The eminent intellectual, sociologist, and literary critic Antonio Cândido de Mello e Souza (b. 1918) discusses slavish copies and examples of foreign works from the perspective of the regional exotic approach that hews closely to Eurocentric sensitivities. In his opinion, and in terms of Latin American literature, these works reflect two aspects of the repercussions of the backwardness and economic underdevelopment of the country. Attempting to position works that do not fit in either category, Cândido suggests a third option that he calls “super-regionalist,” in which the universal nature of the region takes precedence over its picturesque qualities, either in the choice of subject matter or in terms of the creation of the artistic language.
[This document reflects an interest in the search for unifying categories that are based on sociocultural criteria. Cândido never deviated from the “literature and society” theme (Princeton University Press,  1995) of his earliest essays written in the 1940s, but developed a nonpartisan yet critical leftist approach. Despite the fact that A formação da literatura brasileira (momento decisivo), published in 1959, was considered his greatest work, this essay substantiates the lively debate between the work of the avant-garde and Brazilian socioeconomic conditions. Although the author goes back to the 1930s in his essay (published in 1989) when he identifies Mário Vieira de Mello as the forerunner of the matter, there is an inevitable and polemical background in that regard. The matter in question is the “political culture” mentioned by Ferreira Gullar in Vanguarda e subdesenvolvimento: ensayos sobre arte (1963–69), that was published against the backdrop of the military coup through debates at the PCB (Brazilian Communist Party), the RCB (Revista Civilização Brasileira), and the Opinião group.
On the other side of the coin—defending the relevance or forcefulness of Third World avant-garde discourse and vocabulary—was the international acknowledgment achieved by the São Paulo group led by members of Poesia Concreta, for whom sociocultural issues were not the beginning of anything.