Machado de Assis
Machado de Assis, born Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839–1908), was a Brazilian novelist, poet, playwright, and short story writer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of Brazilian literature and a pioneer of realism in Brazil. His works are known for their wit, irony, and keen psychological insight. Notable works include 'Dom Casmurro', 'Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas' (The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas), and 'Quincas Borba'. Machado de Assis was also the founding president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
The novel is a unique and satirical work, narrated by a dead man, Bras Cubas, who recounts his life from beyond the grave. The story is filled with ironic humor and philosophical musings as Bras Cubas explores his past, his relationships, and the societal norms of his time. The narrative breaks conventional storytelling norms, often addressing the reader directly and jumping through time without warning. Themes of love, wealth, power, and the human condition are explored, providing a critique of 19th-century Brazilian society.
2. Dom Casmurro
The novel is a darkly comic, yet tragic exploration of love, betrayal, and jealousy, told through the unreliable narration of the protagonist, a middle-aged man who believes his wife has cheated on him with his best friend. The narrative is filled with ambiguity and uncertainty, forcing readers to question the reality of the events described. The novel is also a profound exploration of the human psyche and the destructive power of obsession.
The book is a groundbreaking work of Brazilian literature that takes the form of a posthumous autobiography. The narrator, a wealthy and cynical bachelor, reflects on his life from beyond the grave, recounting his romances, friendships, and the various episodes that define his existence with a sharp, often sardonic wit. The narrative defies traditional structure, employing digressions, philosophical musings, and a lack of chronological order to explore themes of love, death, and the futility of human aspirations. Through the narrator's self-aware and critical perspective, the novel satirizes the social norms of its time, revealing the superficiality and hypocrisy of the narrator's social class.