DISSIMULATION AND NAKEDNESS OF THE MORAL IMAGINATION IN "THE DEVIL´S CHURCH"

ANTÔNIO JOAQUIM PEREIRA NETOAbout the author

Abstract

This article examines the short story "The Devil's Church" with the aim of demonstrating that Machado de Assis uses his fiction to critically analyze the moral foundations of classical philosophy and Christian doctrine. By exposing the fickleness of human choices and conduct, the Brazilian writer questions the implementation of such concepts as good, moral rectitude and truth in the world of ideas as they are constructed by the Western episteme. It is noted that his discourse is rhetorically marked by the dissimulation of his presence, mainly by his manipulation of the symbolic codes of fictional figuration in developing effects whose meanings are defined by the reader, which assumes a discursive logic that may be recognized by the reader thanks to the way Machado deftly strings together his artifices.

Keywords:
Machado de Assis; Dissimulation; Philosophy; Christianity; Moral

Universidade de São Paulo - Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, 403 sl 38, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP Brasil - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: machadodeassis.emlinha@usp.br