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The library of Machado de Assis in the ellaboration of his literary criticism: the cases of Pelletan, Sainte-Beuve and Staël

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Dayane Mussulini
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Assis. 2020-03-04.
Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências e Letras. Assis
Defense date:
Advisor: Daniela Mantarro Callipo

Throughout his professional career, Machado de Assis also took part in collaborations in magazines and newspapers, in which, among other tasks, he developed literary criticism, whose texts have been organized into a single volume, collected by professors Sílvia Maria Azevedo, Adriana Dusilek and Daniela Mantarro Callipo: Machado de Assis: crítica literária e textos diversos (2013). The compilation brings to light Machado's constant reflection upon literary and critical making in his more than 50 years of activity in the press, at a time when a consolidated literary criticism didn’t even exist in the country. Another fact that contributes to understand the relevance of the subject in the work of the Fluminense author concerns the diversity of textual genres employed for such exercise: essay, article, news, chronicle, preface, letter, speech and tribute. Moreover, it is possible to draw a comparison between his practice and some ideas belonging to French authors, well-known at that time: Eugène Pelletan, Sainte-Beuve and Madame de Staël, with whom he seems to dialogue in an attempt to constitute a critical writing. As these names do not always explicitly appear in their productions, it was necessary to resort to studies about intertextuality and the writer's library, based on Samoyault (2008) and Lopez (2007), above all. Thus, we intend to analyze these texts alongside the comparison with the three above-mentioned French writers, in order to verify to what extent Machado de Assis approaches and distances himself from the model of criticism in effect in nineteenth-century France. To this end, the research is divided into three stages: in the first one, we observe the role of Eugène Pelletan's liberal thinking in Machado's first articles, when he defines the newspaper as the perfect vehicle for the circulation of ideas as well as realizes the need to modulate his speech according to editorial guidelines, resulting in an intense process in his writing; in the second, we analyze Machado's conception of literary criticism from his readings of Sainte-Beuve, contrasting with his own, which did not always strictly follow his recommendations, since it had to adapt to the demands of the journals; finally, in the third part, we present some considerations from the author of Dom Casmurro regarding literature itself as a subjective manifestation and cosmopolitanism as a way of perfecting it, alongside those expounded by Madame de Staël. The thesis that Machado's intellectual formation (also called his library) helps in the elaboration of his projects and his writing is defended. The selected French authors further illustrate that their styles and ideas are modified by him in order to create his own ideal model of the critic, collaborating equally in the discussion of Brazilian literary criticism, which is responsible for the maturation of local literature. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/14844-1 - Literary critic Machado de Assis: the french presence in the ellaboration of his writing
Grantee:Dayane Mussulini
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate