Be aware that frankness is the prime virtue of a dead man, writes the narrator of The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas. But while he may be dead, he is surely one of the liveliest characters in fiction, a product of one of the most remarkable imaginations in all of literature, Brazils greatest novelist of the nineteenth century, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis.
By turns flippant and profound, The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas is the story of an unheroic man with half-hearted political ambitions, a harebrained idea for curing the world of melancholy, and a thousand quixotic theories unleashed from beyond the grave. It is a novel that has influenced generations of Latin American writers but remains refreshingly and unforgettably unlike anything written before or after it. Newly translated by Gregory Rabassa and superbly edited by Enylton de Sá Rego and Gilberto Pinheiro Passos, this Library of Latin America edition brings to English-speaking readers a literary delight of the highest order.
New translation of Machados famous novel is for the most part faithful and readable. However, work has occasional odd errors and omissions, and fails to give sufficient attention to Machados rhythm and syntax. Given Rabassas vast experience as a translator, it is hard not to suspect that carelessness and haste explain the mistakes and lapses. Also poorly edited and inadequately proofread—Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.