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Diogo Cunha

Beyond Ideology. The “immortals”, the military and the palace

Au-delà de l'idéologie. Les « immortels », les militaires et le palais
[15/12/2020]

Résumés

L’objectif de cet article est d'analyser les rapports entre les intellectuels et le pouvoir du point de vue des intérêts et des récompenses que les deux parties peuvent obtenir d’une collaboration. Pour ce faire, nous analysons un cas particulier, survenu pendant la dictature militaire (1964-1985), et implique la donation d'un terrain, ainsi qu'un prêt pour la construction d'un bâtiment accordé par le régime militaire à l'Académie Brésilienne des Lettres (ABL). L'analyse permet de jeter un éclairage nouveau sur la relation entre les intellectuels conservateurs et le régime militaire brésilien. Dans la première partie, nous retraçons la trajectoire d'Austregésilo de Athayde, un journaliste qui a présidé l'institution entre 1959 et 1994 et a joué un rôle essentiel dans ce don et dans le financement de la construction du bâtiment. Dans la seconde partie, nous détaillons comment ce processus s’est déroulé et comment il offre un nouvel angle pour analyser les rapports entre les intellectuels conservateurs et la dictature militaire au Brésil.

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Introduction

  • 1 In this paper, the acronyms used refer to the Portuguese terms: MES for Ministério da Educação e S (...)
  • 2 Gomes, Angela de Castro, “O ministro e sua correspondência: projeto político e sociabilidade intel (...)
  • 3 Gomes, Angela de Castro, “O ministro e sua correspondência: projeto político e sociabilidade intel (...)
  • 4 Ibid, p. 33.

1In a suggestive chapter published almost two decades ago, Angela de Castro Gomes analyzed the relationship between Gustavo Capanema, the Minister of Education and Health (MES)1 during the Getúlio Vargas government from 1934 to 1945, and the intellectuals2. The author delved into the minister’s private correspondence, considered as a locus of sociability, seeking to understand how the MES, under Capanema’s direction, was able to become an enclave of heterogeneity and audacious ideas, in sharp contrast to the rest of the State apparatus, identified with the physical and symbolic oppression of an authoritarian regime. Examination of the correspondence demonstrated, amongst a range of subjects, a predominance of requests. The intellectuals of the network closest to the minister were, in the author’s terms, “spongers” (pidões)3. They requested jobs for themselves, for friends and for relatives; appointments to positions in public administration, especially in areas of education and health; transfers from one public job to another; or appeals to speed up processes that were dragging along through the bureaucracy4. On the other hand, the minister also made requests to the intellectuals, since it was in the interests of the government to have intellectuals in strategic positions. This enabled them to conduct public policies and implement them efficiently, while ensuring their legitimacy in a wider social circuit.

  • 5 Gomes, Angela de Castro. “Cultura política e cultura histórica no Estado Novo”, in Marta Abreu, Re (...)

2The study by Gomes opened an interesting and fruitful perspective of analysis and provides an insight into the relationship between the intellectuals and the political power, in all its complexity. As is known, it is in the interest of political power to rely on the collaboration of intellectuals, just as it is effective for intellectuals to participate in spaces opened to them by political power, which translates into opportunities that bring financial benefits and sociocultural prestige. But what the author exposed was that within these contacts a wide range of approaches, negotiations and interests may be established. Therefore, the relation of the intellectuals to power should not be analyzed solely in terms of cooptation or ideological support, but also as a pact whereby the support of the intellectuals was able to bring them several rewards, whether material or symbolic, as well as a margin of maneuver in an authoritarian context5.

3In the wake of Gomes’ study, the aim of this paper is to explore this path and analyze the relationship of intellectuals to power from the perspective of the interests and rewards that both sides were able to obtain. To do this, we set out to analyze a very specific case that occurred in yet another authoritarian context, the military dictatorship (1964-1985). This concerns the donation of a piece of land, together with a financial loan to construct a building, by the military regime to the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL). We believe that the analysis of these event allows us to shed new light on the relationship of the conservative intellectuals with the Brazilian military regime, clarifying how the sociability between the intelligentsia and the dignitaries of the regime evolved, the degree of proximity, and the image of the regime for the institution and vice versa.

4This paper is divided into three sections. In the first, we present some theoretical and historiographical considerations on the research from which this study originated. These considerations, in addition to certain elements of contextualization, are essential, since we are examining a very specific aspect of the relationship between intellectuals and political power. In the second section, we briefly retrace the trajectory of Austregésilo de Athayde, a famous journalist, who presided over the institution from 1959 until his death, in 1994. Thanks to his position as president of the institution and its proximity to the military regime, he played a vital role in the donation and in financing the construction of the building. In the third section, we analyze how this donation process of unfolded.

Military rule, the Brazilian Academy of Letters and Conservative Intellectuals: Methodological and Historiographical Considerations

5The analysis of this particular event is part of a wider research on the relationship of the conservative intellectuals, specifically those who belonged to the ABL, with the Brazilian military dictatorship. Since this article is a case study, it is necessary to present some theoretical and historiographical considerations, and to contextualize the research.

  • 6 El Far, Alessandra. A encenação da imortalidade. Uma análise da Academia Brasileira de Letras nos (...)

6The ABL was officially established on July 20, 1897, welcomed the great names of the national literature and was recognized as an authority with respect to everything that referred to the Portuguese language. On the eve of the 1930 Revolution, the ABL was the country’s institution of letters par excellence and official advocate of Brazilian literature6. There is evidence of the proximity of the institution with the regime, the high point of which was the election of Getúlio Vargas to the academy in 1941. During the period of the military dictatorship, the ABL remained close to the power despite declaring a posture of political non-involvement.

  • 7 This book was included in a collection of texts by the author under the title Intelectuais à brasi (...)
  • 8 Paris, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1989.
  • 9 Literatura como missão. Tensões sociais e criação cultural na Primeira República, São Paulo, Compa (...)
  • 10 Belle Époque Tropical, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1994.
  • 11 Estilo tropical. História cultural e polêmicas literárias no Brasil, São Paulo, Companhia das Letr (...)
  • 12 História e historiadores. A política cultural do Estado Novo, Rio de Janeiro, FGV, 1996.
  • 13 Essa gente do rio..., Rio de Janeiro, FGV, 1999.
  • 14 Ideias em movimento. A “geração 1870” na crise do Brasil-Império, São Paulo, Paz e Terra, 2002.
  • 15 São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2015.
  • 16 Laura de Mello e Souza, “Brasil: Literatura e ‘intelectuales’ en el período colonial”, in Carlos A (...)
  • 17 Inventando a nação. Intelectuais ilustrados e estadistas luso-brasileiros na crise do antigo regim (...)

