Rights offering detail :
Aug. 29, 2019
Livia Lakomy
Non-fiction: General/Other
“In short: it was the war between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness, all of them Sons-of- Bitches.”

So, goes the first entry of Manoel Carlos Karam’s “Journal of the War Against the Taedos” (Kafka Ediçoes, 2008, Brazil). What follows are a series of similarly biting journal entries detailing a war between “us” and “them” – those Taedos who could be anyone, anywhere, at any time. As such, there is no traditional plot to the “Taedos” tale, but pick any real-world conflict and you can make a strong case that this book is a fictional version of it. The book treats its readers to a series of vignettes that flesh out a conflict between neighboring countries. Much like in real war, the soldiers obey orders they don’t quite understand for purposes that only higher ups can (but don’t) tell. These vignettes are mixed in with snippets of propaganda, depositions from spies and historians, defections and battle schemes, all dutifully chronicled by the “journal writer” narrator. However even this assiduous writer is incapable of telling us what is so terrible about the “Taedos” that would put us at constant war with them. As our narrators tells us towards the end:

“This note on politics is necessary so that no one, in reading this journal that mentions kings, queens and presidents, might think the Historian is confused. The confusion, in this case, belongs to History.”
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Other Information:
Livia Lakomy is a writer, translator and teacher living in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Originally from Curitiba, Lakomy moved to New York in 2013 to pursue his MFA in Non-Fiction writing and literary translation at Columbia University. A number of Lakomy’s essays have been published in magazines and reviews such as Words Without Borders, Guernica and Asymptote. After graduating from Columbia University, Lakomy returned to Brazil, where she began teaching career while working to earn her PhD in translation studies at the University of Sao Paolo.
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