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Other titles in the Latin America in Translation/En Traduccion/Em Traducao series:
A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism: Machado de Assis (Latin America in Translation/En Traduccion/Em Traducao)by Roberto Schwarz
Synopses & Reviews
A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism is a translation (from the original Portuguese) of Roberto Schwarz’s renowned study of the work of Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis (1839–1908). A leading Brazilian theorist and author of the highly influential notion of “misplaced ideas,” Schwarz focuses his literary and cultural analysis on Machado’s The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, which was published in 1880. Writing in the Marxist tradition, Schwarz investigates in particular how social structure gets internalized as literary form, arguing that Machado’s style replicates and reveals the deeply embedded class divisions of nineteenth-century Brazil.
Widely acknowledged as the most important novelist to have written in Latin America before 1940, Machado had a surprisingly modern style. Schwarz notes that the unprecedented wit, sarcasm, structural inventiveness, and mercurial changes of tone and subject matter found in The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas marked a crucial moment in the history of Latin American literature. He argues that Machado’s vanguard narrative reflects the Brazilian owner class and its peculiar status in both national and international contexts, and shows why this novel’s success was no accident. The author was able to confront some of the most prestigious ideologies of the nineteenth century with some uncomfortable truths, not the least of which was that slavery remained the basis of the Brazilian economy.
A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism will appeal to those with interests in Latin American literature, nineteenth century history, and Marxist literary theory.
A translation of Schwarz's study of the work of Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis (1839-1908).
About the Author
“A brilliant and penetrating analysis of Machado’s Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas. This is the kind of reading that transforms one’s understanding of the novel. After reading Schwarz, it is impossible to see Machado in the same light as before. Exemplary of what literary analysis can and should be, this seminal study transcends its focus on Brazilian literature and becomes a model for literary critics. “—Randal Johnson, University of California, Los Angeles
“This is a masterpiece of criticism. The coherence of Schwarz’s perspective and the clarity with which he elaborates the economic and cultural insights that form his dialectical approach to literature make his study a paradigmatic one for theoretical enterprise. By concentrating his interpretive talents on Machado’s style, Schwarz also illuminates a question that has puzzled many present Machado readers: Why do we find him so satisfylingly contemporary?”—Leslie Damasceno, Duke University
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