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Saudades Do Brasil: A Photographic Memoir [Paperback]

by Claude Levi-Strauss, Sylvia Modelski
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

October 1, 1996 0295975660 978-0295975665 0
Claude Levi-Strauss, internationally known as a brilliant and sometimes controversial anthropologist, is also a skilled and sensitive photographer. "Saudades do Brasil" - "nostalgia for Brazil," from the title of a musical composition by Darius Milhaud - presents 180 of the more than 3000 photographs Levi-Strauss took in Brazil between 1935 and 1939. While serving as professor of sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, the young ethnographer made expeditions among the natives of Mato Grosso and Southern Amazonia that resulted in numerous publications, most notably "Tristes Tropiques". Most of these photographs are published here for the first time. Levi-Strauss begins his photographic memoir in Sao Paulo, then a frontier city rapidly changing to an industrial metropolis, a city with "a singular beauty, due to breaks in rhythm, architectural paradoxes, contrasting shapes and colors." The rest of the photographs chronicle Levi-Strauss's expeditions among the Caduveo, the Bororo, the Nambikwara, and other tribes - "the last escapees from the cataclysm that discovery and subsequent invasions had been for their ancestors". His pictures capture the Amazonian landscape, the people, and their activities, social lives, and ceremonies. Informative captions by Levi-Strauss enhance the ethnographic and human interest of his photographs. "Saudades do Brasil" will be of interest to anthropologists, photographers, and readers concerned with a part of the world that is geographically remote but globally significant.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Through 180 photographs, noted anthropologist Levi-Strauss documents his ethnographic research among the peoples of Brazil from 1935 to 1939. The photographs, mostly of the people he studied and encountered, are beautifully reproduced and captioned. A 15-page prolog provides the context for the pictures and includes general comments on the changes that Levi-Strauss has observed in Brazil over the last 50 years. Although subtitled a memoir, the book does not introduce readers to the author's life's work or his philosophy of anthropology. As it is, the collection of photographs represents a time that will never be re-created, and like other collections of ethnographic materials, it stands as a record of the physical makeup, cultural traditions, and environment of the people it includes. Readers interested in the details of Levi-Strauss's research on Brazil should refer to his classic Tristes Tropiques (LJ 7/61). Recommended for general readers.
Joyce L. Ogburn, Yale Univ. Lib., New Haven, Ct.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In an attractively laid out and carefully printed 10-by-11-inch volume, the father of structural anthropology presents some 180 of the photographs he took during his 1935^-39 encounters with small tribal peoples living in Brazil's forests. He displays the pictures as though they traced a single excursion beginning in Sao Paulo, proceeding through his sojourns with the tribes, and concluding with the long return from the jungle by canoe, riverboat, and amphibian airplane. Introducing them, Levi-Strauss discusses the physical and cultural differences 60 years have wrought in the lives of the peoples he studied and also, more intriguingly, reminds us of his contention that these "primitive" peoples are the regressed survivors of more complex societies. A fascinating record of one of the twentieth-century's most significant social scientific enterprises. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295975660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295975665
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,825,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Anthropologist and the tropiques April 5, 1997
By A Customer
Clause-Levi-Strauss is a reference for generations since the publication of his studies about kinship, in which he developed his theories about structure and after that, some of our intellectual fields have never been the same again.
An intellectual like him can be very important for a science in a country, and he has influenced most of Brazilian anthropologists since then. But this marvellous photographic and literary essay reaveals that a country can also be very important for a young sociologist that would became one of the guidelines of the contemporary thpught. The young intellectual born in Belgium arrived in Sao Paulo about 1935 with his young wife, Dina. The Universty of Sao Paulo was in process of creation and he came here to teach antropology. Here, in contact with his students that were French speakers, with Mario de Andrade - the author of Macunaima - and going through the fields of a changing city like Sao Paulo and the forests of Brazil, he became an Antropologist.
Now, he feels "saudade", this word that only exists in Portuguese. To fell saudades is to miss something or somebody, to be homesick, to feel nostalgic, but is a feeling beyond description. Reading this book, as Brazilian and Anthopologist, and looking at the photos LeviStrauss took here, I felt saudades as well. I could not write of saudades of a time when I was not even born. But of a lost city, the Indians we lost, the antrhopological hope of an understanding between men. During the thirties, Brazil and France were geographically far, but could dialogue in equal terms. Now all frontiers are fading and we can feel saudades of the promises that the modern thought has left without answer
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