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MACHADO DE ASSIS AND BRAZILIAN LITERARY INDEPENDENCE: TOWARD A POSTCOLONIAL NATIONAL AESTHETIC1 1 This article borrows material in DANIEL, Machado de Assis: multiracial identity and the Brazilian novelist.

MACHADO DE ASSIS E A INDEPENDÊNCIA LITERÁRIA BRASILEIRA: EM DIREÇÃO A UMA ESTÉTICA NACIONAL PÓS-COLONIAL

G. REGINALD DANIEL About the author

As a mulatto who was both black and white, yet neither, Machado de Assis developed a keen sensitivity to what Santiago refers to as "o entre-lugar", that is to say, the liminal or in-between space that shapes human existence. Machado gave artistic expression to this phenomenon in a manner that encompassed broader contradictions and questions of multiplicity and ambiguity in terms of Brazil's national literary identity. His writings do not display a national consciousness or brasilidade(Brazilianness) expressed through the use of racial types, external descriptions of local flora, fauna, or idioms, as was the case with the anticolonial writings of many of his contemporaries and successors, which fostered a superficial cultural essentialism. In keeping with Bhabha's conceptualtization of postcolonial thought, Machado searched for a radical nationalism generated within a liminal space that contested the terms and territories of both colonialism and anticolonial nationalism. He sought to achieve this without belonging to a neocoloniality that reduced Brazilian intellectual and cultural production to second-order copies incapable of articulating any originality. Rather, Machado elucidated a mark of differentiated repetition that borrowed from the finest, most enduring exemplars of European literature yet transformed these into something uniquely Brazilian.

Machado de Assis, criticism; Brazilian literature; national identity in literature, colonialism; postcolonial discourse


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