.442, later altered by laws no. 842 (October 4, 1949), and no. 2145 (December 19, 1953), preventing the import of works by foreign authors translated or published in Portugal.

At the inaugural Congress of Publishers and Booksellers of Brazil, held in 1948 by the Brazilian Book Council, this was the subject of “wide-ranging and lively debates,” in which the “recommendation to revoke Decree no. 25.442” was called for.18 The legislation did not stipulate an outright ban but rather demanded prior licenses with a wide exclusionary scope, considered “slow and difficult” to obtain by Portuguese publishers.19 At the second congress, held in 1954, the dominant view shifted. The resolutions relating to the prohibition of Portuguese translations in Brazil were aimed at maintaining the status quo that had been in force for six years essentially allowing only the import of Portuguese books with a religious theme or, on a case-by-case basis, books out of copyright which were in the public domain.20 Although the ban had been eliminated, a certain protectionist sentiment could still be noted at the third congress held in 1956, with the approval of a principle which recommended drafting a “bill to prohibit the entrance into Brazil of Portuguese translations by authors in the public domain already published here.”21

For eight years, Portuguese publishers were barred from the largest outlet for the books they published: the country’s African and Asian colonies did not have a literate population large enough for significant imports. Francisco da Cunha Leão, then head of Guimarães Editores publishing house along with his wife, Maria Leonor Guimarães, one of the pioneering women publishers in Portugal, wrote Information Bulletin no. 1.175 from the General Direction of Education, dated 20 December 1952, presenting the reasons which, in his view, contributed to the insignificance of the colonial markets in the Portuguese publishing trade and commerce: the limited network of sales points and libraries, the flawed or inexistent postal system, excessive delay in settlements, and the lack of information on recent titles. These were some of the multiple difficulties faced by a sector which, at the beginning of the 1950s, represented just over one thousandth of overseas sales, “to a large extent only exportable with state support.”22

The Portuguese publishing industry did not possess the capacity to expand among Portuguese-speaking communities, nor could it rely on emigrant communities, typically characterized by low literacy or illiteracy leading to low book consumption. Some foreign-based commercial establishments did, however, contribute to the circulation and sale of Portuguese books and books in Portuguese. The Portuguese Book Store in Canada, for instance, imported newspapers, magazines, and books and was a distributor for various other sellers throughout Canada, which acted almost as subagencies for the bookstore. The relevant work undertaken by this and other sales outposts did not, however, achieve enough critical mass to transform spaces of emigration into meaningful markets for Portuguese publishers.

Outside these spaces where the language was spoken, published Portuguese works were of no interest. The Portuguese publishing and literary system had little influence in comparison with places with greater scope for literary and publishing dissemination such as France.23 Its place in the international book market, through the sale of copies in Portuguese or translated into other languages, was almost nil, a factor which accentuated the economic and symbolic consequences of the decline of Brazil’s role as an import market for Portuguese publishing. In this sense, the analysis of the publishing relationship between Portugal and Brazil during the twentieth century must focus on the dislocation of the terms of subordination between the two countries. In this subordination, the discourse of the other as a market idea and a concrete possibility for holding market shares occupied a central place.

In relation to the way of seeing the other on the Portuguese side, the dominant vision and the practices which accompanied it seem to have endured. This was certainly linked to the slow and territorially unequal development of the Brazilian publishing industry, which happened late in comparison to other South American countries. The Brazilian publishing industry emerged as truly autonomous only in the 1920s,24 though Brazilian publishers had earlier begun to internationalize by acquiring Portuguese publishers or part of their capital, such as the investments of Francisco Alves in the first half of the twentieth century.25 Parallel to the emergence of a truly national Brazilian literature,26 and actively participating in it, the autonomous field of publishing in Brazil grew with great strength and speed, competing with Portugal in the 1930s – as contemporary Brazilian publishers noted.27 This surge could be seen in the sphere of productive and cultural mediation processes and in the dimensions of institutional and collective representation, which accelerated in the 1940s: “Publishers had a union, council, congresses, and it was increasingly possible to put into circulation publishing currencies to mediate the circulation of ideas and authors.”28

The 1948 prohibition must be understood in the light of this transformation. It did not emerge as an isolated or extemporaneous case, but signals a set of mechanisms of counter-influence in publishing echoing the process of social, economic, political, and cultural change which Brazil had undergone since the 1920s.29 At the end of the 1940s, the path was open to an unequivocal shift in the relationship between the Brazilian and Portuguese book-systems.30 The shift was indeed an inversion within a much broader framework of inversion and counter-inversion between the two countries. This translated into a process of change to which various agents and institutions including public authorities, professional associations, and economic powers contributed, against the backdrop of an expanding Brazilian book sector.

This process of inversion of typographic power was only partially mitigated in the 1950s with the increased export of books by Portuguese publishers to Brazil, taking advantage of the 1956 abolition of legislation banning the import of translations published in Portugal,31 as well as the economic instability undermining Brazilian book production. Brazil’s poor financial situation turned out to be a double-edged sword, causing successive losses to Portuguese publishers who incurred debts due to currency fluctuations and the Banco do Brasil’s freeze on payment for imported books. This gave rise to the accumulation of credit due to years of waiting for the settlement of arrears, as payments were made very slowly.

