ERIC Number: ED329999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-27
Reference Count: N/A
The "Autos" of Jose de Anchieta.
Aiex, Nola Kortner
College faculty who teach writing courses might find an examination of early religious literature helpful when trying to explain "writing for an audience" or "audience awareness" to their students. The Jesuit priest who preached to and wrote for the Indians in Brazil during the early colonial period, Jose de Anchieta, is a model of a writer who always kept his audience firmly in mind. In his plays ("autos"), Anchieta used various strategies to convert the Indians and to keep the Portuguese colonists on the straight and narrow path to heaven. Anchieta's "autos" seem to include something for everyone and contain all the popular culture forms--farce, music, dance, poetic recitation, and most of all, pure spectacle. The plays were usually written in three languages, Portuguese, Castilian Spanish, and Tupi (the language of the Indians). Anchieta wanted both to amuse and instruct his diverse audience. He incorporated elements of the Indians' usual ceremonial practices into Portuguese farce and used a fluent and natural language, replete with references to Brazilian settings, animals and birds, and historical occurrences. Anchieta's "autos" were very different in style from the sermons of the early New England preachers who also wrote for a specific audience, but who preached for the already converted and whose sermons were exclusionary as far as the North American Indians were concerned. (Twenty-two notes are included.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Brazil; Jesuits; New England; Religious Conversion; Sermons
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (44th, Lexington, KY, April 25-27, 1991).