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The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas

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Fans of Latin American literature will be thrilled by Oxford University Press's new translations of works by 19th-century Brazilian author Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. His novels are both heartbreaking and comic; his limning of a colonial Brazil in flux is both perceptive and remarkably modern. The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas is written as an autobiography, a chronicle of the erotic misadventures of its narrator, Brás Cubas--who happens to be dead. In pursuit of love and progeny, Cubas rejects the women who want him and aspires to the ones who reject him. In the end, he dies unloved and without heirs, yet he somehow manages to turn this bitter pill into a victory of sorts. What makes Memoirs stand up 100 years after the book was written is Machado's biting humor, brilliant prose, and profound understanding of all the vagaries of human behavior.

240 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1881

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About the author

Machado de Assis

873 books1,937 followers
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, playwright 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 great influence on Brazilian literary schools of the late 19th century and 20th century. José Saramago, Carlos Fuentes, Susan Sontag and Harold Bloom are among his admirers and Bloom calls him "the supreme black literary artist to date."

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,855 reviews
Profile Image for brian   .
248 reviews2,983 followers
April 11, 2022
a sick chicken and the voluptuousness of misery

how is this genius is not known? at the top of the literary canon? only a species as cretinous as ours could ignore machado. along with carpentier and mutis he takes the top 'what the fuck' spot.

top three reasons why machado must be read:

1) 1880! 18fucking80! madman machado wrote a modernist masterpiece way back when. gotdamn, he makes joyce look like a late Bloomer! in this hysterical and darkdarkdark nuthouse you get the narrator's crazy drawings (i ripped out the pages and stuck 'em on the wall next to my desk), made-up words, demented philosophical systems, aphorisms, chapters that describe their own uselessness, chapters asking to be inserted within the text of other chapters, and wonderful sections in which the narrator commands us to disregard the text, that he's full of shit, that he's overwritten something to make it sound more literary. yeah. check out the entirety of chapter 45:

"Sobs, tears, an improvised altar with saints and crucifix, black curtains on the walls, strips of black velvet framing an entrance, a man who came to dress the corpse, another man who took the measurements for the coffin; candelabra, the coffin on a table covered with gold-and-black silk with candles at the corners, invitations, guests who entered slowly with muffled step and pressed the hand of each member of the family, some of them sad, all of them serious and silent, priest, sacristan, prayers, sprinkling of holy water, the closing of the coffin with hammer and nails; six persons who removes the coffin from the table, lift it, carry it, with difficulty, down the stairs despite the cries, sobs, and new tears of the family, walk with it to the hearse, place it on the slab, strap it securely with leather thongs; the rolling of the hearse, the rolling of the carriages one by one… These are the notes that I took for a sad and commonplace chapter which I shall not write."

2) because i don't go to books for comedy, i don't laugh from books, i don't want to laugh from books. but this nuthouse? salman rushdie on machado: 'the kind of humor that makes skulls smile.'

check this fuckfest of humor and tragedy:

"'Tis good to be sad and say nothing'… I remember that I was sitting under a tamarind tree, with the poet's book open in my hands and my spirit as crestfallen as a sick chicken. I pressed my silent grief to my breast and experienced a curious feeling, something that might be called the voluptuousness of misery. Voluptuousness of misery. Memorize the phrase, reader; store it away, take it out and study it from time to time, and, if you do not succeed in understanding it, you may conclude that you have missed one of the most subtle emotions of which man is capable.'"

3) susan sontag. karen brissette. two tough chickens, one dead & one alive, who push the shit outta machado. woody allen is a machado fan. as is carlos fuentes, salman rushdie, javier marias, and harold bloom.

and sontag's introduction is, as always, a must read. she makes the point that latin america produced such far-seeing and interesting literature not merely because the dictatorships tyrannies and repressive regimes produced a literature of 'pressure', but because the latin americans were those who were most enamored by laurence sterne... damn. i've really gotta read tristam shandy.

enough said.
you know what to do.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,861 reviews519 followers
April 29, 2023
Astonishing novel published in 1881 but not at all dated. The narrator Bras Cubas is dead and addresses the reader to recount his life, starting from the end. Death is omnipresent in this book, a disguised meditation on life, time passage, and human comedy. Machado goes beyond these subjects' romantic melancholy and seriousness through irony and humor. And above all, he demonstrates a jubilant formal inventiveness. The novel unrolls a more or less continuous thread strewn with unexpected digressions. It is a series of 160 short chapters, some of which are particularly astonishing:
. One consists only of ellipses.
. Another is a theatrical dialogue in which only the text is missing.
. Yet another is a continuation of notes without syntax.

Finally, a last is to insert in the previous one.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
November 8, 2021
Memórias póstumas de Brás Cubas = The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (Realistic trilogy #1), Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, is a novel by the Brazilian writer Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis. Published in 1881.

The novel has a unique style of short, erratic chapters shifting in tone and style. Instead of the clear and logical construction of a normal nineteenth-century realist novel, the novel makes use of surreal devices of metaphor, and playful narrative construction.

It is considered the first romance of the realist movement in Brazil. The novel is narrated by the dead protagonist Brás Cubas, who tells his own life story from beyond the grave, noting his mistakes and failed romances.

The fact of being already deceased allows Brás Cubas to sharply criticize the Brazilian society and reflect on his own disillusionment, with no sign of remorse or fear of retaliation.

Brás Cubas dedicates his book: "To the worm who first gnawed on the cold flesh of my corpse, I dedicate with fond remembrance these Posthumous Memoirs", which indicates that not a single person he met through his life deserved the book. Cubas decides to tell his story starting from the end, then taking "the greatest leap in this story", proceeding to tell the story of his life since his childhood.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی و یک ماه می سال2004میلادی

عنوان: خاطرات پس از مرگ براس کوباس؛ نویسنده: ماشادو د آسیس؛ مترجم: عبدالله کوثری؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، مروارید، سال1382، در293ص، شابک9645881420؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان برزیل - سده 19م

من نویسنده ای فقید هستم، اما نه به معنای آدمیکه چیزی بنوشته و اکنون درگذشته، بلکه به معنی آدمی که درگذشته و اکنون دارد مینویسد؛ این جمله از صفحه ی نخست کتاب، چکیده ای از داستان است؛ «براس کوباس»، پس از مرگ، زندگینامه ی خویش را بنوشته، مجموعه ای از فصلهای کوتاه، و پی در پی، با عناوین هنرمندانه است؛

نخستین فصل عنوانش: «مرگ نویسنده است؛ روایت تشییع جنازه ی خود که ...»؛

دومین فصل: «حکایت مشمّا»؛

فصل سوم: «نسبنامه»؛

فصل چهارم: «فکر سمج»؛ و ...؛ تا یکصدوشصت فصل ادامه دارد؛

براس کوباس، فرزند شلوغ، و مغرور خانواده ای ثروتمند، که خود ازدواج نکرده، و با زنی که شوهر داشته دوست بوده، در باره ی خود، به داوری بنشسته، نحوه ی روایت و دیدگاه نویسنده، کتاب را خواندنی کرده است؛ ایده ی داستان نویسی پس از مرگ هم، ایده ی جالبی است کتاب اصلا آن سبک رازآلود و جادویی کتابهای آمریکای لاتین را ندارد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 05/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 16/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,425 reviews3,381 followers
April 11, 2022
Some lives seem to be much more delightful than others…
I wrote it with a playful pen and melancholy ink and it isn’t hard to foresee what can come out of that marriage. I might add that serious people will find some semblance of a normal novel, while frivolous people won’t find their usual one here. There it stands, deprived of the esteem of the serious and the love of the frivolous, the two main pillars of opinion.

Although The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas are written in a very frolicsome manner the book is abundant in precise and deep observations of human nature. So the novel may even be considered as an earthy parable of existence.
I had a passion for ballyhoo, the limelight, fireworks. More modest people will censure me perhaps for this defect. I’m confident, however, that clever people will recognize this talent of mine. So my idea had two faces, like a medal, one turned toward the public and the other toward me. On one side philanthropy and profit, on the other a thirst for fame.

The narration is as alluring and sparkling as a flute of effervescent champagne and it is as much pleasant and inebriating too.
Men are worth something in different ways, and the surest one of all is being worthy in the opinion of other men.

We are what we are in the eyes of the others so do never forget to pull the wool over the other people’s eyes…
Note that I’m not making a man a simple vehicle of Humanitas. He is vehicle, passenger, and coachman all at the same time. He is Humanitas itself in a reduced form. It follows from that that there is a need for him to worship himself.

If man couldn’t love himself nobody would love him.
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 59 books8,114 followers
January 17, 2022

I had never even heard of this author, generally regarded as Brazil's greatest, until I had this recced to me in the 'Twitter randoms recommend me 12 books' challenge. WTF. If ever you needed an example of how much we all lose out by focusing the canon on white Europeans, this is it.

