Moacyr Jaime Scliar
was a Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...
ian writer and physician.
Scliar is best known outside Brazil for his 1981 novel Max and the Cats
Max and the Cats is a 1981 novella by Brazilian writer and physician Moacyr Scliar. It was first published in Portuguese, then published in English in 1990. It tells the story of Max Schmidt, born in Berlin in 1912, who comes of age just before the Nazis take power. After offending them by having...
(Max e os Felinos), the story of a young man who flees Berlin after he comes to the attention of the Nazis for having had an affair with a married woman. Making his way to Brazil, his ship sinks, and he finds himself alone in a dinghy with a jaguar who had been travelling in the hold.
Scliar was born in Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre is the tenth most populous municipality in Brazil, with 1,409,939 inhabitants, and the centre of Brazil's fourth largest metropolitan area . It is also the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is the southernmost capital city of a Brazilian...
, Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine...
, into a Jewish family that immigrated to Brazil from Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....
in 1919. He graduated in medicine in 1962, majoring in public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...
In 1962, his first book Stories of a Doctor in Formation was published, although later on he regretted having published it so young. His second book The Carnival of the Animals was published in 1968.
Most of Scliar's writing centers on issues of Jewish identity in the Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...
and particularly on being Jewish in Brazil. In a recent autobiographical piece, Scliar discusses his membership in the Jewish, medical, Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...
, and Brazilian tribes. He was elected a life-time member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 2003.
His novel The Centaur in the Garden was included among the Greatest Works of Modern Jewish Literature by The National Yiddish Book Center
Scliar's fiction has been translated into English, Dutch, French, Swedish, German, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Czech. His translated fiction is listed in the UNESCO international bibliography of translations Index Translationum: Scliar, Moacyr
- The Centaur in the Garden, Translator: Margaret A. Neves
- The Gods of Raquel, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The One-Man Army, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The Carnival of the Animals, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The Ballad of the False Messiah, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The Strange Nation of Rafael Mendes, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The Volunteers, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The Enigmatic Eye, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- Max and the Cats , Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The Collected Stories of Moacyr Scliar, Translator: Eloah F. Giacomelli
- The War in Bom Fim, Translator: David William Foster
Short Stories in Anthologies
- Inside My Dirty Head - The Holocaust, translator Eloah F. Giacomelli, in TROPICAL SYNAGOGUES: SHORT STORIES BY JEWISH LATIN AMERICAN WRITERS, editor Ilan Stavans
- The Plagues, translator Eloah F. Giacomelli, in A HAMMOCK BENEATH THE MANGOES - STORIES FROM LATIN AMERICA, editor Thomas Colchie
- Van Gogh's Ear, translator Eloah F. Giacomelli, in THE VINTAGE BOOK OF LATIN AMERICAN STORIES, editors Carlos Fuentes and Julio Ortega
- The Prophets of Benjamin Bok, translator Eloah F. Giacomelli, in WITH SIGNS AND WONDER: AN INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY OF JEWISH FABULIST FICTION, editor Daniel M. Jaffe
- The Ballad of the False Mesiah, translator Eloah F. Giacomelli, in THE OXFORD BOOK OF JEWISH STORIES, editor Ilan Stavans
- The Cow ; The Last Poor Man, translator Eloah F. Giacomelli, in THE OXFORD ANTHOLOGY OF THE BRAZILIAN SHORT STORY, editor K. David Jackson
External Links to Reviews & Articles
- YUPPIES WITH FETLOCKS, review by Jean Franco, New York Times, June 30, 1985 The Centaur in the Garden
- THE CENTAUR IN THE GARDEN, review by Judith Bolton-Fasman, The Jewish Reader, August 2003 Centaur in the Garden
- JONAH WAS CLAUSTROPHOBIC, review by Herbert Gold, New York Times, January 31, 1988 The Strange Nation of Rafael Mendes
- MAIMONIDES IN BRAZIL, review by Mark R. Day, Los Angeles Times, January 24, 1988 Rafael Mendes
- THE BRAZILIANIZATION OF THE YIIDDISHKEIT TRADITION, article by Robert DiAntonio, Latin America Literary Review, Vol. 17, No. 34 (Jul. - Dec. 1989), pp. 40--51 Yiddishkeit Tradition
- RESONANCES OF THE YIDDISHKEIT TRADITION IN THE CONTEMPORARY BRAZILIAN NARRATIVE, by Robert DiAntonio, in Tradition and Innovation: Reflections on Latin American Jewish Writing, State University of New York Press, 1993 An Analysis of Scliar's Fiction
- MOACYR SCLIAR: SOCIAL DIFFERENCES AND THE TYRANNY OF CULTURE, an analysis of Scliar's fiction by Nelson H. Vieira, in Jewish Voices in Brazilian Literature: A Prophetic Discourse of Alterity, University Press of Florida, 1996 Social Differences and the Tyranny of Culture
- WLT INTERVIEW WITH MOACYR SCLIAR, article by Luciana Camargo Namorato, World Literature Today, May 1, 2006 Interview with Scliar
- MOACYR SCLIAR, article by Ilan Stavans, Jewish Writers of the 20th Century Moacyr Scliar
- ORACULAR JEWISH TRADITION IN TWO WORKS BY MOACYR SCLIAR, article by Naomi Lindstrom, Luso-Brazilian Review, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Winter, 1984, University of Wisconsin Press) Two Works by Scliar
- THE ENIGMATIC EYE, review by Robert DiAntonio, The International Fiction Review, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1990) Enigmatic Eye
- IN BATTLE WITH THE TERRIFYING BEAST OF MAGICAL REALISM, article by Dolores Flaherty, Roger Flaherty, Chicago Sun-Times, August 5, 1990 Magical Realism
- FACING ONE'S INNER FELINES, review by Linda Morra, Canadian Literature #183 (Winter 2004), Writers Talking, pp. 166-167 Max and the Cats
- MOACYR SCLIAR, BRAZILIAN NOVELIST, DIES AT 73, a review article by William Grimes, BOOK section, The New York Times, March 5, 2011 Moacyr Scliar, Brazilian Novelist