Brás Cubas, the dead writer excogitated by Machado de Assis, tells the tale of someone who can recount no more a story and thus stages the impossibility of saying, which according to Maurice Blanchot, is related to the impossibility of dying. Cubas dies, but he actually lives, which sets up the strange situation where he did not really die because he did not leave the world and yet lives to die because he has eliminated the possibility of dying after death. Cubas’ cunning is in pretending he is weak both in and out of life, thus strengthening himself in his resurrection, in the non-negation of its possibility. In this way literature stays opposite to death and understanding; it belongs to the realm of the inconclusive. By establishing a dialogue between Machado's novel and Blanchot's thinking, the aim of this article is to show how this impossibility is achieved.
Brás Cubas; literature; the impossibility of death