Literature of Rio de Janeiro

Literature of Rio de Janeiro
After Brazilian independence from Portugal in 1822, Rio de Janeiro quickly developed a European-style bourgeois cultural life, including numerous newspapers, in which most 19th-century novels were initially published in serial.
Joaquim Manuel de Macedo's A Moreninha (1884) was perhaps the first successful novel in Brazil and inaugurates a recurrent 19th-century theme: a romantic relationship between idealistic young people in spite of cruelties of social fortune. The first notable work of realism focusing on the urban lower-middle class is Manuel Antônio de Almeida's Memórias de um sargento de milícias (1854), which presents a series of picaresque but touching scenes, and evokes the transformation of a town into a city with suggestive nostalgia. Romantic and realist modes both flourished through the late 19th century and often overlapped within works. The most famous author of Rio de Janeiro, however, was Machado de Assis, that is also widely regarded as the greatest writer of Brazilian literature and considered the introducer of Realism in Brazil, with the publication of The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (1881); he had commented and criticized the political and social events of the city and country such as the abolition of slavery in 1888 and the transition from Empire to Republic with his numerous chronicles published in newspapers of the time. Much of his short stories and novels, like Quincas Borba (1891) and Dom Casmurro (1899), are placed in Rio.