In the 1940s, in light of changing relationship between the two countries, markets, and industries, Portuguese publishers became increasingly concerned about losing the largest and most secure market for published books in Portugal. Diário de Notícias, the largest Portuguese daily newspaper, headlined its 11 February 1941 issue “S.O.S. for the Portuguese book,” due to falling sales in Brazil. António Teixeira, head of Clássica publishing house (established in 1903 by his father, António Maria Teixeira, as Livraria Clássica Editora), and president of the Grémio Nacional dos Editores e Livreiros [GNEL, National Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Guild], set the tone:

The causes of our decline in the Brazilian market are varied. Along with the dispersal of efforts, excessive mercantilism, the exploration and inaction of a trade often without resources and without means of action […] two other factors of capital importance have to be added: the development of Brazilian publishing and, especially, the cost of postal charges set for books.32

In turn, António Lobo Vilela (1902-1966), literary director at Gleba in the early 1940s, let slip his frustration while being interviewed by writer Irene Lisboa: “It is embarrassing to see how the Portuguese book is almost banned from Brazil, above all the modern book, and how the Brazilian book has spread in Portugal!”33 Portuguese publishers recognized the stagnation of national publishing, surpassed by the dynamism and daring innovation of the Brazilian sector. Arménio Amado, a publisher at Coimbra Editora, also stated in an interview with Lisboa:

The time has passed when our bookshops shipped everything they had in their warehouses to Brazil! Even books in verse without any possible use […]. And there they would be sold! Trading processes have to be different today. Fifty years ago, we invaded the Brazilian market with our books, now the spell has rebounded on the spellcaster […]. Today Brazilian printers are notable, as are their publishing houses! This country is magnificently equipped to beat us and even to forget us: in relation to its industry, the expansion of books, their selection and translation, etc.34

João António de Carvalho (1878-1953), a Mozambican bookseller from Minerva Central (founded in 1908), similarly told Lisboa that “Brazilian publishers have such a wide way of selling, and the books which they have released on the market recently are of such good quality and so interesting as literature, that it is not strange if they soon take over the language markets.”35 Publishers also addressed the size of their Brazilian competitors and thus their ability to take risks with amounts of capital much larger than those available to Portuguese “small enterprises.” In the first half of the 1940s, Manuel Rodrigues de Oliveira (1911-1996), publisher at Edições Cosmos (founded in 1938), considered with dismay that

Brazilian production is now done by large companies, as everyone knows. Brazil creates and translates on a large scale, at its own expense. It supplies the Portuguese communities in North America, not us. […] Our books survive in small projects and do not take advantage of the expansion that the language itself could foster.36

The echoes of change continued to be heard in the following decade. The Lyon de Castro brothers, Francisco (1914-2004) and Adelino (1910-1953), who in 1945 founded Publicações Europa-América alongside Manuel Rodrigues de Oliveira, interpreted the dynamics of transformation in a lucid editorial in 1952:

it is convenient to lose once and for all the idea that Brazil is still a vast field of colonial operations for the Portuguese book. […] The necessary conditions have been created for Brazil to think that the time has come to invert the roles and for its publishing production to perform in our country the role our publishers previously played for the Brazilian reader, and thus it is necessary not to forget the cultural emancipation of Brazil.37

Although these perceptions began to appear by the early 1940s, the majority of Portuguese publishers soon acknowledged the development of the Brazilian book industry. Driven by previously unknown difficulties in exporting books to the Brazilian market and a slowly rising awareness of the development of publishing in Brazil, in the late 1950s the agents of the Portuguese book sector began to see their Brazilian counterparts, their publishing output, and changes in readership expectations in a new light.

Building on this recognition of a more legitimate, mature Brazilian publishing space, suggestions for mutual exchanges and joint events and plans for distribution centers in each other’s countries emerged. Faced with growing difficulties, Portuguese publishers came to see Brazil as an opportunity which deserved a new type of relationship, based not on the increasingly impossible exploitation of a passive and dependent entity, but on partnership and collaboration. One such rapprochement was the first Brazilian Book Fair in Lisbon on 11 October 1966, in parallel with the first Portuguese Book Fair in Rio de Janeiro. The initiative proved somewhat disappointing, however, and Portuguese publishers had to grasp that Brazil was no longer the natural market for Portuguese books. Many were reluctant to face the facts and remained nostalgic for the past: the 1960s saw a profusion of press articles about the loss of a major export territory.38

The Actions of Concrete Agents Outside the Adversarial Axis

The Publisher António de Sousa Pinto

Not all Portuguese attempts to counter-influence the development of Brazilian publishing were guided by collaborative proposals to explore ways of remaining in or re-entering the Brazilian book market. Brazilian publishing and bookshops were not seen or considered as a single unit. Although predominant discourses can be clearly traced, the Portuguese book community did not develop a single, monolithic narrative about the Brazilian book market and industry.

Portuguese publishers and booksellers held various interpretations of the Brazilian book production and distribution circuit. These diverse discursive positions translated into diverse forms of publishing and bookselling. In the 1960s, for example, some Portuguese publishers attempted to internationalize, leading to an exploration of the Brazilian market, then undergoing a new transformation, qualitative rather than quantitative, characterized by “mutual reinforcement between the reading public and publishers […] which, to keep pace with readers and sell books, had to increasingly improve qualitatively.”39 The projects included Livraria Morais Editora40 which opened Editora Morais in Brazil, and Editora Verbo, owned by Fernando Guedes (1929-2016). However, such undertakings were rare and, above all in the case of Editora Morais, did not have long term results in terms of commercial expansion.

The developing Portuguese view of Brazilian publishing produced a range of perspectives in an often fraught context. One set of perceptions was discursively tied to a golden age which was coming to an end, while effective collaborative practices arose between the Portuguese and Brazilian book sectors. These were left to individual publishers, due to inaction or ineptitude by the Portuguese government and the publishing guild. One leading figure in the decades from the 1920s to the 1950s was António de Sousa Pinto, an early Portuguese publisher who published both in Brazil and in Portugal. His projects Livros de Portugal and Dois Mundos, based in Brazil, and Livros do Brasil, based in Portugal, can be seen as lying outside the adversarial axis, promoting the post-imperial circulation of print between Portugal and Brazil.41

