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Authors: da Rocha Lima Diego, Marcelo
Advisors: Meira Monteiro, Pedro
Contributors: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Department
Keywords: Brazilian literature
Cultural history
José de Alencar
Machado de Assis
Rio de Janeiro
Subjects: Latin American literature
Latin American history
Comparative literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines the impact of European opera companies and their repertoires on Rio de Janeiro's literary output during Brazil's Second Reign (1840-1889). Situated at the intersection of literary studies and cultural history, it develops a narrative in which lyrical theater, literature and society cross paths, and which is set out chronologically in three "acts." The first covers the 1840s, starting with the resurgence of the opera scene at the court of Pedro II and the early companies and performances responsible for shaping audience and taste. The second focuses on the 1850s and 1860s, when opera was at the height of its popularity in Rio de Janeiro and established itself as a system, with its own producers, audience, means and messages. The third deals with the 1870s and 1880s, when opera starts to lose centrality in Rio de Janeiro's social life and the imperial regime begins to crumble. Throughout these acts, plays by Martins Pena and José de Alencar, novels by Joaquim Manuel de Macedo, José de Alencar, and Machado de Assis, as well as chronicles and critical essays produced by these four authors are the object of close readings. To contextualize what was happening in Rio de Janeiro on a Latin American and global scale, the three acts are interspersed by two interludes in which similar dynamics in the same period are observed in Havana and Buenos Aires. In them, works by Cuban writers Juan Francisco Manzano, Cirilo Villaverde and the Countess of Merlin, and by the Argentine Estanislao del Campo are examined. Three principal hypotheses on the subject are raised and sustained by this dissertation. First, that this vibrant operatic scene had a deeper effect on the literature than on the music produced in Brazil; secondly, that what is being called here a "floating opera" (by virtue of its rootlessness and transience) played a decisive role in the establishment of the novel as a genre in Brazil; and finally, that during its consolidation process, the Brazilian novel takes on, through the work of Machado de Assis, the shape of a "total work of art".
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: pt
Appears in Collections:Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures

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