Álvares de Azevedo

Last updated
Álvares de Azevedo
Alvares de Azevedo.jpg
A picture of Azevedo taken during the late 1840s
BornManuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo
(1831-09-12)September 12, 1831
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
DiedApril 25, 1852(1852-04-25) (aged 20)
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Resting place Saint John the Baptist Cemetery, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Pen nameJob Stern
Occupation Poet, playwright, short story writer, essayist, Law student
Alma mater University of São Paulo
Period19th century
Genre Theatre, poetry, essay
Literary movement Romanticism, Ultra-Romanticism
Notable works Noite na Taverna
Lira dos Vinte Anos
RelativesInácio 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 pessimism, among others, and have a strong influence of Musset, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Goethe and – above all – Byron.

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

Romanticism period of artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that started in 18th century Europe

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.

Ultra-Romanticism was a Portuguese literary movement that took place during the second half of the 19th century and later arrived in Brazil. Aesthetically similar to the German- and British-originated Dark Romanticism, it was typified by a tendency to exaggerate, at times to a ridiculous degree, the norms and ideals of Romanticism, namely the value of subjectivity, individualism, amorous idealism, nature and the medieval world. The Ultra-Romantics generated literary works of highly contendable quality, some of them being considered as "romance of knife and earthenware bowl", given the succession of bloody crimes that they invariably described, which realists fiercely denounced.


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.

A cult following comprises a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a work of culture, often referred to as a cult classic. A film, book, musical artist, television series or video game, among other things, is said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fanbase. A common component of cult followings is the emotional attachment the fans have to the object of the cult following, often identifying themselves and other fans as members of a community. Cult followings are also commonly associated with niche markets. Cult media are often associated with underground culture, and are considered too eccentric or subversive to be appreciated by the general public or to be commercially successful.

Goth subculture contemporary subculture

The goth subculture is a subculture that began in England during the early 1980s, where it developed from the audience of gothic rock, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The name, goth subculture, was derived directly from the music genre. Notable post-punk groups that presaged that genre and helped develop and shape the subculture, include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus and The Cure. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify and spread throughout the world. Its imagery and cultural proclivities indicate influences from 19th-century Gothic literature and gothic horror films. The scene is centered on music festivals, nightclubs and organized meetings, especially in Western Europe.

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.

Academia Brasileira de Letras organization

Academia Brasileira de Letras (ABL) is a Brazilian literary non-profit society established at the end of the 19th century by a group of 40 writers and poets inspired by the Académie Française. The first president, Machado de Assis, declared its foundation on December 15, 1896, with the by-laws being passed on January 28, 1897. On July 20 of the same year, the academy started its operation.

The Academia Paulista de Letras is a non-profit organization with the objective of promoting Brazilian literature. The Academia Paulista de Letras was founded on November 27, 1909 by Joaquim José de Carvalho, who served as the organization's first Secretary General.


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 sister and a younger brother, Inácio Manuel Júnior, but he died prematurely in 1835. The death proved to be an early source of shock for the young Álvares.

São Paulo Metropolis in Brazil

São Paulo is a municipality in the Southeast Region of Brazil. The metropolis is an alpha global city and the most populous city in Brazil, the Western Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere, besides being the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world. The municipality is also the world's 12th largest city proper by population. The city is the capital of the surrounding state of São Paulo, the most populous and wealthiest state in Brazil. It exerts strong international influences in commerce, finance, arts and entertainment. The name of the city honors the Apostle, Saint Paul of Tarsus. The city's metropolitan area, the Greater São Paulo, ranks as the most populous in Brazil and the 12th most populous on Earth. The process of conurbation between the metropolitan areas located around the Greater São Paulo created the São Paulo Macrometropolis, a megalopolis with more than 30 million inhabitants, one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world.