Just brilliant. Structurally clever and adventurous--two chapters composed entirely of ellipses, which works perfectly. Staggeringly good characterisation of the self-centred, self-regarding, worthless Bras Cubas. Really funny observations. Massive moral heft in the casual asides regarding poverty, slavery, inhumanity. Intensely readable. Just so good!

Obviously, huge credit must go to the translator here. It's not often that you read a book so well translated that you could believe you were reading the original text, but I didn't find a single awkwardness or clunkiness. I can't speak as to how close it is to the original but the critical apparatus (extensive and very useful) suggests a damn good job has been done.

This is right up there in the 'classics you really ought to read' list, not because you 'ought' to but because it's hugely enjoyable. It ought to be on everyone's list of great novels. There's a lot of English and American kill-the-will-to-live 'classics' we could dump to make space.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,295 followers
April 6, 2023
Un roman excelent, scris anume pentru cititorii isteți, care acceptă fără mofturi să fie luați peste picior...

M-a frapat încă de la început inventivitatea epică a lui Machado de Assis. Naratorul, Brás Cubas, pretinde că a murit (trebuie să-l credem pe cuvînt) și își dedică memoriile primului vierme care a mușcat din trupul lui înghețat. Asta este o ironie introductivă. Urmează și altele.

Capitolele cărții sînt foarte scurte, o pagină sau chiar mai puțin, și firul epic este bine încîlcit și înnodat, cam ca în Viața și opiniile lui Tristram Shandy, gentleman de Laurence Sterne, la care naratorul lui Machado trimite încă din prolog, ca să știm de unde-i provin imboldul digresiv și verva satirică.

Așadar, defunctul își prezintă fosta viață, fosta copilărie, fosta amantă (a avut o furtunoasă relație cu nevasta unui politician), fostele observații și folosește acest prilej pentru a-și bate joc, în prezentul postum al narațiunii, de netrebnicia umană. Dacă mai adaug că numitul Brás Cubas face parte din specia nihilistă a filosofilor (unii au trimis la Schopenhauer), cred că bănuiți deja la ce trebuie să vă așteptați. La un narator care nu are de gînd să tămîieze pe nimeni, fiindcă nu mai are ce pierde.

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839 - 1908) a scris poezii, povestiri și cinci romane. Frecvent citat este și romanul intitulat Dom Casmurro (1899). În 2008, cînd se împlinea veacul de la moartea scriitorului, presa a titrat: „After a Century, a Literary Reputation Finally Blooms”.
Profile Image for Garima.
113 reviews1,774 followers
September 26, 2013

... 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 my name in Manny’s review and lovely messages in the inbox. What more could I have asked for? The update feed however, presented a different and grim story altogether. A chilling reminder about the unfavorable direction this site is heading towards. A site which is of, by and for the readers. Good readers, Great readers, readers without whose recommendations and reviews, I wouldn’t be the reader, I’m today. Emotions surged up when I started imagining the what ifs scenarios and when you dedicate a huge chunk of your time to a virtual world, the happenings in that world whether positive or negative, affects you in incommensurable proportions. It’s affecting me too and I would like to extend my heartiest thanks to each and everyone who are raising their voice in protest and hope that whatever happens the good reader in you will persevere and find blissful solace in wonderful books.

May I recommend The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas? Death is inevitable and melancholy is alright but what fun to have an everlasting smile pasted on your face while reading a book. Bras Cubas is dead but gifted us all these wonderful posthumous memoirs. Why Posthumous? Probably our narrator, a supposed alter-ego of our author was seeking a full-fledged creative freedom and wanted to break all the rules of writing that must be in practice during his time. The year was 1880 and Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis gave us this enchanting literary treat which surely holds the power to fascinate everyone of us in the present world of countless genres and sub-genres.
He had no other philosophy. Nor did I. I'm not saying that the university hadn't taught me some philosophical truths. But I'd only memorized the formulas, the vocabulary, the skeleton. I treated them as I had Latin: I put three lines from Virgil in my pocket, two from Horace, and a dozen moral and political locutions for the needs of conversation. I treated them the way I treated history and jurisprudence. I picked up the phraseology of all things, the shell, the decoration ...

The truth in his humor, the irony in his innocent expressions and the wisdom in his reckless way of living life (while he lived), will make you instantly fall in love with Cubas. He’s not perfect but he’s perfectly human. The writer in him finds a way of telling us his witty intentions without sticking to conventions as apparent in the following quotes:

What looks like a simple inventory here are notes I'd taken for a sad and banal chapter that I won't write.

I found in her a certain ethereal softness wedded to the polish of earthly forms—a vague expression and worthy of a chapter in which everything must be vague.

Few tears, lots of laughs and random sighs - the life viewed from the other side of the grave is not sieved through the judgmental eyes of the people around us but comes across in an unadulterated form consists of memories collected, mistakes committed and admissions of guilt in the confession box of our hearts and in retrospect, the life appears to be beautiful. Cubas tells us that and that’s what we should tell ourselves while we are living.

Believe me, remembering is the least evil. No one should trust present happiness, there's a drop of Cain's drivel in it. With the passing of time and the end of rapture, then, yes, then perhaps it's possible really to enjoy, because between these two illusions the better one is the one that's enjoyed without pain.
Profile Image for leynes.
1,102 reviews2,957 followers
October 16, 2020
Over the course of the last year, Machado de Assis has been recommended to me on my YouTube channel on five different occasions. It wasn't until the new shiny translation by Flora Thompson-DeVeaux though that I actually decided to pick up one of his books.

I read way too few South American lit and follow way too few South American reviewers (recommendations for both are always welcome!), so it's not a surprise that I hadn't heard of Machado de Assis before. Nonetheless, I felt somewhat guilty and ashamed when I started to research his work and realised the magnitude and impact his work had on Brazilian literature. Up to this day, he is revered and such a local icon that his books are still required reading in school and not many Latinx writers of the 20th and 21the century can claim to have not been influenced by good ole Machado de Assis. Salman Rushdie famously said: "If Borges is the writer who made García Marquez possible, then it is no exaggeration to say that Machado de Assis is the writer who made Borges possible."

And even though Machado de Assis doesn't have as much critical acclaim in the West, some of our local icons seemingly couldn't shut up about him. Susan Sontag called him "the greatest writer ever produced in Latin America", Ginsberg thought of him as "another Kafka" and Philip Roth referred to him as "a great ironist, a tragic comedian."

Still, Machado de Assis has yet to find his place in the Anglophone canon. In her introduction, Flora Thompson-DeVeaux writes that "each generation seems to have its "Machado moment," glimpsing the diamond of his work anew." And I have to agree with her. I think our generation, due to the new translation by Penguin (and there's even another 2020 translation published by Liveright), might have its "Machado moment" now. And why shouldn't we? It's such an interesting, sometimes fun novel that speaks to readers across centuries. It's a true classic.
And I, drawn to the tin rattle that my mother shook before me, would go on ahead, falling here and there; and I walked, probably not too well, but I walked, and so I kept on walking.
Machado de Assis was born in Morro do Livramento, Rio de Janeiro, the grandson of ex-slaves, growing up in a poor family, he barely studied in public schools and never attended university. He struggled to rise socially, supplying himself with intellectual superiority and cultural capital. To do so, he took several public positions, passing through the Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Public Works, and achieving early notoriety in newspapers where he published his first poetry and chronicles.

In 1897 he founded and became the first President of the Brazilian Academy of Letters. He was multilingual, having taught himself French, English, German and Greek in later life. Given all of his achievements, I am surprised that I never stumbled upon his name when looking for more Black writers to check out. I mean ... Machado de Assis really was that bitch.

In the foreword of this very well put together new translation (we really have to applaud Penguin here!), Dave Eggers writes that "wit leaps centuries and hemispheres. It does not collect dust, and, when done right, it does not age." I wholeheartedly agree. And when I got into the first chapters of The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas I was utterly enamoured and charmed by the wittiness that Machado de Assis put on display. Damn, I laughed out loud, that's how funny this novel started out. [Unfortunately, this promising beginning was not an indication of how the rest of the novel would go, but we'll talk about that later.]

The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas are narrated by Brás himself, what's so extraordinary about this choice is the fact that he's already dead – so he's telling his life's story from the grave. The novel starts out in the best way possible:
To the worm that first gnawed at the cold flesh of my cadaver, I dedicate as fond remembrance these posthumous memoirs.
Brás has nothing to lose – being dead and all - and therefore he tells the story precisely as he wants to, convention be damned. The novel unfolds in brief, bright chapters, brightened further by the endless self-referentiality and self-doubt. "I am beginning to regret that I ever took to writing this book," Brás writes in a chapter called "The Flaw in the Book." "Not that it tires me," he continues. "I have nothing else to do, and dispatching a few merger chapters into the other world is invariably a bit fo a distraction from eternity."

