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Roberto Schwarz is the foremost literary critic of his generation in Brazil and the most important Marxist practitioner in the tradition of the Frankfurt School writing anywhere today. This collection confirms the international significance of Schwarz’s critical achievement.
Studies of Kafka and Brecht respectively open and close the volume, which includes incisive studies of contemporary poetry and fiction in Brazil. The centerpiece is the hitherto untranslated Two Girls, which brings together two strongly contrasting narratives of girls’ lives—one a classic novel, the other an adolescent’s diary—to substantiate the crucial concept of objective form. With key reflections on theory and method and an illuminating account of the general historical importance of his exemplary Brazilian novelist, Machado de Assis, Two Girls compellingly demonstrates the logic and significance of Schwarz’s work for an English-language readership.
About the Author
Roberto Schwarz, born in Vienna in 1938, grew up in São Paulo, studying there and later in the United States and France. His books in English include Two Girls, Misplaced Ideas: Essays on Brazilian Culture and A Master on the Periphery of Capitalism, the central component of his study of Machado.
Francis Mulhern is Associate Editor of New Left Review. His books include The Moment of “Scrutiny”, Culture/Metaculture and the edited collection Lives on the Left: Interviews with New Left Review.
“The finest dialectical critic since Adorno.”—Perry Anderson, London Review of Books
“Lucid and passionate ... it’s hard to imagine a better characterization of some of the most haunting of modern texts.”—Michael Wood, New York Review of Books