Sunday, February 13, 2022

Esau and Jacob

Esau and JacobEsau and Jacob 
by Machado de Assis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the third novel I have read by Machado de Assis. In college I read The Posthumous Memories of Bras Cubas (Epitaph of a Small Winner is the English title) and Quincas Borba (which was called Philosopher or Dog? in English) and really enjoyed both. I liked the style of this novel which is one of his later novels (it was published in 1904). I felt like this story dragged a bit though. My recollection is that the earlier books had a similar style; the author jumps in regularly to comment on the story he is telling. A few quotes illustrate the style:
"They might not have the same opinions, and they might have the same likes ... From that to saying that both loved her was a comma; Pedro placed the period on the sentence." (p. 114)
"They had been to the theater with Aires one evening, killing time. You know this dragon. Everyone has given him the hardest blows they can; he kicks, expires, and revives. So it went, that night. I don't know which theater it was, nor which play, nor which genre. Whatever it was, the purpose was to kill time, and the three left him stretched out on the floor." (p. 192)
Dom Casmuro (published 1899) is the other major novel by this author and is on my TBR list.

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