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Handwritten letter from Machado de Assis (1892)

Handwritten letter from Machado de Assis (1892)

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> This item is no longer in the catalogue, see the available documents here <

In 1892, Machado de Assis appreciated the verses of another writer and promised to read them to his relatives and neighbors.

  • Letter from Machado de Assis to an unidentified recipient.
  • One sheet, two pages.
  • In Portuguese.
  • 25.4 cm x 20.2 cm.
  • In good condition, but with two stains, probably from liquid, one at the bottom and one at the top, which partially smudged some of the letters.
  • Unique piece.

June 21, 1892

Good and dear friend

If anything could
make up for your lack and
(?) D. Laura would be
the beautiful verses that I finish
to read, in which the elevation
of concepts meets the
the generosity of the application.
Better than anything would be to have
the author and the work: but ca
The work remains as a souvenir
of the day. I will read the verses
to the friends who are here
think - few are sure - the
my relatives, my neighbors
and some more. All however
(?) what was your worth
heart and equally,
you have(?) the absence of works.
My respect to Mme Consort
and thanks today

Old friend and (?)

Machado de Assis

Some names are particularly rare in the fascinating world of autograph documents and are constantly increasing in value. Machado de Assis, perhaps the greatest name in Brazilian literature, is one of them. It is possible to find, from time to time, some documents signed by him, when he was a public servant, or dedications in books, but personal letters are even rarer.

This letter is particularly valuable because it deals with literature: it would be a bit like having in your hands a letter from Einstein explaining a physics concept or one from Santos Dumont reflecting on aviation.

Machado mentions having read "beautiful verses", indicating that the recipient of the letter may have been a poet or writer friend, perhaps a colleague at the Brazilian Academy of Letters. The recipient's wife is called Laura, but this did not help identify the couple.

Furthermore, Machado's appreciation for the "elevation of concepts" and the "generosity of application" in the verses read shows the writer's deep sensitivity towards the moral and aesthetic qualities of literature.

Finally, the letter also reveals how Machado shared literary works with an intimate circle of friends and family, seeming to greatly value their opinion on the works he read and, possibly, that he wrote.

Ultimately, we have here a very exceptional piece for a collector focused on Brazilian literature and Machado de Assis.

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