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A virgem dos lábios sem mel

Sérgio Luiz Prado Beilei
Luso-Brazilian Review
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Winter, 1999), pp. 63-80
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3513655
Page Count: 18
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A virgem dos lábios sem mel
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Abstract

Iracema is usually understood as a prose poem in which the reader's attention must be directed to the tour-de-force involved in the abundant production of metaphors. The many inconsistencies in the plot are irrelevant because the sequence of events functions only as a pretext for the exercise in poetic achievement. Frequently justified in terms of a protocol of reading that privileges aesthetics over politics and textual over intertextual analysis, this emphasis on the metaphoric significance of the work leaves unexplained the historical meanings involved in the contradictions of the plot. Read intertextually as a version of the motif of the woman that betrays her people to join the conqueror, the inconsistencies of Alencar's novel can be explained in terms of the discursive complexities of the attempt to legitimate white supremacy in the encounter between colonizer and colonized.

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