António de Sousa Pinto (1901-1987) began his publishing career in Brazil. Born in Portugal at the beginning of the twentieth century, Sousa Pinto grew up in Angola, moving later to Brazil before returning to Portugal for good. This trajectory heightened his sensitivity to the problems and potential of print culture circulating in the Portuguese-speaking world in all its diversity and complexity. His publishing career began in Brazil with the two aforementioned projects, Livros de Portugal and Dois Mundos, which aimed to promote Portuguese works and authors in the Brazilian market and to strengthen ties between Portugal and Brazil through the exchange of publications. It was no coincidence that in December 1941, the year he formally began publishing and bookselling in Brazil, Sousa Pinto was appointed to organize a dual event at the National Library of Brazil, the Portuguese Book Exhibition and the Portuguese Book Fortnight, held at the behest of the Portuguese Secretariat of National Propaganda (SPN) and its Brazilian equivalent, the Department of Press and Propaganda (DIP).42 Sousa Pinto was already involved in the political and administrative spheres in the pursuit of cultural diffusion and market gains.43 In 1941, the Cultural Agreement between Portugal and Brazil was signed by the SPN and the DIP, supporting publishing with a view to facilitating exchanges of books between the two countries.44

Livros de Portugal was launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1941 by Sousa Pinto, Pedro Ferreira de Andrade45 and Américo Fraga Lamares (1897-1977), the owner of the Livraria Civilização in Portugal. This was a publishing company founded in 1879 as a typography company by Américo’s father João Alves Fraga Lamares. Américo Fraga Lamares acted as a sort of adviser to Sousa Pinto, the sole partner based in Brazil, who lacked experience in publishing and bookselling. The spirit of cooperation was also clear in a short-lived co-edition venture in the first half of the 1940s which involved Livros de Portugal (Rio de Janeiro), Civilização (Porto), and Casa do Livro (Lisbon). Livros de Portugal was also a bookshop and book distributor in Brazil and exported Brazilian books to Portugal, becoming central in the acquisition of Brazilian translations which were then published in Portugal, overcoming obstacles related to the direct acquisition of rights and lowering costs, since it dispensed with the work of preparing a translation from scratch.

Judiciously based on commercial principles, the project also had a strong cultural program. Livros de Portugal set out to revitalize the Brazilian readership’s contact with Portuguese literature, both classical and contemporary. Clássicos e contemporâneos [Classics and Contemporaries] was the title of Livros de Portugal’s first and most important collection: its literary director, Jaime Cortesão (1884-1960), was a respected Portuguese intellectual then residing in Brazil, who established the collection with an explicitly cultural purpose. In a letter cited by Irene Lisboa in the early 1940s, Cortesão stated that the Clássicos e contemporâneos collection “had a very selective appearance and its approximately sixty volumes intended to offer a representative picture of our culture from the Middle Ages to the present day […] one of its objectives was to reconquer the appreciation and taste of the Brazilian public, now turned away from Portuguese literature.”46

Cortesão’s discourse, in line with the intentions of the Livros de Portugal project, was materialized in the publishing practices which formed the collection. The books reflect a concerted effort to attract potential readers with a rhetoric of cultural and linguistic union, appealing to the supposedly indestructible historical ties between the two countries. For instance, the Brazilian author Afrânio Peixoto’s preface for the seventh title, Obras completas de Gonçalves Crespo [Complete Works of Gonçalves Crespo], ended with the following proclamation: “This great poet of ‘ours’, of Portugal and Brazil, is well suited to this collection of books which is intended to draw a union, a hyphen of light and love, between two motherlands.”47 This strategy was chosen in a context of increasing autonomy for the Brazilian book sector, which was shrugging off its former subordination to Portugal. The publisher therefore commissioned introductions and prefaces from Brazilian intellectuals and writers to promote and legitimize the Portuguese authors selected.

Just a year after launching Livros de Portugal, António de Sousa Pinto set up the publishing venture Edições Dois Mundos. It began publishing in 1942 and remained active until the end of the decade, though it did slow down somewhat in later years. Edições Dois Mundos was closely linked to Livros de Portugal, sharing the Clássicos e contemporâneos collection – both had a collection with the same name and titles – and the same graphic identity. Designed by António Pedro Rodrigues, one of the owners of Casa do Livro, it had been used for Livros de Portugal books from the beginning. These similarities were not unique to Sousa Pinto’s venture: sharing a graphic identity across collections by a single publisher was common practice, reducing costs and creating a clear brand identity. The books brought out by Livros de Portugal and those given to its contemporary Livros do Brasil are strongly similar in format, graphic design, front and back flaps, and other visual aspects. António de Sousa Pinto’s approach to printing was based on an overarching vision for his projects, which involved similar or even identical design and technical components alongside the shared cultural assumptions.

Livros de Portugal lasted until 1970, although Sousa Pinto stepped down as head of the company in the late 1940s. Although the publisher was already in Portugal, leading Livros do Brasil, Livros de Portugal, Edições Dois Mundos and Livros do Brasil continued their shared graphic identity and other similarities, building on a multitude of exchanges and connections establishing in the 1940s. Edições Dois Mundos published in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and, to a lesser extent, Lisbon and its books were distributed by Livros de Portugal and Livros do Brasil.

The Edições Dois Mundos publishing venture proved to be ephemeral, though it performed a role distinct from Livros de Portugal, in that it published more contemporary works. Another difference between the two is that the Dois Mundos catalogue brought together Portuguese and Brazilian authors in a publishing strategy building on the strong historical and cultural relationship between the two countries. Unlike Livros de Portugal, Edições Dois Mundos published on both Brazilian and Portuguese topics, as seen in the Portuguese author João de Barros’s passionate introduction to his work Presença do Brasil. Páginas escolhidas (1912-1946) [Presence of Brazil. Selected Pages (1912-1946)]: “The presence of Brazil, the soul and intelligence of Brazil, increasingly intimate and increasingly alive in the spirit, in the affection, and in the soul of the Portuguese people – this is what is intended, this is what is desired, this is what will always be necessary, in every moment of our march into the future, whatever the vicissitudes of international politics.”48