This is an aesthetic book, where there eis no judge but one's conscience, and where the offender lies alone, in a box permeated by worms, recounting his life and failures without any heavenly consequence. It is wholly original and unlike anything other than the many books that came after it and seem to have knowingly or not borrowed from it.

We may get a clearer sense of how odd the book seemed by looking at the company it kept. Machado's contemporaries and immediate predecessors could mostly be found writing urban society dramas or origin stories that dwelled on the fusion of the nation's "three races" – the Portuguese, Native peoples, and African slaves. Their prose, for the most part, has aged, while Machado's remains eerily fresh. When held against the peans to the lush Atlantic forest and self-sacrificing indigenous heroes, Machado's novels seemed to many of his contemporaries rather lacking in national spirit. As Machado would write in a famous 1873 essay: "One sometimes hears an opinion regarding this topic that I consider erroneous. This is that the only works of true national spirit are those that describe local subjects, a belief that if correct would greatly limit the resources available to our literature." If Shakespeare could lift plots from Italy and Spain, why couldn't Machado dip his pen into a Sternean inkwell?
I don't believe I was born for complex situations.
Brás's disconcerting freedom as a narrator is rooted in his disproportionate perch in a highly arbitrary Brazilian society. Machado's appropriation of the Sternean form becomes a critique of his country's relationship to power, albeit one so finely executed and so unwilling to be didactic that it would be perceived as such only belatedly. Brás as a frivolous, blithely inconsistent member of the ruling class has all the privileges – among which is also the privilege to tell his story exactly the way that he wants.

Slavery haunts the novel in ways that might have been immediately present and uncomfortable for Machado's contemporaries, but whose subtleties lie in contextual knowledge not readily accessible to modern readers. Brás's perplexity at the cruelty of the yellow fever epidemic that swept through Rio in 1850, for example, is comprehensible on its face, but it takes on a different light entirely when we read that the plague had a distinctly racial bent. The city's African population was largely spared, thanks to inherited immunity to the virus that caused the disease, while European immigrants and the white population were hardest hit.

When another character fantasies about mustering half-dozen good men to throw all the English out of Rio de Janeiro, the sentiment becomes both slightly more understandable and more sinister when we know that the English government was working to strangle the Atlantic slave trade and had recently affirmed its right to stop Brazilian ships and search them for suspect cargo. The novel's meanings far overspill its historical context, of course, but a fuller understanding of these time-bound elements enriches it immeasurably.

Therefore, I would like to stress that as a German who hasn't done much research on Brazil, let alone Brazil of the 1880s, many of the references in this novel and its cultural significance flew over my head. I appreciate Flora's effort at explaining things in the endnotes and giving context where she felt the need to provide it, nonetheless, I can tell that as someone completely removed from the Brazilian context, this novel was sometimes hard for me to grapple with.

And whilst I loved researching it and definitely appreciate it for everything it stands for, I have to say that ultimately the novel fell flat for me out of two reasons: The first being that I didn't vibe with the humor later on in the novel and the second that I didn't enjoy its focus on the ridiculous romance/ obsession that Brás had with Virgília.

Whilst in the beginning of the novel, I loved its humorous tones and laughed out loud at all the irony and sarcasm and self-referentiality on the page, I have to admit that it somehow got old. After some 50 pages, Brás voice started to bore me. I was no longer able to laugh at his jokes, I found it all rather silly and unnecessary. Needless to say, there were still moments at the end that made me cackle, I mean how can you not laugh at: "I remember that I turned my face away and lowered my eyes to the floor. I recommend this gesture to people who have no ready response, or to those who fear to face the pupils of other eyes.". It's too damn witty not to laugh. But still, overall, the novel gave nothing to me. A few laughs here and there, total exasperation with all of the characters involved because they were so damn dramatic and ridiculous ... and just a sense of meaninglessness?

Machado de Assis definitely matches Oscar in wit ("We kill time; time buries us.") and I am convinced that the two would've gotten along quite splendidly. But while I found the access to Oscar's work quite easy, the access to Machado's work remained closed to me. Like I said earlier, it's probably a cultural thing but there's no point in denying that this took away from my enjoyment of this novel.
Profile Image for Mohammad Hrabal.
270 reviews184 followers
April 1, 2020
زندگی درس‌های تلخش را می‌دهد و می‌رود. اما انسان می‌تواند هر طور که خوش دارد بنویسد، این شکلی از آزادی است. "درباره این کتاب". سونتاگ. ص 19 کتاب
شاید بعضی کتاب‌ها لازم است بارها از نو کشف بشوند. "خاطرات پس از مرگ براس کوباس" از آن کتاب‌های برانگیزنده و اصیل و شدیداً شکاکانه است که با قدرتی همچون کشف و دریافتی شخصی بر خواننده اثر می‌گذارد. گزافه نیست اگر بگوییم این رمان که بیش از یک قرن پیش نوشته شده کاملاً مدرن است."درباره این کتاب". سونتاگ. ص 21 کتاب
یکی از عموهایم، کشیشی برخوردار از همه‌ی مزایای آن لباس، اغلب می‌گفت عشق به افتخار دو روزه‌ی دنیا مایه‌ی تباهی روح آدمی می‌شود، روح آدم باید مشتاق افتخار ابدی باشد. و عموی دیگرم که افسر هنگ پیاده نظام بود در جوابش می‌گفت: عشق به افتخار چیزی کاملاً انسانی، و بنابراین اصیل‌ترین خصلت آدم است. ص 29 کتاب
ای جواهر فروش‌های عزیز اگر زر و زیورهای شما و نسیه فروشی‌های شما نبود چه بر سر عشق می‌آمد؟ شما عامل دست کم یک پنجم یا یک سوم مبادلات دل در عالم هستید. ص 75 کتاب
آه محبوب سر به هوا و بی‌خبر من، این درست همان استعدادی است که ما را فرمانروای خاک کرده، این استعداد که گذشته را باز گردانیم تا بی‌ثباتی تأثرات خود و بطالت دلبستگی‌های خودمان را ثابت کنیم. بگذار پاسکال بگوید انسان نایی متفکر است. اشتباه می‌کند، انسان اشتباه چاپی متفکر است. هر دوره‌ی زندگی چاپ جدیدی است که چاپ قبلی را تصحیح می‌کند و خودش هم ��ر چاپ بعدی تصحیح می‌شود، تا برسد به چاپ متن نهایی که ناشر به کرم‌ها تقدیم می‌کندش. صفحات 103 و 104 کتاب
به این فکر افتادم که پوتین یکی از بزرگ‌ترین مواهب دنیاست، چون پاها را به درد می‌آورد و این فرصت را به آدم می‌دهد تا با در آوردن آن حسابی کیف بکند. ای فلک زده‌ها، از من بشنوید و پاهاتان را شکنجه بدهید، بعد دست از شکنجه بردارید، و به این ترتیب یک لذت مفت و مجانی نصیب‌تان می‌شود. ص 117 کتاب
این کتاب و سبک من مثل یک جفت آدم مست‌اند؛ غرولند می‌کنند، قاه‌قاه می‌خندند، به زمین و آسمان بد و بیراه می‌گویند، می‌لغزند و می‌افتند... و می‌افتند! ای برگ‌های شوربخت درخت سرو من، شما ناچار از افتادن بودید، مثل هر چیز دیگری که زیبا و خواستنی است؛ اگر چشمی داشتم به یاد شما اشکی می‌ریختم. و این امتیاز بزرگ مرده بودن است، اگر دهانی نداری که بخندی، چشمی برای گریستن هم نداری. صفحات 174 و 175 کتاب
Profile Image for Dalia Nourelden.
509 reviews685 followers
May 20, 2023
"جدير بالذكر أن هذا العمل كُتب ببطء ، ببطء رجل تحرر من ضيق الوقت ، إنه عمل مغرق في الفلسفة ، فلسفة مغايرة، تتسم بالزهد حيناً ، وباللهو حيناً ، شئ لا يبني ولا يهدم ، لا يبعث على السخط ولا الرضا وعلى الرغم من ذلك فهو أكثر من هواية وأقل من رسالة رسول "

حين يكتب شخص ميت عن حياته فهو ليس في حاجة للكذب والمداراة ولا يرغب منا في التصفيق له بل هو يعرض لنا كل شئ بعفوية وصدق وصراحة وسخرية أيضا ويشارك ويتحدث مع القارئ ويتوقع مشاعره ويخاف من شعوره بالملل او يبلغنا ان هذا الفصل كئيب فلن يكتبه او بعتذر عن كتابته بهذه الكآبة أو يبلغنا انه لن يكتب هذا الموقف او ذلك او لن يتعمق في الحديث عن موقف ما..

