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Dom Casmurro [Format Kindle]

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis , John A. Gledson , Joao Adolfo Hansen , João Adolfo Hansen

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Machado's masterpiece. (The New York Times Book Review)

Présentation de l'éditeur

"A palm tree, seeing me troubled and divining the cause, murmured in its branches that there was nothing wrong with fifteen-year old boys getting into corners with girls of fourteen; quite the contrary, youths of that age have no other function, and corners were made for that very purpose. It was an old palm-tree, and I believed in old palm-trees even more than in old books. Birds, butterflies, a cricket trying out its summer song, all the living things of the air were of the same opinion." So begins this extraordinary love story between Bento and Capitu, childhood sweethearts who grow up next door to each other in Rio de Janeiro in the 1850s.
Like other great nineteenth century novels--The Scarlet Letter, Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary--Machado de Assis's Dom Casmurro explores the themes of marriage and adultery. But what distinguishes Machado's novel from the realism of its contemporaries, and what makes it such a delightful discovery for English-speaking readers, is its eccentric and wildly unpredictable narrative style. Far from creating the illusion of an orderly fictional "reality," Dom Casmurro is told by a narrator who is disruptively self-conscious, deeply subjective, and prone to all manner of marvelous digression. As he recounts the events of his life from the vantage of a lonely old age, Bento continually interrupts his story to reflect on the writing of it: he examines the aptness of an image or analogy, considers cutting out certain scenes before taking the manuscript to the printer, and engages in a running, and often hilarious, dialogue with the reader. "If all this seems a little emphatic, irritating reader," he says, "it's because you have never combed a girl's hair, you've never put your adolescent hands on the young head of a nymph..." But the novel is more than a performance of stylistic acrobatics. It is an ironic critique of Catholicism, in which God appears as a kind of divine accountant whose ledgers may be balanced in devious as well as pious ways. It is also a story about love and its obstacles, about deception and self-deception, and about the failure of memory to make life's beginning fit neatly into its end. First published in 1900, Dom Casmurro is one of the great unrecognized classics of the turn of the century by one of Brazil's greatest writers. The popularity of Machado de Assis in Latin America has never been in doubt and now, with the acclaim of such critics and writers as Susan Sontag, John Barth, and Tony Tanner, his work is finally receiving the worldwide attention it deserves.
Newly translated and edited by John Gledson, with an afterword by Joao Adolfo Hansen, this Library of Latin America edition is the only complete, unabridged, and annotated translation of the novel available. It offers English-speaking readers a literary genius of the rarest kind.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 5248 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 251 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : B0000BSGBC
  • Editeur : Oxford University Press, USA (6 octobre 1997)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0083TRAO4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°604.326 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  56 commentaires
46 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Jealousy or "just Bento out of shape" 22 décembre 2000
Par Bob Newman - Publié sur Amazon.com
European students of literature usually concentrate on writers from their own continent, with occasional nods across the Atlantic to North America. Americans have a somewhat more respectful attitude to Europe, but that's all. Neither take the rest of the world all that seriously and that's a big mistake. Among the national literatures most consistently ignored, none has more to offer than Brazil's. Four writers stand out to my mind----J.M. Machado de Assis, Jorge Amado, João Guimaraes Rosa, and Euclides da Cunha---but there are many others. Of these four writers, three have written great books that reveal aspects of Brazilian history, society and culture in rich detail. The fourth, Machado de Assis, (1839-1908) the writer under review here, is much more a universal author. You will not learn very much about 19th century Brazil from his works. Of course, a little bit of knowledge will stick to your brain---slaves, Emperor, eyes on European trends, tropical climate---but it's amazing how little atmosphere or description there is. Machado de Assis never wanted to be a realist; he is very far from writers like Balzac or Zola.
DOM CASMURRO is divided into 148 chapters. Obviously in a book of 277 pages, each chapter cannot be very long. Machado de Assis uses his chapter titles as part of his work, sources of humor, direction, and irony. The novel is arranged as a memoir written by an embittered man in his sixties about the period of his life from roughly ages 15 to 30. When you begin reading, you think that the theme is "coming of age in Brazil" as the author describes his early romantic attachment to the girl next door and his struggle to avoid the seminary and a priestly future. His family members emerge as complex, interesting and somewhat amusing characters. Machado de Assis is strong on irony, whimsy, and a kind of self-deprecating humor. He also likes creating or using aphorisms and epigrams, of which the novel is full. Slowly he weaves an amazing, complicated story of jealousy and bitterness. Though initially it seemed clear to me that Bento, the main character, was justified in his jealousy of his best friend, the author never takes sides. He allows Bento to write that his wife had betrayed him, but Capitú, the wife, never admits it. On reviewing all the evidence, I have to admit that everything is seen only from Bento's point of view. According to your nature, you will decide yourself on finishing this subtle and well-written classic that deserves a place alongside the best that Europe and America have to offer.
24 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Masterpiece of World Literature 29 septembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Machado de Assis is probably one of the most underrated authors literature departments around the US-and other countries-have (not) encountered. He is an absolute requirement for anyone who wishes to consider him/herself well-read. Called "Othello of the Southern Cross" by Helen Caldwell (who wrote the excellent The Brazilian Othello of Machado de Assis-A Study of Dom Casmurro, Berkeley:University of California Press, 1960) this narrative is, among other things, about a man's weakness and fear before the possibility of living life fully (see chapter called 'Are you Scared?). There is a fascinating element of vicariousness- the way Bento Santiago (Saint and Iago, as Caldwell cleverly points out) projects his guilt, sexuality, desires and ambition upon Capitu, and Escobar... For those who missed the point (reader from NY- give it another try) I recommend a different approach, a different translation, or perhaps a course in Portuguese...(why not? Discover a rich and abundant culture!) This is true art.
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Othello? 4 février 2001
Par Orrin C. Judd - Publié sur Amazon.com
When a novelist writes from the perspective of an omniscient narrator, it at least creates the illusion that we're hearing a full and fair version of events. But it is a peculiarity of first person narrative that some of the very best and some of the very worst novels which use the technique leave us wondering what the story might sound like from the perspective of a different character. We all assume that Sam Spade and Phil Marlowe are reliable sources on the events they relate, but even if we trust Ishmael, don't we wonder what Ahab's version of the great novel Moby Dick might be ? And when it comes to a dreadful novel like Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible, one of the most noticeable flaws of the novel is that the villain of the piece is unfairly vilified and we're left wishing he had a voice. Several authors have actually used this idea as a starting point, and in novels like Wide Sargasso Sea, Jack Maggs, and Wicked, have given us alternate versions of classic stories from the perspective of a different character (N.B., yes I'm aware that the source novels for these three are not all told in the first person). These derivative novels are not necessarily effective, Wicked is the only one I'd recommend, but they do reflect a general recognition that, as in real life, even in a fictional story, the narrative of a participant must be suspect, and that our reliance on that narrator may leave us with mistaken impressions. This concept resides deep within our culture: what, after all, is the New Testament but God's recognition that Man has his own side of the story ?
In Dom Casmurro (which translates roughly as "Lord Taciturn"), the aged narrator, Bento Santiago (or Bentinho), relates the story of his romance with Capitolina (known as Capitu), his childhood neighbor and sweetheart, in 1850's Brazil. For love of this girl he schemes his way out of seminary and the priesthood, despite his mother's vow that if God would make her child healthy she would see that he became a priest.
Though the breaking of this vow is troubling, and Bentinho seeks to rationalize it away, the memoir seems essentially to be a love story. Bentinho and Capitu marry. He has a successful law practice. He's devoted to his mother throughout her life and remains great friends with Escobar, whom he met while attending seminary. After considerable effort, Capitu bears a son and the loving couple's lives seem complete. But gradually certain comments and asides begin to intimate that all is not as it appears.
A darkness begins to cloud the previously sunny story. Bentinho reveals a jealous side to his character; at times insanely jealous. He hints that his story is building towards a tragedy. Finally, he even starts to openly identify with Othello. As this transformation proceeds, the reader begins to question the reliability of Bentinho's narration. In particular, thinking back on his descriptions of Capitu we become suspicious of his motives. He has mentioned things like her being more mature than he at the time of their initial courtship, and several remarkable instances where she was able to deceive her parents effortlessly, while he had great difficulty doing the same. It becomes more and more noticeable that Capitu, though the book becomes an indictment of her, is never allowed to defend herself. It's almost certainly reading too much into the novel, but I was struck by the fact that on two occasions Capitu actually writes out words, and that they form a kind of palimpsest in which she sends the reader a secret message : when they are first courting she scratches :
on a wall; and then later, after quizzing him about his devotion to her, she crawls one word in the dirt : liar. Perhaps this is Machado's way of offering us just a glimpse of Capitu's defense, a coded message that Bentinho is lying about their relationship.
At any rate, the novel is marvelous--sly, witty, and insidious. Machado subverts the first person narration and creates tantalizing, unresolvable doubts in the reader's mind. It's no wonder that he is considered Brazil's greatest novelist and Capitu its most beguiling heroine; like the Mona Lisa, much lies hidden behind a masterful portrait. If, like me before I happened to pick up a copy of this book, you've never heard of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, do yourself a favor and seek him out. He's well worth the effort.
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A phenomenal book by Machado 11 janvier 2010
Par Ram - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Dom Casmurro is a timeless brazilian classic. In this book Machado captures the brazilian atmosphere at the time, and introduces a unique view of middle class love and conflicts, in a society dominated by rules and etiquette.

