Brazil under Construction: Fiction and Public Works by Sophia Beal (auth.)

By Sophia Beal (auth.)

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Around 1900, it became the norm that literary authors made their living writing for newspapers, such as Bilac who received a monthly salary for his work at the Gazeta de Notícias, starting in 1907 (Süssekind 74). Simultaneously, printing technology was transforming the production of newspapers, and visual advancements were transforming newspapers’ style and content. Authors who wrote about electric light were competing against images of electric light for the attention of magazine and newspaper readers.

The military dictatorship focused on promoting high-profile public works projects that would break national and world records for their size. The RioNiterói Bridge, for instance, was the longest bridge of its kind in the world when it was completed in 1974. By focusing on large projects, the military dictatorship generated a buzz around public works achievements in the hope of obfuscating its regressions in the area of social progress. It even instituted a national transportation week, organized an anthology of literature related to transportation, and held a competition for the best poem about the Transamazon Highway, which the government was building.

Even the small island of Puerto Rico had double that number (Wolfe 138). ” (Wolfe 115). It was only in the 1950s, when Brazil started to build its own automobiles, that the country began to build major roads in rural areas (Wolfe 5). President Kubitschek’s commitment to road construction involved Brazil’s most ambitious public works project to date: the creation of Brasília, a capital built in the remote cerrado at Brazil’s geographic center linked to the rest of the nation via a fan of new highways.

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