Machado de Assis: From “Tragic Mulatto” to Human Tragicomedy

  • G. Reginald Daniel
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


Drawing from Machado’s own statements as well as his prose fiction, G. Reginald Daniel provides an alternative interpretation of how Machado’s writings were inflected by his life—especially the experience of his racial identity. He argues that Machado endeavored to transcend, rather than deny, his racial background by embracing his greater humanity. Machado presents a challenge to the notion that the most important thing about one’s personhood is one’s community of descent. Daniel maintains that Machado sought to universalize the experience of racial ambiguity and duality regarding the mulatto condition in Brazil into a fundamental mode of human existence. Accordingly, the conception of the hybrid human subject erodes the very foundation of raciological thinking.


Racial Identity Race Relation Brazilian Society Racial Hierarchy Racial Origin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Reginald Daniel
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, Santa BarbaraCaliforniaUSA

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