Machado de Assis and Narrative Theory -

Machado de Assis and Narrative Theory

Language, Art, and Verisimilitude in the Last Six Novels

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This book makes the argument that Machado de Assis, hailed as one of Latin American literature's greatest writers, was also a major theoretician of the modern novel form. Steeped in the works of Western literature and an imaginative reader of French Symbolist poetry, Machado creates, between 1880 and 1908, a 'new narrative,' one that will presage the groundbreaking theories of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure by showing how even the language of narrative cannot escape being elusive and ambiguous in terms of meaning. It is from this discovery about the nature of language as a self-referential semiotic system that Machado crafts his 'new narrative.' Long celebrated in Brazil as a dazzlingly original writer, Machado has struggled to gain respect and attention outside the Luso-Brazilian ken. He is the epitome of the 'outsider' or 'marginal,' the iconoclastic and wildly innovative genius who hails from a culture rarely studied in the Western literary hierarchy and so consigned to the status of 'eccentric.' Had the Brazilian master written not in Portuguese but English, French, or German, he would today be regarded as one of the true exemplars of the modern novel, in expression as well as in theory.

Product code: 9781684481125

ISBN 9781684481125
Series Bucknell Studies in Latin American Literature and Theory
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H229xW152
No. Of Pages 254
Argues that Machado de Assis, hailed as one of Latin American literature's greatest writers, was also a major theoretician of the modern novel form. Had the Brazilian master written not in Portuguese but English, French, or German, he would today be regarded as one of the true exemplars of the modern novel, in expression as well as in theory.