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Roberto Schwarz is the foremost literary critic of his generation in Brazil and the most important Marxist practitioner in the tradition of the Frankfurt School writing anywhere today. This collection has been conceived with the aim of demonstrating the logic and significance of his work for an English-language readership. Studies of Kafka and Brecht respectively open and close the volume, which includes incisive studies of contemporary poetry and fiction in Brazil. The centerpiece is the hitherto untranslated Two Girls, which brings together two strongly contrasting narratives of girls' lives-one a classic novel, the other an adolescent's diary-to substantiate the crucial concept of objective form. With key reflections on theory and method and an illuminating account of the general historical importance of his exemplary Brazilian novelist, Machado de Assis, Two Girls confirms the international significance of Schwarz's critical achievement. My work would be inconceivable without the tradition-itself contradictory-formed by Lukács, Benjamin, Brecht and Adorno, and the inspiration of Marx. Roberto Schwarz