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War is an opera and a great opera: the chronicles of Machado de Assis and the orient issue

Using Machado de Assis's short journalistic texts ("crônicas", chronicles), from the series "História de quinze dias", this article examines his peculiar way of considering war, specially the Balkan conflicts in the end of the 1870's. This peculiar way goes beyond the typical journalistic diction and dwells midway between fiction and history. With "dancing grace", Machado de Assis mingles, in his chronicles, various reflections, ranging from the decadence of the Ottoman Empire to the appearance of saintly women in the northeast of Brazil. This relativisation produced by Machado's speech is conducted with cruelty and humour, creating a continuous strangeness of the speech in relation to the referred facts.

Brazilian literature; chronicle; war

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