A evolução cética da filosofia na ficção de Machado de Assis ao longo de quatro encontros na Rua do Ouvidor
Four meetings of the narrator/protagonist on Ouvidor street (Rio de Janeiro city) in four Machado de Assis’ stories are examined diachronically in order to show the evolution of a skeptical perspective in his fiction. Each meeting indicates a step in the construction of this perspective. The first meeting occurs in the short story Happiness through marriage, one of Machado’s earliest ones. It exhibits the antecedent conditions to the development of the skeptical perspective along the second phase of Machado’s literary production, namely, a dogmatic view opposing false appearance to true reality. The second meeting is extracted from The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, the novel that marks the beginning of Machado’s second and skeptical phase. The meeting shows the false appearances penetrating and corrupting true reality, characterizing a Pascalian perspective. In the third meeting, from Dom Casmurro, appearance obscures reality, characterizing a classic skeptical perspective. Finally, in the fourth meeting, pointed out in Machado’s last novel, Counselor Ayres’s Memorial, appearance is the object of perception, which no longer attempts to reach a hidden reality, characterizing an original Machadian aesthetic kind of skepticism. The article begins with general remarks about the relevance of Ouvidor street in Machado de Assis’ work.
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