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@Download Epub ⚣ The Hour of the Star Ú The Hour of the Star, Clarice Lispector s consummate final novel, may well be her masterpiece Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo SM this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macab a, one of life s unfortunates Living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macab a loves movies, Coca Cola, and her rat of a boyfriend she would like to be like Marylin Monroe, but she is ugly, underfed, sickly, and unloved Rodrigo recoils from her wretchedness, and yet he cannot avoid realization that for all her outward misery, Macab a is inwardly free She doesn t seem to know how unhappy she should be Lispector employs her pathetic heroine against her urbane, empty narrator edge of despair to edge of despair and, working them like a pair of scissors, she cuts away the reader s preconceived notions about poverty, identity, love, and the art of fiction In her last novel she takes readers close to the true mystery of life, and leaves us deep in Lispector territory indeed Lately I find myself in the frustrating position not uncommon among booksellers of being surrounded by farbooks than I can read Not only are there books in the shop, but in my spare moments at work I browse Goodreads, Abebooks and my local library system, and so have a constant stream of books passing through my hands, many of which I can do nothan glance at before returning them or putting them away for later Into this deluge has flowed this novella by Clarice Lispector, a book Lately I find myself in the frustrating position not uncommon among booksellers of being surrounded by farbooks than I can read Not only are there books in the shop, but in my spare moments at work I browse Goodreads, Abebooks and my local library system, and so have a constant stream of books passing through my hands, many of which I can do nothan glance at before returning them or putting them away for later Into this deluge has flowed this novella by Clarice Lispector, a book which I hear tell was scribbled on scraps of paper at intervals of months or years before coalescing into its current form, and which is on one level as evanescent and difficult to grasp as this technique suggests, even while being on another as direct as a bullet to the heart at ten paces Imagine that famous Goya painting with the white shirt and the firing squad, but focus on the victim s face until you re so close the ridges in the paint are as important as moving as his expression Ever read the Borges story The Secret Miracle When the raindrop which has hit Jaromir Hladik s face just as time stopped starts sliding again, that s maybe something like the little self conscious explosions with which Lispector riddles her narrative Structurally, strip Beckett s Malone Dies to the bone the fictional writer who tells the story as much the protagonist as s he whose story he tells and you ve got a rough outline of The Hour of the Star I say rough because either this is a book to read two or three times before knowing anything certain about it or my current white water reading technique is just not up to the task Whatever the case, this is a hard book to comprehend, coming as it does so directly from a place beyond comprehension, and I presume Lispector made a habit, like Beckett, of gazing intently on things beyond comprehension Still, it s not a difficult book not on the level of language, anyway and reports of the strangeness of its prose have, to my mind, been exaggerated To me it reads quite naturally, especially in the new translation, and from what few pages I saw of the old translation I suggest forgetting that relic immediately and getting your hands on this one It s modern, that s for damn sure I doubt there is much else out there as sleek and arresting and asymmetrical as this And it s haunting Lispector speaks through her male narrator who speaks through his character Maccabea I had just read on the train to and from work, as perhaps readers of the Brazilian newspaper which published them might have read them Lispector s Chronicas when I started the novella, and consequently had a vivid, if oblique, impression of her in mind as I read this Unfortunately I don t have a copy of The Hour of the Star with me as I write, but perhaps these lines from one of her Chronicas Creating Brasilia will help suggest the kind of writer she is or can be Brasilia is built on the line of the horizon.When I died, I opened my eyes one day and there was Brasilia.The two architects who planned Brasilia were not interested in creating something beautiful That would be too simple they created their own terror, and left that terror unexplained.Besides the wind, there is another thing that blows It can only be recognised in the supernatural rippling of the lake Wherever you stand, you have the impression of being on the edge of a dangerous precipice.Its founders tried to ignore the importance of human beings The dimensions of the city s buildings were calculated for the heavens It is a shore without any sea.How I should love to set white horses free here in Brasilia At night, they would become green under the light of the moon I know what those two men wanted that slowness and silence which are also my idea of eternity.Fear has always guided me to the things I love and because I love, I become afraid.What kind of writer is Clarice Lispector The rarest kind The fact that her Chronicas ever made it into a newspaper at all let alone week after week is, to this Australian, astonishing That The Hour of the Star is a bestseller and its author a household name in her own country is even so Judging from what little I ve read, Lispector s ruthless stripping away of everything but the visionary intuitive paradoxical is unmatched by any prose writer except Beckett, and when and if I ever have the time and resources to do so I will approach her ouevre as I once approached his piece by piece, in a quiet room in the country with her biography close at hand This is a work so elemental it seems hewn from rock, or washed up on the shore in Brasilia from that non existent sea If I don t give it a perfect score it s only because I don t yet know if she speaks directly to my heart But her example, her aesthetic determination, is unsurpassed.Clarice Lispector this woman, our contemporary, a Brazilian woman it is not books that she gives us, but the act of living saved by books, narratives, constructions that make us step back And then, through her window writing, we enter into the frightening beauty of learning how to read and we pass, through the body, to the other side