Machado de Assis

Machado de Assis is a major name in Brazilian literature. His literary body of work comprises an impressive roster of genres—from poetry to the short story. During his lifetime he witnessed a pivotal political change in Brazil when the monarchy of King Pedro II was overthrown in favor of the new Republic of Brazil. He described himself as an avid liberal-monarchist and was disappointed at the advent of republicanism in his national country.
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Machado De Assis
Despite having been born into a poor family and having had little formal education
, Machado de Assis found he possessed impressive literary skills as he grew older and began work as a journalist. His early interest in a bohemian lifestyle and the royal court propelled him to use his intellectual capabilities as an entry into high society.

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He worked in the Ministries of Agriculture, Commerce and Public Works as well as on several newspapers which were the first to publish his poems and chronicles. In his later years he became a founding member and the first unanimous president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
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Machado De AssisHis works are extensive and he is considered the first writer to introduce the literary style of realism into Brazil with the publication of “The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas” in 1881. His work was essential for the Brazilian literary schools of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and even today they attract considerable public and academic interests.
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Scholars note five key frames in his writings: "classic elements" (balance, concision, lyrical and expressional restraints), "traces of romanticism" (conventional narratives to the plot), "realistic approximations" (critical attitude, objectivity, contemporary themes), "impressionist procedures" (recreating the past through memory), and "modern advances" (the elliptical and allusive are engaged to a theme that allows multiple readings and interpretations). Amongst his most memorable works there are the novels “Helena”, 1876 and “Dom Casmurro”, 1899.
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The themes Machado de Assis approaches involve the use of quotations related to events in his personal life as well as the most intricate conflicts of the human condition. He can portray implied homosexual and homoerotic relationships as in the short story "Pylades and Orestes" as well as more complex and explicit themes such as slavery which is described with the cynical point of view of the slaveholder, always criticizing him in an oblique way.

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Concerning slavery, Machado de Assis had already had a family experience, as his paternal grandparents had been slaves themselves, and he was also influenced by the newspapers with ads for runaway slaves. In his time, the literature denouncing ethnocentric beliefs that blacks positioned on the bottom level of the social scale was distorted or dwarfed, so this theme is highly central to his works. “The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas” is an example.

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The plot narrates what would be one of the most disturbing pages of fiction ever written about the psychology of slavery: the black freed slave purchases his own slave in order to take his revenge. Machado de Assis is considered one of the greatest geniuses in the history of literature, alongside authors such as Dante, Shakespeare and Camões. 
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