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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Contos completos de Machado De Assis

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Apr 26, 2003 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: This site claims to be the most complete collection of short stories by the
Brazilian author Machado de Assis ever assembled. 205 of the total 217
short stories on the site are generally recognized as having been written by
this author; ten more are attributed to him by R. Magalhaes Junior. In additon,
there are two other stories included on the site that are generally treated as
cronicas, a journalistic genre that is usually shorter in length than the
typical short story.
Learning Goals: Students of Brazilian literature and of Machado de Assis in particular can
enhance their knowledge of his works. Students of Portuguese can develop reading
proficiency at an advanced level.
Target Student Population: Advanced students of Portuguese and readers with native fluency.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Advanced reading proficiency in Portuguese.
Type of Material: Collection
Recommended Uses: Users can print stories or read them on-screen. Comprehension and essay
questions can be written to accompany the individual stories.
Technical Requirements: The author warns of possible slow loading times depending on one's computer
setup. He also says that viewing can be effected if the user's browser
does not recognize style sheets.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: Having all of Machado de Assis's short stories at one's fingertips is a real
plus for students of Brazilian literature. The pages are clearly designed on a
background that looks like parchment. Mouseovers of some old place names reveal
the modern day names. Notes appear in the right margin on the same page. Pages
may be printed individually by clicking the Imprimir button. Stories are
arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

There is some very interesting information on the orthographic and grammatical
differences in the Portuguese language from Machado's time to the present. The
site's author documents any modernizations that are used to accommodate the
modern reader.
Concerns: An enhancement would be the inclusion of background information on the author as
well as links to literary criticism of his work. A timeline of the Brazil of
Machado's time would be another nice feature to add.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The site's simplicity is a strength. An entire course could be designed around
the many texts contained here. Learning assignments to accompany the short
stories could easily be written and placed in MERLOT treating the various texts.
Concerns:

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is very easy to navigate. The author takes great pains to cover all
details in his technical notes. The sources of all materials are duly noted on
the Sources and Credits pages.
Concerns:

Other Issues and Comments: