Rebellion in the Backlands
Euclides da Cunha's classic account of the brutal campaigns against religious mystic Antonio Conselheiro has been called the Bible of Brazilian nationality.
"Euclides da Cunha went on the campaigns [against Conselheiro] as a journalist and what he returned with and published in 1902 is still unsurpassed in Latin American literature. Cunha is a talent as grand, spacious, entangled with knowledge, curiosity, and bafflement as the country itself. . . . On every page there is a heart of idea, speculation, dramatic observation that tells of a creative mission undertaken, the identity of the nation, and also the creation of a pure and eloquent prose style."—Elizabeth Hardwick, Bartleby in Manhattan
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amid Antonio Conselheiro appearance Aracaty army artillery assault attack backlands Baia battalions battle bayonets Brazil Brazilian Brigade bullets caatingas Cambaio camp campaign cannon Canudos Captain church Colonel column combat command crossing Cunha desert detachments drought earth enemy enemy's entire Euclides da Cunha expedition face fall fell fighting fire flanks Floriano Peixoto force formation Geremoabo Gilberto Freyre gleaming ground halt hand hills huts Infantry ipueiras jaguncos Joao Joazeiro land latter Lieutenant meanwhile ment mestizo miles military Monte Santo Moreira Cesar Mount Favella mountain night officers once Pernambuco plains Queimadas race ranch rear region rifle Rio de Janeiro river road rude ruins Sao Francisco Sao Paulo scattered seen sertanejos Sertoes settlement side slopes soldiers square sudden supply train Tapuia terrain tion town trees trenches troops Uaua vaqueiro Vasa-Barris village walls wind wounded
Page xv - This entire campaign would be a crime, a futile and a barbarous one, if we were not to take advantage of the paths opened by our artillery, by following up our cannon with a constant, stubborn, and persistent campaign of education, with the object of drawing these rude and backward fellow countrymen of ours into the current of our times and of our national life.
Page xxix - The first effects of various ethnic crossings are, it may be, initially adapted to the formation of a great race; there is lacking, however, a state of rest and equilibrium, which the acquired velocity of the march of the peoples in this century no longer permits. Backward races today, tomorrow these types will be wholly extinguished. Civilization is destined to continue its advance in the backlands, impelled by that implacable "motive force of history...