Being a Portuguese former colony, Brazilian culture was deeply influenced by Portuguese artistic expressions. The literature was no different and can be considered as a ramification of the Portuguese language Literature. However, due to its geographic location, it is also a part of the Latin American Literature and the only one written in Portuguese.
Motivated by the Jesuits that came right after the country was “discovered” by the Portuguese, in the XVI century, it was initially based on their findings in Brazil and attempts to educate and civilize the native Indians. With time, it evolved and gained air of independence from Portuguese literature, acquiring national characteristics. This process started in the XIX century during two important global literary movements, romanticism and realism, and had its pick in the XX century with the Modern Art Week (Semana de Arte Moderna) in 1922.
It was during that week that the Brazilian Literature emancipated from other countries’ literatures and started using more fee styles and proximity with the oral language. This period was marked by a strong sense of nationalism and the writers were considered to be truly independent artists. From that period, we could list Manuel Bandeira, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, João Guimarães Rosa, Clarice Lispector e Cecília Meireles.
Amongst all of the Brazilian artistic expressions, Literature is the most widely studied one: it is a mandatory subject in the country’s education for all high school students. Also, all of the main news and magazines dedicate an important part to critiques and reviews.