Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Lampião. Virgulino Ferreira da Silva (1897-1938) was a famous cangaceiro (bandit) and leader of a band of outlaws in rural Pernambuco in Brazil. He was commonly called “Lampião” (Oil Lamp). In the 1920s and 1930s he appeared in Celebrity Pulps in Brazil (and later Portugal), most commonly in folheto, pamphlets of poetry cheaply printed and widely distributed. (He remains a popular subject of the folheto even today).
Popularly Lampião was considered a modern Gentleman Bandit, but the fictional version of Lampião is often brutal and even cruel. In some folheto he fights Antônio Silvino in Hell.
* I'm including Lampião in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of his historical importance. With Antonio Silvino he permanently established in Brazilian popular culture the Gentleman Bandit archetype as a peculiarly 20th century and Brazilian character type. That Lampião continues to appear in folheto in the 2020s is evidence of how strong a grip he and Silvino continue to have on the Brazilian imagination.
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