On Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis' "The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas"


The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas is such a complex and clever allegory of Brazilian society that many readers didn’t initially understand just how searing its critique really was. Its author, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, was the grandson of former slaves writing to and about the slaveholding class at the time and is widely regarded as the most prominent Brazilian writer of all time. His writing is noted for its formal experimentation, and while this book is certainly funny and self-aware, it also communicates the cruelty of the Brazilian elite. Flora Thomson-DeVeaux is the translator of a new English version of The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, as well as many other texts. Sidney Chalhoub is a professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His books include Machado de Assis, historiador, about the literature and ideas of Machado de Assis and A força da escravidão: ilegalidade e costume no Brasil oitocentista on illegal enslavement in nineteenth-century Brazil. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm.

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Zachary Davis

Zachary Davis is the host of Ministry of Ideas and Writ Large and the Editor-in-Chief of Radiant.

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