VIRTUAL IAS Talking Points Seminar: The Crisis of the Novel
04 October 2021, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm
Join us for this comparative reading of Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis’s 'The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas' and Laurence Sterne’s 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy'. Presentation by Professor Sandra Guardini T. Vasconcelos. Respondents: Professor Stephen Hart and Dr Ana Cláudia Suriani da Silva. Chair: Dr Antonio Sennis.
This event is free.
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Institute of Advanced Studies
The Crisis of the Novel in Tristram Shandy and The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas
The main purpose of this presentation is a comparative reading of Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis’s The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (1881) and Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1760-1767) from the perspective of the crisis of the novel that Professor Guardini T. Vasconcelos argues is crucial to their narrative structure. Distant in time and space, diverse in their novelistic project, Sterne and Machado challenged some of the foundations of the novel – above all point of view, characterisation, and plot – with far-reaching critical results. At one end, at the moment of the rise and consolidation of the novel in England, Sterne mobilised conventions still in the making in order to interrogate the possibilities and the limitations of the genre. At the other end, in late nineteenth century and with the whole tradition of the genre behind him, Machado chose the free form of Tristram Shandy to structure his turnaround novel and returned to the origins of the genre, thus suggesting a move meant to confront the exhaustion of paradigms and subgenres which no longer answered to the imperative of representing a state of crisis not only of narrative itself, but also the changes in the socio-historical context of his own present.
Comparative Perspectives on the Rise of the Brazilian Novel, edited by Ana Cláudia Suriani da Silva and Sandra Guardini Vasconcelos, UCL Press 2020, freely available to download here.
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About the Speakers
Professor Sandra Guardini Teixeira Vasconcelos
Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of São PauloMore about Professor Sandra Guardini Teixeira Vasconcelos
Dr Ana Claudia Suriani da Silva
Associate Professor in Brazilian Studies at SELCS, Faculty of Arts & HumanitiesMore about Dr Ana Claudia Suriani da Silva
Professor Stephen Hart
Professor of Latin American Film, Literature and Culture at SELCS, Faculty of Arts & HumanitiesMore about Professor Stephen Hart