O dilema do polquista:

A formação do Brasil na torsão machadiana

Luís Augusto Fischer and Lucia Serrano Pereira


In this essay, we analyze a short story by Machado de Assis, “Um homem célebre,” in which the reader follows the frustrated trajectory of the character Pestana, a pianist and composer of polkas. Our approach is based on two theories that are not obviously compatible: Antonio Candido’s perspective of the formation of Brazilian Literature, and the notion of torsion as outlined by August Ferdinand Moebius and commented by Jacques Lacan. Our aim is to demonstrate that, by maintaining an ironic distance in relation to the events of the story, the narrator performs the formative synthesis of the torsion whose existence the character is unable to perceive.


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