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Brazilian Tales

Book Overview: 

“Brazilian Tales” is a collection of six short stories selected by Isaac Goldberg as best representative of the Brazilian Literature of his period – the end of the 19th century. His comprehensive preface aims at familiarizing the reader with a literature that was – and still is – virtually unknown outside the boundaries of its own land, and the pieces chosen by Goldberg to be translated belong to writers that reached popularity and appreciation while still alive. This “pioneer volume”, as the translator himself puts it, still keeps its charm and interest as a way of offering to the English speaking public some “sample cases” of Brazilian Literature.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .reach the point or morbidity which we have become accustomed to expect in the novels and tales of the Russians. Stories like The Attendant's Confession are written with a refinement of thought as well as of language. They are not, as so much of Brazilian literature must perforce seem to the stranger's mind, exotic. They belong to the letters of the world by virtue of the human appeal of the subject and the mastery of their treatment.

Chief among the writers here represented stands Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. (1839-1908). Born in Rio de Janeiro of poor parents he was early beset with difficulties. He soon found his way into surroundings where his literary tastes were awakened and where he came into contact with some of the leading spirits of the day. The noted literary historians of his country, Sylvio Roméro and Joao Ribeiro (in their Compendio de Historia da Litteratura Brazileira) find the writing of his first period of little value. The next decade, fro. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Esse livro reúne a primeira coletânea de seus contos a ser publicada, a primeira edição data de 1870. Contém sete narrativas, predominantemente românticas, das quais gostei muito de Miss Dollar e Frei Simão.

Os contos são ótimos. Mas acho curioso como Machado descreve longamente os personagens para depois acabar o conto rapidamente. Sempre me acostumei a ver o contrário.

RSD Assis! _
... Um... this time the author focuses on the schemes women create and/or the plots men bring about; not always they mean badly, on the other hand, not always things turn out well for third parties involved. Machado discloses an amazing sensitiveness concerning understanding human natur

(view spoiler)["— Temos romance? perguntou Adelaide a Tito.
— Realidade, minha senhora, respondeu Tito, e realidade em prosa. [...]
— Escreva isto e dirão que é um romance, disse alegremente Adelaide.
— A vida não é outra coisa... acrescentou Tito [...]

Azevedo não se deu por satisfeito; explicaram-lhe tudo.
— Percebo, (hide spoiler)]

Simplesmente uma leitura viciante!

Found the selections by Machado de Assis pretty enjoyable, each of which contains an element of substantially developed irony, at times even brushing with existentialist absurdity; the other stories weren't horrible but didn't match the first three.

Comecei a ler mais por curiosidade em saber como foram escritos os contos de Machado de Assis.
Esses fluminenses contos parecem realmente retratar pessoas que, pelo menos em aparência, possuem certa "circulação" na sociedade guanabara.
Engraçado ver nesses contos Românticos, como escola, que o que hoj

Excelentes contos nesse livro tão precoce de Machado.

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