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Machado de Assis (1839–1908)

Author of The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas

512+ Works 9,898 Members 230 Reviews 39 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

(dut) Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis was de zoon van Francisco José de Assis en Maria Leopoldina da Câmara Machado. Machado is dus niet zijn voornaam, maar een deel van zijn achternaam. Zie ook de Encyclopaedia Britannica en Cassell's Encyclopaedia of World Literature, waar hij te boek staat als "Machado de Assis, Joaquim Maria".

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons


Works by Machado de Assis

The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (1881) 2,479 copies, 72 reviews
Dom Casmurro (1899) 2,100 copies, 51 reviews
Quincas Borba (1891) 766 copies, 13 reviews
The Alienist (1882) 692 copies, 9 reviews
Esau and Jacob (1904) 302 copies, 5 reviews
Helena (1876) 258 copies, 4 reviews
Counselor Ayres' Memorial (1908) 254 copies, 5 reviews
The Hand and the Glove (1874) 181 copies, 3 reviews
The Alienist and Other Stories (1963) 143 copies, 3 reviews
Várias Histórias (1900) 124 copies, 3 reviews
Contos (1998) 97 copies
Papéis Avulsos (1882) 92 copies, 2 reviews
Iaiá Garcia (1878) 91 copies, 2 reviews
Ressurreição (1872) 84 copies, 1 review
The Devil's Church and Other Stories (1977) 80 copies, 2 reviews
Contos Fluminenses (1870) 57 copies, 1 review
Histórias sem data (1900) 53 copies, 3 reviews
Cartomante e Outros Contos, A (2001) 47 copies, 2 reviews
Contos Escolhidos (1999) 44 copies, 2 reviews
Histórias da Meia-Noite (1997) 43 copies, 1 review
A Chapter of Hats: Selected Stories (2008) 43 copies, 1 review
Conto de Escola (1900) 38 copies, 1 review
A Cartomante (1884) 36 copies
Relíquias de Casa Velha (1990) 36 copies
Midnight Mass (1977) 32 copies
Casa Velha (1952) 31 copies
Contos Consagrados (1990) 29 copies, 1 review
Teatro (1993) 28 copies, 1 review
MACHADO DE ASSIS (2002) 25 copies, 3 reviews
Páginas Recolhidas (1990) 24 copies, 1 review
Machado de Assis: 26 Stories (2019) 14 copies, 1 review
Escritos avulsos II (1997) 14 copies
Bons Dias! & Notas Semanais (1990) 13 copies
Correspondência (1997) 13 copies, 1 review
Melhores Contos (2001) 12 copies
Linha reta e linha curva (1993) 11 copies, 1 review
Historias Sobre Ética (2012) 10 copies
O Espelho (1905) 10 copies
O Jornal e o Livro (2011) 10 copies
Enfermeiro, O (2006) 10 copies, 1 review
Balas de Estalo & Crítica (1997) 10 copies
Teatro 2 (2000) 9 copies
Papéis Avulsos I (1997) 9 copies
A Semana II 9 copies
A Semana I (1997) 7 copies
A semana : crônicas, 1892-1893 (1996) 7 copies, 2 reviews
A palava é... Amor 7 copies, 1 review
O espelho e outros contos (2021) 7 copies
História de quinze dias (2009) 6 copies
Hulluarst : (2016) 6 copies
Crítica & variedades (1997) 6 copies
Crítica Teatral 6 copies, 1 review
Poesias completas (2000) 5 copies
Dom Casmurro; o Alienista (1995) 5 copies
Escritos avulsos III (1997) 5 copies
CUENTOS DE MADUREZ (2011) 5 copies
Admiral's Night (2009) 5 copies
Crônicas Volume 3 4 copies, 1 review
BONS DIAS (2018) 4 copies
O Almada & Outros Poemas (1997) 4 copies
Dois Contos 4 copies
Contos esquecidos (1990) 4 copies
Cuentos (1988) 4 copies
Contos Definitivos (2004) 4 copies
Bons Dias! (2008) 4 copies
Crônicas 3 copies, 1 review
Causa Secreta, A (2004) 3 copies
Poesias 3 copies
CONFRADES DE VERSOS (1998) 3 copies
Dom Casmurro 3 copies
A segunda vida (Portuguese Edition) (2011) 3 copies, 1 review
Trois contes (2010) 3 copies, 1 review
Americanas (2009) 3 copies
Contos Recolhidos (1990) 3 copies
O velho Senado 3 copies
52 BALAS DE ESTALO 2 copies, 1 review
Terpsícore (1996) 2 copies
A Carteira (2012) 2 copies
Meistererzählungen (1964) 2 copies
40 contos escolhidos (2011) 2 copies
Poesias Dispersas (Portuguese Edition) (2012) 2 copies, 1 review
Contos do Rio de Janeiro (2008) 2 copies
A Mulher de Preto 2 copies, 1 review
Ficciones desde Brasil (2012) 2 copies
L'Aliéniste 2 copies
Ideias de Can‡rio (2012) 2 copies
A chinela turca (2012) 2 copies
Quincas Borba 2 copies
Obra completa 2 copies
Contos avulsos (1990) 2 copies
Quando ela fala (2001) 1 copy
Esaú y Jacob. Tomo II 1 copy, 1 review
Contos Escolhidos 1 copy, 1 review
Tomás More e a Utopia (2007) 1 copy
POESIA 1 copy
Moreninha, A (2002) 1 copy
Historias (1995) 1 copy
Esaü et Jacob (2015) 1 copy
Quelques Contes (2016) 1 copy
Diez historias cortas (2006) 1 copy
O Espelho em HQ 1 copy, 1 review
O Corvo 1 copy
Miss Dollar (Portuguese Edition) (2016) 1 copy, 1 review
Notas semanais (2008) 1 copy
Histórias 1 copy
O Futuro (2014) 1 copy
Contos Essenciais (2014) 1 copy
- Vol. 1 1 copy
Conto de escola (2020) 1 copy, 1 review
- Vol. 2 1 copy
Romance 1 copy
7 contos 1 copy, 1 review
Luís Soares 1 copy, 1 review
Frei Simão 1 copy, 1 review
Quinca Borba 1 copy
Crítica 1 copy
Sem Olhos 1 copy