This particular portuguese edition follows the most widely accepted revision, used as textbooks in brazilian schools. Wonderful book, and a very good edition.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A lifelong favorite 7 juillet 1998
Par bos@fidalgo.stanford.edu - Publié sur Amazon.com
When I first read this book, back in 1987, I was about to marry the girl who had lived next door ever since I was 10. I instantly knew the book would be a lifelong favorite because of the wonderful, simple, and short descriptions of childhood love in one of the early chapters. The question of unfaithfulness Machado created in my mind was only a scholarly one, it did not touch me as emotionally as the passages of childhood love, simply because it was unconceivable that such a thing would happen to us. I was convinced of Capitu's innocence and appreciated it enormously that Machado does not provide us with a clear-cut verdict. Now, 10 years later, I have reread the book because my Capitu is gone and all I have left are questions so similar to Dom Casmurro's that it is frightening. The book has a completely new meaning to me, and Capitu's guilt is screaming at me from virtually every page. I now even more appreciate it that Machado does not provide us with the truth, because such, apparently, is life. This is a book to read slowly, let it soak in gently into your soul during a couple of days if not weeks, and when done, have your love read it, and then talk about it for weeks. It also is a book to keep and read again years later. A new, different version of you will probably find rather different things in it. Both translations, in 1987 I read a Dutch translation, and recently an English one, manage to make clear that Machado had a way with words that is very intriguing. Sometimes so much is said with so few simple words. The real book is written between the lines.
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