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Álvares de Azevedo

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Title: Álvares de Azevedo  
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Language: English
Subject: Ultra-Romanticism, Brazilian literature, Manuel de Araújo Porto-Alegre, Baron of Santo Ângelo, José de Alencar, List of Brazilian poets
Collection: 1831 Births, 1852 Deaths, 19Th-Century Brazilian People, 19Th-Century Dramatists and Playwrights, 19Th-Century Poets, 19Th-Century Translators, Brazilian Dramatists and Playwrights, Brazilian Essayists, Brazilian People of Portuguese Descent, Brazilian Poets, Brazilian Short Story Writers, Brazilian Translators, Deaths by Horse-Riding Accident, English–portuguese Translators, Male Poets, Patrons of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, People from São Paulo (City), Portuguese-Language Writers, Romantic Poets, University of São Paulo Alumni, Writers of Gothic Fiction
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Álvares de Azevedo

Álvares de Azevedo
A picture of Azevedo taken during the late 1840s
Born Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo
(1831-09-12)September 12, 1831
São Paulo, Brazil
Died April 25, 1852(1852-04-25) (aged 20)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Resting place Saint John the Baptist Cemetery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pen name Job Stern, Maneco
Occupation Poet, playwright, short story writer, essayist, Law student
Language Portuguese
Nationality Brazilian
Ethnicity White
Alma mater University of São Paulo
Period 19th century
Genre Theatre, poetry, essay
Literary movement Romanticism
Notable works Noite na Taverna
Lira dos Vinte Anos
Relatives Inácio Manuel Álvares de Azevedo (father)
Maria Luísa Mota Azevedo (mother)

Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo (September 12, 1831 – April 25, 1852), affectionately called "Maneco" by his close friends, relatives and admirers, was a Brazilian Romantic poet, short story writer, playwright and essayist, considered to be one of the major exponents of Ultra-Romanticism and Gothic literature in Brazil. His works tend to play heavily with opposite notions, such as love and death, platonism and sarcasm, sentimentalism and bleakness, among others, and have a strong influence of Musset, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Goethe and — above all — Byron.

All of his works were published posthumously due to his premature death with only 20 years old after a horse-riding accident. They acquired a strong cult following as years went by, particularly among youths of the goth subculture.

He is the patron of the second chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, and of the ninth chair of the Paulista Academy of Letters.


  • Biography 1
  • Works 2
  • Representations in popular culture 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Azevedo was born into a wealthy family in São Paulo, on September 12, 1831. Son of Law student Inácio Manuel Álvares de Azevedo and Maria Luísa Azevedo (née Mota), a popular myth says that he was given birth in the library of the University of São Paulo Law School, but it actually happened on the house of his maternal grandfather, Severo Mota.[1] He also had a younger brother, Inácio Manuel, Jr., but he died prematurely in 1835. The death proved to be an early source of shock for the young Álvares.

In 1833, Álvares moved with his family to William Shakespeare, Manuel du Bocage, Dante Alighieri, Alfred de Musset, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alphonse de Lamartine and Thomas Chatterton, which would heavily influence his writing style.

Having graduated in 1846 from the Colégio Pedro II, he was admitted to the University of São Paulo Law School in the following year, where he befriended poets José Bonifácio the Younger (the grandnephew of famous Brazilian statesman José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva), Aureliano Lessa and Bernardo Guimarães. Alongside these poets and others, he founded the infamous "Sociedade Epicureia" ("Epicurean Society"), a mythical club heavily based upon Epicurean and bohemian thought, and also planned a work in conjunction with Lessa and Guimarães, the poetry book As Três Liras (in English: The Three Lyres).[3] However, the As Três Liras project never came to be; the only surviving part of it today is the book Lira dos Vinte Anos, published one year after Azevedo's death, in 1853. He also founded in 1849 the official magazine of the Sociedade Ensaio Filosófico Paulistano, whose publication ceased in 1856.

Because of his fragile health and the murky weather of São Paulo, Azevedo contracted tuberculosis. He then abandoned college and moved to his grandfather's farm in Rio, where the weather was warmer, in order to mitigate his disease's symptoms; there he fell from a horse and fractured his iliac fossa. After an unsuccessful surgery, he died, on April 25, 1852, being only 20 years old.[4] He was buried one day later at the Saint John the Baptist Cemetery. His last words before his death were reported to be "Que fatalidade, meu pai!" ("What a fatality, my father!").

One of Azevedo's cousins, Maria Catarina de Abreu Sodré, eventually married famous novelist Joaquim Manuel de Macedo, who allegedly based the character Carolina of his novel A Moreninha on her.


Azevedo also wrote many letters and essays, and translated into Portuguese numerous poems by Victor Hugo, Lord Byron's "Parisina", William Shakespeare's Othello‍ '​s fifth act and Heinrich Heine's poem "Sag' mir wer einst die Uhren erfund" (present in his Lira dos Vinte Anos under the title "Relógios e Beijos"). He also wrote a novel, O Livro de Fra. Gondicário; however, the only extant parts of it today are two fragments of its third chapter.

Representations in popular culture

  • Azevedo is the main character of Mário Teixeira's 2009 novel Alma de Fogo (ISBN 978-85-08126-77-4).
  • Noite na Taverna was adapted into a film in 2014, in which Azevedo appears as a character portrayed by Victor Mendes.
  • A semi-fictionalized biography of Azevedo, Delírio, Poesia e Morte (ISBN 978-85-64590-86-1), was written by Luciana Fátima and released on June 27, 2015.


  1. ^ Álvares de Azevedo – Academia Brasileira de Letras (Portuguese)
  2. ^ UOL Educação. "Álvares de Azevedo". Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Álvares de Azevedo – O poeta ultrarromântico". Mundo Educação. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Enciclopédia Itaú Cultural. "Azevedo, Álvares de (1831–1852)". Retrieved 27 March 2012. 

Further reading

  • ALVES, Maria C. R. O Poeta-Leitor: Um Estudo das Epígrafes Hugoanas em Álvares de Azevedo. USP, 1999.
  • CUNHA, Cilaine Alves. O Belo e o Disforme. EDUSP, 2000.
  • CUNHA, Cilaine Alves. Entusiasmo Indianista e Ironia Byroniana. EDUSP, 2000.

External links

  • Álvares de Azevedo's biography at the official site of the Brazilian Academy of Letters (Portuguese)
  • Works by or about Álvares de Azevedo at Internet Archive
  • Works by Álvares de Azevedo at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
  • About the Epicurean Society (Portuguese)
Preceded by
New creation

Brazilian Academy of Letters - Patron of the 2nd chair
Succeeded by
Coelho Neto (founder)

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