7It is a well-known fact that intellectuals and the Brazilian military dictatorship are two themes that have been widely studied by historians and sociologists. Ever since the late 1970s, research on intellectuals has been conducted from multiple perspectives. Sérgio Miceli launched studies in these area with the publication of Intelectuais e classes dirigentes no Brasil where, from a Bourdieusian perspective, he analyzed the relations between writers and the ruling class from 1920 to 1945, particularly their strategies for gaining positions in the public and private sectors7. A decade later, Daniel Pécaut published Entre le peuple et la nation. Les intellectuels et la politque au Brésil (1920-1980)8, in which, unlike Miceli, he prioritized the actual political motivations of intellectuals in their engagements. Since the 1980s, cultural historians have also integrated intellectuals into their studies, such as Nicolau Sevcencko9, Jeffrey Needell10 and Roberto Ventura11. These authors extended beyond analyzing the role of intellectuals, and investigated a wide variety of aspects of cultural life between the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth. In the 1990s, Gomes conducted research into the role of these actors in elaborating cultural policy within the State apparatus during the 1930s and 1940s12, as well as their circulation and sociability networks in Rio de Janeiro during the 1910s and 1920s13. Recently, with the use of new analytical tools, historians and sociologists have undertaken new studies examining other periods. Amongst them, we may indicate work by Angela Alonso who, based on the concepts of repertoire, and the structure of opportunities and generation, offered a new perspective on the behavior of the well-known “1870 generation”14, as well as the abolitionist movement in her more recent Flores, Votos e Balas15. Exploring a more distant period, we may also underscore the contribution by Laura de Mello e Souza16, as well as that of Ana Rosa Cloclet da Silva on the role of “illustrated intellectuals” in the relations between Brazil and Portugal in the context of the crisis of the Old Regime17.

  • 18 Ditadura militar, esquerdas e sociedade, Rio de Janeiro, Jorge Zahar Editor, 2001.
  • 19 On the notion of accommodation with regard to analyzing the relationship between society and autho (...)
  • 20 Serbin, Kenneth. Diálogos nas Sombras, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2001.
  • 21 Rollemberg, Denise. “As trincheiras da memória. A Associação Brasileira de Imprensa e a ditadura ( (...)
  • 22 Rollemberg, Denise, “Défendre la modernité de l’État Brésilien face aux réformes de base : L’Ordre (...)
  • 23 Cordeiro, Janaína, Direitas em movimento. A Campanha da Mulher pela Democracia e a ditadura no Bra (...)
  • 24 Cordeiro, Janaína, A ditadura em tempos de milagre. Comemorações, orgulho e consentimento, Rio de (...)
  • 25 Kushnir, Beatriz. Cães de guarda. Jornalistas e censores, do AI-5 à Constituição de 1988, São Paul (...)
  • 26 “Cultura e poder ou espelho, espelho meu: existe alguém mais culto do que eu ?”, in Sérgio Miceli (...)
  • 27 Cultura Brasileira & identidade nacional, São Paulo, Brasiliense, 2006 (1985).
  • 28 “Cardeais da cultura nacional”: o Conselho Federal de Cultura e o papel cívico das políticas cultu (...)

8On the other hand, over the last two decades, historiography on the military regime has largely been revived from the perception of a need to consider the relationship of Brazilian society with authoritarianism. Following the suggestions of Daniel Aarão Reis18, a whole new generation of historians focused on individuals, groups, institutions and movements of the civil society who, far from having clearly opposed the dictatorship, behaved in a much more ambiguous and accommodated manner19. Thus, the role of the church at that time was reviewed20, together with important associations such as the Brazilian Press Association (ABI)21 and the Bar Association (OAB)22; certain movements23; the participation of society in celebrating the regime was also studied24; and censorship was reexamined in a non-Manichean manner25. Conservative intellectuals, however, during the military dictatorship, received much less attention than in the 1930s. In this sense, the pioneering works of Maria Quintella26 and Renato Ortiz27 were therefore an exception during the 1980s. It has been only recently that the conservative intellectuals during the time of the military dictatorship returned to receive some attention with the doctoral thesis by Tatyana Maia on the Federal Cultural Council28. This brief mention of the literature on Brazilian intellectuals and the military regime is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to indicate some frameworks in order to situate our study.

9The image of the ABL, generally perceived by public opinion as an institution formed by a group of obscure, anachronistic, and non-partisan writers, would seem incorrect to us. It is for certain that during the dictatorship, a considerable number of the academics remained discreet and silent. If this posture has led us to question this silence, this immobility and the defense of certain values as a political position, then the research has also revealed very active intellectuals, who assumed high positions of administration, actively participated in the development of cultural policy, engaged in the organization of official ceremonies and never ceased to intervene in public debate, whether through the publication of press articles and books or by presenting lectures at various institutions. Thus, the essential questions of this research relate to how the ABL, as well as its “immortals” – as its members are called –, existed throughout these years, and what choices were made at decisive moments. Furthermore – and this would constitute the main question – to assess whether the institution could have been a legitimizing instance for the dictatorship.

  • 29 Jean-François Sirinelli, « Le hasard ou la nécessité ? Une histoire en chantier : l’histoire des i (...)
  • 30 « Les générations intellectuelles », Vingtième siècle, revue d’histoire, nº 22, avril-juin 1989.

10To examine our sources, we have employed analytical categories widely used and debated since the early 1980s, particularly by the French historiography of intellectuals, and that have remained useful for research on intellectuals: “itinerary”, “sociability” and “generation”29. Moreover, the notion of the “community of an ideological system” [communauté de système idéologique], forged by Michel Winock, was particularly useful when considering the dominant issues of the political and intellectual debate of the generation that made part of the ABL between the 1960s and 1970s30.

  • 31 Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1995.
  • 32 La guerre des écrivains, 1940-1953, Paris, Fayard, 1999, p. 31.
  • 33 Ibid., p. 8.
  • 34 Ibid., p. 9.

11One last theoretical reference had considerable importance in our reflections, and is therefore important to dwell upon. In his work on the behavior of the French during World War II, La France à l’heure allemande31, Philippe Burrin created the notion of “accommodation” – which was then employed by Gisèle Sapiro in her study on French writers during the Occupation32. We have also borrowed this notion, because we believe that it captures the complexity of the relationship between society and authoritarian regimes better than the two pole positions of collaboration/resistance. Burrin distinguished the policies pursued by the French state from the multiple forms of accommodation of the population, as well as the multiple forms of collaboration. Beyond the “accommodation of necessity”, that which the majority of French people had to undergo in 1940, due to a lack of choice given the power of the German occupier, there was also a “voluntary accommodation”. Even less glorious than the “need” to accommodate, this second form of accommodation was marked by complacency towards the powerful of the day, through the search for an agreement or an understanding, through offers of services. While for some this adaptation was opportune, at a time when the German victory seemed a certainty, and therefore necessary to accept its domination, for others an alliance with the old enemies was essential33. Thus, collaboration would be the third form of accommodation. However, Burrin suggested that his goal was not to confuse the category of collaboration with that of accommodation. What he set out in his proposal – which he did extremely successfully – was to account for the various forms of adaptation in order to distinguish their gradations and identify their specificities. By retracing the diversity of behaviors and the complexity of the patterns, he was able to restore the “vast gray zone” which is, in fact, “the predominant color spot on the picture of dark years”34.

