It’s no easy task for any Brazilian author to be published in English, and this is because doing a good translation is really quite expensive. While of course Portuguese and English share many similar words due to the common Latin roots, the grammar is extremely different and so it takes time and effort to really understand the thought, and translate the thought rather than just the words themselves. So any publisher who is already receiving a huge number of unsolicited manuscripts will also have this factor to take into account, and so we find ourselves in the position of having many absolutely excellent books here which are are still not known.
So for quite a long time now I have been thinking about writing a new series of book reviews celebrating Brazilian books that you haven’t read, ones which have only been published here in Brazil and are only in Portuguese. Of course a very significant proportion of visitors to Transition Consciousness are Brazilian, but they will probably not have read all of these books either, so hopefully there will be something new for everyone in this article. So let me now tell you about the books you see in these photos:
Será Que É Posível? (Is it Really Possible?) by Sergio Chaia
Sergio Chaia has had an amazing career, reaching the position of President of Nextel Brazil and he is now the President of Symantec Latin America. In this book he tells his story of how he reached these positions of leadership, but the reason people should read this is that Sergio is also a practicing Buddhist. Therefore his understanding of leadership comes from a position that understands self-knowledge as the most important quality of a leader. This allows authentic leaders to develop emotional bonds to the people they have responsibilities for, and to allow them to inspire and transform others, rather than seeing others as a threat to be destroyed.
Maria and I interviewed Sergio for our own book Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter, and of course he discusses many of these issues, allowing us to introduce his philosophy to a non-Portuguese audience. This is a wonderful book, well worth a read from those who wonder if big business really can be transformed.
Empresa Orgânica (Organic Businesses) by Jair Moggi
Jair is a friend, an economist and lawyer with 30 years of experience in helping businesses and organisations to transform. He is the author of many amazing books, and in this one he asks us to consider organisations as organic, living, intuitive, flexible, adaptive, connected and intelligent beings.
This is quite a short book but extremely profound, and highly practical with many reflections for the reader to consider. Jair is also one of Brazil’s leading Anthroposophists, teaching the philosophy of the educator Rudolph Steiner, and so this is also a deeply spiritual and ethical work which will guide the reader into some extremely deep insights about the organisation of work, harmony, energy and flow.
I really would like to mention a second book of Jair’s, co-authored with Daniel Burkhard, The Spiritual Capital of the Company: The Importance of Intuitive Management in Business. On the surface Brazil has an extremely dire business environment, mired in systemic corruption coupled with the worst bureaucracy you could imagine. But there are beautiful books such as this, and Jair is still extremely active introducing these teachings into a wide range of businesses, and so this is an extremely special work that should be celebrated.
Ligue os Pontos: Poemas de Amor e Big Bang (Connect the Dots: Poems of Love and the Big Bang) by Gregorio Duvivier
Gregorio is one of my favourite comedians, and I know him not so much for his television work, but because he is at the cutting edge of disruptive new media here in Brazil, being one of the founders of Porta dos Fundos, a comedy collective who have developed a huge following with their internet-based sketches. I love his comedy personas, which can actually be quite Britishly downcast, but he is also quite a philosopher and in this book we find him playing with Portuguese to deliver some wonderful lyrical prose, although with Gregorio you are never that far away from a little silliness too which is always a good thing in my book.
Hiper (Hyper) by Fabio Novo
Fabio is well-known in Brazil as a therapist, coach, lecturer, spiritual philosopher and holo-activist who has travelled widely on his spiritual quest after many years in a successful executive career in marketing and new media. This wonderfully printed hand-sized novel builds on his philosophical opus Holoplex, being a fictional account of his adventures and spiritual discoveries. Fabio is heavily involved in many events and activities outside of Brazil, and I do believe Hiper will be available in the coming months in English which is brilliant.
A Caveira de Hamlet: Questionamentos Malcomportamentos sobre a Vida, a Verdade e o Futuro (The Skull of Hamlet: Badly Behaved Questions on Life, Truth and the Future) by Homero Santos and Fernanda Santos
An finally we arrive at a book, written by father and daughter, whose title should signal to us the ambitions of this monumental work. It is idiosyncratic in nature, in a manner which allows the authors to speak to us readers in a very personal style, relating their insights to us directly, via dialogues, discussions, reflections and interviews with many other Brazilian thought leaders and change makers. This is a book to stimulate our creativity and deep questioning of who were are as human beings and where we are going, covering a huge amount of ground in the process such as entropy, chaos, Gaia, happiness, divinity, sustainable development, conscious capitalism, transition, and finishing with a reflection on the trinity of soil, society and being. In Portuguese this is the poetic trinity of solo, ser and sociedade.
So there you have it. Five different Brazilian books – deeply profound, lyrical, creative, exciting and brilliant in their own unique ways.