Literary forms travel from core countries to the periphery of capitalism, where they are adopted under social conditions that differ from those in the countries of their origin. Besides being inevitable, the resulting maladjustments lead to new and original aesthetic problems, presenting to the reader the symptoms of the world’s complexity. When properly worked through, these allow for the rise of world-class art, as in the case of the great Brazilian novels by Machado de Assis.
First published in Portuguese in 1977 as Ao vencedor as batatas: Forma literária e processo social nos inícios do romance brasileiro and presented here in a new English-language translation, To the Victor, the Potatoes! is a major work of one of the most significant Marxist literary critics of our time.