Many of Edições Dois Mundos titles dealt with Portuguese themes, usually organized or selected by renowned experts, often Brazilian intellectuals. One example is Os melhores contos populares de Portugal [The Best Popular Tales from Portugal], selected by Luis da Câmara Cascudo, a Brazilian writer who also wrote the preface to the book. Cascudo begins the preface as follows:

A Brazilian study of the traditional Portuguese short story is a bibliographic curiosity. A testimony of the repercussion of colonial voices, in the sixteenth- century dawn of Brazil, persisting through various centuries and influences. Brazil was Portuguese for three hundred and twenty-two years. Most its hospitality is given to Portuguese emigrants. The highest percentage of its myths, legends, beliefs, superstitions, vocabulary, is Portuguese. To a large extent, Brazilian ethnography is Portuguese ethnography in Brazil.49

Sousa Pinto’s unusual experiment in collaborative publishing justified the publishing company’s choice of name, bridging the Atlantic. One of the clearest examples is the Livro do Centenário de Eça de Queiroz [Eça de Queiroz Centenary Book], published in 1945 with contributions by forty-two authors from Portugal, Brazil and elsewhere.

Sousa Pinto eventually returned to Portugal in 1944 and, with his brother Joaquim de Sousa Pinto, acquired a Portuguese publishing company established in the previous decade by a Brazilian publisher. The brothers named it Livros do Brasil. The new venture set out to import and distribute Brazilian books in Portugal and the colonies and export Portuguese books.50 It soon dropped its distribution project and began to work almost exclusively as a publisher, becoming one of the most significant Portuguese publishing companies of the twentieth century. The founding of Livros do Brasil is an example of how the social world of publishing and books was largely structured on the basis of relations of proximity drawing on family, knowledge, friendship, and mutual interest networks.

Cases abound in the history of publishing in Portugal and Brazil in which an extant project prompts the establishment of a publishing house. In 1932, one of the most prominent twentieth-century Brazilian publishers, Octalles Marcondes Ferreira (1899-1972), purchased Civilização Brasileira, a publishing company founded three years previously in Rio de Janeiro, merging it with Companhia Editora Nacional, the publishing business he had founded in 1925 with the Brazilian writer and publisher Monteiro Lobato (1882-1948) to prolong the life of the failed Monteiro Lobato & Cia.51 1932 also saw Octalles open a subsidiary of Companhia Editora Nacional in Portugal with the same name as the purchased publisher, Civilização Brasileira. The Portuguese Civilização Brasileira was eventually sold to its local manager, who in turn sold it to the Sousa Pinto brothers in 1944. They renamed it Livros do Brasil,52 bringing the business full circle: Livros do Brasil was founded by a Brazilian publisher and acquired by a publisher who had made his name in Brazil. The birth of Livros do Brasil was forged in the intersection and circulation of books, ideas, and people across the Lusophone Atlantic.

Initially established both to import books published in Brazil and export books published in Portugal, the new company soon came to focus on its main objective, book publishing, since its import and export activity proved unsuccessful. It began with Livros do Brasil, for decades the only Portuguese collection devoted to Brazilian writers, the majority of whom it brought to Portugal for the first time. Livros do Brasil did not merely print and reprint literary works by Brazilian writers: it soon became one of the largest and most influential Portuguese publishers of the twentieth century, contributing to the widespread uptake of paperbacks with its Miniatura collection and iconic Vampiro and Argonauta popular fiction collections.

Sousa Pinto’s project demonstrates how cultural artefacts could be distributed as widely as possible, overcoming the historical tension between culture and commerce.53 When Sousa Pinto died, he left a flourishing business in Livros do Brasil, building a collection that spanned much of the Western literary canon in the first half of the twentieth century alongside the best of Brazilian writers. While its initial intention was to promote Brazilian literature in Portugal and the former Portuguese colonies, Sousa Pinto eventually sought to widen demand, making his products as accessible as possible, with ambitious pricing and distribution policies. Livros do Brasil was not the first publisher in Portugal to bring out Brazilian works. However, its first three decades of activity made it a pioneer in disseminating classic and contemporary Brazilian culture and literature in Portugal and its colonies, above all in Africa.

Sousa Pinto’s project sheds light on the contribution of publishers to the universal meaning of an author or book. As a publisher, he took authors and books out of their local or national framework and placed them in contexts of reception and interpretation far removed from their original contexts of production. He thus placed them in an international communication circuit where they would inevitably face different ways of attributing meaning. This intervention led to cultural consecration and validation, mediating and structuring a framework connecting readers with a new literary realm.54 For example, between 1964 and 1966, Sousa Pinto was involved in a series of behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Portuguese critics and authors Óscar Lopes and Mário Dionísio that aimed to win João Guimarães Rosa’s Grande Sertão: veredas [The Devil to Pay in the Backlands] the Prix International, then considered one of the most important international literary awards.55 One tactic involved Sousa Pinto and Óscar Lopes explicitly referencing the possibility of winning the prize in interviews on the Rádio Clube Português radio show Paisagem intelectual [Intellectual Landscape]. This program, aired on the main private radio station in Portugal, was unsurprisingly – and strategically – sponsored by Livros do Brasil.56

Sousa Pinto even created his own literary prize in 1959, the José Lins do Rego Prize, fully funded and promoted by Livros do Brasil. The award for Portuguese writers sought to raise their international profile, assuming that there would be a Brazilian version and that translations would be promoted in other countries. This initiative, let Sousa Pinto, who sat on the jury, reinforce his position as an agent of authorial legitimization within the Portuguese-speaking literary sphere while simultaneously strengthening the reputation and prestige of his publishing company. The prize, the only one in Portugal named after a Brazilian author, also indicated the desire to publish great Brazilian literature for the Portuguese market. The fact that this prize was only awarded once, in 1961, to the Portuguese author Fernando Namora’s Domingo à tarde [Sunday Afternoon], illustrates Fred B. Millett’s assertion about the complex and contradictory aspects of literary prizes, often affected by unforeseen consequences.57