تبدا الرواية او مذكرات براس كوباس بهذا الإهداء المختلف :
" إلى أول دودة
تنهش لحم جثماني البارد
أهدي هذه المذكرات ،
التي أكتبها بعد الموت،
كالذكرى المفعمة بالحنين"

يتبعها مقدمة من الكاتب البرازيلي ماشادو دي أسيس يقدم لنا كاتب المذكرات ثم مقدمة كتبها براس كوباس بطل الرواية الميت وكاتب المذكرات ليخبرنا انه يدون هذه المذكرات من العالم الآخر..
يبدأ الجزء الاول من الرواية بشكل غريب يجعلني اتساءل عما سوف تحمله هذه الرواية ثم تأخذ الرواية شكل آخر حين يبدأ براس كوباس الحديث عن حياته منذ مولده بكل الاحداث التى مرت بها طفولته ومراهقته وحياته ومن مر بها من شخصيات واحداث حتى وفاته ..


قصة الرواية في حد ذاتها قد تكون عادية وليست مميزة لكن المميز حقاً كان أسلوب الكتابة ...فالكاتب يقدم لنا الكثير من التشبيهات الرائعة بأسلوب جميل غير متكلف مع إدخال بعض السخرية الخفيفة أحيانا،والفلسفية أحيانا التي زادت في الجزء الاخير وكانت ثقيلة على نفسي. بجانب كما ذكرت جزء الحديث مع القارئ وإشراكه في الرواية احيانا أخرى ..

"إن هذا الكتاب ينطوي على عيب خطير ، وصارخ. إن شر مواطن القصور في هذا الكتاب هو أنت ، أيها القارئ. لأنك تستعجل التقدم في العمر ، اما هذا الكتاب فيمضى ببطء . تحب السرد المباشر المتصل ، الأسلوب الاعتيادي الانسيابي ، اما هذا الكتاب ، وأسلوبي في الكتابة ، فهما كالمخمورين ، يترنحان يمنةً ويسرةً ، يسيران ، يتوقفان ، يغمغمان ، يصرخان ، يقهقهان ، يتوعدان السماء ، تزل أقدامهما ، ويسقطان ... ويسقطان !"


أسلوب الرواية جميل .. فرغم انى كنت اتساءل طوال قرائتي عن فائدة الرواية أو ما يرغب في قوله البطل والكاتب الا انى كنت مستمتعة بالأسلوب وطريقة السرد رغم انى كنت متخوفة منه ومن الجانب الساخر في الرواية لكن اكتشفت انها مكتوبة بأسلوب جذاب ومختلف فأعجبتني الرواية وأتمنى القراءة مرة أخرى للكاتب.

‏ورغم ان الرواية مكتوبة عام ١٨٨١ إلا انى لم اشعر ان الرواية قديمة بهذا الشكل فالأسلوب وطبيعة الرواية لا يوحي بأن الرواية قديمة .

وطبعا شكرا لمارك جمال على الترجمة الرائعة ❤
وبكتب تحية برضه لمصمم الغلاف وخاصة اختيار اللون حبيته ❤


قراءة مشتركة مع ابن اخي الحبيب احمد نور الدين ❤.

١٨ / ٣ / ٢٠٢٣
Profile Image for BlackOxford.
1,081 reviews68.1k followers
March 9, 2022
Malevolent Grace

Like Moses recounting his own death in the Torah, this memoir is a miracle from beyond the grave. The miracle is only incidentally theological, however, and much more importantly literary. Written by a self-educated descendant of African slaves brought to Brazil, the last country in the Americas to abandon slavery, the book’s wit and style are timeless yet unique.

Brás Cubas is a sardonic sceptic whom it is impossible to dislike. His honesty about himself and his insights about the world around him are witty, comical, and tragic in equal measure. Every institution - the church, civil administration, the military, education, even the family - is corrupt. They persist because of the delusions produced by the one disaster that Pandora did not release from her hand bag - hope.

The book is self-referential in the tradition of Cervantes and Velásquez. It is as ruthlessly doubtful of itself as Montaigne’s Essais; it is often as epigrammatic as Pascale’s Pensées; and as mystically profound as Meister Eckhart. Machado references everybody who’s anybody in the Western literary world from Aristophanes to Shakespeare, and alludes to dozens more. Fortunately Flora Thomson-Deveaux’s translation provides usefully succinct and entertaining notes on everything from currency conversion to contemporary world events to the sources of Machado’s quotes, intentional misquotes and creatively interpretive quotes.

As Thomson-Deveaux says in her Introduction, the book has a “malevolent grace and depth.” It’s humour is continuous but absurd. Machado plays with the reader while entertaining her. But as he says in his own Prologue, he did not write it for the reader but for himself. “[T]he esteem of the serious and the love of the frivolous, which are the two chief pillars of public opinion,” were of no apparent concern to him. He could offend everyone by laughing at them laughing at him.

A good cause for laughter is precisely how seriously we take the words we use and turn them into ideals toward which to strive. This includes the words Machado himself uses. For Machado the term ‘fixed idea’ is meant to designate our obsession with the symbolic at the cost of living. Brás Cubas dies precisely because he could not shake his obsession with his “pharmaceutical invention,… an anti-hypochondriacal plaster destined to alleviate our melancholy humanity.” But this is only the final stage of a life filled with such compulsive idealism.

What Brás Cubas sought in life was not a better world but a better position in it. He wanted power. As he says, “what drove me most of all was the gratification it would give me to see in newsprint, showcases, pamphlets, on street corners, and finally on the medicine boxes, those four words: The Brás Cubas Plaster.” Isn’t this the universal trap of humanity, power-seeking disguised as humanitarian idealism? We can rationalise any atrocity in the name of social improvement.

In his delirium while dying, Brás Cubas has an important vision of Nature herself who is providing some perspective on the significance of his life. Asking why she wants to kill him since she created him, Nature responds without hesitation, “Because I have no more need of you.” Nature also reminds him of her role in his life: “[F]or I am not only life, I am also death, and you are about to return what I have lent you. For you, great hedonist, there await all the sensual pleasures of nothingness.”

In his vision, Brás Cubas gets to understand why we delude ourselves that it could be otherwise. It is precisely that our idealistic verbiage has got us by the throat because in some mythical pre-history “[Reason] grabbed Folly by the wrists and dragged her outside; then she went in and locked the door. Folly whined a few pleas, snarled a few curses; but she soon resigned herself, stuck out her tongue, and went on her way . . .” This was the original sin passed down since. From its position of complete freedom, Folly formulates the ideals which seem to arrive from nowhere, and thence wreak havoc with our lives and the lives of those around us. Malevolent grace indeed.
Profile Image for Katie Lumsden.
Author 1 book2,812 followers
March 6, 2022
A fantastically different read - bizarre and fun and wonderful. I loved it.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews867 followers
January 24, 2021
"this book and my style are like drunkards, they stagger left and right, they walk and stop, mumble, yell, cackle, shake their fists at the sky, stumble, and fall …"

The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas – The Rookie Wood

Absolutely fantastic! Really my only complaint: Machado de Assis's Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas seemed to end abruptly, but maybe that's the way of fictional posthumous memoirs? I don't know. So much I loved about this book. A few things stand out: the chapter in which the narrator visits the centuries past and future riding on the back of a hippopotamus. It turns out to have been a cat, but the observations made are so interesting, and just a little bit crazy. Bras Cubas's relationship to his subject (his own life that he has some trouble getting down on the page) and especially to the reader makes this work feel alive and vibrant. Transitions are even noteworthy. At one point, after making a transition, the narrator asks, "Did you see what I did? Utterly seamless, nothing that might disrupt the reader's rapt attention, not a thing." There was so much here. I'm sure I will reread this soon!

“He wanted to explain philosophy to me; I asked him not to.”
Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,306 reviews753 followers
December 17, 2015
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 a preachment.
The more I read, the more I come to understand that the trait I admire most in authors is not so much a matter of elegant prose, complex plots, characters that leap off the pages and make their home in your heads when the last page has been turned and the story has ended. Those are all very entertaining in their own right, but clever is as clever does, and rarely provokes long-lasting admiration in my mind. What I prefer is a simple matter of trust, belief, faith even if that is the direction your theological tendencies swing. Faith of the author in themselves, but more importantly, enough faith in their audience to lead them without expounding, carry them along in the pages without tending to their every need and pandering to their every expectation.

