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Machado de Assis' homeopathic narrators

Os narradores homeopáticos de Machado de Assis

Machado showed a fascination with homeopathic medicine, an indirect form of treatment that uses agents to stimulate reactions similar to the symptoms of the condition to be cured. Several of the author’s texts show a pattern of projects realized by indirect means, by "like curing like", which suggests a homeopathic logic in Machado’s worldview. Certain narrators, such as those inMemórias póstumas de Brás Cubas, Dom Casmurro, and in short stories such as "O segredo do bonzo" and "Adão e Eva", are notable for denouncing themselves, that is, for undermining their own validity. This curious situation has implications for Machado’s overall project, which seems more interested in posing questions than providing answers. It also suggests a particular relationship with the reader, which affords as much independence as possible.

Machado de Assis; narrator; homeopathy; reader

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