Machado de Assis: 6 essential readings of the author’s work – Revista Galileu

From left to right: box “Realismo de Machado de Assis”, “O Alienista” and “Memorial de Aires” (Photo: Disclosure / Amazon)

Machado de Assis (1839-1908) is considered by many academics as one of the greatest authors of Brazilian literature and, throughout his career, he wrote several books that remain as references to this day. The list below brings together six essential works for those who want to know and delve into the writer’s history, with prices starting at R$12.

The highlight is the box. Machado de Assis Realismwhich costs about R$33 and includes three of the author’s main works, including the famous title Dom Casmurro. The selection also features a collection of all the writer’s short stories, available in hardcover for approximately R$129.

1. Helen – from BRL 12

Book cover

Cover of the book “Helena” (Photo: Disclosure / Amazon)

Helena, from 1876, was the third novel written by the author and is one of the options for those who want to know more deeply the work of Machado de Assis. The story of a forbidden love, set in the 19th century, narrates the trajectory of the young woman who gives name to the work and who had her life unstructured after being informed of the death of counselor Vale. At the bottom of the cover, the reader is informed that he will find commented entrance exam questions.

The book is published by Principis, has 192 pages and is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. In the reviews, buyers praise the price, the quality of the material and the plot. On the other hand, some criticized the Kindle version’s formatting, which replaces words with symbols and misaligns some paragraphs. Helena is available in digital format for approximately R$2. The hardcover physical edition can be obtained from R$12.

2. Machado de Assis’ realism – from BRL 33

“Realismo de Machado de Assis” brings together the books “Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas”, “Quincas Borba” and “Dom Casmurro” (Photo: Disclosure/Amazon)

The collection Machado de Assis Realism brings together three books that marked the author’s career, namely: The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (1881), Quincas Borba (1892) and Dom Casmurro (1899). The trilogy is responsible for introducing the Realism movement in Brazil, in addition to innovating Brazilian literature. The works are still used today as references.

The collection is published by Principis, is in the first edition and, in all, has 640 pages. On the Amazon website, the package is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, and buyers highlight the beauty of the covers and the quality of the print. However, some claim to have received the damaged books. The collection is sold in a Kindle version for R$22 and in paperback for around R$33.

3. The Alienist – from BRL 55

Cover of the book The Alienist (Photo: Disclosure / Amazon)

Cover of the book The Alienist (Photo: Disclosure / Amazon)

the alienist was released in 1882 and chronicles the journey of a physician determined to study and understand human reason. For this, he is willing to go over common sense, society and the State. The book is considered a landmark of Machado de Assis’ questioning and ironic view of human reality, and the edition of Antofágica also features 37 illustrations by Candido Portinari.

The title is 304 pages long and has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon. Most buyers praise the quality of the story and illustrations, but some criticism has been leveled at the introductory notes and texts. The Alienista can be obtained on Kindle for around R$9 and in hardcover for from R$55.

4. Esau and Jacob – from BRL 37

Book cover

Cover of the book “Esau and Jacob” (Photo: Disclosure / Amazon)

Esaú e Jacó is another choice for those who want to read the productions of Machado de Assis. This book was the author’s penultimate novel, published in 1904, and the plot is centered on the debate between the brothers Pedro and Paulo – a theme already presented in the title with allusion to the famous biblical dispute.

The work is published by Vozes De Bolso and has 312 pages. The book is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and shoppers praise the engaging narrative. However, some complain that the text editing has grammatical errors. Esaú e Jacó is available for R$2 in the Kindle version and in paperback from R$37.

5. Aires Memorial – from BRL 21

Book cover

Cover of the book “Memorial de Aires” (Photo: Publicity/Amazon)

Aires Memorial, from 1908, was the last book published by Machado de Assis. The work is structured in the format of a diary written by José da Costa Marcondes Aires, a retired diplomat, widower, who, curiously, is also present in Esaú and Jacó. Part of the narrative revolves around the character’s social cycle.

The issue is published by ‎Martin Claret, has ‎195 pages and is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. According to buyers, the book has a good plot, but some consider it to be inferior to other Machado de Assis titles. Aires Memorial It is available for R$2 in Kindle version and in paperback for around R$21.

6. All short stories by Machado de Assis – from BRL 129

Box compiles the main short stories by Machado de Assis (Photo: Reproduction/Amazon)

Box compiles the main short stories by Machado de Assis (Photo: Reproduction/Amazon)

the box All short stories by Machado de Assis brings together three books, which compile a series of texts by the author. The first volume presents Tales from Rio de Janeiro, Midnight Stories and single papers; the second volume has undated stories, various stories, Pages collapsed and Relics of the old house; the third volume brings the other stories. The stories are organized in chronological order and were selected by the writer himself, according to information from the publisher.

The collection is published by Nova Fronteira and all the books total 1,792 pages. On Amazon, the box is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, and buyers praise the quality of the collection, but some criticize that the paper is too thin and that some tales are not present in the package. All short stories by Machado de Assis can be purchased for R$64 in the Kindle version and for R$129 in hardcover.

Transparency Note: Amazon and Galileo maintain a commercial partnership. By clicking on the store link, Galileo can earn a share of sales or other compensation. The prices mentioned may vary and the availability of the products is subject to stocks. The values ​​indicated in the text refer to the month of June 2022.

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