In her article "Nordestina Modernity in the Novels of Freitas, Queiroz, and Lispector" Fernanda Patricia Fuentes Muñoz discusses aspects of the Nordeste — the northeastern region of Brazil — in Emília de Freitas's A Rainha do Ignoto (1899), Rachel de Queiroz's O Quinze (1930), and Clarice Lispector's A Hora da Estrela (1977; The Hour of the Star, 1992, Trans. Giovanni Pontiero). The region has traditionally been seen as located on the margins of modernity and as a site of underdevelopment in the Brazilian imaginary in opposition to the affluent Southeastern region. The construction of this binary opposition suggests a model of division of the Brazilian social and cultural world between center and margin. Through creative appropriation of foreign influences Freitas, Queiroz, and Lispector produced narratives with intrinsic Brazilian qualities. They participated in the creation of an authentic national intelligentsia, the nationalization of Brazilian literature while at the same time questioning the arrival of modernity to the "third world," and more specifically, to the northeastern periphery of Brazil and its characteristics.

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