About the author: Alfredo Cordiviola is Visiting Professor of Latin American Literature and Literary Theory at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. He received his PhD in Hispanic and Latin American Studies from the University of Nottingham, England. He is the author of A History of Time: Antonio Vieira and the Boundaries of Prophecy (1998).2001 0-7734-7645-8
This work is a study on The Highlands of the Brazil, the travel chronicle written by Sir Richard Burton in 1869. It deals with visions of modernity and perceptions of the future. Taking Burton’s narrative as point of departure, it focuses on a rhetorical pattern that can be traced back to the 16th century, that of ‘a land of the future’. It examines how that discourse was reinvented and applied throughout the second half of the 19th century, while simultaneously being questioned or abandoned by less optimistic interpreters. It takes other texts into consideration: those written by foreign visitors such as Arthur de Gobineau, Louis Agassiz, Johann Spix, Karl Martius, William Hadfield; and those by Brazilian authors such as Silvío Romero, André Rebouças, Nina Rodrigues, and Euclides da Cunha. It also examines the years Richard Burton spent in Brazil, largely ignored by biographers.