12Burrin’s examination of the Catholic Church under the occupation is striking due to the parallel that may be drawn with the ABL during the Brazilian military dictatorship, despite the enormous differences between the two historical situations. The House of Machado de Assis – as the ABL is also known – is an institution which, like any other, defends its own interests, and it may be stated that the years of military rule are exactly those in which it most defended them. This was not only thanks to Austregésilo de Athayde, the president who was extremely active and dynamic in defending the interests of the institution, as we will see in detail, but also, because we believe that this self-proclaimed liberal journalist was aware of the opportune moment in which he was to negotiate and receive, from those in power, both important recognition and considerable material profit. Certainly, the ABL was not, unlike the Catholic Church in France, a social, spiritual or political power. However, at that time, it was still, by welcoming men of letters and the “heralds of Brazilian culture”, a very prestigious and respectable institution. We may also affirm that, even if the ABL proclaimed itself “apolitical”, it nonetheless shared with the dictatorship a set of values and a very conservative vision of nationality. Even if lacking originality, we take up an expression that Pierre Bourdieu borrowed from Leibniz, and which was then taken up by Gisèle Sapiro, in order to assert that there was a “pre-established harmony” between the ABL and the military dictatorship.

  • 35 Austregésilo de Athayde, “Nova tática do honrado governo”, A Província do Pará, 02/06/1967.
  • 36 Austregésilo de Athayde, “Eu sei, tu sabes, ele sabe”, Correio Brasiliense, 21/08/1968.
  • 37 Austregésilo de Athayde, “Pragmatismo e ideologia”, O Jornal, 30/01/1974.

13Similar to the French Catholic Church in its relationship with the Vichy regime, the ABL exercised great discretion, never having “officially” given its support to the dictatorship. In the severest of moments, silence was almost omnipresent amongst the most conservative academics and even the reputed progressives. But, we insist, support – sometimes open, sometimes ambiguous – existed, albeit indirectly. When academics joined the military governments in official commemorations, often as keynote speakers; when, following the rise of tensions and student demonstrations against the regime in 1967, the ABL president, Austregésilo de Athayde, wrote in the newspapers that it was not worth “the honorable Costa e Silva government be[ing] so nice to them”35; when he waged a fierce battle against the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Dom Hélder Câmara, who regularly spoke out against the regime36; and ultimately, when he glorified the dictatorship on the eve of its tenth anniversary37, and the institution, created by Machado de Assis, afforded its approval to the power in place. The steadfastness shown by Austregésilo de Athayde in his support for the dictatorship contrasts sharply with the weak, dispersive criticism of censorship.

14The dynamics of the ABL and of the “immortals”, in becoming accommodated with the military regime have been analyzed from many different perspectives: the creation of a prosopography based on the itinerary of all the participating members in the 1960s and 1970s; forms of engagement; sociability networks; analysis of the everyday life at the ABL, with its receptions, inauguration ceremonies, celebrations, and visits; writings by the intellectuals, from texts in the media to more elaborate works. It was the analysis of these multiple dimensions of the relationship between an institution and the dictatorship that enabled us to answer our central question and to establish that the institution created by Machado de Assis was a legitimizing instance of the military dictatorship, amongst many others. The donation of land and a loan for the construction of a large building, therefore, was one of the dimensions of this relationship. We therefore believe that it was sufficiently relevant for us to dedicate a separate study to it, which has been included in this paper, since it reveals the material interest, i.e., not ideological, which may also be behind the relations between the intellectuals and the political power.

15It is important to mention the sources used in the research, and particularly in this article. The actors I have focused on were part of an institution whose internal workings – including elections, personal interests, alliances, agreements, behind-the-scenes politics, negotiations or conflicts – do not appear in the resulting documents. Thus, cross-referencing the ABL sources with other archives was essential in order to provide some answers to the questions we were addressing. In particular, to specifically analyze the military’s donation of land to the ABL, the object of this paper, we used different sources: memories, correspondence, newspapers and one interview in particular, that of the poet Lêdo Ivo, directly involved in this event. It would, however, be beyond the scope of this article to analyze the potential and problems of these different types of sources. In this paper, we have used them as material capable of responding to the problem we are addressing, namely the material dimension of the relations between intellectuals and power, as well as to support a reconstruction of the narrative of the entire process.

Austregésilo de Athayde: a trajectory in the twentieth century, between liberalism and authoritarianism.

16No one has ruled the ABL as long as Belarmino Maria Austregésilo Augusto de Athayde. Austregésilo de Athayde, as he was known, was born in 1898 in Caruaru, a small town in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, but lived in the state of Ceará until his adolescence. When he was twelve years old his father enrolled him at the Nossa Senhora da Prainha seminary in the city of Fortaleza, where he studied until 1916, when, aged eighteen, he left. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1918 and his arrival in the capital marked a turning point in his life. He found a job in the newspaper A Tribuna and would become one of the most famous journalists in the country. He could take advantage of the relational capital of his famous uncle Antonio Austregésilo a famous doctor who introduced him to the intellectual world of the Carioca Belle Époque. Athayde had not been enthusiastic about the modernist movement and had opposed the Lieutenant’s movement of 1922, and at the end of the decade he was also opposed to the movement that brought Getúlio Vargas to power. Shortly after the 1930 Revolution, Athayde began to write in favor of convening a constituent assembly. Pursued by the new authorities, he moved to São Paulo and took part in the 1932 uprising. After the insurgents were defeated, Athayde went into exile where he remained until December 1933. During World War II he was a strong critic of the Vargas dictatorship and the Axis countries. In the aftermath of Varga’s downfall in 1945, Austregésilo de Athayde had adopted a leaning towards right-wing parties. During this democratic intermezzo, he became an enthusiastic “udenista” – supporter of the liberal right-wing National Democratic Union (UDN) supporting energetically the party’s candidates in the presidential election.

  • 38 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um libe (...)

17During the 1950s, two events in Athayde’s life should be highlighted. The first notable event was joining the National War College (ESG), initially as a student, then as a lecturer. The ESG was crucial in Athayde’s approximation to the military elite38. The second major event was his election to the ABL in 1951. The rise of Athayde in the institution was dazzling. He was elected first secretary in 1956, then secretary general in 1957, and was finally elected president the following year and, as we have previously stated, was reelected thereafter until his death in 1994.

  • 39 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um libe (...)

18The biographers of Athayde describe him as an “antimilitarist liberal”. But in the face of the “turmoil” that the country was experiencing in the early months of 1964 and “fearing that a coup d'état by Joao Goulart would bring the Communist Party to power”, he supported the military intervention. However, his biographers also confirmed that he would constantly “advocate for non-violent intervention and for the restitution of power to civilians”, which he believed was possible39. This portrayal corresponds in no way to the behavior of Athayde during the dictatorship. At no time did the ABL president question the legitimacy of the dictatorship as a whole, limiting criticism to arbitrary censorship or the arrest of journalists. This paper focuses on one dimension of his engagement: his struggle with the military in order to obtain financial advantages for the institution he presided over.

