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Um sopro de vida (Pulsações)

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  341 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Quando a escritora Clarice Lispector terminou "Um Sopro de Vida" (Pulsações), às vésperas de sua morte, por câncer, em 1977, sabia que este seria o seu livro definitivo. O livro era de fato o sopro de vida de Clarice, que precisava escrever para se sentir viva. Na história, ela fala de um homem aflito que criou uma personagem, Angela Pralini, seu alter-ego. Mas ora ele não ...more
Paperback, 1ª Edição, 160 pages
Published 1999 by Rocco (first published 1978)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,124)
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Lynne King
“This is not a lament, it’s the cry of a bird of prey. An iridescent and restless bird. The kiss upon the dead face.

I write as if to save somebody’s life. Probably my own. Life is a kind of madness that death makes. Long live the dead because we live in them.”

I loved the above section from this author’s book.

Clarice Lispector began this book in 1974 and finished it in 1977, on the eve of her death. She was slowly dying from ovarian cancer. This author was a tremendous loss to Latin American lite
There will be a year in which there will be a month, in which there will be a week in which there will be a day in which there will be an hour in which there will be a minute in which there will be a second and in that second will be the sacred not-time of death transfigured.

I read what I'd written and thought once again: from what violent chasms is my most intimate intimacy nourished, why does it deny itself so much and flee to the domain of ideas?
Everyone has a ritual, yes? I'd say reli
Stephen P
The warning label on the cover should read; only a few paragraphs, at most two pages at a time. This is the breathless language of a woman dying-both the narrator and the author herself-who is, in my reading, searching to locate and exist in the true present moment of unadulterated experience. Lispector writes in a way that creates for the reader this experience. How this is done is not explainable. I'm not sure I want it explained willing to leave some things to magic. This feat does make, A Br ...more
M. Sarki
I am going to exercise caution, and out of respect for others faith and strong beliefs I will refrain from commenting too strongly on what I have just finished reading here. It is obvious to me that Clarice Lispector thought a great deal about her own death and dying. The book is highly meditative. It also felt quite Catholic to me, and I have no idea whether Lispector was Catholic or not. I myself was raised a Lutheran which frankly ended badly for me. I am also a recovering alcoholic and drug ...more
of the four lispector novels released by new directions this year, this is the only one not to have appeared previously in english translation. originally published the year after she died, a breath of life (sopro de vida) finds the brazilian writer revisiting the familiar milieu of existential musings, meditative reveries, and contemplations on the nature of mortality common throughout her works. cleverly offered as an ongoing dialogue between the author (an autobiographically-tinted male count ...more
Oh my. What a writer! Clarice Lispector is a beautiful writer, a brutally honest writer, which isn't to say she doesn't lie or weave fictions, but she gets at the heart of things. She gets at the bloody messy root of things with practically every sentence. I probably shouldn't have started with A Breath of Life, her last and most obscure (not to mention unfinished) work, but I couldn't help it. As soon as I picked up the book in the store and read the first few sentences, I was irrevocably drawn ...more
- The book is obviously written by a dying person as reflection of life, which makes it hard for a reader like me, who lacks worldly experience to relate to it.
- The book has no plot, it is a book about nothing. instead, the narrative is pure stream of consciousness about feelings and associations.
- There is some interesting gender confusion when it comes to narrator. The "author" is implied to be a man, but Lispector's own voice sometimes breaks through and occasional feminine pronouns are used
An unnamed male author creates a female character, Angela Pralini, to act as a vessel for his thoughts. The two sets of dialogues soon become conjoined; the myriad reflections on writing, identity, and anxiety become a discourse the two share, proving that a fictionalization of oneself—for an artist—is akin to living if only through someone else.

