In one of his most intriguing poems, Carlos Drummond de Andrade provides inspiration for this current volume of Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies—Brazil 2001: A Revisionary History of Brazilian Literature and Culture. The poem, called "Hino Nacional," is a paradoxical reconstruction of variegated efforts aimed at the building of the nation. In the final lines of the poem, however, it is "Brazil"—as an impossible Kantian thing-in-itself—that emerges and refuses all attempts to grasp its essence:
Brazil does not want us! It is sick and tired of us!
Our Brazil is in the afterworld. This is not Brazil.
There is no Brazil. By any chance, are there Brazilians?