And yet my position was already different in the little society I knew. A new lease of life was given to me—a new freedom—more attention was shown to me—I was even placed in a new room! What was all this for? Why wouldn’t D. Antonia, whom I asked with childish idiocy, tell me wherefore? The priest didn’t tell me, but then I wouldn’t have the audacity to ask him.
“Virginity is an illusion! What is more virginlike? She who is deflowered while sleeping? Or the nun who, with burning tears, tosses and turns in her bed and breaks her finger through her habit while reading some impure romance?”
“For the first time in my life the desire for vengeance erupted inside me. The closest thing to me was a small vase. It had a cactus in it—thorny like a cedar tree. I took the vase. I hit him in the face with it. “
“It has always seemed impossible to me to write the mysteries of a land that has none, and, invented, nobody believes them. I was wrong. It is because I did not know Lisbon, or not able to calculate the power of a man’s imagination.”
“the Romantic poets suffer and worry about funerary ideas, establishing with it an intimacy of thoughts and sentiments that almost always results in an imposing meeting.”
Luiz Guerra’s new, and very fine, translation into English of Azevedo’s Shadow of Don Juan [‘Sombra de Don Juan’] is the first English translation of Azevedo’s poem. With great skill, as is usual of Guerra’s translations, he has largely preserved the original rhyme scheme while retaining Azevedo’s meaning.
Machado’s translation of the following poem, titled ‘Epitaph: At My Friend’s Grave: João Baptista da Silva Pereira Júnior’ (Epitáfio: No Túmulo do Meu Amigo João Baptista da Silva Pereira Júnior), is the first time that it has been professionally translated into the English language.
Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (1831–52), referred to usually as Álvares de Azevedo, was Brazil’s most famous Romantic poet. Yet because his works have never been translated into English, Azevedo remains unknown to most British and American scholars.
‘Desanimo’ [Dejection] first appeared in Álvares de Azevedo’s posthumous collection of poetry titled Lira dos Vinte Anos (1853).
None of these writings were to be published while Álvares was alive, however, for in true Romantic style, he died young. Having contracted tuberculosis while living in São Paolo, he moved to his family’s country estate to recover. While travelling to his family’s home he fell from his horse and died from his injuries.