Prose books | Vinicius de Moraes

Books of prose

Although Vinicius had established his public figure through poetry and popular song, he was one of the greatest prose writers of his generation. As a matter of fact, a generation where the good prose of that time was crystallized through a chronic genre extremely characterized by the style of Rio de Janeiro city.

With a large number of newspapers that circulated in the city and with a team of writers which would vary from Rubem Braga to Carlinhos de Oliveira, from Carlos Drummond de Andrade to Clarice Lispector, from Fernando Sabino to Nelson Rodrigues, Vinicius sit among them as a chronicler who transmitted to the prose, the same reasons and the same lightness of style that he presented to the public in his poems.

Most of his prose texts had their origin in the press of Rio in the 1940s and 1950s. Vinicius maintained a close relationship with the editorial staff, writing not only chronic, as well as cinema reviews and texts about popular music. He worked for newspapers and magazines like A Manhã, O Jornal, Diário Carioca, Diretrizes, Vanguarda, Última Hora and Fatos e Fotos. Besides these, he wrote for periodicals that marked an era as Flan, Senhor and Pasquim. Many of these texts were gathered together in two chronicle books:  “Para Viver um Grande Amor” (To Live a Great Love) (1962) and “Para uma Menina com uma Flor” (To a Girl with a Flower) (1966), publications in which the prose and poetry lived on the same pages.
 
The Prose of Vinicius synthesizes, like few, a zeitgeist of the Brazilian literature and everyday life, crossed by his interest in his characters, in its landscapes and its great creators.

Para uma menina, como uma flor (For a Girl With a Flower)

Rio de Janeiro, Editora do Autor, 1966

Second of the two books considered part of his work in prose (the first one is “Para Viver um Grande Amor (To Live a Great Love, 1962), “Para uma Menina com uma Flor” (For a Girl with a Flower) consists of a collection of chronicles written by the author in a temporal arc of 25 years. The first part brings texts written by Vinicius between 1941 and 1953. However, the second part brings texts written by the poet between 1964 and 1966, its release date. They were issued by means of transmission such as Sombra, O Jornal, Diário Carioca, Última Hora, Flan, Manchete, A Vanguarda e Fatos e Fotos. Like his previous book, “Para uma Menina com uma Flor” (To a Girl with a Flower) is released by Editora do Autor Publishing, directed by his beloved friends Rubem Braga and Fernando Sabino. Therefore, the book presents a Vinicius "in two stages". The first part, covering an arc of 12 years, presents to us the chronicler who lived between Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles, with striking passages through cities like Ouro Preto and Recife. Despite this heavy traffic between times and spaces – a building block of Vinicius’s own life- Rio is the city, his hometown and one of his biggest and most loyal muses, which emanates from his texts. A river exiting a circle limited by Bossa Nova, in other words, the coastline of the South Zone, and enters suburbs, slums, the streetcars, the streets and of course, women. The book is a poignant and vital record to understand the soul of a poet in relation to his city and his time.

Para viver um grande amor(To live a Great Love)

Rio de Janeiro, Editora do Autor, 1962

First of the two books considered part of his work in prose ( the second on is “Para uma menina com um uma flor”(For a Girl With a Flower, 1966), “Para Viver um Grande Amor” (To Live a Great Love) consists of a collection of chronicles written by the author in the newspapers of Rio in the 1950s, especially those published in the Ultima Hora newspaper from 1959. Besides the chronics, Vinicius presents recent poems, written in his stays at the embassies of Paris and Montevideo. The Editora do Autor Publishing house, founded by his bosom friends Rubem Braga and Fernando Sabino. It is, therefore, a book about love, published in conditions more than effectives to the author. Thus, the book becomes a hybrid literary space in which prose and poetry intertwine, creating a full feeling around the theme that the writer presents in its title. According to Vinicius himself, who writes in his "warning" of the first edition, the publication of poems in a book of prose is with the intent to give a "new swing" in his texts. The poet cannot see his writing, even without verses, outside the poetic universe. And rightly so, since his chronicles do not lose in anything to the lyrical power of his poems. It is worthy to point out that the book was only possible, according to the author, because of his secretary’s help, Yvonne Barbare. She was the one who helped him in the selection of the chronicles published among more than a thousand written by him, in the period between 1959 and 1962. She was a privileged contributor in the creation of this truthful classic of the Brazilian literature, a rank that the book achieved, still in his own time.