Support and rewards: the Austregésilo of Athayde Palace

  • 40 Petit Trianon do Brasil is a mansion donated by the French government to host the Brazilian Academ (...)

19Austregésilo de Athayde took advantage of his personal proximity with the military to render the ABL a financially solid and independent institution. His great acquisition for the House of Machado de Assis – first the “British Pavilion” from the 1922 Universal Exhibition alongside the Petit Trianon40 and then the loan to construct the Austregésilo de Athayde Palace – has a long and complex history. This operation is closely linked to the relations that Athayde entertained with the military, as well as the willingness of the latter to benefit from the complacency of a traditional and prestigious institution.

  • 41 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um libe (...)

20The story of the donation begins before the 1964 coup. In 1956, one year after being elected President of the Republic, Juscelino Kubitscheck paid a visit to the ABL to announce that he had just signed a law that allowed the institution to print its publications in the National Press. The academics, however, had other plans: to demolish the Petit Trianon in order to build a larger, more modern building instead. For this, much funding was needed. Kubitscheck promised to work on the matter personally and acquired a loan from the public bank Caixa Econômica Federal. However, with the departure to Europe of Josué Montello, the academic in charge of the dossier, negotiations were interrupted41.

21Four years later, Athayde, now president of the ABL, made a proposal to Kubitscheck: as he was personally against demolishing the Petit Trianon, he asked the government to donate the British Pavilion. His project consisted of demolishing the old building that stood there, and, in its place, erecting another, great, modern building: the “Cultural Center of Brazil”. In 1960, the last year of his term, Kubitscheck signed a decree granting this. However, his successor Jânio Quadros – who considered the academies anachronistic residues – revoked the decree.

22In 1967, now under the military regime, Athayde asked to Castelo Branco for the British Pavilion to be donated to the ABL. Less than a month before handing over the presidency of the country to Costa e Silva, Castelo Branco signed the donation decree. However, there was a clause that prevented any modification to the building, which frustrated Athayde’s initial plans. He resumed his campaign to obtain the British Pavilion with no limitations, which he only succeeded in doing in September 1970, thanks to President Emilio Medici. It was indeed a long journey that Athayde had taken.

23On August 2, 1969, the academic Múcio Leão died, leaving a vacant seat. Less than a month later, the president of the Republic, Costa e Silva, had suffered a cerebral ischemia. Almost at the same time that the ABL candidacy period was opening for the vacancy of Múcio Leão, the conduct of the country passed into the hands of a Junta, formed by the three ministers of the Army, Navy and Air Force: Generals Aurelio de Lyra Tavares, Augusto Rademaker and Márcio de Souza Mello. They ruled the country between August and October 1969. In December, Lyra Tavares applied to succeed Múcio Leão in the ABL. The election took place on April 25, 1970 and the general defeated the poet Lêdo Ivo by 21 votes to 15.

  • 42 Skidmore, Thomas. Brasil: de Castelo a Tancredo. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra. 2000, p. 191.
  • 43 Gaspari, Elio. A ditadura envergonhada, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2002, p. 264-265.

24As is known, Lyra Tavares had a long list of services rendered to the Armed Forces. In 1964, despite his proximity to the group that conspired against the Goulart government, it would appear that at the time, Lyra Tavares did not play a prominent role in the coup. Nonetheless, as early as October 1964, Castelo Branco appointed him commander of the IV Army, before naming him Army General the following month. In 1966 he was appointed director of the ESG before taking over the Ministry of War, the most powerful post during the dictatorship, subordinate only to the Presidency of the Republic. The results of his actions as Minister of War are widely criticized by experts of the period. For Thomas Skidmore, Lyra Tavares was “incapable”42. For Elio Gaspari, he was a “weak”, “disastrous” and “discredited” military minister thrown into the midst of a High Command formed of generals who, unlike himself, had risked their careers in 1964. Intellectually, opinions are even less flattering. He was elected to the ABL shortly after he handed over power to Médici, “without ever”, according to Gaspari, “having made peace with grammar”43.

  • 44 Lyra Tavares, Aurélio. O Brasil de minha geração 2v. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca do Exército Editor (...)

25In his memoirs, Lyra Tavares states that he never thought he would attain “the glory of immortality” and that it had been a commission of academicians who went to him and asked him to be a candidate44. There is no information as to who composed this “commission” but, thanks to a letter from Alceu Amoroso Lima to his daughter, it is very probable that the sponsors of this initiative were the president of the institution Austregésilo de Athayde. As he states in his letter:

  • 45 Betto, Frei ; Amoroso Lima Filho, Alceu (Org.). Diário de um ano de trevas. Cartas de Alceu Amoros (...)

As you can see from the attached telegram, the general, a former war minister of the dictatorship, has just put forward his candidacy to the Academy ... I refuse to give him my vote, not merely for ‘political reasons’, but because I am against ‘the exponent theory’, the only reason why a ‘general’ with no literary or intellectual works of any value has the nerve to present himself to the Academy! And the political motive is not about having ideas opposed to mine, but to being from the ‘military dictatorship’ and thereby giving the impression, at least, of taking advantage of this to put pressure on the Academy […] What a fiasco this is on the parts of both the general and A. A. [Austregésilo de Athayde]. Now, if the Academy were to be cowed, the lapse would belong to the Academy, more than to these two interested parties. And in that case, I do not know if I will have the stomach to continue attending […] In any case, this general will never enter the Academy with my vote, but if he does enter, it is very likely that I will leave, or at least refuse any activity or to attend. I will leave discreetly, as I intend one day to leave the newspapers, the books, the tribunes and, ultimately, life45.

  • 46 Diário da Tarde, 03/06/1970.
  • 47 O Globo, 03/06/1970.
  • 48 O Globo, 03/06/1970.

26Amoroso Lima's opposition to Lyra Tavares becoming a member, however, was in vain. The investiture ceremony took place on July 2, days before Lyra Tavares’ departure for France to take up the post of Brazilian Ambassador. The front page of the newspaper Diário da Tarde carried a photograph of the ceremony in which President Emilio Médici and Vice-President Augusto Rademaker occupied the center of the table, next to the president of ABL Athayde, the academic Ivan Lins and the Governor of Guanabara, Negrão de Lima, and was entitled “Medici and Rademaker see Lira [sic] take office in ABL”. The newspaper also mentioned the guests: “In addition to the president and vice president of the Republic, the ministers of the Army, Navy, Aeronautics, Justice, governors of Guanabara, Paraiba and Santa Catarina and the ambassadors of Finland, El Salvador, Chile, Uruguay, Germany, Venezuela and Australia”46. The newspaper O Globo gave more details of the investiture ceremony, reporting that Lyra Tavares had arrived wearing the fardão (the ABL ceremonial uniform) offered by the state government of Paraíba, and surrounded by several companions. They awaited the arrival of the authorities. At 8:45 p.m., the Vice-Presidents, the Governors of Bahia, Luís Viana Filho, also an academic, and of Paraíba, José Agripino, followed by the Ministers Mario Gibson and Márcio de Sousa Melo and Barros Nunes. At 9 p.m., the Governor of Guanabara, Negrão de Lima arrived. They all waited in the “French Hall” for the arrival of President Médici, who arrived at 9:15 p.m. According to the newspaper, he “was welcomed at the entrance of the ABL by a commission of immortals led by President Austregésilo of Athayde. The President of the Republic was brought to the Hall under vigorous applause and greeted by the authorities present”47. The newspaper then mentions the speech of the newly elected candidate, merely highlighting the praise he made to his predecessor and the reception by Ivan Lins, who mentioned “the thirty works of the military”48.

