À propos a German brother: the fictionalization of an international family affair

2018-12-26T05:59:08Z (GMT) by Georg Wink

abstract In framework in which new social voices in Brazilian literature make claims, what could be the relevance of Chico Buarque (1944), a well-known name in Brazilian culture, learning, at the age of 70, about the existence of his German half-brother Sergio Günther Ernst (1930-1981)? A brother that Buarque never met and who already had passed away 30 years ago? At first glance, there is none. Nonetheless, the international incident in the author’s family history served as inspiration and background story for the novel O irmão alemão, published in 2014. This text reveals itself as quite complex due to the transgression of its diegetic, political and chronological borders. In this article I examine how Buarque’s narrative combines facts and historical documents with an imaginary plot; how the book indirectly explores the traumatic history of authoritarian regimes; and how the narrator uses this “family novel” to work through the fantasies through which he establishes a relationship with his father and brothers.