Long Pork

Brazilian translatology has made an important contribution to translation theory in the guise of cannibalism. And here we come full circle. Many say that transubstantiation in itself is a form of cannibalism as Christ transformed the bread and wine into his own body and blood. Not surprising then that many Catholic children abhor the transubstantiation element of the Mass. The priest announces: “Eat my flesh and drink my blood” – a gory prospect, indeed. Brazilian cannibalism in translation owes much to the Modernist movement of the 1920s, especially the writings of Oswald de Andrade who wrote the Cannibalist Manifesto. The idea is that the colonised nation (for example, Brazil which was colonised by Portugal) consumes everything given to it by the alien culture. However, the colonisers do not swallow the alien cultural flesh whole but spit out what is inedible. What they keep of the foreign culture they change and assimilate to their own culture. A bloody business…


2 thoughts on “Long Pork

  1. Extreme thing! I didn’t know that, but it is amazing. I don’t personally agree with the statement that Christ would initiate cannibalism. It was just a symbol, a part of Catholic belief, but some other people draw weird conclusions. However, the idea not to swallow everything from alien cultures seems right to me.

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