  • 49 Tribuna da Imprensa, 30/12/1969.
  • 50 On Oral History and its research and interview techniques, see ALBERTI, Verena. Manual de história (...)

27As previously stated, there was a strong suspicion at the time regarding the role of Athayde in electing Lyra Tavares, which forced him to write an article in the newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa, to deny any involvement49. For Lêdo Ivo, the losing candidate, there was no doubt. We talked to Lêdo Ivo on July 26, 2011 at the ABL headquarters. Although the environment was not the most appropriate – we talked in the “tearoom” with several of the other “immortals” coming and going. I attempted to follow the recommendations of authors who work specifically with oral history, and who have written about interview techniques. The production of sources in oral history may aim to fill in the gaps left by other sources and to focus on the relationship between memory and history and reflect on any discrepancy between both50. Thus, the interview was directed towards the theme of the election in which Lêdo Ivo was defeated by General Lyra Tavares. He spoke specifically about this point for a few uninterrupted minutes, before rising and leaving the room stating “that is all I can say”. Below, his testimony:

There is some information that I could pass on to you, for example, on the case of Lyra Tavares. Because the relationship between the Brazilian Academy of Letters and the Brazilian dictatorship was ambiguous. At the same time, Austregésilo was looking to the military to defend Carlos Nejar, he needed the military. For example, the building we are in at the moment was given by Medici, right? Medici gave it. The head of the Casa Civil was Leitão de Abreu, Lyra Tavares’ brother-in-law, Minister of War, who the Academy elected. So, the Academy put forward ... I mean, Austregésilo put forward his ambition, right? From great president, etc., to build, to make this Academy here. I have the impression that there is no Academy like this anywhere in the world, for I have traveled the world and there are Academies in ancient palaces, but not with this financial, monetary, force, such as all this. So, for example, at that time, I was a candidate for the Academy for the vacancy of the Múcio Leão chair. It was a foregone, guaranteed election. I was going to win with 25 votes or more. Then, my situation changed over the last weeks, suddenly changed. A rumor began that the Academy urgently needed a vacancy to give to General Lyra Tavares who had been the Minister of War and who the government wanted to send as Ambassador to Paris. In order to embark for Paris, he needed to have a cultural seal that only the Academy could give. Because the academics here could attend the French Academy and in France the condition of being an académicien is of greater importance than in Brazil. So there was an election [...] Years later he [Lyra Tavares] told me that a delegation from the Academy, at the time he was Minister of War, had gone to the Ministry appealing to him to agree to become a candidate for the Academy. He recalled that in this delegation were Peregrino Junior, and seemingly it was Josué Montello and Ivan Lins, who received him. So that, I, unknowingly, the poor poet from Alagoas, was involved in one of the greatest conspiracies that ever was in the history of the Academy during the dictatorship, you see? And several of my closest friends voted for the general, because the Academy has its conveniences, right? Oh, and there’s a very funny story linked to the Academy. As soon as General Lyra Tavares was elected, Leitão de Abreu spoke with Medici and Medici gave the Academy more than the Academy had requested. Because it seems that the Academy had requested only one piece of land and Medici ordered two to be given.

28This is a long citation, and it is necessary to analyze it carefully, since Lêdo Ivo mentions information and details that appear in no other sources. It is possible that he only mentioned the name of Carlos Nejar, another “immortal”, because he was listening in to our interview very attentively. There is no available information on Nejar being persecuted during the military dictatorship. Lêdo Ivo then recalls the kinship relations between Leitão de Abreu, the powerful head of the Médici Casa Civil, with Lyra Tavares himself (brothers-in-law), indicating that family ties were of considerable importance both for the election of the general to the ABL and for the donation of the terrain. Ivo also mentions a further interesting fact, similarly unfound by other sources: the need to make Lyra Tavares an “immortal” in order to legitimize his appointment to the post of Brazilian Ambassador to France. As previously mentioned, we have found nothing that substantiates this in other sources, but it seems unlikely that the title of “immortal” would be necessary in order for the general to be appointed ambassador. Finally, the poet alagoano further mentions that Austregésilo de Athayde had asked for land, and that Médici would have given two plots. Irrespective, however, of the possible equivocation in Ivo’s testimony – if there were one or two plots of lands or if Lyra Tavares’ election was intended to legitimize his appointment as Ambassador – what should be highlighted is the manner in which Ivo saw the relations of the institution with the military regime. Moreover, he constructed his memory as having been the “victim”, the person who had to be sacrificed for the sake of a good relationship between the ABL and the military.

29Between announcing the candidacy of General Lyra Tavares on December 30, 1969, and the National Congress approving on December 3, 1970, Medici’s donation to ABL of the British Pavilion, several correspondences were exchanged between Athayde and the Minister of Education, Jarbas Passarinho, as well as the new academic general, Lyra Tavares. They show the tenacity of the ABL president in acquiring the British Pavilion and the loan to construct a building, which in the medium term would bring in a lot of money for the institution. On February 17, 1970, for example, Athayde wrote to Jarbas Passarinho. At that moment, Athayde tried to get the decree signed in 1967 by Castelo Branco to be modified:

Mr. Minister:

  • 51 Carta do presidente da ABL Austregésilo de Athayde ao Ministro da Educação Jarbas Passarinho, 17/0 (...)

By the decree of February 28, 1967, the late Mal. Castelo Branco, then President of the Republic, donated to the Brazilian Academy of Letters the buildings and their annexes adjacent to the headquarters of this institution, and that were part of the State Heritage [...] The Academy would like to build, on the land, the largest Cultural Center in Latin America, perfectly adjusted to the purposes of both the President of the Republic, General Médici, and of yourself, by giving absolute priority to education and culture during this Government. In addition, the Academy wishes to associate itself with the commemorations of the Sesquicentenary of the Independence of Brazil in 1972, inaugurating its Classical Theater, to which it will invite summits of International Theater. All this, Minister, may be achieved by modifying President Castelo Branco's Decree of February 26, 1967, in order to allow the Brazilian Academy of Letters, with the objectives of the donation in mind, to build two large buildings on the donated land, and by doing so it will be able to sell ideal parts of the land and rent offices with which the necessary funds will become disposed for the construction and maintenance of this Cultural Center. As there is no third party interest involved, and all we intend, both the Academy and the Government, is to serve the culture of Brazil, I believe, Minister, that the cooperation you request will constitute a first-rate contribution to the literary and artistic prestige of our country. The merit of this realization falls upon President Medici and Your Excellency51.

