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Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas
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Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  6,407 ratings  ·  247 reviews
One of the greatest novels of Brazilian Literature, Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas is narrated by a dead man who recounts the amorous misadventures of his unheroic life and explains his half-hearted political ambitions. While it is considered the first novel of Brazilian realism, its quirks seem refreshingly modern and make it unforgettably unlike anything written before ...more
Paperback, 190 pages
Published 1987 by Dinalivro (first published March 1880)
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Dec 14, 2009 brian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to brian by: karen
a sick chicken and the voluptuousness of misery

we read an author and wonder 'how is it possible that this genius is not known?'... yes, only a species as cretinous as ours could ignore machado. along with carpentier and mutis, he takes the top 'what the fuck' spot.

here are three reasons machado must be read, must not be forgotten:

1) as karen pointed out below: "18fucking80". yup. madman machado wrote a modernist masterpiece way back when. joyce and woolf? they don't have shit on machado. nothin
Mike Puma

“Do not mourn the dead. They know what they are doing.”
― Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star

With those lines, Lispector might have introduced this novel by her countryman. Told from the other side of the grave, we learn of the narrator’s small successes and small failures, ultimately balanced in the totality of things. Braz Cubas, the narrator, provides his autobiography, and his philosophy, with a gentle humor in a novel which anticipates the best of meta-fiction, breaking with a Romantic


... this book is written with apathy, with the apathy of a man now freed of the brevity of the century, a supinely philosophical work, of an unequal philosophy, now austere, now playful, something that neither builds nor destroys, neither inflames nor cools, and, yet, it is more than a pastime and less than an apostolate.

My Goodreads morning started on an emotional note today. I logged in and found a book recommendation by Ali, friendly comments from Dolors and Dustin, the surprised mention of m
The reader, like his fellows, doubtless prefers action to reflection, and doubtless he is wholly in the right. So we shall get to it. However, I must advise that this book is written leisurely, with the leisureliness of a man no longer troubled by the flight of time; that is a work supinely philosophical, but of a philosophy wanting in uniformity, now austere, now playful, a thing that neither edifies nor destroys, neither inflames nor chills, and that is at once more of a pastime and less than
What is there between life and death? A short bridge. Nevertheless, if I hadn't put this chapter together the reader would have suffered a strong shock, quite harmful to the effect of the book. Jumping from a portrait to an epitaph can be a real and common act. The reader, however, is only taking refuge in the book to escape life. I'm not saying the thought is mine. I'm saying that there's a grain of truth in it and the form, at least, is picturesque. And, I repeat, it's not mine.

The Posthumous
MJ Nicholls
This recentish GR sensation (among my friends—the rest of GR can take a hike) failed to please me beyond the 166p point. There is something about those ponderous nice-guy narrators who ruminate on the quotidian in occasionally profound ways that seems to set GR aflame. My qualms with the book have been expressed by Nate and Jimmy—simply that once the original-for-1880 self-commenting aspect and short-chapter structure is out of the way, the story and its telling are quirky but banal. Another lov ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 28, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Strangely fascinating. I am no expert in literature and only started reading "serious" fiction works a couple of years back in my quest to read all those works included in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Dr. Boxall.

Therefore, at first, I did not know how to react to this kind of literary work. Some say it is a novel but the author, the Brazilian Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839-1908) says that is is a memoir. However, a memoir is supposed to be fiction. But how could this be ficti
Nate D
Mar 22, 2011 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all of us small winners
Recommended to Nate D by: pre-modern postmodernism
This is the autobiography of a fictional dead writer -- not a writer who is dead, our narrator observes but a dead man who is writing, recounting his story from beyond the grave. That his story is so ordinary in its arc of 19th-century gentry romance and petty political aspiration just allows him to fill its margins with incisive observation, philosophizing both expansive and bitterly cynical, and darkly playful post-modern games -- chapters designed to explain other chapters or themselves, a ch ...more
Brás Cubas, depois de morto, decide escrever as suas memórias. Pois melhor fora que se tivesse entregue ao eterno descanso, que memórias dessas pouco interessam a quem, ainda, por cá anda...

O defunto escreve bem e encara o seu passamento de uma forma leve e divertida; mas, de resto, tudo se resume ao relacionamento amoroso de um homem solteiro com uma mulher casada.
Brás Cubas esteve noivo de Dona Virgília que casou com outro e tomou Brás como amante. Além destas duas personagens, temos o corno
If you stripped away the ahead-of-its-time narrative tics, the clever self-reflexive games, the subversive style, what you're left with is the heart of this book: the voice.

I was less impressed with the stylistic trickery (and enough has been said about that, just read the other Goodreads reviews) than with the voice: often boastful, he still allows you to see all his faults and weaknesses. And though you see all his faults and weaknesses, he still comes across as extremely likeable. Though he
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
"Posthumous", not because it was published after the author's death, but because Bras Cubas wrote his memoirs after he died. This is a 19th century work so it's supposed to be the original. Problem is, it didn't come as new to me, having read before the 20th century bestseller "Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold where a murdered girl narrates.

