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Intimate FrontiersA Literary Geography of the Amazon$
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Felipe Martínez-Pinzón and Javier Uriarte

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941831

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941831.001.0001

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Contested Frontiers: Territory and Power in Euclides da Cunha’s Amazonian Texts

Contested Frontiers: Territory and Power in Euclides da Cunha’s Amazonian Texts

(p.67) Contested Frontiers: Territory and Power in Euclides da Cunha’s Amazonian Texts
Intimate Frontiers

Cinthya Torres

Liverpool University Press

This essay explores the political and discursive mechanisms Brazilian writer Da Cunha employs to build a historical past for Brazil in the Amazon, while simultaneously discrediting Bolivia and Peru’s territorial demands on the Acre region in Amazonia. Building his argument on boundary-making history, cartographical data, and nationalistic feelings, Torres argues that Da Cunha crafts a compelling case for Brazil’s rightful purchase of Acre and expansion of its frontiers in two ways. Firstly, Da Cunha identifies the value of the Amazon, whether as a political, economic, or even symbolic capital that can be utilized to lay the grounds for a diplomatic defense, and therefore lawfulness of their territorial claims. Secondly, Torres goes on to argue that Da Cunha is aware of the decisive nature of his mission for the mapping of a terrain visited only by local Indians and Peruvian rubber tappers. This consciousness leads him to compose a history for Brazil in the Amazon with the intention of nationalizing the territory; in other words, to turn an abstract and alien place into one concrete narrative in which the uprooted nation is reunited and homogenized under a common and shared identity.

Keywords:   Euclides Da Cunha (1866-1909), The Acre War (1899-1903), Cartographical Knowledge, Nationalization of frontiers, Boundary-making discourses, Diplomatic Relations Brazil-Bolivia, Diplomatic Relations Brazil-Peru

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