30Five months after this letter and two months after the inauguration ceremony of Lyra Tavares, it was to the Academic General that Athayde wrote. In a letter dated August 3, 1970, he mentions the problem of modifying the decree:

My dear Lyra Tavares,

  • 52 Carta do presidente da ABL Austregésilo de Athayde ao embaixador do Brasil na França, general Auré (...)

It is a pity that you had to leave so soon after initiating our conviviality, after, like Cezar (sic), you came, saw and conquered. Even the toughest of them are now your great admirers and do not hide that they are sympathetic towards your presence at the Academy. I met with Passarinho, who reaffirmed the news given by President Medici that the Decree has been signed. So far, however, it has not appeared in the Diário Oficial. The delay impairs the progress of the works and the realization of our grandiose plan52.

31Finally, after Médici had sent the bill for the approval of the deputies, Athayde wrote once more to the general, this time relieved:

My dear Aurélio,

  • 53 Carta do presidente da ABL Austregésilo de Athayde ao embaixador do Brasil na França, general Auré (...)

Our Gen Medici has sent a message to Congress requesting approval for our Project [...] The Academy was extremely satisfied with the President and knows very well how effective his intervention has been. In due time, we will testify our gratitude to Gen Medici for the manner in which he understood the need of the Academy, requesting the collaboration of the Congress to complete the Decree-Law of our dear, unforgettable Castelo Branco53.

32One could legitimately question whether this correspondence indicates anything more than an ordinary relationship, typical also of democracies in which cultural institutions are constantly requesting subsidies from the different governments who succeed one another in power. It is necessary not to lose sight, however, that it is precisely the fact that it is a dictatorship, which causes this correspondence to become a revelation of a type of relationship in which both parties seek accommodation and, even more, an approximation. They indicate a behavior towards authoritarianism that needs to be taken into account when considering the society-dictatorship relationship. This is a cultural institution requesting government subsidies in a dictatorship – and in this case, a dictatorship in its most repressive years – and takes on a totally different significance than if it were a democratic regime. However, in addition to this fact, the correspondence demonstrates an important recognition on the part of the ABL in relation to what its president Austregésilo de Athayde considered as a genuine engagement of the military in favor of culture, as well as an attempt to get closer to the regime.

33In 1972, when the last occupants of the British Pavilion vacated the building, Athayde resumed his project. But it was only in 1974 that he succeeded in taking the next step. He seized the occasion of a meeting with the new president, General Ernesto Geisel, to talk about his project for the ABL. If we are to believe his biographers, the president of ABL mentioned his intention to seek funding abroad to be able to realize his project of a cultural center. Below is the dialogue:

— ‘That would be a mad thing to do. God knows how high the dollar will be in a few years. Obtain the loan with national currency’.

Athayde replied:

— ‘With national currency I only see one way: the [public bank] Caixa Econômica.

— ‘And why not?’

— ‘Because if I apply for a loan today, when it is favorably dispatched, I will only receive the communication at the Academy’s mausoleum’.

Geisel smiled and said,

  • 54 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um libe (...)

— ‘You're still far from the mausoleum. Go to the Caixa and I will help’54.

34The loan was agreed on May 15, 1975. A month later, on June 16, the academic Ivan Lins died, and the next day the former president Juscelino Kubitscheck applied to succeed him. This candidacy provoked during the four months that preceded the scrutiny, on October 23, an academic dispute that took on an unpredictable political dimension. This dispute was related in the diary of Josué Montello, who revealed the threats and pressures exerted on the ABL by the military government through the Minister of Education, Ney Braga. The two camps, “juscelinists” and “anti-juscelinists”, agreed on at least one point: a victory of the former president would re-launch him into political life and represent a defeat for the regime.

35In his diary, Josué Montello related a telephone conversation that he had with his confrere Pedro Calmon, on the eve of Ivan Lins’ death:

— ‘Is it true that Juscelino will be running for the Academy next time?’

And when I tell you that, to this moment, the former President has not spoken to me, since the chairs of the Academy are all full, Calmon, always reserved in matters of voting, could not contain himself:

— ‘As long as the vacancy is not mine, I will vote for him [Kubitscheck] in all four ballots’.

After a silence, he told me:

  • 55 Montello, Josué. Diário do Entardecer. Rio de Janeiro, Nova Fronteira, 1991, p. 661

— ‘I can feel, coming from above, a lot of shenanigans against him. It seems that the Government will throw itself against the election if he applies. That's what came to my ear yesterday’55.

36Five days later, after confirmation of Kubitscheck’s candidacy, Montello wrote in his diary:

  • 56 Montello, Josué. Diário do Entardecer, op. cit., p. 665.

In order to oppose President Juscelino, in the contest for the Academy, a writer from Goiás, Bernardo Élis, also punished by the 1964 Revolution, presented his candidacy. Brilliant. Good maneuver. A maneuver by General Golbery in the Palácio do Planalto? It would seem so. It is said that Golbery has not yet forgiven the former President for having been deprived by him in his military career. And as old hatred does not tire, it seems that Golbery, besides not being placated in his astute wizard’s revenge, has turned up the conversations and initiatives, not to allow, with his powers of revolutionary leader, Juscelino to become an academic. The eagle will be watching the hummingbird. Let’s see what the reaction of the Academy will be. This afternoon, Juscelino is coming to meet me, and confirms: ‘In fact, it is Golbery who is moving against me56.

  • 57 Ibid., p. 697.

37Threats and pressures continued to pour in from all sides. In his diary, Montello painstakingly reports on the hectic environment of polling day, which occurred on October 23, 1975. The former President of the Republic was defeated in the third round by twenty to eighteen votes. Montello notes in his diary that on leaving the Petit Trianon, he told his wife: “Soon Bernardo Élis will be ashamed of his victory”57.

  • 58 Cited by Bojunga, Cláudio. Jk. O artista do impossível. Rio de janeiro: Objetiva, 2001, p. 688.
  • 59 Cited by Bojunga, Cláudio. Jk. O artista do impossível, op. cit., 689.
  • 60 According to the biographers of Austregésilo de Athayde, he met with the president of the Caixa Ec (...)

38We will never know for sure who among the “immortals” campaigned against Kubitscheck, but the military certainly relied on several of them. Nor will we know what kind of pressure or threat the government has exerted over this election. We may only guess. But it is difficult to imagine that Athayde, obsessed by favors of power, did not play a significant role, nor that the military did not work to prevent the return of Kubitscheck into public life. The former president had no doubts about Athayde’s role: “Austregésilo now says: ‘JK’s election to the Academy will prevent the presence of the President of the Republic at the solemnities of the institution’. This is the disciple of Assis Chateaubriand distilling poison against me”58. The fact is that the defeat deeply affected the former president. Although he knew of the pressures of the military, he believed in his victory. He wrote in his diary: “October 24: I am really cut up. I put a lot of faith in my election. I longed for it, the prestige that compensated for the immense displeasures of 1964. I must raise my spirits so as not to offer a depressing spectacle. I never imagined that defeat could hurt me so much”59. Kubitscheck went to the inauguration ceremony of Bernardo Élis on December 10, 1975 and greeted him for his victory. He was to die less than a year later in a car accident. The Caixa Econômica Federal loan was not canceled, as rumors from the Palácio do Planalto said during the months that preceded the election60.