Sousa Pinto’s purpose in founding the José Lins do Rego Prize was not wholly selfless, nor was his motivation solely cultural. It also represented a means for Livros do Brasil to position itself in the market and expand the potential demand for the works it published. In Boletim Bibliográfico LBL, a bibliographic periodical published by Livros do Brasil between 1961 and 1967, Sousa Pinto states:

the ‘José Lins do Rego Prize’ has already had great repercussions, both here and abroad. Various European publishers have reserved options on the translation rights of this novel in their country, and in Brazil the work will be published by Editora Globo S.A., one of the most important publishers in our sister country.58

Sousa Pinto’s activities went beyond publishing and promoting his writers. He played a significant role in bringing together authors from Brazil and Portugal, the social construction of networks being one of the most effective mechanisms for cultural exchange, palpably influencing the dynamics of intellectual movements and aesthetic tendencies in literature.59 For instance, he not only published Érico Veríssimo’s books, he invited and hosted him on his first trip to Portugal. Sousa Pinto and his friend the Portuguese writer, critic, and academic Jorge de Sena accompanied Veríssimo, one of the leading figures in Brazilian literature, throughout his visit, which included a tour of the country and took in visits to many Portuguese writers, again organized by Sousa Pinto.60

Sousa Pinto’s return to his native Portugal to set up Livros do Brasil did not weaken ties with his previous bookselling and publishing ventures. For some time, he managed to establish and maintain a transatlantic connection between Livros de Portugal, Edições Dois Mundos and Livros do Brasil. While practical obstacles eventually proved unsurmountable, making continued collaboration unsustainable, António de Sousa Pinto remains a towering figure in transatlantic publishing between Portugal and Brazil in the twentieth century.

However, this is not a linear history of cooperation. Sousa Pinto rapidly concentrated on the Portuguese company, leaving his position in the companies based in Brazil before the end of the 1940s. The post-imperial mode of circulating books embodied by Sousa Pinto distanced itself from the model of subordination and domination, replacing older forms and narratives of publishing with more modern forms of knowledge exchange. This new mode, while based on pivotal ideas and practices of cultural dissemination among national literary and publishing traditions whose past narratives were rooted in tension and asymmetry, was strongly market-oriented. The lack of agreement on common customs tariffs and currency instability made importing Brazilian books to Portugal prohibitively expensive during the years when Livros de Portugal, Edições Dois Mundos and Livros do Brasil coexisted under Sousa Pinto’s leadership.61 Livros do Brasil flourished to a great extent because Brazilian books needed to be printed in Portugal in order to be sold at a profit.

Sousa Pinto had an outstanding feel for the trade and soon realized that the Brazilian publishing industry was going through an accelerated process of maturation, growing year on year and threatening the place of Portuguese books in Brazil and the Portuguese colonies. He made a shrewd move in the late 1940s, ceding the Brazilian market to local operators and focusing on the Portuguese project. He cut official ties with the two Brazilian companies, continuing the transatlantic circulation of printed material exclusively from Portugal. Sousa Pinto’s transatlantic publishing and bookselling ventures sought not only to bring Brazilian culture to Portugal, but also vice versa. His work in Portugal resulted in an appropriation of Brazilian literature, generating a profitable market while presenting an extensive catalog of Brazilian writers to Portuguese readers, bridging the Lusophone Atlantic. Yet some of his publishing practices did not favor the publication of certain Brazilian authors, such as Rachel de Queiroz, who refused to allow Sousa Pinto to adapt her books to European Portuguese linguistic norms,62 such replacing Nordestino63 vocabulary with words more familiar to the Portuguese reading public. This delayed the publication of her works in Portugal for many years.64 Even so, Livros do Brasil was the first publishing company to bring out her works in Portugal and she translated for Sousa Pinto in the 1960s. António de Sousa Pinto thus maintained his intervention in a framework of cultural closeness between two worlds, while maintaining commercial profitability from the outset.


The shifting commercial and symbolic connections between Portuguese and Brazilian book culture gave rise to an inversion of typographic power, understood as the capacity to exert influence and expand publishing enterprises within a complex web of circulating print artefacts. This process began in the mid-1930s or early 1940s. The Portuguese publishing sphere, which previously represented itself as a dominant exporter to a dependent former colony that was a natural passive market, was surpassed by the Brazilian sphere, whose sudden typographic development subverted an order of the book which the Portuguese had seen as largely immutable. Lusophone print culture remained multi-faceted on both sides of the Atlantic, receiving a wide-ranging contribution from European publishing systems which worked as export models for publishers and booksellers. In the course of the process of inversion, concrete strategies of influence and counter-influence were brought into play, in a trajectory that was neither linear nor homogeneous.

The tension generated thereby was more than merely adversarial. It involved collaboration and building bridges, the gradual acceptance by the Portuguese book industry that reality had changed, and effective forms of action, borne more by individual publishers and booksellers such as António de Sousa Pinto than by collective and institutional initiatives. He and other publishers from both sides of the Atlantic acted as agents of cultural and publishing rapprochement between two publishing universes to a large extent mediated by a complex relationship of domination and counter-domination, demonstrating on a wider scale the exercise by the publisher of a cultural gatekeeping role, constructing and establishing international circuits for the circulation of books such as those which linked, in ways not always straightforward or direct, the book-systems of Portugal and Brazil in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.65 This period saw the creation of a Lusophone transatlantic space for books, based on practices of dominance and emancipation whose asymmetries and distances were at times mitigated by post-imperial processes of rapprochement in which individuals played a vital role.

