Dados vol. 31 n. 3 Rio de Janeiro 1988

O Tempo da Casa Grande

Bôas, Glaucia Villas


An attempt is made to clarify the notion of time upon which Gilberto Freyre bases his interpretive theory of Brazilian society. This author's contributions are reconsidered against the background of present questionings within social thought concerning the modem conception of history, the efficiency of scientific standards of knowledge, and impasses in the issues of culture and society in Brazil. An examination of books in which the author reveals the methodological and epistemological paths of his theory on interpreting Brazil shows that Gilberto Freyre adopts a conception of time similar to the Bergsonian notion of "duration". According to Freyre, this notion makes it possible to capture the singularity of a social group and to introduce intuition into the process of knowledge, facilitating apprehension of the unity of the object of study. In choosing this path, Gilberto Freyre discloses the peculiarities of social relations and presents a positive view of Brazilian culture, distinguishing himself from other scholars. At the same time however, he relegates the extent of conflict existing within the society to a secondary level.

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O Tempo da Casa Grande