Some would disagree with me on that point. In fact, many would, all those folks who dislike books for "trying too hard" and "being too smart". Those who feel that the author did not adhere to the formula enough to guarantee formulaic enjoyment of the audience, and decry them for leading them out of their literary comfort zones and making them confront a strange beast of ink and paper. Oftentimes they look at this weird creature and see something of themselves inside it. Sometimes this bothers them. More frequently than you'd expect, this scares them.

So what does this have to do with this book here, you ask? Good question. I haven't quite figured it out myself, actually. At least, not at this exact point in time, as I type down these words in the middle of a coffee shop, the book itself on my right and a list of its quotes on the left. That's why you're here. You're joining me on this journey, the goal of which is to find the purpose of conducting in the first place. Circular, no? But true.

What this book achieves is an astounding thing in this current age, but even moreso when one takes into account the year of publication. 1880, two years after The Brothers Karamazov and four years before The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If you asked me which is more closely related to this particular specimen, I'd have to say TBK. But only in terms of the wealth of philosophical content, the exacting and measured analysis of the human condition, the grappling with questions of success, reputation, and mortality. TBK tells you a story in a sonorous tone, preaches from the pulpit of its well-deserved yet greatly intimidating authorial presence. This book hops up on the stand, poses with hand on hip, says a few words in a serious tone, then quickly hops down and invites you to the back table to ruminate and reminisce over a few choice bottles of the finest vintages. There is a man behind the curtain, and he doesn't bother to pretend that he doesn't know that you know that he knows it's there. Instead, he welcomes you into his humble abode, and asks if you wish to hear a story. And trust me, reader, you really should say yes.

Why? Why do we want to hear this story from this author, one who breaks off from all conventions in serving us what cannot at all be deemed a novel? One hundred and sixty bits and pieces of one, perhaps, but how could that possibly flow as strongly and as soothingly as a single entity, one that admittedly breaks off into chapters but ensures that each chapter is a well-rounded stepping stone to the next? Instead, we have this book, whose sections sometimes contain no more than a paragraph, a single sentence, even at some point a series of dots (or ellipses? Impossible to tell). How can a story possibly be told in such an erratic and incomprehensible fashion?

Through conscientious and deliberate interaction of the author with his audience, who predicts their interests and invites them to go beyond them. Through knowledgeable understatement, conveying through simple events powerful ideas on life, love, and the death that the author supposedly composes in, without once feeling the need to paint an obvious map for the reader to jerk themselves around on. Through a measured and insightful eye on the actions of the main character, creating a man that dwells on deep thoughts without realization and dismisses them for frivolities and pleasure, yet is incontrovertibly shaped by the powerful undertow. A man who is both infuriatingly obtuse and startlingly sensitive, capable of both great cruelty and great understanding. A man who lived without effort, and died before making an effort. A man, now dead, writing of a life that he felt was lived without achieving any measure of great suffering, or amount of great joy.

Perhaps he never did acquire those things he longed for so long in life. He did, however, find one thing: a small amount of truth in his life, one that reconciled his mortality with his visions of success, and contented him with living in constant and clear-sighted observation of himself and of others. The character may have never realized the beauty of his thoughts, the wonderful philosophies he drew from a privileged, yet empty living. I believe, however, that the author trusted us enough to discover those for ourselves. However much he played with us during the course of the pages, flattering our sensibilities while baffling our literary conventions, he trusted us to go through his pages and discover something on our own, for our own. That something, however small, is worth everything.
Profile Image for Axl Oswaldo.
332 reviews145 followers
August 16, 2022
Siendo completamente honesto, creo que antes de leer Memorias póstumas de Brás Cubas nunca había leído a un autor brasileño, y no por falta de interés o por no querer descubrir por mí mismo historias que podrían impactar en mí de alguna manera especial como este libro lo ha hecho, sino porque el elegir mi siguiente lectura basándome en mi zona de confort me impedía ir en busca de esos autores y títulos que debo y necesito leer a partir de ahora.
Pienso también que debo agradecer —y es quizá la primera vez que lo hago en una reseña— a la editorial Sexto Piso, porque fue gracias a su edición ilustrada de este clásico que me animé a hacerlo parte de mi colección y por lo tanto, a darme la oportunidad de disfrutarlo, y vaya que el resultado ha sido completamente positivo.

¿Y de qué va Memorias póstumas de Brás Cubas? Simple: las memorias de una persona que ha muerto y que desde el 'más allá' —sea lo que esto signifique— nos contará su vida, básicamente desde el día en que nació hasta el día de su muerte, empezando por este último hecho la narrativa de su historia. Debo confesar que no me gustaría ahondar en los detalles de la trama puesto que es mejor descubrirlo por uno mismo, no solo por la historia en sí, sino también por la forma en la que está escrita, destacando este elemento por encima de todo lo demás.
Sin duda, el narrador de la novela, quien es el mismo protagonista, tiene un estilo bastante especial para contarnos su historia, al dirigirse al lector en un sin fin de ocasiones e incluso bromear con él o asumir la posible actitud que el lector podría tener ante una u otra situación. Al romper esta barrera entre narrador y lector, el autor de cierta forma te hace sentirte en confianza y te mantiene atento a la trama de principio a fin. Ahora que lo pienso, desde La feria de las vanidades de Thackeray que no encontraba un narrador con esa particularidad, y en lo personal me ha encantando el cómo la novela funciona y cobra vida de esa manera. Y sí he de dar mi veredicto, Machado de Assis lo hace mucho mejor aquí que Thackeray en su obra (mi opinión).

No está de más mencionar que el autor, especialmente cerca del final de la obra, se enfoca más en desarrollar una teoría del Humanitismo, que tiene sus puntos destacables; sin embargo, la historia principal pasa a ser, a lo largo de varios capítulos, una trama alterna que de alguna manera me hacía perder el hilo de la misma. Incluso al terminar el libro llegué a creer que me había olvidado de algo y tuve que volver a leer los primeros tres capítulos, porque como dije antes, el libro da comienzo con el final. Resulta que todo encajaba a la perfección y me dejó completamente satisfecho ver cómo el ciclo de la vida se cerraba.
Espero que con este primer acercamiento a la literatura brasileña dé comienzo un nuevo viaje a través de varias obras que en el futuro espero leer. Con Memorias póstumas de Brás Cubas me quedo con la bellísima narrativa, la historia de Brás Cubas y Virgilia, así como el estilo tragicómico del autor, del cual espero leer también Dom Casmurro, que de acuerdo a uno de mis mejores amigos quien vive en Minas Gerais, es su obra maestra y una de las obras que todo el mundo conoce en Brasil.
Una novela altamente recomendable, que espero puedan disfrutar tanto como yo la disfruté.

“¿No hay a veces un viento templado, ni fuerte ni áspero, pero bochornoso, que no nos hace volar el sombrero ni se arremolina en las faldas de las mujeres, y que, sin embargo, parece peor que si hiciese ambas cosas, porque abate, afloja y parece que disuelva el espíritu? Pues yo llevaba ese viento conmigo y, seguro como estaba de que me había soplado por hallarme en aquella especie de cañón entre el pasado y el presente, deseaba llegar a la planicie del futuro. Lo peor es que el coche no avanzaba.”
Profile Image for Cláudia Azevedo.
270 reviews116 followers
October 29, 2020
Fazendo a minha avaliação ao jeito tão peculiar do nosso amado Machado de Assis, é mais um clássico que está no papo. Se não aprendi muito, pois que pelo menos pude rir um pouco. Filosofias à parte, quem dera a muitos memórias assim.
Profile Image for Miss Ravi.
Author 1 book993 followers
June 10, 2016
امتیاز من: 3.4
«تقدیم به اولین کرمی که بر کالبدم افتاد.»
کتاب این‌جوری شروع می‌شه. و شما با یه راوی بامزه و بسیار شوخ‌طبع سروکار دارید که از قضا به تازگی مُرده. بیش‌تر از هر چیزی نوع پرداخت داستان و فرم اون خواننده رو تحت تاثیر قرار می‌ده که اتفاقا سوزان سونتاگ هم در مقدمه‌ای که براش نوشته بهش اشاره کرده. راوی شوخ‌‌وشنگ این کتاب با متلک‌پرانی به ارسطو و یه‌سری فلاسفه دیگه خودش رو در مقام بالاتری قرار می‌ده و اصلا هم برآورده کردن توقعات و انتظارات خواننده و یا منتقد رو وظیفه خودش نمی‌دونه؛

-«این نوشته اگر رضایت تو خواننده عالی‌مقام را جلب کند من مزد زحمت خودم را گرفته‌ام و اگر تو از آن راضی نباشی، من با بشکنی مزد زحمتت را تقدیم می‌کنم و از شرّ تو خلاص می‌شوم.»
-«و اما نقص بزرگ این کتاب تو هستی، ای خواننده. تو دلت می‌خواهد سریع بگذری و به آخر برسی.»
-«اگر بیش‌تر مردم سطحی‌نگر و کند ذهن نبودند، خودم را ناچار نمی‌دیدم به خواننده یادآوری کنم.»
-«پناه بر خدا، یعنی من باید همه‌چیز را برایتان توضیح بدهم!»

