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Ireland is part of our so very Brazilian constellation of ethnicities, our assembly of multiple voices, through the plurality of which we interpret the present.

Ireland and Brazil are joined also in their ancient names – the Emerald Isle, and the Island of Santa Cruz – forming a single archipelago in the generous mappa mundi of Brazil’s National Library.

This is an elevated practice of bilateral dialogue: the diplomacy of books and culture, in their various levels of mutual support permeating the sectors of the Library. If it were not for the literature of Ireland – if we did not have its creative vigour – a good part of the twentieth century would have been poorer. I am thinking of Wilde, Heaney and Yeats – but above all of Joyce: the translation of his Ulysses is one of the most beautiful chapters of our literary dialogue.

Also I cannot omit to speak of Swift – fundamental for links on so many fronts, including Machado de Assis. The invention of an artificial language. And of the opportune metaphor of the library, the books, at night, alone, in peace.

As host to this exhibition, the National Library Foundation wishes to express its profound gratitude to the Embassy and Consulat e General of Ireland in Brazil for the initiative of this historic encounter of cultures.


Marco Lucchesi,

President of Fundação Biblioteca Nacional

See the exhibition catalog here.