Law System of rules and guidelines, generally backed by governmental authority

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

In 1833, Álvares moved with his family to Rio de Janeiro, and in 1840 he enrolled at the Colégio Stoll, in the bairro of Botafogo. [2] In 1844 he temporarily returned to São Paulo with his uncle, going back to Rio in the following year, where he enrolled at the Colégio Pedro II. There he learned English, French and German, and, being a very avid reader, got acquainted with the works of Lord Byron, François-René de Chateaubriand, Victor Hugo, George Sand, William Shakespeare, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 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.

Rio de Janeiro Capital of state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.

Bairro community or region within a Portuguese-speaking city or municipality

A bairro is a Portuguese word for a quarter or a neighborhood or, sometimes, a district which is within a city or town. It is commonly used in Brazil, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, and other Portuguese-speaking places. Bairro is cognate with Germanic berg, burg, borg, burgh, borough etc, and Spanish barrio, all of which descend from the same Proto-Indo European root.

Botafogo Neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Botafogo is a beachfront neighborhood (bairro) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is a mostly upper middle class and small commerce community, and is located between the hills of Mundo Novo, Dona Marta and São João. The word Botafogo also refers to a Latin American ballroom dance move, named so because the area of Botafogo is where it originated.

While at school, Azevedo drifted towards the moderate liberalism of Lamartine and François Guizot. [3] [4] In his poem "Rex Lugebit" and in his "Speech delivered at the inaugural session of the Academy Society - Philosophical Essay, May 9 1850", Azevedo condemns the despotic practices of the Brazilian government. [5]

François Guizot French historian, orator, and statesman

François Pierre Guillaume Guizot was a French historian, orator, and statesman. Guizot was a dominant figure in French politics prior to the Revolution of 1848. A moderate liberal who opposed the attempt by King Charles X to usurp legislative power, he worked to sustain a constitutional monarchy following the July Revolution of 1830.

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 (The Three Lyres). [6] 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. [7] 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!"). Coincidentally, one of the last poems Azevedo wrote prior to his death was entitled "Se Eu Morresse Amanhã" ("If I Died Tomorrow") – the poem was read at his funeral by Manuel Antônio de Almeida, who also happened to be one of Azevedo's cousins.

Another 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.

Related Research Articles

Brazilian literature

Brazilian literature is the literature written in the Portuguese language by Brazilians or in Brazil, including works written prior to the country's independence in 1822. Throughout its early years, literature from Brazil followed the literary trends of Portugal, whereas gradually shifting to a different and authentic writing style in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, in the search for truly Brazilian themes and use of the Portuguese language.

Castro Alves Brazilian poet

Antônio Frederico de Castro Alves was a Brazilian poet and playwright, famous for his abolitionist and republican poems. One of the most famous poets of the "Condorism", he won the epithet of "O Poeta dos Escravos".

Rubem Azevedo Alves was a Brazilian theologian, philosopher, educator, writer and psychoanalyst. Alves was one of the founders of liberation theology.

Bernardo Guimarães Brazilian writer

Bernardo Joaquim da Silva Guimarães was a Brazilian poet and novelist. He is the author of the famous romances A Escrava Isaura and O Seminarista. He also introduced to Brazilian poetry the verso bestialógico, also referred to as pantagruélico — poems whose verses are very nonsensical, although very metrical. Under the verso bestialógico, he wrote polemical erotic verses, such as "O Elixir do Pajé" and "A Origem do Mênstruo". A non-erotic poem written in verso bestialógico is "Eu Vi dos Polos o Gigante Alado".

Orígenes Lessa, journalist, short story writer, novelist, and a writer of essays, was born in Lençóis Paulista, SP, on July 12, 1903, and died in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, on July 13, 1986. He was elected, on July 9, 1981 for the Chair number 10 of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, succeeding Osvaldo Orico, and was received on November 20, 1981, by the Academy Member Francisco de Assis Barbosa.

Queimados Municipality in Southeast, Brazil

Queimados is a municipality located in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Its population was 149,265 (2018) and its area is 75 km². The city is divided into 37 districts.

