Rhythm, Diasporas, and the National Popular State
Ideas regarding sound and place shaped the work of Mário de Andrade and Alejo Carpentier in the 1930s. Central to their respective approaches to race and nationalism is the tension between Afro-diasporic traditions and their relevance as the foundations of a national, popular culture. This chapter examines their differing approaches to this tension and to the roles each saw in rhythm in defining its characteristics. It explores Carpentier’s Parisian journalism with descriptions of Cuban son performances in Montmartre venues in light of the marks Mário made in his personal copy of the Cuban author’s first novel ¡Écue-Yamba-Ó! Mário’s ideas regarding the influx of “Cuban” rhythms into Brazilian popular music provide an opportunity to reflect upon sonic phenomena and national boundaries, as well as how their movements were theorized in the context of their thought as gendered distinctions.