, Volume 92, Issue 3, pp 457-470
Date: 27 Jun 2007

A poetics of bafflement: ethics and the representation of the other in Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s poetry

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Abstract

This essay explores three poems by Carlos Drummond de Andrade, where each speaker fails to access the world of a marginalized subject, and is thus compelled to reformulate the world, the marginal, the unknown and the self in function of the silence and inaccessibility of the Other. I argue that this reformulation, provoked by the failure of the speaker’s instruments of knowledge and communication, creates the possibility for an ethical representation of the Other—a move away from the search for knowledge as grasping or as possession and closer to a concept of understanding or dialogue.