Who was João do Rio?
And why was he the focus of this project?
For this project, I took specifc tales from João do Rio's book of cronicas, A Alma Encantadora das Ruas (The Enchanting Soul of the Streets), in which he wrote annecdotes about specific locations in Rio. I coined different keywords to describe those stories. I then geocoded those keywords onto a digitized map of Rio De Janeiro to mark where the stories occur. (See "Maps" page for more on Geocoding.)
In the early 20th Century, João do Rio (whose real name was Paulo Barreto) was one of Rio de Janeiro's most popular writers. He loved to use Rio de Janeiro's diverse and colorful neighborhoods as the backdrop for the stories he wrote. João do Rio wrote "cronicas," a Brazilian genre of short stories that describe daily life and events in the specific city about which they are written. When João do Rio wrote his cronicas, the city was in itself a character, with its own personality and unique qualities. From the wealthy window shoppers to the immigrants, churchgoers, beggars, and tattoo artists, João do Rio believed that each person in every area of the city contributed to Rio de Janeiro's colorful and charming character. The urban space and unique quality of each neighborhood were key aspects to João do Rio's stories.
•He wrote cronicas about Rio de Janerio which were published in newspapers in Rio and later in books/anthologies. His stories were very popular amongst people of all social classes.
•He wrote about life in Rio and often humanized Rio's lower class citizens in his vivid depictions of their personal lives.
•João do Rio died of a heart attack in a taxi at the age of 39. His death was a huge tragedy in Rio, where people mourned for days. Thousands attended his public funeral and viewing.
A newspaper clipping from the Gazeta de Noticias on
June 25, 1921 discussing Paulo Barreto's funeral and viewing.