Literary Confluences between Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and Machado de Assis
Chapter 4: The Brazilian Labour Market as a Simulacrum: Machado’s Emulation of Poe in ‘Father Against Mother’
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The Brazilian Labour Market as a Simulacrum: Machado’s Emulation of Poe in ‘Father Against Mother’
The first chapter of this book showed the ways in which Machado emulated Poe and parodied Baudelaire to criticize the model of cosmopolitan city imported from France. The second chapter showed Machado’s emulation of Poe’s perceptions on nationalism and the formation of a Pan-American national identity. These perceptions are clear when we compare Machado’s and Poe’s critical texts, as both writers reflected upon the constraints of literary imitation in a context that should search for its own literary identity. The third chapter focused on the representations of the female figure as another way to search for Pan-American identity, based on the emulation of Poe’s dead, young, and beautiful woman, as well as on the parody of Baudelaire’s perceptions on woman, fashion and modernity. In this chapter, I intend to analyse ‘Father Against Mother’ (1906) as the moment in which Machado’s criticism against the French simulacrum of modern cosmopolitan city reaches its highest point, in a forceful perception of a situation based on the copy of the British economic conditions that shaped the labour market in Brazil and the United States in the nineteenth century. Machado emulates Poe’s ‘The Man of the Crowd’ (1840) once again to show that the world of work in a Pan-American context was imported from England, going much beyond emulation by showing the free white men’s dependence in relation to an...
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