راوی یه‌جورایی خواننده رو در مرتبه‌ی پایین‌تری از خودش قرار می‌ده و توضیح دادن به منظور روشن شدن مطلب رو زحمتی می‌دونه که خواننده‌ی کندذهن روی دوشش گذاشته. با این‌همه اعتراف می‌کنه خواننده‌هاش بیش‌تر از ده نفر نیستند. براس کوباس از اون دست مُرده‌هاست که دنبال جلب ترحم نیست، بلکه خیلی واضح به غیراخلاقی بودن تعدادی از اعمالش در طول زندگی اعتراف می‌کنه و مهم‌تر از همه این‌که روایت زندگیش رو به شکلی به خواننده ارائه می‌ده که خواننده تعجب کنه از این‌که کتاب در قرن نوزدهم نوشته شده.
Profile Image for Jr Bacdayan.
211 reviews1,681 followers
March 19, 2019
I would very much like to read this again in the afterlife preferably without the four cups of coffee galivanting through my nervous system. Thank you very much.
Profile Image for John Mauro.
Author 5 books397 followers
November 12, 2022
In the Foreword to The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, Dave Eggers writes:

"Wit leaps centuries and hemispheres. It does not collect dust, and, when done right, it does not age. You are holding one of the wittiest, most playful, and therefore most alive and ageless books ever written. It is a love story—many love stories, really—and it's a comedy of class and manners and ego, and it's a reflection on a nation and a time, and an unflinching look at mortality, and all the while it's an intimate and ecstatic exploration of storytelling itself. It is a glittering masterwork and an unmitigated joy to read."

An overexuberant summary of a book that can only be described as overexuberant in its own storytelling.

The basic setup is that Brás Cubas is dead and has written his memoirs from the grave. Since he is dead, he can give a brutally unvarnished account of his life and the society in which he lived.

The book consists of over 150 very short chapters. The narrator repeatedly breaks the fourth wall, directly addressing the reader with humorous and often self-deprecating remarks. The lighthearted humor is offset by a pervasive sense of sadness and emptiness throughout the book.

This is essentially a post-modern tragicomedy written a century head of its time (1881). Some of the techniques employed by the author include:

1. A chapter called "Uselessness" that consists only of a single sentence: "But, either I am very much mistaken, or I have just written a useless chapter."

2. A chapter meant to be inserted between the first two sentences of the previous chapter, as an edit to that chapter.

3. A chapter consisting only of ellipses.

4. A chapter written as the script for a play, but where all the dialogue has been replaced by ellipses.

That should give you a representative sampling of the humor that you will find in this book. It's funny and definitely well ahead of its time. However, I found that the repetitive style of humor wore thin over the course of the novel.

The story itself is nothing special. It's a fairly typical love story and social criticism told by an overly self-conscious narrator. The novelty of the The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas is not in the story, but rather in the inventiveness and playfulness of its form.

Overall rating = 4 stars. (5 stars for creativity, 3 stars for the story.)
Profile Image for Ana.
Author 14 books197 followers
September 23, 2021
Que livro genial! Fica seguramente como um dos meus livros favoritos!

Escrito e estruturado com uma originalidade fora de série, este livro conta-nos a história da vida de Brás Cubas, pela pena do próprio e depois de morto. Sim, isso mesmo. O título não engana. O pormenor inicial da dedicatória desta obra - "Ao verme que primeiro roeu as frias carnes do meu cadáver..." - cedo ditou o tom inovador, jocoso e irreverente que pautou toda esta leitura.

Brás Cubas...herói desta história, mas na verdade, melhor seria descrevê-lo como anti-herói, pois em boa verdade podemos afirmá-lo um personagem (bastante) deficitário no que respeita a virtudes e valores. Mas nem por isso deixou de angariar o meu afecto de leitora e o meu sorriso, pela sinceridade na egolatria das suas memórias.

Achei tudo genial neste livro. Está recheado de duplicidades e reflexões multifacetadas. Machado de Assis, usando esta "fachada" das memórias da vida (tão fútil quanto inútil) de um "palerma privilegiado", executa uma crítica feroz mas com muito humor e ironia, ao comportamento humano, usos, costumes e valores de uma classe, de uma época e de uma sociedade. E fá-lo com uma frescura e uma força que me fez sentir que este texto podia ser de hoje.

Um clássico formidável e impressionante!
Profile Image for Dream.M.
453 reviews90 followers
August 13, 2022
آیا این ریویوو رو میبینید؟
وقتی میخواستم کتاب "خاطرات پس از ��رگ باراس کوباس" رو بخونم/بشنوم، انتظار یک زبان رسمی، و نثری قدیمی کهنه شده و کسل کننده رو داشتم که قراره نویسنده ای که تا اونروز برام ناشناخته بود؛ توش از تاریخ کپک زده برزیل و جنگ های داخلی که هیچ ربطی بهِم نداره حرف بزنه. اما با شنیدن اولین فایل صوتی به شدت سورپرایز و مجذوب شدم. چون متوجه شدم که با یکی از مدرن ترین زبان های ادبیات، یکی از هیجان انگیز ترین کتاب های جهان و یکی از جذاب ترین نویسنده های زندگیم سر و کار دارم. "ماچادو دآسیس" نویسنده ایه که توی برزیل بسیار مشهوره ولی با وجود اینکه مجسمه اش در ورودی آکادمی ادبیات برزیل نصب شده، توی بقیه جاهای قاره آمریکا نویسنده ایه که تقریبا شناخته نشده است. حتی نویسنده لاتين بزرگی مثل بورخس که توی ایران هم کشته مرده زیاد داره، به ماچادو هیچوقت اشاره نکرده (شایدم از حسودیش) . ولی در عوض کارلوس فونتس اون رو معجزه نامیده و سوزان سانتاگ هم توی مقاله ای ازش بعنوان بزرگترین نویسنده امریکای لاتین تقدیر کرده و این تقدیر ها باعث شدن توجه ها به سمت ماچادو جلب بشه. در غیر اینصورت حتما این نویسنده نابغه خیلی سال پیش از این ها کاملا فراموش می‌شد.

🔥کتاب "خاطرات پس از مرگ باراس کوباس" درباره چیه:
همونطوری که از اسمش میشه حدس زد، این کتاب درباره مردی به اسم باراس کوباس هستش که از توی قبر داره خاطرات زندگیش رو بازگو میکنه و چون هیچ شنونده ای نداره، اون رو به اولین کرمی که روی کالبدش میوفته و شروع به خوردنش میکنه تقدیم کرده. اما علی رغم انتظارمون که فکر می‌کنیم الان ماچادو میاد داستان رو از آخر به اول تعریف میکنه، بازم سورپرایز میشیم. چون باراس کوباس داستان زندگیش رو از روز به دنیا اومدنش تا لحظه مرگش رو با نظم و ترتیب زمانی تعریف میکنه. البته به همین سادگی هم نباید با این خاطرات برخورد کرد. چون آقای متوفی بسیار آدم بذله گو و شوخی هستش و توی خلال داستان گویی هاش مرتب به وقایع فلاش بک میزنه یا چیز هایی از آینده تعریف میکنه که توی کتاب دوباره بهش میرسه و به اون ارجاع قبلی ارجاع میده. اون در کنار خط اصلی داستان که خاطرات خودشه، چنتا خط داستانی فرعی رو هم باز کرده و از زندگی آدمایی که باهاش در ارتباط بودن هم حرف میزنه. راوی کتاب بسیار صادقانه از تمام کارهای زشتش و البته خوبش حرف میزنه و هیچ ابایی از افشای اسرار خودش و دیگران نداره؛ که خب چون مُرده، این صداقت کلا توجیه میشه.

