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Machado de Assis e Raul Seixas: how they connect at Lumiar

Classical works are read in a contextualized and original way


You may have heard that everyone should read the “classics”. Yes, the statement is well-known and is usually said as if it were a verdict: “Although dense and boring, you have to read the classics, even because they will be charged in SATs.”

The truth, however, is that this fame of classics is unfair. Classics are called classics precisely because their content overlaps the historical moment in which they were written and dialogue with different times and places. It is an approach that has humanity as the center of the construction of the text. Then we have the ethical, aesthetic and existential issues that permeate man from any corner and at any time.



In the project “Art of poem 2”, students of F3 are reading “O Alienista”, by Machado de Assis, and making correlations of this classic of Brazilian literature with songs by Criolo, Raul Seixas, and some raps and poems.

“We had already been working poetry in the past two months, and in this two-month period, two different interests arose in the group that I tried to conciliate with this project”, says Master Ana Luiza Braga de Faria Mello.

The request for the reading of classics and Machado de Assis himself came from Caíque Felipe Alves Claro, aged 14, while Flavio Alexandre Alves Pereira, aged 12, wanted to continue working on contemporary issues through music, as there was been made in the previous two months.

“So I thought of this book of Machado de Assis, which is absolutely current, brilliant in its portrayal of widespread corruption and the use of irony. With this reading of critical texts almost 150 years apart between their moments of publication, we had the opportunity to comment on historical issues of the country and the role of poetry, literature and music as creative and expressive critical forms, “says the Master.

In the last encounters, the group related the outcome of “O Alienista” and the possible relationships between social criticism made in the story with contemporary works, more specifically the songs “Admirável Gado Novo” by Zé Ramalho; “Fermento para massa” by Criolo; “What country is this?” of the Legião Urbana and the production and practice of the “Slam das Minas” poetry battle.

“I am finding it very cool, with a language quite different from ours.  The book ‘O Alienista’ has to do with reality, with the ostentation of people wanting to be better than others, protests and strikes, prejudice, etc. Comparing with contemporary texts shows that the language and the historical context change, but some things never change “, Flavio compares.