Happy 172nd birthday, Machado de Assis!

Machado de Assis at age 57

Machado de Assis at age 57

Regarded as one of Brazil’s greatest writers, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis was born in Rio de Janeiro on June 21, 1839, “the grandson of slaves, his father a housepainter and his mother a white immigrant washerwoman from the Azores” (New York Times).  Beginning as a typesetter and a journalist, he went on to a bureaucratic career in the Ministry of Agriculture. He also served as the first president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters (Academia Brasileira de Letras). His death in Rio de Janeiro on September 29, 1908 came almost four years after his wife of thirty-five years passed away. His complete works include novels, short stories, plays, and poetry.

Discover Machado de Assis at UIUC
You can check out works by Machado de Assis at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Search the online catalog by author for Machado de Assis, 1839-1908.  Don’t know Portuguese? No problem! UIUC has English translations of some of his works. To find them simply limit your search by language or click here.

If you’re interested in critical works about his life and work, search by subject for Machado de Assis, 1839-1908. Also check out the MLA International Bibliography with your UIUC ID for further literary scholarship. Here’s a preview of what you can find through this database (in English):

Finding Machado de Assis online
Digitized manuscripts, correspondance, first editions, his own translations (he translated Oliver Twist into Portuguese!), and his complete works can be found online today. Here are some key resources:

  • http://machado.mec.gov.br/ from the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Includes his complete works for download.
  • http://www.machadodeassis.org.br/ from the Academia Brasileira de Letras. Includes digitized manuscripts, first editions, personal photos, information about the Machado de Assis Archive at the National Library of Brazil, and extensive bibliographies.
  • http://www.machadodeassis.net/  hosts an online journal for studies about Machado de Assis, offers his novels in hypertext, and features an incredible database on the quotes and allusions found in the fiction of Machado de Assis.
  • http://www.machadodeassis.unesp.br/index.php from Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho. Includes information about the various adaptations of his works (audiobook, opera, etc.) and digital copies of literary journal & newspaper issues that Machado de Assis published in.

Check out our online research guides for learning Portuguese, Brazilian culture, and Portuguese-language literatures.


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