The Passion According to G.H.
Clarice Lispector. University of Minnesota Press, $24.95 (173pp) ISBN 978-0-8166-1711-1
Aficionados of South American fiction as well as literary critics will welcome this posthumous translation of a nearly plotless novel by one of Brazil's foremost writers. Availing herself of a single character, Lispector transforms a banal situationa woman at home, aloneinto an amphitheater for philosophical investigations. The first-person narration jousts with language, playfully but forcefully examining the ambiguous nature of words, with results ranging from the profound to the pretentious: ``Prehuman divine life is a life of singeing nowness'' or ``The world interdepended with me, and I am not understanding what I say, never! never again shall I understand what I say. For how will I be able to speak without the word lying for me?'' These linguistic games frame existential and experiential crises that Lispector savors and overcomes. Although this idiosyncratic novel will not have wide appeal, those with academic or markedly erudite tastes should like it very much. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Open Ebook - 220 pages - 978-0-8112-2069-9
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Paperback - 184 pages - 978-0-8166-1712-8