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Near to the Wild Heart (Penguin Modern Classics)

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Clarice Lispector is indeed human; her quest for clarity reveals, from another angle, her dissatisfaction with a shaped reality. I think that I don’t necessarily have all the right “tools” at my disposal for a truly thoughtful approach to this book but I want to think about it within a few different contexts. She floats through daytime as if it was a little bit of dream mixed with reality, and inhabits the night as if darkness were something concrete, the dense, dark night was cut down the middle, split into two black blocks of sleep. Have you maybe felt the great desire to dissolve until your ends merged with the beginnings of things?

The novel also contains a number of philosophical passages: Joana’s meditations on the nature of eternity, a sense of immortality vs. My recent read of Maryse Condé was much like that, multi layered and full of hidden meaning, but a compelling story to read! Her question resonates with my childhood memories of the fairytale endings: “And they lived happily ever after …” - those optimistic words were never explained, the reader was never introduced to the concept of HOW happiness would be achieved, forever after - that most vital part of the eternal question always left unanswered. When she is a little girl she is raised by her widowed father and from a young age Joana displays a unique curiosity about life.Even though I spent the best part of 200 pages in Joana’s company, I found it hard to get a grip on her (which is probably why this post reads like a series of fragments). Clarice shook me out of my somnolent contentment and pulled me into a mirror house of transcendental imagery, leaving me trapped among reflections of illusion of the contorted self, standing at the elusive frontier between reality and imagination, between the physical and the mental, among a shadow cast of flickering thoughts like the flame of a candle, dully luminous and coldly pale, yet with the power to burn the complacent moth into nonexistence. I still haven’t read her biography), looking at the book as a story with a beginning, a middle and an end, and how it embraces this idea while subverting it all the time.

With the exception of her father, all of Joana’s relationships are unsatisfactory and disappointing to her. I thought not even the freedom to be unhappy is preserved because you are dragging another person around with you. The whole book is a miracle of balance, perfectly engineered,” combining the “intellectual lucidity of the characters of Dostoevsky with the purity of a child.Joana’s thoughts linger over questions of life, death, solitude, freedom and happiness which are themes that Lispector continues to explore in her later works. Clarice Lispector's sensational, prize-winning debut novel Near to the Wild Heart was published when she was just twenty-three and earned her the name 'Hurricane Clarice'.

Leaning her forehead against the cold and shiny windowpane she gazed at the neighbor’s yard, at the big world of the hens-that-didn’t-know-they-were-going-to-die. Momenti rossi, momenti grigi, grande costante cui aspira il mare, immenso e imperscrutabile, il mistero dietro le cose che, se svelato, le priva di essenza. That said, reflections on Joana and Otávio’s relationship are threaded through the novel thereby acting as a kind of spine to the story.

Non c'è regola apparente nei trapassi… Più del flusso di coscienza, allora, conta il trascorrere, di quella coscienza, da un individuo all'altro, tanto più vicina alla sua natura selvaggia quanto più indifferenziata, molteplice come i colori ma unica come la luce che li genera. I perpetually go on inaugurating myself, opening and closing circles of life, throwing them aside, withered, impregnated with the past. li definisce Alfredo Giuliani nella quarta e nel suo articolo su Repubblica intitolato Debutto selvaggio (del 27 settembre 1987). According to the introduction, Clarice Lispector didn't choose the title and hadn't actually read any Joyce at that point in her life. He was the principal translator into English of the works of José Saramago and was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for his translation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.

The book, particularly its revolutionary language, brought its young, unknown creator to great prominence in Brazilian letters and earned her the prestigious Graça Aranha Prize. I haven’t read this latest translation and I read it at an age when I was very impressionable, full of Virginia Woolf wonderment. The prose is fluent, hallucinogenic at times, alight with figurative images and sometimes resistant to linear logic and analysis: this is writing that has to be felt rather than merely understood and so has an appeal to somewhere more visceral than just the brain. I’ve tried to be fair and honest here as I don’t think this book (and possibly Lispector in general) will be to everyone’s taste.It is a small but difficult book, consisting of several episodes drawn from the life of a young woman, Joana.

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