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HERMANO VIANNA

"(...) O mistério do samba also rewinds scenes of a socially fractured pre-city Rio de Janeiro. The mulatto Sinhô was professor of the little swank Mário Reis, who bought sambas from Ismael Silva, partner of the middle-class Noel Rosa, the very same one who climbed up the hills and could even be found sleeping in his binge-partner Cartola's shack. Hermano also examines the question of purism that is attributed to samba, a rhythm commonly accepted to be hybrid and synthetized in Ismael's famous onomoatopeic "bum bum paticundum prugurundum". The book goes into the matter of musical nationalism based on Carmem Miranda's "Americanization", from the influence of jazz in our boss nova to the initial themes of Brazilian rock. The author touches on more recent tendencies like mangue beat, the contemporary anthropophagy that descends from Oswald de Andrade and the omnipresent Freyre.
Good anthropologist that he is, Hermano deposits more questions than answers in the reader's head. He tosses in data, but fails to go into the genesis of the mystery of samba and its empathy with the white population, nor does he examine the present dilution in the market via suingue ("swing") or sambanejo ("country samba"), whereas funk music inspired by the American vertex of Miami bass takes the place of the old genre in the guetto. And just like history is repeated in the role of farce, it is assimilated back again by South Side youth keen on stitching up the fracture of the former capital that still produces national facts. As was put by Southerner Lupicínio Rodrigues and quoted by Hermano, distinguishing himself from his country-man Teixeirinha as a cultivator of samba: "I play popular, he plays regional ".
Tárik de Sousa. "Um gênero saído do gueto" (A genre out of the guetto). Jornal do Brasil. Rio de Janeiro, 19.08.95.

"(...) O Mundo Funk Carioca was originally written as the author's Master's thesis at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Before reaching the book stores it was substantially expanded and altered. In an unorthodox but efficient maneuver, the author concentrated nearly all the anthropological concepts of his research in a single 21-page chapter. He advises the reader to skip the chapter if he is not interested in academic considerations. In the almost journalistic style of the rest of the book, where he does not avoid using the first person to narrate the episodes experienced during his field work, Vianna describes in rich detail and data the world of funk dances, the animators and the key characters who attend them. In a language that is accessible and often funny, he unveils a surprising and fascinating microcosm of the cultural life of the country. (...)

"In his analysis of the success of funk dances, Hermano Vianna reaches at least two interesting conclusions. The first is that this success undoes the thesis that giant means of mass communication control the cultural reality of the big cities in the country. America funk does not appear on television, is not played on the radio – with rare exceptions – or promoted by recording companies, yet it is the main form of leisure of thousands of young people. The second conclusion is that the world of funk casts doubt on the idea that Brazil's middle class is dominated by international fads, whereas it would be up to the less favored classes to preserve the cultural roots of the country. "The young man who lives in Morro do Juramento", writes Vianna, "refuses the role of Policarpo Quaresma attributed to him by some 'sincere' defenders of Brazilian culture." The author points out that the youth who attend funk dances are fond of samba but feel no commitment to preserving roots or nationalism. Nor any commitment to funk, which for them is just the best music to dance to."
"Reino da dança" (The realm of dance). Revista VEJA. São Paulo, 11.05.88.