Brasiliana's dossier "Voices from Beyond" is devoted to dead figures in Brazilian literature and cinema, and raises the question about the protagonism and poetics of these particular figures. Death is a classic theme in literature and literary studies. From the medieval dance of death to the personified death as a typical Vanitas allegory of the Baroque period to the mystical longing for death of the lyrical ego in romanticism – speculative fiction, as well, is populated by ghosts, the dead and revenants, and the medium of film is hardly imaginable without the appearance of death and those who have awakened from the dead. Fascination with death links the various epochs, media, genres and cultures, and death as the most extreme borderline experience offers grounds for pondering metaphysical meaning as well as literary transgressions on the threshold between fiction and reality. But what about the case of the recalcitrant dead, i.e. those who violate the border between life and death? No less universal than the topic of death itself, the contradictory figure of the living dead is present in all cultures, inspiring fantasy, populating ghost and scary stories and haunting all literary genres whose contours it thus simultaneously challenges.

This issue was edited by Dr. Sarah Burnautzki, Dr. Ute Hermanns, and Janek Scholz.

Published: 2019-11-12