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The Athenaeum: A Novel
by Raul Pompeia
translated by Renata Wasserman
introduction by César Braga-Pinto
Northwestern University Press, 2015
Paper: 978-0-8101-3079-1 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-3106-4
Library of Congress Classification PQ9697.P655A813 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 869.33

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Originally published as O Ateneu in 1888, The Athenaeum is a classic of Brazilian literature, here translated into English in its entirety for the first time. The first-person narrator, Sergio, looks back to his time at the eponymous boarding school, with its au­tocratic principal and terrifying student body. Sergio’s account of his humiliating experiences as a student, with its frank discus­sion of corruption and homoerotic bullying, makes it clear that his school is structured and administered so as to reproduce the class divisions and power structure of the larger Brazilian society.





In its muckraking mode, the novel is in the spirit of Natural­ism, imported from France and well-acclimated to Brazil, where it blossomed. At the same time, Pompéia maintains the novel’s credibility as a bildungsroman by portraying the narrator’s psy­chological development. The novel’s conclusion suggests both a doomed society and its possible redemption, indicative of a mo­ment of upheaval and transition in Brazilian history.





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