There are similarities here with Machado de Assis' other masterpiece, "Dom Casmurro", both in the manner the narrators ended up (alone) and their principal fema
Ben Loory
Mar 01, 2009 Ben Loory rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Ben by: patty
it's like a shorter, faster-moving, brazilian tristram shandy, filled with some really amazing metaphors (like the trapeze the man carries inside his head) and a really fun sense of hopeless melancholy. i kinda wish a little more *happened* in it, but i imagine braz cubas feels the same way.

the translation is incredible. while it's not quite impossible to believe that this book was written in 1880 (tristram shandy of course was even crazier a hundred years earlier), it is impossible that this tr
Wow! The word "remarkable" tends to be overused, but trust me, this novel is assuredly remarkable. I was reading a blog in which Woody Allen praised it as one of five favorite books he'd pick to have if he had to choose, and I was intrigued. Woody selected a Brazilian novel I'm pretty sure I never heard of? From 1880?

When I tracked it down I noted that Susan Sontag wrote the introduction for the first English translation in 1952 (the translation was done by William L. Grossman). With both Woody
Julia Boechat Machado
All my reviews are currently in Library Thing. I'm no longer updating my GR since it was bought by Amazon.
باور کنید سال 1860 هم پست مدرنیسم بوده است باور ندارید این کتاب را بخوانید
Apr 23, 2011 Hamid rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hamid by: <a href="">مرضیه</a>
کتاب سال ۱۸۸۱ چاپ شده. صد و سی سال پیش. این مدل روایت نمی‌دونم چقدر معموله واسه اون موقع. پراکنده‌گویی و شلنگ‌تخته انداختن راوی، فکر می‌کنم بیشتر تو رمان مدرن هست. نمی‌دونم این مدل اون موقع هم بوده یا ایشون خودش خلاقیت به خرج داده. کتاب ۱۶۰ فصل‌ داره که حجم‌شون از قاعده خاصی پیروی نمی‌کنه. یه فصل‌هایی هست که کل‌اش یک خط‌ئه، فصل‌هایی هم هست که چند صفحه طول می‌کشه. کتاب داستان خاصی نداره که بخواد باهاش خواننده رو همراه کنه. همه سعی این بوده که با همین شکل روایت جذابیت ایجاد کنه. یعنی انگار خیلی در ...more
Asma Fedosia
The alternate translation is "Epitaph of a Small Winner", but mine was "The Posthumous Memoirs...", an inaugural publication of OUP's Library of Latin America series. The autobiographical memoir is narrated by the protagonist Brás Cubas, a nineteenth-century, leisured Brazilian of Rio de Janeiro and a resident in timeless eternity. The day of his death opens the narrative. By chapters IX and X, the reader knows his ancestry and birth; whereupon, he continues with his life experiences, which enco ...more
S.J. Pettersson
Doesn't all those lists of books to read, films to see, places to visit etc. before you die just make you want to die right now? So here is a twist; this book is actually a posthumous memoir, written after death when the narrator no longer cares what people will say because he is already dead. So if we make a list of the best 10 books you should read after you are dead, this would in my humble opinion place at # 1 with a bullet (pun intended).
Where did this Brazilian magical mulatto come from? D
As memórias escritas post-mortem por Brás Cubas não me entusiasmaram. Bem escrito, com escrita fluída, divertida em algumas partes, mas que pouco tem para além da narrativa do caso amoroso de Brás Cubas com uma mulher casada, Virgília. Quando li a obra de Machado de Assis "O Alienista" gostei bastante. Já esta deixou-me coma sensação de "esperava mais".
Dec 14, 2010 JSou rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to JSou by: karen
Shelves: 1001
Real review to come, but I just have to address this book cover. This hideously bad, 1978 Avon Books paperback edition cover. I read this in public and certainly got some strange looks. That guy's mustache and sideburns are killer.

This almost beats my copy of Winesburg, Ohio for the Best Book With the Worst Cover Award.
Selam sana Bras Cubas, sen öldün ama biz hala yaşıyoruz. Çocuk da var, sefalete devam! Sen zoru başardın, hayatı yaşadın. Biz şimdilik çabalıyoruz. Belki bir gün tak eder ve bu garipliğin dışına çıkarız ama biliyor musun bunun olacağını hiç zannetmiyorum.
Pesimizmin böyle eğlenceli anlatılmış halini hiç görmemiştim. Tebrik ederim. Julian Barnes diye bir adam var, bir yazar, sen tanımazsın, “Bir son duygusu" diye bir kitap yazdı, yapısal açıdan bakıldığında senin yazdıklarına benziyor, iyi bir kit
Felipe Silvestre
Excelente livro.

Por Brás Cubas estar morto e ter sido um nobre, tem a liberdade para falar o que quiser e como quiser. É assim que temos uma ótima descrição pessoal da sociedade em sua época por um ponto de vista - como o próprio nome do movimento que o livro inaugurou no Brasil - realista.

