Portuguese American Journal

Book | Dom Casmurro: A Novel | by Machado de Assis – Editor’s Note

A masterpiece of realism, Machado de Assis’s Dom Casmurro probes the mind of a distrustful husband with delusions of grandeur. Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson’s critically acclaimed translations of Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas and The Collected Stories of Machado de Assis introduced a new generation of readers to one of Brazil’s most groundbreaking authors. Hailed as “the greatest writer ever produced in Latin America” (Susan Sontag), Machado’s genius is on full display in this fresh translation of the 1899 classic Dom Casmurro. In his supposed memoir, Bento Santiago, an engaging yet unreliable narrator, suspects his wife, Capitu, of having an affair with his closest friend. Withdrawn and obsessive, our antihero mines the origins of their love story: from childhood neighbors playing innocently in the backyard to his brief spell in a seminary to marriage and the birth of their child―whom, he fears, does not resemble him. A gripping domestic drama brimming with Machado’s signature humor, this is another stunningly modern tale from the progenitor of twentieth-century fiction.


“Not surprisingly, generations of readers and critics have come to wildly different interpretations of the novel, and each generation’s differing reactions have perhaps told us as much about ourselves and our own times as about Bento and his world. Is Capitu a wronged woman flakey accused and cruelly punished but her deluded husband? Or is she cunning and manipulative, giving as good as she gets? Or was there something else that went wrong in their marriage, indeed was it doomed from the very start?” — Margaret Jull Costa | Introduction


About the Author

Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (1839–1908) was born in Rio de Janeiro and, along with seven short-story collections, wrote such groundbreaking novels as Quincas Borba and The Alienist.

About the translators

Margaret Jull Costa has won, for her translations of Spanish and Portuguese, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize four times as well as the Premio Valle-Inclán, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the 2008 PEN Prize for best translation from any language for The Maias, by Eça de Queirós (New Directions, 2007).

Robin Patterson, an award-winning translator, lives in England.


Book Details

Title: Dom Casmurro: A Novel

Author: Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

Translators: Margaret Jull Costa & Robin Patterson

Publisher: Liveright

Publication Date: May 23, 2023

Language: English

Hardcover: 288pp


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