A blind photographer envisions “a haiku stripped of rhetoric that captures only what is in front of the camera.” But without camera or lens, his instruments of optic prosody, he must reconstruct experience as a series of affective snapshots. 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.
Brazilian novelist and diplomat João Almino has written three volumes of essays and five of philosophy in addition to the five novels of his Brasilia Quintet, of which Dalkey has published the last two, The Book of Emotions and Free City. He has taught at Berkeley, Stanford, UNAM, the University of Brasilia, and the University of Chicago. Among other awards, Almino won the 2003 Casa de las Américas Award for The Five Seasons of Love and the 2011 Prêmio Passo Fundo Zaffari & Bourbon de Literatura for Free City.