Lispector's fragmentary style, which is wonderfully done in The Passion According to G.H., is here even more fragmentary and a bit less contained for th
I'm a little surprised by the glowing reviews this has received. Although I'm in favor of taking from books those parts that speak to you--and there is much in this book that speaks to anyone who writes or otherwise attempts to "wring out blood" in the creative act--I feel that A Breath of Life is, on the whole, a minor work and one that suffers from the fact that it was incomplete at the time of Lispector's death. Its rawness has a certain energy to it, but it feels too uneven to be considered ...more
Rachel Kowal
My bullshit meter is broken. Or else, this book made it go haywire. My opinion changed line to line. So many beautiful passages resonated with me. But then some parts made me laugh out loud at their moody pretentiousness. Phrases like "the apocalyptic orgasm of my existence." Then again, "wanting to understand is one of the worst things that could happen to me."
Rosa Ramôa
"Quero escrever movimento puro"
Estou ouvindo música. Debussy usa as espumas do mar morrendo na areia, refluindo e fluindo. Bach é matemático. Mozart é o divino impessoal. Chopin conta a sua vida mais íntima. Schoenberg, através de seu eu, atinge o clássico eu de todo o mundo. Beethoven é a emulsão humana em temspestade procurando o divino e só o alcançando na morte. Quanto a mim, que não peço música, só chego ao limiar da palavra nova. Sem coragem de expô-la. Meu vocabulário é triste e às ve
Forrest Gander
It seems preposterous from the start: the author self-consciously invents a character and the two interact in sequential mini-monologues, mostly characterizing each other and so themselves. And sometimes the language's drama seems overwrought, a little sticky and breathy. But there is just a startling profusion of unforgettable lines. Maybe we're asked to read Lispector as we'd read a poet. She makes vaguely narrative structures, but her books are less progressive than accumulative. "Silence isn ...more
Philip Bardach
Every book I read by Clarice Lispector is better than the last.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Full Stop

Review by Emily Anderson

In Clarice Lispector’s novel A Breath of Life, fiction becomes a method for living in time — that is, a method for dying. The novel insistently invites the reader to contemplate the intimate paradox of time which Angela Pralini, the book’s ostensible protagonist, equates with the divine: “Do you know what God is? God is time.”

Angela is one of only two characters in the book; the other, “Author,” is the man who invents her, writes he
A look inside the mind of a dying woman.
"In every word a heart beats"

Clarice Lispector sums up what I love about her writing better than I ever could. And really, the beauty of the writing is the book's strongest point. The structure becomes secondary, support for the language. It's a weird set up, and almost feels like a self-aware power trip; but it's one that's gorgeously done, and I'm inclined to forgive just about everything else that I didn't like about it. I feel like Lispector's writing is always intense, but this one specific
Sin palabras. A consumir preferentemente a dosis muy pequeñas, gota a gota
“I'm no more than a comma in life. I who am a colon. Thou, thou art my exclamation.”
― Clarice Lispector, A Breath of Life

A Breath of Life is a perplexing experience for me. I have no idea what just happened to me, but I feel… (different?)….(transformed?)…(confused?)...I’m not really sure how I feel. So like any serious student of literature I’ve read. A Breath of Life, once just to see what happened and to revel in the story; a story that isn’t a story. Now I shall reread more slowly. Perhaps,
Robbie Bruens
Imagine two airplanes chasing one another around a landing strip, never taking off into the air but threatening to play bumper cars, although they're too sly (& maybe too cowardly as well) to actually go through with it. Or a pair of mice that have taken up residence inside your brain and spend all day talking past each other in a language that's challenging to follow. Or an old hippie with split personality disorder permanently addled by a lifetime of pot and psychedelics who won't shut the ...more
Karina Vargas
Me pasó algo muy particular con este libro. El resultado es evidentemente bueno, ya que todos ven que le di las cinco estrellas (me encantó!), pero las razones que me llevaron a ello son la cuestión. Siempre que hago una review de un libro, trato de ser un poco imparcial, objetiva. En este caso, me resulta difícil poder serlo, porque me sentí muy identificada con todo el libro: con la autora y su forma de escribir, con la trama, con ambos personajes, con sus personalidades y hasta con sus pensam ...more
Yah, yah, indeed... I'm going to be rereading this over the weekend (along with some Lacan/Jung which I kept thinking back to whilst reading this). Even when I edit this with the book fresh in mind, if you're looking for a proper review of this book then you're reading the wrong one. There are a few experiences had which weaves itself effortlessly into this novella that writing about it to explain why I gave this book five stars whilst simultaneously "properly reviewing" is going to be impossibl ...more
Michael Jantz
Given the circumstances surrounding this book and its publication, I'm wary of rating it 5 stars. It's an 'unfinished' novel, edited without the input of the author. This could be an interesting process, were it something planned and approved by the author. But as it is, it seems this novel is only partially the author's (albeit a large percentage hers).

