Sunday, January 12, 2014

Clarice Lispector . . . again

Clarice Lispector
They say she had catlike green eyes . . .
but I found no color image.

I blogged on Clarice Lispector once before, and found her a mysterious presence that I can't get off my mind even though I know so little about her, but here's a little more:
Her first novel, Near to the Wild Heart, published in 1943, took its title from a line in James Joyce and discomfited Brazil's parochial literary establishment with its determinedly modernist cut and surreal, unsmiling humour. Overnight, Lispector became a succès d'estime and was idolised by the young. Intrigued by her movie-star allure, Brazilians claimed Lispector as one of their own, even if her 'Brazilianness' seemed to be overlaid by something strange. A part of Lispector was anchored in a cold northern soil somewhere in Russia, where the people had black bog earth on their boots and lived hard, stoical lives.
That's from Ian Thomson's review, "'She's the most important Jewish writer since Kafka!'" (The Spectator, January 11, 2014), of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, by Benjamin Moser.

Makes me wish I knew Portuguese . . .



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