1944 – 1989
Who was Paulo Leminski?
His first small-press collection came out in the late 1970s. Although he never finished college, by the 1980s he knew Japanese, French, and English well enough to do translations. His most noted renderings are of Alfred Jarry, James Joyce, John Fante, John Lennon, Samuel Beckett, and Yukio Mishima. He also helped to produce a number of albums and was said to have taught judo.
Leminski was a prolific poet, wrote experimental prose / essays, occasionally wrote songs, and was a cultural agitator. He was the leading voice of his generation, having followed different paths of Brazilian lyric from the early 1960s through the late 1980s. His style of poetry has been compared to that of American poet e. e. cummings. He contributed to the journal Invenção, while still a teen and would maintain a strong sense of visuality and layout in his poetic output. Some of Leminski's poetry of the late 1970s/early 1980s has been linked to the controversial labe of poesia marginal. But his dedication to resolution in language set him apart. His collections Caprichos & Relaxos and Distraídos venceremos are landmarks. In the latter, his rigor and intertextual urges are clear. A neo-baroque narrative, Catatau, has become a cult book. His home town Curitiba has sponsored a yearly celebration of his legacy and cultural vibrancy in Brazil. The event's name Perhappiness is taken from a one-liner by the poet. There is a concise appreciation of the poet in Charles A. Perrone _Seven Faces: Brazilian Poetry since Modernism_. Perrone, Chris Daniels, and others have translated Leminski.
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