Quincas Borba (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Oct 22, 1998 - Foreign Language Study - 320 pages
9 Reviews
Along with The Posthumous Memoirs of Br's Cubas and Dom Casmurro, Quincas Borba is one of Machado de Assis' major works and indeed one of the major works of nineteenth-century fiction. With his uncannily postmodern sensibility, his delicious wit, and his keen insight into the political and social complexities of the Brazilian Empire, Machado opens a fascinating world to English-speaking readers. When the mad philosopher Quincas Borba dies, he leaves to his friend Rubiao the entirety of his wealth and property, with a single stipulation: Rubiao must take care of Quincas Borba's dog, who is also named Quincas Borba, and who may indeed have assumed the soul of the dead philosopher. Flush with his newfound wealth, Rubiao heads for Rio de Janeiro and plunges headlong into a world where fantasy and reality become increasingly difficult to keep separate. We encounter roses that speak to each other, discussing the character and actions of their owner, Sofia; even the stars above occasionally comment, sarcastically, on the humans below. When Rubiao falls in love with the wife of his best friend, we see adultery as yet another betrayal of reality. Rubiao's own hold on reality becomes ever more tenuous as he makes elaborate plans for his marriage, even though he has no bride, and fantasizes that he has become Napoleon III. The very nature of reality, the novel seems to be saying, is an agreed-upon fiction told by an unreliable narrator. Brilliantly translated by Gregory Rabassa, Quincas Borba is a masterful satire not only on life in Imperial Brazil but the human condition itself.

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Review: Quincas Borba

User Review  - Cooper Renner - Goodreads

Remarkable work, perhaps mostly influenced by Tristram Shandy (which I still haven't read) but seeming to be a post-modern novel before Modernism even existed. Humorous, sad, savagely smart. Brazil in the 1860s. "To the victor, the potatoes!" Read full review

Review: Quincas Borba

User Review  - Isaac Katzanek - Goodreads

Huh? So random. Very meandering...though I think I got it. Maybe. I don't know. It needed more of the dog. Read full review

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Page x - Culture and Nation in Iberoamerica," organized by the editorial board of the Library of Latin America. We received substantial institutional support and personal encouragement from the Institute of Latin American Studies of the University of Texas at Austin. The support of Edward Barry of Oxford University Press has been crucial, as has the advice and help of Ellen Chodosh of Oxford University Press. The first volumes of the series were published after the untimely death, on July 3,1997, of Maria...
Page xiii - There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy' (Shakespeare, in Alexander 1951: 166).
Page xi - Assis (1839-1908) is the greatest nineteenth-century novelist of Latin America and one of the most remarkable literary talents to appear in the Americas as a whole.

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