Apesar de estar socialmente preso à sociedade daquela época, os diversos pensamentos filosóficos e descrições de emoções e vontades humanas também feitos são eternos na mão de Machado de Assis. Isso torna o li
Marc Kozak
161. In Which the Title is Explained: "I did not achieve celebrity, I did not become a minister of state, I did not really become a caliph, I did not marry. At the same time, however, I had the good fortune of not having to earn my bread by the sweat of my brow. Moreover, I did not suffer a death like Dona Placida's nor did I lose my mind like Quincas Borba. Adding up and balancing all these items, a person will conclude that my accounts showed neither a surplus or a deficit and consequently th ...more
Roozbeh Estifaee
The first reaction of mine, and probably everybody else's who reads this book, is surprise. It is unbelievable that this great modern novel is written in 1881! It is amazingly current, in a way you doubt if what we call modern and postmodern are young enough to be called so!
"The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas" is a novel written by Brás Cubas after his death. Brás was from an aristocrat family when he was alive, and now that he is writing his memoirs after his death, he still has his character
Nissa Rachmidwiati
Jul 20, 2013 Nissa Rachmidwiati rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who has a great sense of humour
The work itself is everything : if it pleases you, dear reader, I shall be well paid for the task; if it doesn't please you, I'll pay you with a snap of a finger and goodbye.
--Brás Cubas

That's what's written as a closing line of the memoir's introduction by Brás Cubas for the reader. Based on that line, I guess I owe him a pretty large amount of money.

And, have you ever fallen in love with a book from the very first page? Well, I have and in fact I just did. Here is a little gli
If you're not sold just gazing into the neon eyeholes of death on this edition's cover, let me be among the first to say Epitaph of a Small Winner is a strange and wildly innovative book written in 1880 that deserves a place on the selves of anyone who enjoys magical realism or the surreal. Originally entitled Memorias postumas de Bras Cubas, it is just that - an autobiography written by a dead man.

Stylistically it is both cynical and sweet... in other words, it's very voicy, but in a good way.
Natacha Martins
Foi com grandes expectativas que parti para a leitura deste livro, outra coisa não seria de esperar depois de ter lido o magnífico Dom Casmurro e que adorei. Este Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas é bastante diferente do Dom Casmurro e, talvez por isso não tenha sido bem aquilo que eu esperava. Gostei do livro, acho que vale a pena lê-lo, mas também o achei por vezes aborrecido, sem que a vida do defunto Brás Cubas sofresse grandes desenvolvimentos. A verdade é que, no início, ou no fim, depende d ...more
Jeff Scott
The blind creativity in this book is responsible for modern Latin American fiction. People say that most of 19th century Russian Literature sprang from Gogol’s Cloak (referencing his short story). It could be said that much of Latin American Literature came from Machado’s Memoirs. The poetry and creativity in prose is far ahead of its time. The book could be written today and have the same impact. I could pick up any modern Latin American author, Roberto Bolano, Clarice Lispector, Enrique Vila-M ...more
Hakan Yaman
Borges’in en bilinen sözlerinden biridir, “Her yazar kendi öncelini yaratır,” der. Buna benzer başka bir şey de söylemiş olabilir ama manası aşağı yukarı budur. Machado de Assis de bize bu romanıyla Laurence Sterne’i hatırlatıyor. Şayet Cabrera Infante’yi Machado de Assis’den daha önce okumuş olmasaydım, onun da “Kapanda Üç Kaplan” romanını yazarken Assis’den fazlasıyla etkilenmiş olduğunu söyleyebilirdim. Fakat ne yazık ki, Türkçe ilk baskısı 2003 yılında İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları tarafından ...more
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Obrigatório 1 18 Feb 20, 2008 08:59AM  
  • Vidas Secas
  • Morte e Vida Severina
  • Sagarana
  • O Cortiço
  • Sentimento Do Mundo
  • Memórias de um Sargento de Milícias
  • O Triste Fim de Policarpo Quaresma
  • Auto da Compadecida
  • Noite na Taverna
  • Capitães da Areia
  • Incidente em Antares
  • O Primo Basílio
  • The Passion According to G.H.
  • Vestido de Noiva
  • Libertinagem / Estrela da manhã
  • Senhora
  • Rebellion in the Backlands
  • Lavoura Arcaica
Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, often known as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho, (June 21, 1839, Rio de Janeiro—September 29, 1908, Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian novelist, poet and short story writer. He is widely regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature. However, he did not gain widespread popularity outside Brazil in his own lifetime.
Machado's works had a
More about Machado de Assis...
Dom Casmurro O Alienista Quincas Borba Helena A Cartomante e Outros Contos

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“Marcela amou-me durante quinze meses e onze contos de réis” 52 likes
“Ao verme que primeiro roeu as frias carnes do meu cadáver dedico como saudosa lembrança estas memórias póstumas” 24 likes
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