Literary Confluences between Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and Machado de Assis
Chapter 3: Female Representation in Poe, Baudelaire and Machado de Assis as a Metaphor of Cultural Liberty in Contexts of Literary Imitation
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Female Representation in Poe, Baudelaire and Machado de Assis as a Metaphor of Cultural Liberty in Contexts of Literary Imitation
In this chapter, I will analyse Machado de Assis’s emulation of Edgar Allan Poe when it comes to the representation of the female figure as a metaphor of cultural liberty in non-hegemonic contexts. The analysis of ‘Capítulo dos Chapéus’ [‘A Chapter of Hats’] (1884) by Machado will show that both him and Poe saw the female figure as a representative of modernity, and a metaphor for the criticism against the European components of both Brazilian and North American literature. Machado’s emulation of Poe is, once again, based on the parody of Baudelaire’s perception on the female figure in its association with modernity and cultural liberty, something Machado will criticize in ‘A Chapter of Hats’, written in the end of the nineteenth century, which signals the moment of a turning point in Brazilian culture.
In the first chapter, I described the similarities between Machado and Poe when it comes to the representation of Brazilian and North American cosmopolitan cities as imitations of European cities, a perception that arises from Gogol’s ‘Nevsky Prospect’. Both Poe and Machado use this representation as a way to criticize the tendency of imitating European literature, which is analysed in the second chapter as a hindrance for the establishment of a Pan-American identity. This chapter brings a discussion regarding the female figure as...
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