Machado de Assis: A obra entreaberta

Antonio Luciano Tosta


This essay discusses an aspect of the narrative of Machado de Assis that I call “entreabertura” (the state of being half-way open). This “in-betweenness” is examined by analyzing the role of the narrator in several of Machado’s novels and short stories. In these works, the Brazilian author simultaneously makes full use of his authorial power while still allowing the reader plenty of opportunities for creatively filling in the gaps of the text, helping to bring it to life. Moreover, on several occasions Machado also leads the reader to make conclusions about the text only to deconstruct them afterwards. Machado’s narrative is analyzed in the light of works by contemporary authors such as Umberto Eco, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Linda Hutcheon, as well as those of Machado scholars such as Paul Dixon, Roberto Schwarz, John Gledson, and Enylton de Sá Rego.


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