Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Book I Wanted to Write is Already Written OR "There's nothing new under the sun"

Well, not exactly, because my focus would be a little narrower, but the fact is that the book is not only already written, but it's not even one volume, but THREE! They tell the story of Brazil as a Republic (which started in 1889) up until 2002 through Brazilian popular music/songs.

What I wanted to have written would have been a bit less ambitious -- I wanted to collect all songs that "Sing the Nation" and those that are meta-musical (i.e. talk about music and musicians). I think I can still pursue that latter part of the project (if someone isn't already doing it), but now I have three books to buy and read to see if I have anything new that's left to say.

This whole thing is equally exciting and frustrating. Ever since I finished my dissertation and found out that a few months earlier there had been a symposium New York sponsored by the Brazilian Consulate that focused on some of the issues I discussed on the dissertation and that I'd missed it -- I have had this feeling that I'm always too late to everything, that I'm doomed to be late and therefore not part of anything meaningful. I know that's not exactly true, but it surely reflects many situations I've been in during my incipient academic "non-career" (the latest was very recent, I just didn't have the energy to blog it just yet).

In any case, it's a fascinating and all-encompassing research project that I'm delighted exists, particularly as it is accompanied by a website containing all the music (more that a thousand songs!) discussed in the book.

You know, maybe someday I'll be able to share some of the scholarship I've already produced and even more, but often I think that this will never happen. :-(

I need to thank the amazing journalist Mauro Ferreira for blogging about this trilogy!

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