Urban romance: characteristics, works, authors

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urban romance was a type of narrative produced by authors of the rbrazilian omanticism in the 19th century. Also called “novel of manners”, he exposes the lifestyle of the bourgeois elite of the city of Rio de Janeiro while telling a love story. Thus, much of the criticism considers The Brunette, by Joaquim Manuel de Macedo, as the first national urban novel.

Read too: What is a romance?

Summary of the urban novel

  • In the urban novel, the action space of the narrative is the city, in opposition to the rural environment.

  • The romantic urban novel portrays the customs of the 19th century Rio de Janeiro bourgeois elite.

  • The first urban novel in Brazil, according to some scholars, was The Brunette, by Joaquim Manuel de Macedo.

  • Other critics consider the fisherman's son, by Teixeira e Sousa, as the first national urban novel.

  • The urban novels of Brazilian romanticism were produced in the historical context of the second reign.

Features of urban romance

The urban romance is a long narrative whose main space of action of the characters is the city

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, as opposed to the field. In this sense, the culture and problems of the city are evidenced in this type of narrative. Thus, the characters are built according to the characteristics inherent to residents of urban centers.

The urban novel of Brazilian romanticism, also called the novel of customs, has the following characteristics:

  • melodramatic aspect;

  • prevalence of a happy ending;

  • idealized love;

  • bourgeois elite customs;

  • possible political and social criticism;

  • Rio de Janeiro as a space for action;

  • idealized woman;

  • heroism;

  • love difficulty;

  • dissemination of moral values;

  • plain language.

It is worth mentioning that, although the expression “urban romance” is strongly associated with the 19th century, it can also be used, nowadays, to refer to novels whose action space is the great urban centers Brazilians. However, in that case, the characteristics of the romantic novel no longer apply.

After all, in contemporary times, social problems are different. Furthermore, the protagonists of our current novels are no longer just members of the Brazilian elite, but also members of different social groups. In any case, thematic characteristics such as individualism, loneliness and violence are recurrent.

Check it out on our podcast: The figure of the trickster in Brazilian literature

Urban novel works

The following are the main urban novels of Brazilian romantic literature:

  • Joaquim Manuel de Macedo:

    • The Brunette (1844);

    • my uncle's wallet (1855);

    • the magic spyglass (1869).

  • Jose de Alencar:

    • Luciola (1862);

    • Diva (1864);

    • Lady (1875).

  • Manuel Antonio de Almeida:

    • Memoirs of a militia sergeant (1854).

Video with analysis of Memoirs of a militia sergeant

Authors of the urban novel

  • Joaquim Manuel de Macedo (1820-1882)

  • Jose de Alencar (1829-1877)

  • Manuel Antonio de Almeida (1830-1861)

Creating the urban romance

In Brazil, the urban novel emerged with the arrival of romanticism. So, the first urban novel of our literature wasThe Brunette, by Joaquim Manuel de Macedo, published in 1844. However, some scholars argue that the first novel wasthe fisherman's son, by Teixeira e Sousa (1812-1861), published in 1843.

Historical context of the urban novel

The urban novel of Brazilian romanticism is inserted in the historical context of the Second Reign (1840-1889), whose main historical events were:

  • Eusébio de Queiros Law (1850);

  • Paraguay War (1864-1870);

  • abolition of slavery (1888);

  • end of monarchy (1889).

By Warley Souza
Literature teacher 

Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/literatura/romance-urbano.htm

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