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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Benjamin Péret in Brazil 

An interesting article by Jean Puyade (in Portuguese--Babelfish comes to the rescue again) gives an account of the 1929-1931 years that fills in some blanks in the Elsie Houston story.

First, it confirms that Villa-Lobos was connected to Péret and Houston while he was living in Paris. Villa-Lobos wrote them letters of introduction that would greatly aid their research project into Brazilian folk culture. Péret also tried to get funding for the Brazil trip from Villa-Lobos's patrons, the Guinle brothers (his proposal was rejected).

Villa-Lobos's letter for Elsie Houston: "uma admirável cantora, primogênita de nossa nova raça brasileira, genuína em físico, alma e espírito"

Second, their arrival in Brazil in February 1929 was publicized in the press. Of particular interest was Peret's connection with the surrealism movement.

Third, the connection between Péret and Mario Pedrosa was enabled by Pierre Naville.

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