🔥چطور یک رمان منتشر شده در ۱۸۸۱ میتونه یک رمان مدرن باشه؟
"خاطرات پس از مرگ باراس کوباس" روایتی باورنکردنی از بی‌تفاوتی عه، بی‌تفاوتی که بی‌معنایی زندگی رو از دنیای اونطرف تونل نور جار میزنه. ماچادو توی این کتاب فلسفه‌ بسیار ساده و دیوانه وار خودش رو از زبان یک آدم مرده ارائه می‌کنه، چون که زنده‌ ها (توی اون دوران) نمی‌تونن به اندازه کافی اونو درک کنن و یا شهامت بیانش رو ندارن.
این کتاب به‌ طور شگفت‌ انگیزی یک پست مدرن پیش از موعد نوشته شده است، و بسیار پیش از زمان خودش منتشر شده. ظاهر کتاب یک رمان معمولیه، اما در واقع پس از خوندن متوجه میشیم به فصل های کاملاً نامنظم تقسیم شده که از نظر محتوا، سبک و لحن بسیار باهم متفاوت هستن. این تنوع واقعا به رمان رنگ بویی جدید داده، بطوریکه وقت خوندن ممکنه تصور کنید توی همین دهه اخیر نوشته شده.
ماچادو توی این کتاب از نوعی طنز تلخ و رک گویی کم نظیر استفاده کرده (که باز هم خیلی مدرنه) تا ظرافت های احساسات انسانی، بدبختی هوس انگیز ، مسیر اضمحلال و انقراض رو برجسته کنه. توی هر جمله کنایه آمیز این کتاب، حقیقتی بدون تحریف و عریان از جنبه های گوناگون زندگی و ابعاد مختلف شخصیت انسان وجود داره ؛ البته برای آنان که اهل اندیشه اند!
ماچادو با تعریف داستان‌ های فرعی ای که اغلب لحن مسخره و شوخ طبعی دارن، نوعی از طنز رو خلق کرده که از یک کمدی مدرن انتظار می‌ره. بعنوان مثال براس کوباس دوست داره مستقیمآ با خواننده صحبت کنه، درست مثل یک مجری استنداپ کمدی. اون یک فصل کامل رو اختصاص داده به سرزنش مخاطب بخاطر بی قراری موقع خوندن داستان . اون میگه: شما عاشق روایت مستقیم، مستمر، سبکی منظم و روان هستید، در حالی که این کتاب و سبک من مانند یک جفت مست هستند. آنها به چپ و راست تلو تلو می خوردند، شروع می کنند، غر می زنند، فریاد می زنند، غرش می کنند، مشت هایشان را به آسمان تکان می دهند. سپس زمین خورده و سقوط می کنند.» . من شخصا تضمین میکنم که اون به هیچ وجه اغراق نمی کنه. 

در مورد ترجمه، خب من فکر نمی‌کنم ترجمه ایرادی داشته باشه و از این بهتر بشه . البته این تنها ترجمه کتابه تا امروز و چاره ای جز خوندن همین نسخه ندارید. ولی اطمینان میدم خوبه.
من صوتی کتاب رو گوش دادم، فیدی پلاس داره، ده ساعت بیشتر هم نیست اما آنقدر صدای راوی و خود داستان جذابه که مطمعنم خیلی زود تموم میکنیدش.
Profile Image for Maziyar Yf.
492 reviews238 followers
October 29, 2020
شاید بتوان تنها ایراد کتاب خاطرات پس از مرگ براس کوباس نوشته ماشادو آسیس را در سبک نسبتا تکراری و فرم و محتوای آن دانست . قسمت اصلی داستان و سبک روایت آن و همچنین ویژگیهای شخصیت های اصلی کتاب از جمله شباهتهای تقریبا آشکار خاطرات پس از مرگ با اثر دیگر استاد دُن کاسمورو می باشد که ممکن است برای خواننده کمی تکراری و خسته کننده به نظر برسد .
ایده اصلی کتاب بسیار درخشان و کم نظیر است ، نویسنده فقید زمانی شروع به نوشتن داستان می کند که مُرده است ، او که در عالم زنده گان نیست به زندگی با پوزخند می نگرد و نگاه طنزآلود او همه جا مشهود است .
نویسنده با مجموعه ای از فصلهای کوتاه داستان را به گونه ای هم مرتبط ساخته که روایتی که در ابتدا ممکن است عادی و پیش پا افتاده به نظر برسد به حکایتی پرکشش و جذاب اما نه چندان فوق العاده برای خواننده تبدیل می شود ، با نگاهی به زندگی و مرگ که مشخص نیست کدام یک بر دیگری تقدم دارد تا جایی که نویسنده مرگ را کفاره زندگی کردن می داند !
اما در پایان و با در نظر گرفتن تفاوت فرم و ساختار ، برای خواننده ای مانند من ممکن است داستان معمولی کتاب بیشتر به یاد بماند تا فرم و ساختار متفاوت آن .
Profile Image for sAmAnE.
493 reviews84 followers
January 4, 2022
ماشادو د آسیس با این تمهید هشیارانه و بی‌مانند راوی این زندگی‌نامه را آزاد می‌گذارد تا فارغ از دغدغه‌های آدمی زنده زندگی خود را روایت کند و روایت این زندگی فرصتی می‌شود تا نویسنده تیزبین و متفکر با زبانی آمیخته به طنزی شکاکانه زیر و بم وجود آدمی عواطف و هیجانات بلندپروازی‌ها و شکست‌ها و پیروزی‌های او را از کودکی تا دم مرگ پیش روی ما بگذارد و پرسش‌هایی ناگزیر را در ذهنمان بیدار کند.
متن پشت جلد کتاب
Profile Image for E8RaH!M.
177 reviews48 followers
January 23, 2020
یک رئالیسم روانشناختی جذاب
طناز، روان، آگاه، خودآگاه و خودآگاه

چند روزی که تو خونه تنها بودم قصد کردم با آسایش کتاب بخونم. شب اول تا کتاب حاضر رو باز کردم صدای تام تام موسیقی از لای دیوارهای ظریف آپارتمان بغلی حواسم رو پرت کرد. من کلا مشکل تمرکز دارم. در نتیجه راویِ صفحات ابتدایی کتاب رو یادم نیست کی بود: باراس کوباسِ مرده بود یا ساسی مانکن یا بهنام بانی یا یک خواننده جدید ترکی که اسمش رو نمی‌دونستم. همسایه گویا مهمانی داشت و گله به گله صدای جیغ و دست و هورایی هم وسط صفحات کتاب می‌کاشتند. به صرافت ادامه‌ی کتاب افتادم، پر سکته. مثل وقتهایی که میخوای بخوابی ولی فکرهای جور واجور نمیذاره. صحنه ی بعد: دو ساعت گذشت سراز کتاب برداشتم. دیدم جشن و پایکوبی همسایه همچنان با قدرت ادامه دارد. اما من دو ساعت گذشته را تنها با باراس کوباس جیغ کشیدم و دست وهورا روانه کردم. 2-3 ساعت رو با هوشیاری خوابیدم. خستگی در کردم.

رئالیسم روانشناختی
می گویند این کتاب یک نمونه از رئالیسم روانشناختی است. لا به لای اوراق کتاب از دست نویسنده عصبانی می‌شدم. با خودم می‌گفتم: "این دهن سرویس چقدر خوب افکار و احساساتی که در پس و پستوهای ذهنم همیشه پنهانش کردم رو میدونه." حتی ریشه‌ی افکارمان را بیرون می‌کشد و نشان می‌دهد.

راوی یک نویسنده ی مُرده است که خاطراتش را پس از مرگ روایت می‌کند. فصل‌ها کوتاهند و سرشار از سرخوشی و طنازی. در حد یکی دو صفحه. ماجراها، ماجراهای معمول‌اند. اما برخورد راوی با ماجراهای عادی این رمان را خاص کرده.
با اینکه بسیاری از ماجراهای کتاب عاشقانه‌ و تکراری‌اند اما هیچ گاه به دام رومانتیسم نمی‌افتد. از آن ناله و استغاثه‌های عاشقان دلشکسته‌ها خبری نیست. در مرگ عزیزانش مویه‌ای آرام و با وقار می‌کند و می‌گذرد. نویسنده می‌داند که باید سریع بگذرد. ماجرا پشت ماجرا خلق می‌شود. پشت هر روایتی تحلیل‌های عمیق رفتاری است. راوی با خواننده روراست است. شما این صداقت را حس می‌کنید. خواننده را در یک فصل با صراحتش عصبانی می‌کند. فصل بعد عذر می‌خواهد. حتا گاهی با خواننده گلاویز هم می‌شود.

گاهی که یک فصل کمی خسته کننده می‌شود، در فصل بعد این نکته را نویسنده گو��ا خودش هم درک کرده و یادآور می‌شود. مثلا جایی از خسته کننده بودن یک فصل عذر می‌خواهد و از خواننده صبر طلب می‌کند. در فصلی تصمیم میگیرد سیر روایت را سرعت بخشد و این موضوع را با خواننده در میان می‌گذارد. حتا در انتهای یک فصل از خواننده درخواست میکند در فصل قبل یک کلمه را اضافه کنند، و از این دست بازیگوشی‌های نویسنده. اما در انتها حس می‌کنید چقدر دی آسیس مسلط به خود و خواننده است. همین موضوع روایت این کتاب را جاندار و جذاب کرده.

