artigos e ensaios - 1992 / Mariza Peirano

The "Emperor"

In 1996 Gilberto who was then President of the National Association of Post Graduate Programs in the Social Sciences (Anpocs) asked me if I would act as liaison for an invitation to Stanley Tambiah to deliver one of the Meetings' major conferences of that year. Invitation accepted, I became concerned about how these two strong personalities would get along. My mistake. They immediately recognized one another when they met at the Museu Nacional's inner garden. While Gilberto immediately addressed the guest by his nickname "Tambi", to Gilberto's delight Tambiah named him "The Emperor". In that old palace, Gilberto's poise could not be mistaken. During our stay in Caxambu, the title continued to be used when Tambiah explained that, as "a member of the entourage of the Emperor", he had to follow Gilberto to the bar for a caipirinha, or to the empty dining hall at 6 pm for supper. Gilberto was charmed by the treatment and we, the real entourage of both men, had great fun with the good-humored jesting that preponderated in their relationship.

Gilberto's regal and imposing personality has always been known to those who needed to respond to his demands, to the inflexible timetables he valued so highly, to the carefully detailed agendas which sometimes were meticulously defined months in advance, not to mention his impervious and cultivated "incorrectness". A central figure in the anthropological milieu, where he pioneered the field of urban studies in Brazil, an intellectual with a tremendous breadth of knowledge, he was foremost a teacher/advisor. Add to these responsibilities his vast contribution as member of institutions dedicated to key academic decision-making policies, and his important role in the publishing of anthropological and sociological books. Leia na íntegra da pág. 15 à 17