More lists with this book...
I’ve been putting off any attempt at writing on this one because: A) it’s rather a challenge without spoilers (although, depending on how one reads the title, the very idea of spoiler is rather silly) and B) this is one I would expect casual readers to dislike…intensely. Which leads me to:
You have confused the true and the real.A line that Elizabeth Hand, in Fantasy & Science Fiction calls Dhalgren’s “minatory epigraph.” I’m not a reader of F&SF or Ms Hand, but, dammit, they both dese ...more
Macabea has moved to Rio from Northern Brazil and is now alone in the world; strictly brought up by her aunt she is portrayed ...more
Interstellar Heap of Dust
This is how Clarice Lispector chose to finish her book: with the same word as Joyce did. His famous Yes. But she began with it too. For as she says in her opening line, everything in the world began with a Yes.
And so she unfolds her story. Or lets her male narrator unfold it. Several barriers are thus created between her and us and her story – his story. And the Hour of the Star, not one of those in heaven, but the Star as a celebrity, is the title for the story ...more
It was a grave mistake to commit to a binge of 200 or less page works, especially after so long a stint of the eighth longest novel in existence, third longest in English (looking at you, Women and Men) because I had forgotten how utterly manic tiny works can leave me. Can, because this is not a common complaint, as the last time this happened was with poor Zweig's Chess Story that left me bawling in my brain and stone cold in my expression. You should try it some time. I don't really mean ...more
Someone is walking on my grave.
Lispector is MJ Nicholl’s doppelganger. I’m sure he hasn’t heard of her, which makes the similarities of exactness between aPostmodern Belch and The Hour eerie. Not only do we have the narrator fooling around with three characters (Macabea, Gloria and Olympico) who are clearly facets of herself, but on page 57 we even have ‘quiddidity’ apropos Macabaea: need I say more?
Its no secret Macabea is a ‘loser’, an anti-heroine, an anonymous nonentity, wretched, ugly, sic ...more
And one subway ride later:
On s ...more
A hora da estrela é de uma sensibilidade rara. O narrador estabelece uma relação complexa com a personagem, repleta de ódio, ...more
“Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born.”
Thus opens the The Hour of the Star. Published just before Clarice Lispector’s death, reading it you could wonder if there is little of the intimate Lispector of Near to the Wild Heart. However, she betrays herself from the start. If in her first novel it was by its title, here we discover it in her opening lines. However, it goes much deeper than the mere allusion to Joyce. If here we fin ...more
My first exposure to the prose of the famed Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector was Selected Cronicas. I loved the book , a potpourri of many things: autobiographical experiences, short short stories, anecdotes, interviews (such as the one with Neruda), fantasies, encounters in taxi and intimate home scenes. Selected Cronicas like this one was brilliantly translated by Giovanni Pontiero. The enthusiasm spurred by the reading of it led me to order three more including this one (the other titles be ...more
In terms of the ne ...more
Before this one, I've only read one of Clarice Lispector books, Family Ties, and it was a really pleasant experience. The Hour of the Star, however, shows us a brilliance which almost scares us.
This book has two main characters: Macabéa, a northeastern woman, one among thousands of them (they don't even have their uniqueness accordingly with the narrator), all ignored by society, who has no knowledge of life, no hopes and not even a destiny. On the other hand, ...more
"She believed in everything that existed and in everything non-existent as well."
"She prayed, but without God. She did not know Him, therefore He did not exist."
I won't say t ...more
É uma das frutas que mais gosto. No entanto, esse gosto não surgiu naturalmente mas por aprendizagem. Queria perceber porque havia pessoas que se deliciavam com uma fruta viscosa; por vezes tão acre que me deixava a língua "entabuada"; com uma pele muito fininha e impossível de descascar e que me obrigava a fazer a maior javardice para o conseguir comer. Insisti, insisti, insisti. Agora sou louca pelo seu sabor doce e pela sua textura suave. São frutos muito sensíveis que, para serem apr ...more
This is billed as Lispector, a Brazilian pyrotechnician of words, writing her last novel. It's about 80pp long, so I am hard pressed to see how it's anything but a novella as defined by length. Its content, the descent and fall of one of life's losers, places it firmly in novella territory as well. Its beauty and grace of language mark it as a poetic novella. But it's not a complex, nuanced, developed story, so not what I'm willing to call a novel.
But it's brilliant, and it ...more
The dialogue is particularly masterful - somehow razor sharp despite the characters' limited capacities for insight. Macabea's exchanges with her boyfriend and with the doctor expose social ills both petty ...more
The book is written in a clean, sparse, and beautiful style, but the story is anything but simple. The narrative flip flops from the author's ruminations on writing, ...more
The first forty pages were amazing—constant asides from the narrator talking about the story, storytelling, the main character. Lots of good stuff, so much so I had to stop to take notes. The further along I got, the less the text compelled me to note-take.
There are many worse ways to spend an afternoon, but few better ones. Highly recommended, if you appreciate the way in which a story is told, and what it means to tell.
note that goodreads entry for this ...more
While pure being allows for self-consciousness, it may be so simplistic that it leads to near anonymity. Is it commendable to be like that in our world? - this seems to be one of the questions.
The writer is writing as the reader is reading. Lispector's interventions are very well done / managed. For formal rigour and philosophical inquiry, the novel could stand with the very best.
Besides she increasingly couldn’t explain herself. She transformed herself into organic simplicity. And she’d figured out how to find in simple and honest things the grace of a sin. She liked to feel time passing. Although she didn’t have a watch, or perhaps for that very reason, ...more
She grew up in northeastern Brazil, where her mother died when she was nine. The family ...more