Machado de Assis
"Fate is not only a dramatist, it is also a stage manager." - Machado de Assis
From his 1899 novel Dom Casmurro. Widely regarded by critics as one of the greatest writers of all time, Machado remains less well known than the luminaries he is so often compared to (Shakespeare, Dante, Cervantes, etc.). This particular novel explores themes of love and jealousy through the eyes of its untrustworthy narrator.
In our illustration, fate is personified as a spectator in a theater, and the theater itself. The text of the story forms the proscenium curtains, and an opera glass spotlights a performer. A necklace suggests a string of lights at the foot of a performer, who all but disappears under the intense gaze of the observer.