روان مردانه
آنچه در این کتاب ممتاز است، آگاهی عمومی است که به حال و هوای مردانه (و گاهی عموما انسانی) دارد. راوی به زنان علاقه مند می‌شود. اما می‌داند که به چه چیزی علاقه داشته است. چون حالا مُرده و گذشته را خوب به خاطر می آورد. فارغ از بند و زنجیرهای دنیایی.
اگر علاقه اش جنسی است بیانش میکند. اگر علاقه به صرف رهایی از تنهایی است. جذابیت معصومانه را حس میکند با خواننده در میان می‌گذارد.
امیالی مثل میل به قدرت، نیکوکاری، انتقام، حسادت و غیره را خیلی رک و راست ارائه می‌دهد. از نحوه ی برخورد دی آسیس با این امیل خوشم آمد و نمی توانم به کسی پیشنهادش ندهم.
ناگفته نماند که حس و حال زنانه را هم خوب نشان داده و بسیاری از اظهار نظرها کلا در حوزه عمومی رفتار انسانی است.

مترجم اثر عبدالله کوثری است. چیز دیگری لازم است؟

Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,006 reviews36k followers
September 13, 2021
Love, and the formality of life…
….this book never takes itself too seriously…..
It’s comic-tragedy styling - by a man who died of pneumonia was as positively inventive as any book I’ve read —written in 1881.

The melancholy of this deceased man - narrator - was sophisticated, persuasive, earnest, humble, compelling, sad & funny…….
a wonderful surprise discovery > grippingly entertaining!
It’s a little peculiar …. [not every book can be in vogue]….. but much was very funny.
The translation was fine for me.
There was crime, romance, successes and failures.
This Brazilian literature…was uniquely whimsical and kind of masterfully elegant!

Machado De Assis…..
“Grumbles of pessimism”…..
the words of a dead man…
had an interesting unconventional way of thinking. ….
“There is really only one misfortune in life: never being born”.

Profile Image for Mia.
332 reviews202 followers
July 27, 2020
This is a novel lost in time.

I can hardly believe it was written 140 years ago. Were it not for the occasional mention of slaves and references to outmoded technology like stagecoaches, I would be none the wiser—in fact, with those still intact, I’d probably be more likely to believe this to be a popular historical fiction novel written in 2015 which the London Review of Books would have called “a work of brilliant tragicomedy” or somesuch. But no, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis delivers this gem to us from 1881, and somehow, somehow, it has not, in all the intervening years, taken the world by storm.

As for what this book is, well it’s all in the title really. Well, the original title—Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas, which ought to be translated to The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas and not, as it appears inexplicably on the cover of my copy and many others, Epitaph of a Small Winner. So yes, this is a posthumous memoir, that is, Sr. Cubas is dictating it from beyond the grave (using a method, he tells us, that would take far too much time to explain but he can assure us is very interesting). With this otherworldly insight, he reflects frankly upon the events of his life and death and uses them to occasionally expound upon his philosophies on conscience, melancholy, avarice, love, and many other facets of the human condition.

I suspect the structure of the book has a lot to do with its sense of innovation and timelessness. It’s told in many short chapters, some a few pages long and some just a paragraph or a few sentences, all numbered and titled, every thought and aside compartmentalised instead of being woven into the larger text as is the case with most novels. And have I mentioned how incredibly creative this book is? There’s a chapter titled simply “...”. Cubas often refers to other chapters or comments upon the book itself, redactions he intends to make or things he has decided not to describe further; in one episode he even imagines a book collector stumbling upon a first edition copy of this obscure volume, The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas. If you need further proof of Machado de Assis’ humour and creativity, when you inevitably buy this book for yourself, just find the chapter titled “Venerable Dialogue of Adam & Eve”.

And Cubas himself is as charming a narrator as they come. His voice is supremely engaging; I felt more involved with the reading of this book than with perhaps any other. He interrupts himself, censors himself, undermines his own philosophising, anticipates your reactions, proactively answers your questions, edits the book as he goes, forgets the point he was trying to make, gets distracted or annoyed or drawn into a philosophical mire... and you can’t help but love every second you spend tagging along behind him, helpless in his narrative caprice. He feels much more intimately connected to the reader than any other narrator I’ve experienced, and I wonder if this is the secret to the book’s timelessness: Brás Cubas’ humanity and eccentricity which positively pours from every page, reminding us that, whether in 1881 or 2020, people haven’t really changed.

I highly, highly recommend this novel and I feel absolutely shocked that nobody has recommended it to me or made me read it in school—I had to discover this on my own, in a bargain bin at a secondhand shop? For shame. This title should be at least as well known as The Scarlet Letter, which is about a thousand times more ghastly and impenetrable and just flat-out terrible, and was only published thirty years prior to this if you can believe it; so Hawthorne really had no excuse to be so deadly dull. The only thing keeping me from giving these posthumous memoirs five stars is that I felt the conclusion was a bit abrupt—but that may well be a reflection of my selfish desire for this book to go on and on.
Profile Image for Oziel Bispo.
500 reviews68 followers
January 12, 2019
O defunto Braz Cubas conta toda sua vida desde o seu nascimento até a sua morte num estilo inovador e inédito até então. Conta seus amores frustados com Marcela e Virgília , conta sua tentativa de entrada na vida política e a sua procura de dar sentido na sua vida enveredando na filosofia falida de Quincas Borba.
Um ótimo livro que adorei reler!
Profile Image for Carmo.
654 reviews467 followers
October 24, 2022
É com alguma bizarrice que Brás Cubas faz uma retrospetiva da sua vida a partir do caixãozinho em terras do além. Qual espetador bem acomodado na plateia vê decorrer no palco o que foi a sua vida terrena. Fá-lo com distanciamento, carrega na ironia e na insolência para falar do que viveu, particularmente dos amores. Morto que está, não tem mais nada a perder; pode ser sincero, pode ser reflexivo, reviver e analisar com uma frieza que não lhe era possível no decorrer dos acontecimentos. Se por um lado é um narrador que assume os pecadilhos do passado, por outro é esquivo e joga ao gato e ao rato com o leitor, deixa pontas soltas, insinua, e desmente tudo a seguir. Ou simplesmente confessa nada querer confessar.
Profile Image for Sepinood Ghiami.
121 reviews13 followers
June 15, 2019
کتابی که فُرم آن، به محتوایش، ارجحیت دارد

بعد از "دن کاسمورو"، این دومین کتابی بود که از ماشادو دآسیس می‌خوندم. اما هر چه‌قدر که برداشتم از "دن کاسمورو"، متوسط بود، "خاطرات پس از مرگ براس کوباس" رو دوست داشتم.

"خاطرات پس از مرگ..." کتابیه که احتمالا اکثر خوانندگانش، شیفته‌ی فرم و ساختارش میشن، نه محتواش؛ گرچه که محتوای کتاب هم، از سیر ِ داستان‌های رمانتیک یا ناکامی‌های اشرافی ِ راوی که بگذریم، پر از حکمت زندگیه؛ انگار که واقعا زندگی و همه‌ی پستی‌ها و بلندی‌هاش رو، بخوایم از دید ِ کسی که مُرده، و فراتر از زمان به همه‌چیز نگاه می‌کنه، ببینیم.

کتاب در فصل های کوتاه-کوتاه نوشته شده، و نویسنده به قدری با چارچوب ِ کتاب منعطف برخورد کرده، که خواننده رو در جریان بسیاری از فکرها و ایده‌هاش، قبل از عملی شدن، می‌ذاره. گاهی به خواننده دستور می‌ده که به فصل های قبل برگرده، و فلان چیز رو دوباره بخونه؛ گاهی میگه بین دو جمله‌ی اول ِ فلان فصل، این رو هم اضافه کنه: انگار که ما با چرک‌نویس ِ یک نویسنده مواجهیم که نه تنها سعی در راضی نگه‌داشتن ِ خواننده نداره، بلکه رک و پوست‌کنده، ازش ایراد هم می‌گیره و قضاوتش هم می‌کنه.

تنها "ای کاش" ِ من برای این کتاب، این بود که داستان ِ براس کوباس، به خودی خود، و بدون ساختار ِ هیجان‌انگیز ِ کتاب، چیزی برای ارائه نداشت و خواننده در نهایت، با سرگذشت ِ عجیب و غریبی مواجه نیست.

و ترجمه

دست‌مریزادی به عبدالله کوثری عزیز، که تا به حال ترجمه‌ی بد ازش ندیدم و تک-تک ِ ترجمه‌هاش، هنرمندانه‌ست. کوثری تونسته تمام حس و حال کتاب اصلی رو، با انتخاب به‌جا و درست ِ کلماتش، منتقل کنه و من ازش بارها سپاس‌گزارم.
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