The Quest for National Identity in Edgar Allan Poe and Machado de Assis
Greicy Pinto Bellin

This article’s aim is to analyze the quest for national identity in the works of Edgar Allan Poe and the Brazilian writer Machado de Assis, in a comparative perspective that brings us the possibility of perceiving the ways in which both authors reflected upon the constitution of national identity. Firstly, I will analyze the contexts where the authors produced their works, in order to understand how and why they expressed their concerns regarding nationalism and imitation of literary models. Secondly, I intend to discuss their importance as writers in Brazil and in the United States, considering that both Poe and Machado were very important for the constitution of Brazilian and American literature. Finally, my intention is to analyze some essays produced by the authors, such as ‘Ideas about the theater’, ‘The ideal of the critic’ and ‘Instinct of nationality’, by Machado de Assis. In relation to Poe, I will briefly discuss ‘Exordium to critical notices’, a letter written by the author to his editors and also one of the articles that composed the famous series entitled ‘Little Longfellow War’, in order to demonstrate Poe’s tendency to refuse an idealized perception of nationalism, as well as the ways in which he conducts his literary quest for national identity.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v3n1a19