Law School, University of São Paulo

The Law School, University of São Paulo is an institution of higher education and research in the field of Law located in São Paulo, Brazil. It joined the University of São Paulo (USP) in 1934, when the latter was established.

Lira dos Vinte Anos is a poetry anthology written by Brazilian Romantic author Álvares de Azevedo. Originally part of an aborted project that would be written in partnership with Aureliano Lessa and Bernardo Guimarães called As Três Liras, it was published in 1853. It is one of the few works whose publication was prepared by Álvares himself, due to his premature death on April 25, 1852.

Mario Guimarães Ferri was a Professor at the Universidade de São Paulo (USP). He was a research scientist, a lecturer, an editor, an administrator and also an artist. In his scientific work, he was a pioneer ecologist in Brazil. His power of communication linked to a great love of botany and the environment and a deep scientific knowledge made of him an exceptional lecturer. In his books and articles on science he informed the public about ecology and pollution – and in a very simple but precise language he presented the necessary data to understand the importance of the protection of the environment.

Aureliano Lessa Brazilian writer

Aureliano José Lessa (1828–1861) was a Brazilian poet, adept of the "Ultra-Romanticism" movement. Born in Minas Gerais in 1828, he moved to São Paulo in 1847 to study Law, but received his bacharel degree at the Faculdade de Direito de Olinda, in Pernambuco, in 1851. He worked as attorney general in the city of Ouro Preto, and also as a lawyer in the cities of Diamantina and Serro.

José Bonifácio the Younger Brazilian poet, teacher and politician

José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva was a French-born Brazilian poet, teacher and senator. He is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his grand-uncle, José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, "the Elder" or "the Patriarch", a famous statesman who was one of the most important mentors of Brazilian independence.

Teófilo Dias Brazilian poet

Teófilo Odorico Dias de Mesquita was a Brazilian poet, journalist and lawyer, nephew of the famous Romantic author Gonçalves Dias.

Raimundo Correia Brazilian writer and judge

Raimundo da Mota de Azevedo Correia was a Brazilian Parnassian poet, judge and magistrate. Alongside Alberto de Oliveira and Olavo Bilac, he was a member of the "Parnassian Triad".

Lua Vermelha is a Portuguese teen television series about vampires that aired on SIC. Produced in partnership with SP TV, Lua Vermelha premiered in January 31, 2010, airing on the weekends at 9:00 p.m. The series finale aired in May 27, 2012.

Boris Fausto Brazilian academic

Boris Fausto is a Brazilian historian, political scientist and writer.

Lêdo Ivo Brazilian writer and poet

Lêdo Ivo was a Brazilian poet, novelist, essayist and journalist. He was member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters, elected in 1986.

History of the book in Brazil

The history of the book in Brazil focuses on the development of the access to publishing resources and acquisition of the book in the country, covering a period extending from the beginning of the editorial activity during colonization to today's publishing market, including the history of publishing and bookstores that allowed the modern accessibility to the book.


  1. Álvares de Azevedo – Academia Brasileira de Letras (in Portuguese)
  2. UOL Educação. "Álvares de Azevedo" . Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  3. Souza, Patrícia Aparecida Guimarães de (2015). "As personagens das cartas de Álvares de Azevedo". XXVIII Simpósio Nacional de História. Lugares dos historiadores: Velhos e novos desafios. Florianópolis.
  4. Hallewell, Laurence (1982). Books in Brazil: A History of the Publishing Trade. Scarecrow Press. p. 165.
  5. Vasconcelos, Sandra G.T. (2016). Tropical Gothic in Literature and Culture: The Americas. Routledge. pp. 191–192.
  6. "Álvares de Azevedo – O poeta ultrarromântico". Mundo Educação. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  7. Enciclopédia Itaú Cultural. "Azevedo, Álvares de (1831–1852)" . Retrieved 27 March 2012.

Further reading

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