Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"The Burned Sinners and the Harmonius Angels" by Clarice Lispector 1964

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

"Burned Sinners and the Harmonius"is strikingly different from any of the other stories by Clarice Lispector I have so far read.  In Why This World:  A Biography of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser I learned that this story is her only one written in the form of a play.  Moser says it was written in Switzerland in 1949 but not published until 1964.  Evidently it took her a long time to feel ready to publish it and many journal editors found it strange.  

It reads almost like an ancient liturgical drama or a Greek play  centering on the execution of a woman taken in adultery. I do not know how versed Lispector was in Kabbalistic thought but some of the dialogues of the Angels sounds sourced from there.   It is a deeply felt story about birth, death, guilt, social mores and much more.   It could be set 2000 years ago as their are refrences to what seem the miracles of Jesus and might be reflective of a culture in moral decline, focusing on a woman who committed adultery and not deeper issues.

Thus is a very interesting story and I think it would be very good for class room discussions.

Mel u

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