Numa lista de livros que Allen considera especiais para ele, em que ele inclui O Apanhador no Campo de Centeio, de Salinger, o cineasta surpreende indicando um livro de Machado de Assis. Vá ser sofisticado assim em Manhattan. Segue o trecho da entrevista onde ele faz o comentário:
Let’s turn to a comic novel written in 1880 by Brazil’s Machado de Assis. Tell us about it and how you came to love this work.
Well, I just got it in the mail one day. Some stranger in Brazil sent it and wrote, “You’ll like this.” Because it’s a thin book, I read it. If it had been a thick book, I would have discarded it.
I was shocked by how charming and amusing it was. I couldn’t believe he lived as long ago as he did. You would’ve thought he wrote it yesterday. It’s so modern and so amusing. It’s a very, very original piece of work.