The Book of Emotions

The Book of Emotions

by Joao Almino
     
 

Isolating these moments in his memory and attempting to analyze them much like a lens, he envisions "a haiku stripped of rhetoric that captures only what is in front of the camera." Yet, deprived of his sight, the photographer now must reconstruct his experiences as a series of affective snapshots, a diary of his emotions as they were frozen on this or that day.

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Overview

Isolating these moments in his memory and attempting to analyze them much like a lens, he envisions "a haiku stripped of rhetoric that captures only what is in front of the camera." Yet, deprived of his sight, the photographer now must reconstruct his experiences as a series of affective snapshots, a diary of his emotions as they were frozen on this or that day. The result, then, is not the description of a remembered image, but of the emotional memory the image evokes. João Almino here gives us a trenchant portrait of an artist trying to close the gap between objective vision and sentimental memory, leafing through a catalog of his accomplishments and failures in a violent, artificial, universal city, and trying to reassemble the puzzle that was his life.

Dalkey Archive Press

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nearing the end of his life in the year 2022, a blind Brazilian photographer, Cadu, revisits his past in Almino's tale of memory and regret. Cadu lives alone, haunted by the yearning for all the women he's loved and lost. His only remaining friends are Mauricio, the son of his late wife, and Carolina, his goddaughter whose mother he wished to seduce. With Mauricio and Carolina's help, he decides to create The Book of Emotions, a photo journal of his "incomplete, sentimental memories from a period in which could see, and saw too much." Although he is blind, the photos of former friends, lovers, and enemies "reveal themselves in rich detail" in his mind, evoking powerful emotions from years past. The journal begins when his lover Joana leaves him for the wealthy politician Eduardo Kaufman. Cadu then moves to the capital city, Brasília, where he finds political corruption and chases a series of women, images of whom he captures for his exhibit of nude photographs and which epitomize his "instantaneous, fleeting and sometimes deceptive reality." Almino (The Five Seasons of Love) succeeds in capturing the essences of these photographs—loneliness and longing—through language, and readers will sympathize with the artist who never receives the love or respect he seeks and deserves. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Blind Brazilian photographer Canu reflects on his life and loves by assembling an unusual memoir, using a diary and photographs to recall events from 20 years earlier. Rejected by his lover, Joana, he takes a photographic assignment in Brasília. While there, he tries to mount a photographic exhibit that no one seems interested in and seeks revenge on the corrupt politician who has hired him and whom he blames for his breakup with Joana. Almost in spite of himself, he becomes romantically involved with a woman named Aida. This many-layered and impressionistic novel from novelist/diplomat Almino ("Brasília Quintet") gives only a slice of Canu's full, rich, and not always exemplary life, as some events and characters from the past are mentioned but not fully explained. Canu's struggles to make a narrative out of the remnants of his life and memories are intermingled with musings on memory, art, spirituality, sex, and love. VERDICT Not an easy read, but rewarding for the patient.—Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564786814
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
02/07/2012
Series:
Brazilian Literature Series
Pages:
230
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Joao Almino is the author of five novels, of which The Five Seasons of Love and The Book of Emotions are available in English translation. He has taught at Berkeley, Stanford, the Autonomous National University of Mexico, and the University of Brasilia.

Liz taught mathematics for sixteen years across the UK from the Channel Islands to the North West of England in various primary and secondary schools. For the last fourteen years she has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cumbria (formerly St Martin s College) teaching mathematics at degree level, mathematics education with secondary and primary student teachers and supervising Masters students research into primary mathematics. Her Honours degree from Manchester University is in mathematics and education. She explored the use of IT as a tool for learning and teaching mathematics for a Masters from the University of Lancaster, and conducted research into mathematical perceptions for her PhD, also from the University of Lancaster. Liz has always taken a keen interest in how children learn mathematics and how adults, including teachers, perceive mathematics.

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