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

Friday, November 13, 2015

"The Burned Sinner and the Harmonious Angel" by Clarice Lispector

"What matters is the magnetic love she inspires in those susceptible to her. For them, reading Clarice Lispector is one of the great emotional experiences of their lives. But her glamour is dangerous. “Be careful with Clarice,” a friend told a reader decades ago, using the single name by which she is universally known. “It’s not literature. It’s witchcraft."  Benjamin Moser

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

With the publication of this collection, it is as if a star has exploded in the short story world.  Many will see her stories as among the greatest of their lifetime reading experiences.  Some will not feel her power.  Benjamin Moser says her work is "witchcraft, not literature".  

I think soon her stories will be heavily analyzed by post-colonial scholars, feminist readers, South American studies, and those who follow the lead of Moser and see her as in the tradition of Jewish writers.  Historians of race and social class in Brazil will find her works a gold mind.  I also strongly urge the reading of Benjamin Moser's biography.  Her works will be studied as if they are texts in an ancient religion, ones for a dark time like those we may now be entering.  I know those who have not yet entered her world or even heard of her will find my words hyperbolic.  On the other side, there will be found those who will say I am holding back, not articulating her full power.  

My Prior Posts on Clarice Lispector 

I am very much under the spell of Clarice Lispector.  I have read all of her short stories, eight six, and one of her novels.  I am retreading them now and basically for my own purposes posting on some of the stories as I reread them.  I find this helps plant them into my consciousness.

"The Burned Sinner and the Harmonious Angel", I love the title, is basically about a wife who will soon be burned for adultery.   The story is structured as a play and goes into the thoughts of the husband and the wife as well as various symbolic figures.  It is a commentary on the moral codes of society and the strictures on women.  No where is a man man burned, stoned, or even much shamed  for adultery.

This is a very striking story showing the great range of literary talent of Clarice Lispector.  

Mel u

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