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The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis Day 4

March 11, 2021 | Ch 38-58

In XLIII, BC’s rival in romance, Lobo Neves, makes his first appearance. “Lobo” means “wolf” in Portuguese, and “Neves” is “snow.” I’ve often wondered whether M was reading the Brothers Grimm while writing PM and decided to insert a very subtle joke.

As a dead man, BC is the ultimate unreliable narrator. Does he really love Virgília, as he claims, or is he merely motivated by jealousy, amour propre, & a desire for revenge? After all, BC describes himself as “a peacock” with “a great deal of vanity.”

In any case, a love triangle of the type that powered many a 19th-century novel is now in place. We know from “the mysterious woman” in I that it continues in some form until BC’s death. But M being M, how will he subvert convention and this plot device?

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