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The rhythm of the letter: traces of orality in the manuscript and the first edition of Esaú e Jacob, by Machado de Assis

Grant number: 17/12253-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2017
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Brazilian Literature
Principal researcher:Hélio de Seixas Guimarães
Grantee:Luciana Antonini Schoeps
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The present project aims to analyse the presence of auditivity and orality, deepening the problematization about the question of voice and body in Machado de Assis' literature, by the study of certain elements present in the manuscripts and in the 1904's published version of the novel Esaú e Jacob. Therefore, we intend to observe how the presence of anecdotes and their characteristics, the breach of the syntax and argumentative logic and a certain phrasal rhythm of Machado de Assis's writing - elements present in the published work as much as in the deletions of its manuscript kept in the Academia Brasileira de Letras - can contribute to the understating of the existing tension between the oral and the written in his prose, identified from Luiz Costa Lima's notions of auditivity and Henri Meschonnic's notions of orality. This aspect of Machado de Assis' work, despite being briefly mentioned by some authors such as Marília Librandi-Rocha, Mattoso Câmara Jr., Peregrino Jr. and Luiz Costa Lima himself, have not yet been developed in an extensive manner nor have they been confronted to the French theoretical reflections related to orality. Thus, we search to investigate a possible correlation between these notions in order to deepen the reflection concerning the construction of meaning of the novel, aiming to see it from a conception that unites sound and meaning to reconfigure the binomial oral-written from Meschonnic's idea that orality and rhythm constitute a unique manner to signify, but without losing sight of the enunciability of Machado de Assis' work that is created in a context of a strong oral culture, case of Brazil during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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