  1. Professor, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa (ESTeSL). Research Fellow, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (IHC), Portugal.
  2. Nuno Medeiros, Edição e editores: o mundo do livro em Portugal, 1940-1970 (Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 2010), 141, 288.
  3. On the complexities resulting from the multiple relations between society, culture, publishing, domination, and subordination, see David Hall, Cultures of Print: Essays in the History of the Book (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996); Janice Radway and Carl Kaestle, “A Framework for the History of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880-1940,” in A History of the Book in America, ed. David Hall, vol. 4, Print in Motion. The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880-1940, eds. Carl Kaestle and Janice Radway (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 7-21; Eve Patten and Jason McElligott, “The Perils of Print Culture: An Introduction,” in The Perils of Print Culture: Book, Print and Publishing History in Theory and Practice, eds. Eve Patten and Jason McElligott (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 1-16.
  4. Roger Chartier, The Order of Books: Readers, Authors, and Libraries in Europe Between the 14th and 18th Centuries, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994); Roger Chartier et al., Cultura escrita, literatura e história. Conversas de Roger Chartier com Carlos Aguirre Anaya, Jesús Anaya Rosique, Daniel Goldin e Antonio Saborit (Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2001).
  5. Márcia Abreu, “A circulação transatlântica dos impressos. A globalização da cultura no século XIX,” Livro. Revista do Núcleo de Estudos do Livro e da Edição 1 (2011), 115-27.
  6. See Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life 1, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984), 165-176; Nuno Medeiros, “Editores e livreiros: que papéis de mediação para o livro?,” in Estudos de sociologia da leitura em Portugal no século XX, ed. Diogo Ramada Curto (Lisbon: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2006), 343-385; Nuno Medeiros, “Acções prescritivas e estratégicas: a edição como espaço social,” Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais 85 (2009), 131-46.
  7. Certain central attributes of national culture were typographically established in countries such as Portugal or Brazil by foreign publishers and booksellers, mainly from France. In Brazil, publishers from other nations also played an important role. See Claudia Neves Lopes, “Édition et colonisation : le marché éditorial entre le Brésil et le Portugal,” in Les mutations du livre et de l’édition dans le monde du XVIIIe siècle à l’an 2000, eds. Jacques Michon and Jean-Yves Mollier (Saint-Nicolas: Presses de l’Université Laval; Paris: L’Harmattan, 2001), 360-371; Marisa Midori Deaecto and Márcia Abreu eds., O livro no Brasil: sua história (São Paulo: Edusp, 2012).
  8. Abreu, “A circulação transatlântica,” 123.
  9. Aníbal Bragança, “O livreiro-editor Francisco Alves e os direitos de autor,” in Rei do livro. Francisco Alves na história do livro e da leitura no Brasil, ed. Aníbal Bragança (São Paulo: Edusp and Lihed, 2016), 32-33.
  10. See Aníbal Bragança, “António Isidoro da Fonseca e Frei José Mariano da Conceição Veloso: precursores,” in Impresso no Brasil: dois séculos de livros brasileiros, eds. Aníbal Bragança and Márcia Abreu (São Paulo: Unesp, 2010), 25-39; Márcia Abreu, “Duzentos anos: os primeiros livros brasileiros,” in Impresso no Brasil, 41-65.
  11. The first print shop in the Americas was established in Mexico in 1535, while the second was opened almost half a century later, in 1584, in Peru. See Hortensia Calvo, “The Politics of Print. The Historiography of the Book in Early Spanish America,” Book History 6 (2003): 277-305; Stella Maris Fernández, La imprenta en Hispanoamérica (Madrid: Asociación Nacional de Bibliotecarios, Archiveros y Arqueólogos, 1977); Joaquín García Icazbalceta, Bibliografía mexicana del siglo XVI (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1952); Magdalena Chocano Mena, “Colonial Printing and Metropolitan Books: Printed Texts and the Shaping of Scholarly Culture in New Spain, 1539-1700,” Colonial Latin American Historical Review 6, no. 1 (1997), 69-90.
  12. For a critical examination of the reasons for and the circumstances surrounding the technical capacity for publishing books in Brazil, see Aníbal Bragança, “A constituição do campo interdisciplinar de estudos do livro e da história editorial no Brasil (1900-2000),” in Comunicação, acontecimento e memória, eds. Aníbal Bragança and Sonia Moreira (São Paulo: Intercom, 2005), 79-94; Bragança, “António Isidoro da Fonseca”; Bragança ed., Rei do livro, 2016.
  13. For an overview of this process, see Bragança and Abreu, eds., Impresso no Brasil.
  14. For a global appreciation of these factors, see Medeiros, Edição e Editores.
  15. The Estado Novo (“New State”) was a corporatist dictatorship that ruled Portugal between 1926 and 1974 (translator’s note).
  16. The cruzeiro was the Brazilian currency at the time (translator’s note).
  17. See, for example, “O desacordo ortográfico luso-brasileiro,” Língua Portuguesa 20 (1955), 305-17.
  18. Câmara Brasileira do Livro, Primeiro congresso de editôres e livreiros do Brasil (São Paulo: Saraiva, 1950), 44-45.
  19. Grémio Nacional dos Editores e Livreiros, Livros de Portugal 61 (June 1952), 1-2.
  20. Grémio Nacional dos Editores e Livreiros, Livros de Portugal 85 (December 1954), 7-8.
  21. Grémio Nacional dos Editores e Livreiros, Livros de Portugal 100 (November-December 1956), 2.
  22. Francisco da Cunha Leão, “Sobre a expansão do livro português, nas províncias ultramarinas,” Boletim Geral do Ultramar 332 (February 1953), 62.
  23. On the historical centrality of the French publishing and literary system and its role as a model in the international context, see Jean-Yves Mollier, “La construction du système éditorial français et son expansion dans le monde du XVIIIe au XXe siècle,” in Les mutations du livre, 47-72.