  • 61 Jornal do Brasil, 21/07/1979, p. 4

39A few years later, on July 20, 1979, João Batista Figueiredo, the last president of the Republic under the military regime went to the ABL to participate in the inauguration of the Cultural Center of Brazil. At 8:55 p.m., he arrived at Petit Trianon. Generals Emílio Médici and Ernesto Geisel, his predecessors, had already arrived. Athayde, accompanied by a group of academics, welcomed the distinguished visitors. “You look good”, Athayde told Geisel. “It's just that I have detoxed”, replied the general, joking about his new life in Teresópolis61. The host and his guests then proceeded to the Salão Nobre, a large room where they were cheered by the audience. The inauguration ceremony, chaired by Figueiredo himself, began at 9 p.m. The table was composed, in order, of Alceu Amoroso Lima, Ernesto Geisel, Chagas Freitas, Figueiredo, Athayde, Dom Eugênio Sales, Emílio Médici and Eduardo Portella. The composition of the table however was a less unusual moment of the night than when Alceu Amoroso Lima – one of the regime’s greatest opponents – who was sitting next to Ernesto Geisel, gave the following speech:

  • 62 Jornal do Brasil, 21/07/1979, p. 4.

During the German occupation of Paris, a French academic was on his way to his academy when an invading soldier asked him what building it was, to which he replied: 'it is the home of freedom'. We desire to be the home of freedom. When this Academy was inaugurated in July 20, 1897, the country had recently changed its political regime, from an Empire to a Republic [...] The first duty of an Academy of Letters is to defend the past, the dignity of letters, culture as a whole; it is the defense of priceless values, creative freedom and through this, the distribution of Justice. The Academy, far from being an enemy of freedom, should be the brake of censorship, against aesthetic and political dictatorships: it must be the home of freedom62.

40The history of this donation and this particular episode illustrate the relationship between the military dictatorship (1964-1979) and Brazilian society, on the one hand, and the beginning of building a memory of that past, on the other. As is known, individuals, associations, institutions and social groups, to varying degrees, accommodated the regime, established in 1964, and the relations they maintained with the latter were marked by ambiguity. In the second half of the 1970s, society gradually moved towards opposing the regime and began to build a memory of those years, a memory structured around the myth of resistance: according to this myth, society would have led, from the beginning, to democratic resistance against the dictatorship. Alceu Amoroso Lima’s speech reveals both this ambiguity and this memory under construction: in 1979, the “Home of Freedom” inaugurated a Cultural Center built thanks to the decisive support of the longest dictatorship that Brazil has ever experienced. In 1999, the “Cultural Center of Brazil” was renamed the “Austregésilo de Athayde Palace”.

Conclusions

  • 63 We have addressed these issues and presented the results of the research in several previous publi (...)

41As mentioned in the first segment of the paper, we may state that the institution created by Machado de Assis at the end of the nineteenth century was one of the legitimizing instances of the military regime established in Brazil in 1964. However, this legitimation did not come about through open “collaboration”, i.e., through issuing direct statements of support for the military. Although some academics did in fact collaborate with the dictatorship, it was the different behavior of its members, their silence and their different degrees of accommodation, their proximity with the regime’s representatives, manifested in intense sociability, and the diffusion and circulation of a conservative discourse reinforcing the notions of civism and patriotism, that played the most important role in this legitimization process63. The donation of the land and the load to construct the building that would become the Austregésilo de Athayde Palace, which is just one dimension of this process of legitimation, demonstrates that the relation between the intellectuals and the power must go beyond ideological affinities. The donation reveals, from our point of view, this complex interweaving of personal relations, politics and material interests that was at the heart of the ABL and, more broadly, the relationship of the intellectuals with the military regime.

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Bibliographie

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Notes

1 In this paper, the acronyms used refer to the Portuguese terms: MES for Ministério da Educação e Saúde; ABL for Academia Brasileira de Letras; and ESG for Escola Superior de Guerra.

2 Gomes, Angela de Castro, “O ministro e sua correspondência: projeto político e sociabilidade intelectual”, in___ (dir.), Capanema : o ministro e seu ministério, Rio de Janeiro, FGV, 2000, p. 13-47.

3 Gomes, Angela de Castro, “O ministro e sua correspondência: projeto político e sociabilidade intelectual”, in___ (dir.), Capanema : o ministro e seu ministério, op. cit., p. 32

4 Ibid, p. 33.

5 Gomes, Angela de Castro. “Cultura política e cultura histórica no Estado Novo”, in Marta Abreu, Rebeca, Gontijo e Rachel Soihet (dir.), Cultura política e leituras do passado. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2007, p. 47.

6 El Far, Alessandra. A encenação da imortalidade. Uma análise da Academia Brasileira de Letras nos primeiros anos da República: 1897-1924. Dissertação de Mestrado em Antropologia Social. São Paulo: Universidade de São Paulo. 1997, p. 119-120.

7 This book was included in a collection of texts by the author under the title Intelectuais à brasileira, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2001.

8 Paris, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1989.

9 Literatura como missão. Tensões sociais e criação cultural na Primeira República, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2003 (1984).

10 Belle Époque Tropical, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1994.

11 Estilo tropical. História cultural e polêmicas literárias no Brasil, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1991.

12 História e historiadores. A política cultural do Estado Novo, Rio de Janeiro, FGV, 1996.

13 Essa gente do rio..., Rio de Janeiro, FGV, 1999.

14 Ideias em movimento. A “geração 1870” na crise do Brasil-Império, São Paulo, Paz e Terra, 2002.

15 São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2015.

16 Laura de Mello e Souza, “Brasil: Literatura e ‘intelectuales’ en el período colonial”, in Carlos Altamirano (dir.), Historia de los intelectuales en América Latina I. La ciudad letrada, de la conquista al modernismo, Buenos Aires, Katz, 2008, p. 94-118.

17 Inventando a nação. Intelectuais ilustrados e estadistas luso-brasileiros na crise do antigo regime português (1750-1822), São Paulo, HUCITEC, 2006.

18 Ditadura militar, esquerdas e sociedade, Rio de Janeiro, Jorge Zahar Editor, 2001.

19 On the notion of accommodation with regard to analyzing the relationship between society and authoritarianism, see Phillipe Burrin's excellent work on Vichy France entitled La France à l'heure allemande, Paris, Seuil, 1995.

