PHILOSOPHER OR DOG? by Machado de Assis


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The publication in this country of Epitaph of a Small Winner, and now its sequel, establishes, if posthumously, the particular talents of the late 19th century Brazilian writer, and provides a mock-heroic saga where compassion is never too distant from the irony which motivates it. Where Quincas Borba, of the earlier book, found his eventual release from reality in the identity of St. Augustine, Rubiao, his spiritual and physical heir, is to find his in the dreams of glory in which he is Napoleon. To Rubiao, Borba leaves his fortune- and the dog which bears his name and through which he survives. Now a man of wealth, Rubiao wants to become a man of the world. He attempts to enter politics and patronize the arts; he wastes his capital and is abandoned by his partner and friend, Palha; his courtship of a beautiful married woman is unrewarded; and his increasing spells of megalomania bring him to a ""madman's realm of fantasy"".... The intellectual invention here, the worldly perception, the ultimate resignation- all give this its special interest for a special market which the earlier book will have indicated.

ISBN: 0374523282
Publisher: Noonday Press