  24. See Marisa Midori Deaecto, O império dos livros. Instituições e práticas de leitura na São Paulo oitocentista (São Paulo: Edusp and FAPESP, 2011); Laurence Hallewell, Books in Brazil: A History of the Publishing Trade (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1982); Bragança, Rei do livro.
  25. Those investments included the acquisition of the Portuguese publishing houses Livraria Bertrand (in a partnership), Biblioteca de Instrução Profissional, and A Editora before the end of the first decades of the 1900s. In 1907 the Brazilian publisher also acquired a stake in the Parisian publishing company, bookshop, and printers Aillaud. See Aníbal Bragança, “A Francisco Alves no contexto da formação de uma indústria brasileira do livro,” in Bragança, Rei do Livro, 15-30.
  26. On the nationalization of literature in Brazil, see Gustavo Sorá, Brasilianas. José Olympio e a gênese do mercado editorial brasileiro (São Paulo: Edusp and Com-Arte, 2010); Marcello Moreira, “A nacionalização das letras da América portuguesa durante o romantismo,” in Bragança and Abreu, Impresso no Brasil, 519-33; Bragança, “O livreiro-editor Francisco Alves.”
  27. See the interview given by the Brazilian bookseller Joaquim de Oliveira Antunes to the periodical Vamos Ler, transcribed in Grémio Nacional dos Editores e Livreiros, Livros de Portugal, 32 (October 1944), 13.
  28. Sorá, Brasilianas, 435.
  29. For a brief introduction to changes in Brazilian society in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, see Sérgio Miceli, Intelectuais e classe dirigente no Brasil (1920-1945) (São Paulo: Difel, 1979).
  30. See Lopes, “Édition et colonisation.”
  31. See Grémio Nacional dos Editores e Livreiros, Livros de Portugal 97 (May-June 1956), 1-2.
  32. “O S.O.S. do livro português,” Diário de Notícias (11 February 1941), 1.
  33. António Lobo Vilela, quoted by Irene Lisboa, Inquérito ao livro em Portugal 1, Editores e livreiros (Lisbon: Seara Nova, 1944), 41.
  34. Arménio Amado, quoted by Lisboa, Inquérito, 100.
  35. João António de Carvalho, quoted by Lisboa, Inquérito, 250.
  36. Manuel Rodrigues de Oliveira, quoted by Lisboa, Inquérito, 21.
  37. Adelino Lyon de Castro and Francisco Lyon de Castro, “Editorial,” Ler. Jornal de letras, artes e ciências 3 (June 1952), 2.
  38. See Medeiros, Edição e editores, 111.
  39. Sandra Reimão, Mercado editorial brasileiro, 1960-1990 (São Paulo: Com-Arte and FAPESP, 1996), 51-52.
  40. A publishing company founded in 1922 by João de Araújo Moraes (1867-1949) and purchased by António Alçada Baptista (1927-2008) in 1958.
  41. In addition to publishers, other figures were pivotal in building bridges and promoting mutual knowledge between the two countries, such as the writer and literary critic José Osório de Oliveira, who was especially active in the 1940s and 1950s. See Thiago Mio Salla, “Graciliano Ramos do outro lado do Atlântico: a difusão e a recepção da obra do autor de Vidas Secas em Portugal entre as décadas de 1930 e 1950” (PhD diss., Universidade de São Paulo, 2016).
  42. See Salla, “Graciliano Ramos,” 52-65 and Gilberto Oliveira, “Autor e autoria nas bordas do livro: o caso de José Lins do Rego na coleção Livros do Brasil,” in Anais do IV Colóquio História e Narrativa: 50 anos de O que é um autor?, de Michel Foucault, eds. Gilberto Oliveira and José Braúna (Fortaleza: Imprensa Universitária da UFC, 2020), 24-39.
  43. Mariana Tavares, “A aclamação das letras: o Instituto Nacional do Livro e a Pedagogia literária no Brasil do século XX” (PhD diss., Universidade Federal Fluminense, 2020), 187-202.
  44. Gisella Serrano, Caravelas de papel: a política editorial do Acordo Cultural de 1941 e o pan-lusitanismo (1941-1949) (Lisbon: Instituto Camões, 2014).
  45. In 1940, Pedro Ferreira de Andrade founded the Casa do Livro publishing company in Portugal with Raul Luiz Dias, Alberto Carlos Ferreira de Andrade, Henrique Pinto and António Pedro Martins Rodrigues.
  46. Jaime Cortesão, quoted by Lisboa, Inquérito, 131. Irene Lisboa agrees, arguing that the “commercial and cultural problem of Portuguese literature in Brazil must be seen through a characteristically spiritual prism,” proposing the promotion of works by Portuguese writers in the Brazilian market instead of insisting on sending translations published in Portugal. Lisboa, Inquérito, 132.
  47. Afrânio Peixoto, “Prefácio,” in Obras completas de Gonçalves Crespo (Rio de Janeiro: Livros de Portugal, 1942), 30.
  48. João de Barros, Presença do Brasil. Páginas escolhidas (1912-1946) (Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro: Edições Dois Mundos, n.d. [1946]), 7.
  49. Luis da Câmara Cascudo, “Prefácio,” in Os melhores contos populares de Portugal (Rio de Janeiro: Edições Dois Mundos, 1944), 11.
  50. As stated in advertisements in the GNEL Bulletin. See, for example, Grémio Nacional dos Editores e Livreiros, Livros de Portugal 42 (August 1945), 137.
  51. See Hallewell, Books in Brazil, 205-6; Guilherme Lima and Ana Sofia Mariz, “Editora Civilização Brasileira: novos parâmetros na produção editorial brasileira,” in Impresso no Brasil, 253-70; Maria Rita Toledo, “A Companhia Editora Nacional e a política de editar coleções: entre a formação do leitor e o mercado de livros,” in Impresso no Brasil, 139-56.
  52. Hallewell, Books in Brazil, 207.
  53. For a deeper examination of the complexities and tensions in the relationship between the cultural and commercial aspects of the book publishing industry, see Nuno Medeiros, “Cavalheiros, mercadores ou centauros? Traços de actividade e sentido de si dos editores,” in Nuno Medeiros et al., Comunidades de leitura: cinco estudos de sociologia da cultura (Lisbon: Colibri, 2009), 23-61; Nuno Medeiros, “Problematizar o objecto consagrado: definindo o livro como ideia e materialidade através da edição,” Revista Portuguesa de História do Livro e da Edição 25 (2010), 549-566.
