The Complete Short Stories of Clarice Lipsector, published August, 2015, translated by Katrina Dodson, edited and introduced by Benjamin Moser
My Prior Posts on Clarice Lispector
"He-she was already there atop the mountain, and she was personalized in the he and he was personalized in the she. The androgynous mixture created a being so terribly beautiful, so horrifically stupefying that the participants couldn’t take it all in at once: as a person adjusts little by little to the dark and gradually starts to discern things. Gradually they discerned the She-he and when the He-she appeared before them in a brightness that emanated from him-her, they paralyzed by the Beautiful would say: “Ah, Ah.”
As Clarice becomes more read and taught in the short story world, people will begin to make comparisons of her work with other female short story writers. I see resemblances in her early stories to the work of Katherine Mansfield, who she greatly admired. That being said "Where Were You at Night" is a simply amazing work that has left me deeply puzzled and stunned after five days of reading the story. I think I am beginning to understand that the opening segment of the story is a kind of composite dream or vision of the Rio night world infused with ancient religious cult beliefs from a period beyond our conscious memory. The story is like a deep dive into our collective unconsciousness. It does reek of the sensual power of Rio de Jeniro.
I was tempted to include many more quotes but I did not.
I would love one day to feel I can say, "Yes, Clarice, I understand the extreme depths of this story, the pain, the dark wisdom, the loneliness" but I fear I never will.
Many will, I think, be near repulsed by the baffling power of this story, others will be sucked into depths few other short stories can take us.
As I read on in Clarice, my obsession grows.