João Guimarães Rosa

João Guimarães Rosa (27 June 1908 - 19 November 1967) was a Brazilian novelist, considered by many to be one of the greatest Brazilian novelists born in the 20th century. His best-known work is the novel Grande Sertão: Veredas (translated as The Devil to Pay in the Backlands). Some people consider this to be the Brazilian equivalent of Ulysses. Guimarães Rosa was born in Cordisburgo in the state of Minas Gerais, the first of six children of Florduardo Pinto Rosa (nicknamed "seu Fulô") and Francisca Guimarães Rosa ("Chiquitinha"). He was self-taught in many areas and from childhood studied many languages, starting with French before he was seven years old, as can be seen in an interview he gave a cousin of his later in life: I speak: Portuguese, German, French, English, Spanish, Italian, Esperanto, some Russian; I read: Swedish, Dutch, Latin and Greek (but with the dictionary right next to me); I understand some German dialects; I studied the grammar of: Hungarian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Lithuanian, Polish, Tupi, Hebrew, Japanese, Czech, Finnish, Danish; I dabbled in others. But all at a very basic level.

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