  54. On book publishing as cultural brokerage, see Philip Altbach, “Publishing and the Intellectual System,” in International Book Publishing: An Encyclopedia, eds. Philip Altbach and Edith Hoshino (New York and London: Garland, 1995), 271-278; John Brewer, “Authors, Publishers and the Making of Literary Culture,” in The Book History Reader, eds. David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery (London: Routledge, 2002), 241-249; Chartier, The Order of Books; Robert Darnton, “What is the History of Books?” Daedalus 111, no. 3 (1982): 65-83; Jerome McGann, “The Socialization of Texts,” in The Book History Reader, 39-46; Michael Lane, “Shapers of Culture: the Editor in Book Publishing,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 421 (1975), 34-41; Donald F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (London: The British Library, 1986); Medeiros, “Acções prescritivas;” Nuno Medeiros, “Notas sobre o mundo social do livro: a construção do editor e da edição,” Revista angolana de sociologia 9 (2012): 33-48; Richard Ohmann, Politics of Letters (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1987); Walter W. Powell, Getting into Print: The Decision-making Process in Scholarly Publishing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985).
  55. The Prix International, set up in tandem with the Prix Formentor, was established in 1960 at the initiative of the Spanish publisher and writer Carlos Barral along with a series of publishers from various countries. Its genesis lay in the Formentor Colloquia, named after the place with the same name in Majorca, which brought together publishers, writers, and literary critics. The Franco dictatorship banned these meetings and awarding the prizes on Spanish territory. See Xavier Moret, Tiempo de editores. Historia de la edición en España, 1939-1975 (Barcelona: Ediciones Destino, 2002), 193-207; Alejandro Herrero-Olaizola, The Censorship Files: Latin American Writers and Franco’s Spain (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2007), 13-21; Fabio Espósito, “Seix Barral y el boom de la nueva narrativa hispanoamericana: las mediaciones culturales de la edición española,” Orbis Tertius. Revista de Teoría y Crítica Literaria 14, no. 15 (2009), 1-10; Frank de Glas, “The Literary Prize as an Instrument in the Material and Symbolic Production of Literature: The Case of the ‘Prix Formentor,’ 1961-1965,” Quaerendo 43, no. 2 (2013), 147-177.
  56. See the correspondence between Sousa Pinto, Guimarães Rosa and Óscar Lopes in Vera Theodozio, “Autor & edição: três sub-séries da correspondência de João Guimarães Rosa (1957-1967)” (PhD diss., Universidade de São Paulo, 2011).
  57. Fred B. Millett, “Literary Prize Winners,” The English Journal 24, no. 4 (1935), 269-282. For a panorama of literary prizes as social action in the context of cultural and market configurations, see Anna Boschetti, “Légitimité littéraire et stratégies editoriales,” in Histoire de l’édition française 4, Le livre concurrencé: 1900-1950, eds. Roger Chartier and Henri-Jean Martin (Paris: Promodis and Fayard, 1991), 480-527; Danny Anderson, “Creating Cultural Prestige: Editorial Joaquín Mortiz,” Latin American Research Review 31, no. 2 (1996), 3-41; Anne Simonin, “L’édition littéraire,” in L’Édition française depuis 1945, ed. Pascal Fouché (Paris: Éditions du Cercle de la Librairie, 1998), 30-87; Gillian Roberts, Prizing Literature: The Celebration and Circulation of National Culture (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011).
  58. Boletim Bibliográfico LBL 4 (July-August 1961), 16.
  59. On the relationship between social networks and publishing, see Lewis Coser, Charles Kadushin, and Walter W. Powell, Books: The Culture and Commerce of Publishing (New York: Basic Books, 1982); Jean-Yves Mollier, Michel & Calmann Lévy, ou la naissance de l’édition moderne: 1836-1891 (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1984); Clarkson Potter, Who Does What and Why in Book Publishing: Writers, Editors and Money Men (New York: Birch Lane Press, 1990); Janice Radway, “The Book-of-the-Month Club and the General Reader,” in Reading in America. Literature and Social History, ed. Cathy N. Davidson (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 259-284; Janice Radway, A Feeling for Books. The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle-class Desire (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1997).
  60. See Erico Veríssimo, Solo de clarinete 2 (Lisbon: Livros do Brasil, 1976), 76-91.
  61. Hallewell, Books in Brazil, 207-208.
  62. The practice of textually adjusting Brazilian books to European Portuguese norms meant that Sousa Pinto encountered objections and resistance not only from authors but also Brazilian publishers such as José Olympio. See Thiago Mio Salla, “Livros do Brasil e a edição de romances brasileiros em Portugal nos anos 1940,” FronteiraZ. Revista do Programa de Estudos Pós-Graduados em Literatura e Crítica Literária da PUCSP 19 (2017), 111-129.
  63. Dialectal form of Portuguese spoken in most of the Northeast region of Brazil (translator’s note).
  64. See Maria Aparecida Ribeiro, “A sertaneja que não quis ser traduzida: Rachel de Queiroz e a Livros do Brasil,” Ciências & Letras 53 (2013), 13-26.
  65. For some examples of this relationship between the two book-systems, see Diana Cooper-Richet and Jean-Yves Mollier (eds.), Le Commerce transatlantique de librairie, un des fondements de la mondialisation culturelle (France, Portugal, Brésil, XVIIIe-XXe siècle) (Campinas: Publicações do Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem and Unicamp, 2012); Giselle Venancio, Pontes sobre o Atlântico. Ensaios sobre relações editoriais e intelectuais luso-brasileiras (Rio de Janeiro: Vício de Leitura, 2012).

Cite: Nuno Medeiros, “Publishing Projects and the Transatlantic Book Trade between Portugal and Brazil: Circulation and Asymmetry, 1930-1960,” Lingua Franca, Issue 7 (2021),