The word 'novel' is only loosely appropriate for a book like this. It reads more like a play, with two established voices sharing the stage. Wha
Matthew Mattia
A Dance Around the Void

Part 1:

Reading Clarice Lispector is mad love, it's convulsive beauty. I think so few people have written amazon reviews of the new translations because it is frightening to talk about her she's so intimate.

Depending on your mood, Clarice will either sound like the closest thing to truth or the most preposterous self-magnification. She writes on the line between truth and bad taste, and it is a dangerous line, and she goes closer than anyone else: she stands on it and whisp
So I learned from the preface that Clarice Lispector was born to save her mother's life because according to folk superstitions, a woman could be cured of syphilis by becoming pregnant, and her mother had contracted the infection when she got raped by Russian soldiers :( But for the first nine years of her life, Clarice was watching her mother die, and she felt guilty for not being able to save her, so she started telling stories about how an angel, a saint, a god came to cure her :(

I thought of
Farah Aridi
This is indeed a brilliant book. I personally could not let it down and have found myself, numerous times, rereading passages and sometimes whole chapters. The obsession with and of fictional creation has always fascinated me as a writer. I felt this book to be the kind of book I would like to write. This book has given me what no book has ever have in terms of a complete and complementary reading experience.
"Eu nunca fui livre na minha vida inteira. Por dentro eu sempre me persegui. Eu me tornei intolerável para mim mesma. Vivo numa dualidade dilacerante. Eu tenho uma aparente liberdade mas estou presa dentro de mim.”
Michael Vagnetti
X-rays of the love letters between writer and writee ("the character"), overexposed to find almost dangerous levels of dream-shrapnel, just under the margin's skin. This subcutaneous flotsam, now imaginary, now real, travels along tributaries that are almost too dense to follow through "I want to write with words so completely stuck together that there are no gaps between them and me." (89) Writing that palpates the diastolic throb we are sometimes vaguely aware of, but (whoosh) quickly become t ...more
This book is everything. I feel like the writer wrote a whole book and then edited it, leaving behind only the sentences she thought the reader would find himself/herself writing down, quoting. Perhaps she wrote it as a writer and then edited as a reader. To be honest, it really doesn't matter, the process behind it, for the result speaks for itself. It's beyond brilliant. It was a slow read. I had to take every single word in. Taste it. Savour it. Feel it. It's a wonderful experience! Indeed, i ...more
The last installment in Lispector's career-long, conversation-ending gesture against the old critical cliché vis-a-vis woman writers' talents for 'miniature.' Despite its vintage, A Breath of Life manages to consider language analytically in a way that doesn't come off as corny, dated, contemptuous or even fatalistic. Lispector dramatizes the everyday rhetorical feedback loop like no one else, and as usual the feeling of the book's having been written at the kitchen table only sharpens its appea ...more
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Clarice Lispector was a Brazilian writer. Acclaimed internationally for her innovative novels and short stories, she was also a journalist. Born to a Jewish family in Podolia in Western Ukraine, she was brought to Brazil as an infant, amidst the disasters engulfing her native land following the First World War.

She grew up in northeastern Brazil, where her mother died when she was nine. The family
More about Clarice Lispector...
The Hour of the Star The Passion According to G.H. Near to the Wild Heart Felicidade Clandestina Family Ties

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“Do you ever suddenly find it strange to be yourself?” 28 likes
“I write as if to save somebody’s life. Probably my own. Life is a kind of madness that death makes. Long live the dead because we live in them.” 25 likes
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