I don’t have any intention of writing a long essay here about the direction of Brazilian Literature. I want to explain some personal opinions on this subject, which is linked to my experience in publishing.
Despite all difficulties, despite our real and still weak potential of reading is still far from ideal, advances are happening, and quite rapidly, I think.
We’ve never had before so many book fairs and literary events as in the past ten years! We’ve never seen so many literary contests occurring from north to south in Brazil, we’ve never had so many community libraries rising month by month, year by year. These advances are very important and significant for a country whose percentage of readers is infinitely small compared to its total number of inhabitants; this shows there’s a great interest in reading, but what there isn’t, of course, is purchasing power to buy books, which are still too expensive for the budget of the average Brazilians.
It’s very common that readers want books priced more affordable. However,
It’s not so easy for publishers, especially to small ones, practicing meager prices. After all, publishing is business and companies need to survive, whether they are big, medium or small. Anyway, this is a long discussion
Without going into economic and administrative considerations involving Brazilian publishers, the truth is: despite all the difficulties, Brazil is a country where people read more and more each day. And our literature has a long way to go elsewhere, because although our editors have a habit of buying the rights to foreign works, the opposite is infinitely smaller, and Brazil imports more than exports in this market. I’m not against the acquisition of works from the United States or European, of course not. But I dream of the day in which several of our authors and their books will make great success abroad, due to the high quality of our literary output, showing the world the real face of Brazil, our worldview and the reality in which we live.
To develop a taste for reading, nothing is better than the encouragement of family, school, and friends. Who has contact with books since childhood, certainly will reserve a space for them in its life. And will teach it to its children, who will explain it to its grandchildren, and so on.
To finish this topic, a famous phrase by Monteiro Lobato, a significant Brazilian writer:
“A country is made by men and books.”
Think about it!