Aluízio Azevedo

Aluísio Tancredo Gonçalves de Azevedo (14 April 1857 — 21 January 1913), better known as Aluísio Azevedo, is a short story writer, playwright, novelist, diplomat, and caricaturist from São Luis, Maranhão. He founded and occupied the 4th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters from 1897 until his death in 1913.


Original title: O Mulato (1881)
Author: Aluísio Azevedo
Translator: Murray Graeme Macnicoll

In 1881, Brazilian Aluisio Azevedo published Mulatto, a scathing expose of his native city, Sao Luis do Maranhao. Polemic as well as love story, it brought him much notoriety and is generally considered the first Brazilian naturalist novel. Set before the abolition of slavery and the establishment of the first republic, Mulatto tells the story of Raimundo, a young Brazilian of liberal ideas. Kept in ignorance of the identity of his mother and the secret of his mixed birth, Raimundo is educated in Europe and, upon returning to Brazil, struggles against the provincial and bigoted society he encounters. Mulatto reveals its author’s opposition to both the clergy, whose corruption and influence he denounced, and the racist agrarian society still dependent upon slavery.

Mulatto_2_Aluisio de Azevedo

Paperback: 298 pages
Publisher: University of Texas Press (September 1993)
Translator: Murray Graeme Macnicoll
ISBN-10: 0292704380
ISBN-13: 978-0292704381
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Mulatto_Aluisio de Azevedo

Hardcover: 298 pages
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (1994-03-01)
Translator: Murray Graeme Macnicoll
ISBN 10: 0838633803 
ISBN 13: 9780838633809 
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The Slum

Original title: O cortiço (1890)
Author: Aluísio Azevedo
Translator: David H. Rosenthal

First published in 1890, and undoubtedly Azevedo’s masterpiece, The Slum is one of the most widely read and critically acclaimed novels ever written about Brazil. Indeed, its great popularity, realistic descriptions, archetypal situations, detailed local coloring, and overall race-consciousness may well evoke Huckleberry Finn as the novel’s North American equivalent. Yet Azevedo also exhibits the naturalism of Zola and the ironic distance of Balzac; while tragic, beautiful, and imaginative as a work of fiction, The Slum is universally regarded as one of the best, or truest, portraits of Brazilian society ever rendered. This is a vivid and complex tale of passion and greed, a story with many different strands touching on the different economic tiers of society. Mainly, however, The Slum thrives on two intersecting story lines. In one narrative, a penny-pinching immigrant landlord strives to become a rich investor and then discards his black lover for a wealthy white woman. In the other, we witness the innocent yet dangerous love affair between a strong, pragmatic, “gentle giant” sort of immigrant and a vivacious mulatto woman who both live in a tenement owned by said landlord. The two immigrant heroes are originally Portuguese, and thus personify two alternate outsider responses to Brazil. As translator David H. Rosenthal points out in his useful Introduction: one is the capitalist drawn to new markets, quick prestige, and untapped resources; the other, the prudent European drawn moth-like to “the light and sexual heat of the tropics.” A deftly told, deeply moving, and hardscrabble novel that features several stirring passages about life in the streets, the melting-pot realities of the modern city, and the oft-unstable mind of the crowd, The Slum will captivate anyone who might appreciate a more poetic, less political take on the nineteenth-century naturalism of Crane or Dreiser. (Source: promotional synopsis)


Paperback: 244 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc (30 May 2000)
Translator: David H. Rosenthal
ISBN-10: 0195121864
ISBN-13: 978-0195121865
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