20 Serbin, Kenneth. Diálogos nas Sombras, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2001.

21 Rollemberg, Denise. “As trincheiras da memória. A Associação Brasileira de Imprensa e a ditadura (1964-1974)”, in Denise Rollemberg et Samantha Quadrat (dir.), A construção social dos regimes autoritários: legitimidade, consenso e consentimento no século XX, Rio de Janeiro, Civilização Brasileira, 2012, p. 97-144.

22 Rollemberg, Denise, “Défendre la modernité de l’État Brésilien face aux réformes de base : L’Ordre des Avocats du Brésil pendant la dictature (1964-1974)”, in Dans Denis Rolland et Daniel Aarão Reis (dir), Modernités Alternatives. L´Historiens face aux discours et représentations de la Modernité, Paris, L´Harmattan, 2009, p. 253-288.

23 Cordeiro, Janaína, Direitas em movimento. A Campanha da Mulher pela Democracia e a ditadura no Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, FGV, 2009.

24 Cordeiro, Janaína, A ditadura em tempos de milagre. Comemorações, orgulho e consentimento, Rio de Janeiro, FGV, 2015.

25 Kushnir, Beatriz. Cães de guarda. Jornalistas e censores, do AI-5 à Constituição de 1988, São Paulo, Boitempo Editorial, 2012; Teófilo, João, Nem tudo era censura. Imprensa, Ceará e ditadura militar. Curitiba, Appris, 2019.

26 “Cultura e poder ou espelho, espelho meu: existe alguém mais culto do que eu ?”, in Sérgio Miceli (dir.), Estado e cultura no Brasil, São Paulo, Difel, 1984, p. 113-134.

27 Cultura Brasileira & identidade nacional, São Paulo, Brasiliense, 2006 (1985).

28 “Cardeais da cultura nacional”: o Conselho Federal de Cultura e o papel cívico das políticas culturais na ditadura civil-militar (1967-1975), thèse de doctorat en histoire (Dir.: Francisco Carlos Palomanes Martinho), Rio de Janeiro, UERJ, 2010.

29 Jean-François Sirinelli, « Le hasard ou la nécessité ? Une histoire en chantier : l’histoire des intellectuels », Vingtième siècle. Revue d’histoire, année 1986, volume 9, numéro 9, p. 97-108 et « Les intellectuels », op. cit.

30 « Les générations intellectuelles », Vingtième siècle, revue d’histoire, nº 22, avril-juin 1989.

31 Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1995.

32 La guerre des écrivains, 1940-1953, Paris, Fayard, 1999, p. 31.

33 Ibid., p. 8.

34 Ibid., p. 9.

35 Austregésilo de Athayde, “Nova tática do honrado governo”, A Província do Pará, 02/06/1967.

36 Austregésilo de Athayde, “Eu sei, tu sabes, ele sabe”, Correio Brasiliense, 21/08/1968.

37 Austregésilo de Athayde, “Pragmatismo e ideologia”, O Jornal, 30/01/1974.

38 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um liberal. Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 1998, p. 517.

39 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um liberal, op. cit., p. 577.

40 Petit Trianon do Brasil is a mansion donated by the French government to host the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

41 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um liberal, op. cit. p. 533.

42 Skidmore, Thomas. Brasil: de Castelo a Tancredo. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra. 2000, p. 191.

43 Gaspari, Elio. A ditadura envergonhada, São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2002, p. 264-265.

44 Lyra Tavares, Aurélio. O Brasil de minha geração 2v. Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca do Exército Editora, 1977, p. 254.

45 Betto, Frei ; Amoroso Lima Filho, Alceu (Org.). Diário de um ano de trevas. Cartas de Alceu Amoroso Lima para sua filha madre Maria Teresa. Janeiro de 1969 - fevereiro de 1970, Rio de Janeiro, Instituto Moreira Salles, 2013, p. 249-250.

46 Diário da Tarde, 03/06/1970.

47 O Globo, 03/06/1970.

48 O Globo, 03/06/1970.

49 Tribuna da Imprensa, 30/12/1969.

50 On Oral History and its research and interview techniques, see ALBERTI, Verena. Manual de história oral. 3. Ed. Ver. Atual. – Rio de Janeiro: Editora FGV, 2013 and MONTENEGRO, Antonio Torres. Travessias: padres europeus no nordeste do Brasil (1950-1990). Recife: CEPE, 2019.

51 Carta do presidente da ABL Austregésilo de Athayde ao Ministro da Educação Jarbas Passarinho, 17/02/1970. Arquivos da Academia Brasileira de Letras, Fundo do acadêmico Austregésilo de Athayde, dossiê no 27.

52 Carta do presidente da ABL Austregésilo de Athayde ao embaixador do Brasil na França, general Aurélio de Lyra Tavares, 03/08/1970. Arquivo da Academia Brasileira de Letras, Fundo do Acadêmico Austregésilo de Athayde, dossiê no 28.

53 Carta do presidente da ABL Austregésilo de Athayde ao embaixador do Brasil na França, general Aurélio de Lyra Tavares, 14/10/1970). Arquivo da Academia Brasileira de Letras, Fundo do Acadêmico Austregésilo de Athayde, dossiê no 28.

54 Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um liberal. Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 1998, p. 660.

55 Montello, Josué. Diário do Entardecer. Rio de Janeiro, Nova Fronteira, 1991, p. 661

56 Montello, Josué. Diário do Entardecer, op. cit., p. 665.

57 Ibid., p. 697.

58 Cited by Bojunga, Cláudio. Jk. O artista do impossível. Rio de janeiro: Objetiva, 2001, p. 688.

59 Cited by Bojunga, Cláudio. Jk. O artista do impossível, op. cit., 689.

60 According to the biographers of Austregésilo de Athayde, he met with the president of the Caixa Econômica in the company of lawyer Antônio Bulhões. At the meeting, the president of the Caixa said that the loan had to be conditioned with the guarantee that a private and technically qualified company could carry out such work. The company chosen was Donald Stewart's Ecisa, the contract, signed on May 15, 1975, stipulated a loan of 200 million cruzeiros for the construction of the building. The responsibility of the loan fell exclusively to the construction company, guaranteeing the ABL the lease of the entire building for twenty years, except for the space reserved immediately for the cultural facilities of the Academy. The ABL would immediately receive a share in gross rental revenue in the following proportion: 2 % in the first five years, 4 % in the second, 8% in the third and 16% in the last (Sandroni, Cícero; Sandroni, Laura Constância A. de A. Austregésilo de Athayde. O século de um liberal. Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 1998, p. 661-662).

61 Jornal do Brasil, 21/07/1979, p. 4

62 Jornal do Brasil, 21/07/1979, p. 4.

63 We have addressed these issues and presented the results of the research in several previous publications. Cf. XXXX (2017a; 2017b; 2018).

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Diogo Cunha, « Beyond Ideology. The “immortals”, the military and the palace », Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos [En ligne], Questions du temps présent, mis en ligne le 15 décembre 2020, consulté le 27 janvier 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/nuevomundo/83262 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/nuevomundo.83262

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Diogo Cunha

Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil

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