Almeida, Manuel Antônio de (1831–1861)

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Almeida, Manuel Antônio de (1831–1861)

Manuel Antônio de Almeida (b. 17 November 1831; d. 28 November 1861), Brazilian novelist. Almeida is famous for a single text, the novel Memórias de um sargento de milícias, which was serialized in 1853 and published in two volumes in 1854–1855. It was rediscovered, after 1922, by the modernists, who celebrated it for its detailed and quite realistic descriptions of urban life in Rio de Janeiro in the years just before independence in 1822—descriptions that include a broader range of social types than any other Brazilian novel of its time—and for its entertaining and highly unsentimental vision of life. Some critics endeavored to classify Almeida's Memórias as an early example of the realist novel in Brazil, but clearly its literary roots can be traced to such eighteenth-century British works as Henry Fielding's Tom Jones. It has also been suggested that the nineteenth-century Brazilian novel would have developed along quite different lines had Almeida not died in a shipwreck in 1861, but there is no evidence that he produced any prose fiction between 1853 and his death.

See alsoLiterature: Brazil .


Memoirs of a Militia Sergeant, translated by Linton L. Barrett (1959).

Antônio Cândido, "Dialética da malandragem," in Revista do Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros 8 (1970): 67-89.

John M. Parker, "The Nature of Realism in Memórias de um sargento de milícias," in Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 48 (1971): 128-150.

Additional Bibliography

Guimarães, Reginaldo. O folclore na ficção brasileira: Roteiro das Memórias de um sargento de milícias. Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Editora Cátedra, 1977.

                                      David T. Haberly

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Almeida, Manuel Antônio de (1831–1861)

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