J. A. Machado de Assis

John Angus Gledson (University of Liverpool)
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Machado de Assis was the son of relatively poor parents. He was mulatto – his mother was white (from the Azores Islands) and his father predominantly black – although it is probable that his family had been free for one or two generations. They were dependents (

agregados

) of a powerful family who lived on the outskirts of Rio. The young Assis, obviously ambitious and tenacious, entered the field of letters, specifically journalism, one of the few careers that could give him a modicum of independence in the Brazil of the 1850s. He was helped by one of the most admirable figures of the time, the first important Brazilian publisher, Francisco de Paula Brito (1809-1861), also mulatto and founder of the

Petalógica

, a literary club.

Assis adopted liberal political views and, in the 1860s,

3157 words

Citation: Gledson, John Angus. "J. A. Machado de Assis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 February 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=11973, accessed 15 April 2024.]

11973 J. A. Machado de Assis 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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