Associated Works

The World's Greatest Short Stories (2006) — Contributor — 276 copies, 1 review
The Eye of the Heart: Short Stories from Latin America (1973) — Contributor — 156 copies, 2 reviews
A Hammock Beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America (1991) — Contributor — 149 copies, 3 reviews
The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories (1997) — Contributor — 106 copies
Found in Translation (2018) — Contributor, some editions — 38 copies
Brazilian Tales (1921) — Contributor — 15 copies
Melhores Contos Brasileiros de Ficcao Cientifica, Os (2007) — Contributor — 10 copies
Quem conta um conto... e outros contos — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Machado de Assis
Legal name
Machado de Assis, Joaquim Maria
Other names
Machado de Assis
Date of death
Burial location
Cemitério São João Batista, Rio de Janeiro
Country (for map)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Place of death
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Places of residence
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (birth ∙ death)
short story writer
printer's apprentice
Academia Brasileira de Letras
Awards and honors
Order of the Rose of Brazil (1888)
Disambiguation notice
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis was de zoon van Francisco José de Assis en Maria Leopoldina da Câmara Machado. Machado is dus niet zijn voornaam, maar een deel van zijn achternaam. Zie ook de Encyclopaedia Britannica en Cassell's Encyclopaedia of World Literature, waar hij te boek staat als "Machado de Assis, Joaquim Maria".



Group Read, February 2021: The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas in 1001 Books to read before you die (February 2021)


All right fess up how many Brazilian novels have you read this year? And how many written over a century ago?

Our Book Club took a look at The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas and I'll bet you a cruzeiro you've never heard of it. But it sparked a deep and lively discussion.

A book written in 1881 narrated by a man in his coffin who had a rather checkered career among the minor nobility of Brazil in the previous century.

Being dead, he has no reason to lie to anybody and his memoir is full of choice observations about the people and the country he knew. Colonial Brazil at the dying edge of the Empire. Irony and sarcasm -- jokes and regret. A rich tapestry. The rich are very different from you and me, well no they're not.

Breaking the fourth (Coffin?) wall and alternately scolding and encouraging his readers in witty asides.

There is chapter written entirely in ellipses (... ... ...) Just keep going.

And now i discovery that this book from the dim dusty end of the library steppes has become a HUGE TikTok meme and point of discussion among the young 'uns. You can sort of see why -- Short pithy comments, loads of snark , loads of sarcasm -- its not a book it's a Blog!
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magicians_nephew | 71 other reviews | Jul 14, 2024 |
As usual, our fearless Reading Group leader came up with a book no one had heard of and was glad to read.

This sometimes satiric, sometimes hilarious novel is written by the title character from the grave - literally. He dedicates it to the worms that will eat his body. Its main preoccupation is Bras Cubas himself, an upper class, lazy, amoral gentleman in Rio de Janiero in the late 1800s, his life and loves, his acute perceptions of the society around him and the history of this very mixed race place. Some of the chapters are reasonably long - maybe 8 pages. Some are just one page. One is empty. The titles are signals, for instance, 'An Immoral Reflection', 'Sad, but Short', followed by 'Short, but Happy'. But Blas being dead, he has decided to tell it like it was, warts and and slavery and all. As a picture of a petty, scrupulous, self-absorbed society, it's terrific. (Look out for the hippopotamus in chapter VII.)

There are at least three translations out, one from the 1950s, two more recent. They are all good. The one I read had extensive footnotes from the author. Interestingly, the book was not well received in Brazil, at least in part because it is such a strange departure from the previous writing, the straight narrative romances that were so popular. But it has haunted many writers in English, and speaks as much to the 21st century as to its own.
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ffortsa | 71 other reviews | Jul 10, 2024 |
Machado’s commentary on human folly is presented as the memoir of a dead man. A dead man. Some chapters are sad, but short; others are short, but sad. Some chapters, according to the narrator, are a mistake; others are unnecessary, or explanations of a previous chapter. About the most brilliant phase of his life he is determined to say nothing. He responds preemptively (but posthumously) to his critics, abandons and embraces the teachings (‘Humanitism’) of the philosopher-tramp Quincas Borba, and confirms the parable of the Athenian maniac. That Brás Cubas is an unreliable narrator is beside the point, really, since language and the mind from which it springs are not to be trusted. A brilliant book.

…this is what makes us the lords of the Earth, this ability to restore the past, to realize the fragility of our impressions and the futility of our affections. Pascal may say that man is a thinking reed, but he isn’t, he’s a thinking erratum. Each season in life is a new edition that corrects the preceding one, which will in turn be corrected again, until we reach the definitive edition, which the editor donates for free to the worms.
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MusicalGlass | 71 other reviews | Apr 18, 2024 |
Three and a half stars. Very clever, I appreciated it, but I didn't enjoy it too much - I hated the main character. I'm glad I've read it, but I'm not going to reread it in the future.
Donderowicz | 71 other reviews | Mar 12, 2024 |



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