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, July 22, 2016

"One Day Less" - A Short Story by Clarice Lispector (1968?)

From The Complete Short Stories of Clarice Lispector. (2015)

"I doubt that death will come. Death? Could it be that the days so long will end? That’s how I daydream, calm, still. Could it be that death is a ruse? A trick of life? Is it persecution? And that’s how it is"

"One Day Less" is one of the very last short stories of the great Clarice Lispector.  It is a story about a thirty year old woman, her parents passed and left her enough money to get by without working. She describes herself as "fat".  She is a virgin.  She has a maid who does the household duties. She has nothing really at all to do, her only interest in life, and that is low key, is that a man she recently met will ask her to tea.

One afternoon  her phone rings and it is an obviously elderly lady asking for "Flavia".  The woman does not believe it when told she has the wrong number.  She is told that this has been the woman's number for thirty years.  They engage in conversation and the caller ends up inviting her over to play cards.  The lady of the house says her father did not allow card playing.  The story ends.

This is a story about boredom, about what happens when you have no inner resources, nothing to do and all day to do it.  It is a very sad story.

Mel u

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