Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests





Friday, April 24, 2015

"Love" by Clarice Lispector (1952)


"All her vaguely artistic desire had long since been directed toward making the days fulfilled and beautiful; over time, her taste for the decorative had developed and supplanted her inner disorder. She seemed to have discovered that everything could be perfected, to each thing she could lend a harmonious appearance; life could be wrought by the hand of man."

The Complete Short Stories of Clarice Lipsector, to be published August, 2015, translated by Katrina Dodson, edited and introduced by Benjamin Moser)



"Love" is a fascinating story about hiding from the darker aspects of life, creating meaning, hiding things from yourself.  "Love" is told in the person of a married woman whose life centers on her husband and her children.  I read the story three times and feel I have just begun to appreciate the depth of this work.  The woman senses an emptiness in her life, one she cannot quite understand or articulate.   The core event in the story occurs when she goes for a walk in a Botanical Garden.  The story does not say but there is a giant botanical garden in Rio de Janeiro.  She sees a blind man and from this her consciousness goes away from her safe secure carefully constructed view of life where blind strangers don't intrude.  There is so much in this story.  

Clarice Lispector (1920–1977) was Brazilian journalist, translator and author of fiction. Born in Western Ukraine into a Jewish family who suffered greatly during the pogroms of the Russian Civil War, she was still an infant when her family fled the disastrous post-World War I situation for Rio de Janiero. At twenty-three, she became famous for her novel, Near to the Wild Heart, and married a Brazilian diplomat. She spent much of the forties and fifties in Europe and the United States, helping soldiers in a military hospital in Naples during World War II and writing, before leaving her husband and returning to Rio in 1959. Back home, she completed several novels including The Passion According to G.H. and The Hour of the Star before her death in 1977 from ovarian cancer.  - from New Directions Publishing web

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