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Abstract

Although the figure of the zombie has proved to be quite popular in recent years in Brazil—thanks in large part to the wave of imported graphic novels, television shows, and movies—Brazilian literature does not possess a strong tradition of autochthonous zombie narratives. Nevertheless, a number of texts lend themselves to a zombie reading, including “Seminário dos Ratos” (1977), by Lygia Fagundes Telles. In this modern allegory of a world plagued by rats, Fagundes Telles surreptitiously decries the political corruption, censorship of the press, foreign intervention, class warfare, and abuses of power of the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964–1985). Reading “Seminário dos ratos” through a zombie hermeneutic highlights the underlying themes of uninhibited consumption, unbridled proliferation, and the threat of unmitigated annihilation as forces that undermine authoritarianism.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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