Translating Manuel Antônio de Almeida
Despite the realism of the style that avoids the affectations of the romanticism of the period, the Portuguese of one hundred and fifty years ago presents considerable difficulties to the contemporary reader. This is particularly evident in the dialogues, many of which are archaic by modern standards.
It is clear that the genial young author, who takes neither himself nor the task of writing too seriously, unnecessarily prolongs a lot of the passages, probably concerned with finishing the instalment and getting it in on time. Even the curtailed version for publication in the form of a book is by no means succinct.
Thus my two main concerns as translator have been ensuring the clarity of the text and transmitting the spirit of the original, which bubbles over with mischief and irony. Much of the book is extremely funny; my hope is that the English reader will enjoy the humour as much as his or her Brazilian counterpart.