of the I To love the truth of what is alive, to love the origin, to be personally interested in the impersonal, in the animal, in the thing Helene Cixious What a delightful surprise I didn t know anything about Clarice Lispector when I picked up this slim novel, and started reading She had me in her dedication already, starting with the ir reverent sentence I dedicate this thing here to old Schumann and his sweet Clara who today alas are bones Nothing drags me into a story like such an opening What can I expect Irony, sarcasm, cultural reflections on music, a novel or a thing of some other definition Absolutely brilliant One short se What a delightful surprise I didn t know anything about Clarice Lispector when I picked up this slim novel, and started reading She had me in her dedication already, starting with the ir reverent sentence I dedicate this thing here to old Schumann and his sweet Clara who today alas are bones Nothing drags me into a story like such an opening What can I expect Irony, sarcasm, cultural reflections on music, a novel or a thing of some other definition Absolutely brilliant One short sentence, a universe of questions A light tone, indicating deeper thoughts A sense of humour, and respect for cultural achievements and human connectionsI then make the acquaintance of one of the most eccentric narrators I have ever met, who claims to tell the story of a young woman, but isconcerned with himself and his ultimate reasons for writing The process of telling the story is immediately the main focus Make no mistake, I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort For the reader however, the simplicity is not necessarily evident On the contrary, the narrator moves around, slowly, in circles, offering bits and pieces The story, I determine with false free will will have around seven characters and I am obviously one of theimportant In contradiction to his self proclaimed importance, he also announces that his main task is to describe a young girl in a simple manner I humbly limit myself without trumpeting my humility for then it wouldn t be humble I limit myself to telling of the lame adventures of a girl in a city that s entirely against her This, of course, makes me laugh out loud at its brilliant silliness, and the narrator catapults himself into the realm of Uriah Heep, making the very umble servant of David Copperfield look like a dilettante The narrator is physically engaged in the act of writing, it makes him suffer and feel frustration, especially since his main character is so annoying This brings to mind other stories where characters and narrators struggle with each other, most notably Martin Amis London Fields, where it is the other way around one of the characters being frustrated with the narrator s lack of drive Muriel Spark staged a determined female main character, who forced the narrator to tag along with her while taking The Driver s Seat herself It also recalls Pirandello s wonderful play Sei personaggi in cerca d autore, where the connection between narrator and characters has yet to be established in a kind of job interview.As a reflection on storytelling and the intricate net of relationships between authors, narrators, characters and readers, this is an outstanding masterpiece I could quote every single page It is also an impressive account of the different layers of human identity, and of how we establish what we are and why It goes to the root of the monstrosity of the human condition, asking if we are normal, or misfits Who has not asked himself at some time or other am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person And it clarifies the needs of the creative, thinking person, picking up Virginia Woolf s idea from A Room of One s Own She had a room all to herself She could hardly believe that all this space was hers And not a word was heard So she danced in an act of absolute courage, since her aunt couldn t hear her She danced and twirled because being alone made her f r e e It explores the question of truth, belief and reality Sometimes lies aredecent and well mannered than truth Sometimes things exist only because we believe in them, and sometimes we ask forgiveness of beings we know do not exist, and we are forgiven As a plot, this book is made of nothing But that hardly matters at all It is full of life Who has not asked himself at some time or other am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person Clarice Lispector s The Hour of the Star is ostensibly about a young woman, Macabea, in Rio de Janeiro who has been crushed by poverty However, the novel is evenrevealing of the narrator who chooses to write about her The narrator tells you why he s chosen to follow Macabea, something about her habits she loves Coca Cola and wants to be like Marilyn Monroe and her occupation she Who has not asked himself at some time or other am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person Clarice Lispector s The Hour of the Star is ostensibly about a young woman, Macabea, in Rio de Janeiro who has been crushed by poverty However, the novel is evenrevealing of the narrator who chooses to write about her The narrator tells you why he s chosen to follow Macabea, something about her habits she loves Coca Cola and wants to be like Marilyn Monroe and her occupation she is a typist, but not very good one This leads you to believe the story is about Macabea However, theinteresting subject is the narrator himself, his own position in Brazilian society as well as his speculative musings Lispector casts off authorial privilege as the narrator wonders whether Macabea knows who she is, or whether he the narrator is imposing an identity on her Enjoyed this I d like to readBrazilain authors so suggestions are very welcome Even without having an interest in Brazil, this is a somewhat quirky but engaging read 4.5 stars The Lispector CallsThe Hour of the Star transcends genre How, with utter fluidity, does an apparently conventional narrative transform itself into the author s introspective confessional And when does that slip into narcissistic myopia which then becomes therapeutic technique Before it develops simultaneously into a romance, a feminist tract, and a pointed sociological commentary All in 90 pages Clarice Lispector is difficult to keep up with simply because she writes the simplest prose with The Lispector CallsThe Hour of the Star transcends genre How, with utter fluidity, does an apparently conventional narrative transform itself into the author s introspective confessional And when does that slip into narcissistic myopia which then becomes therapeutic technique Before it develops simultaneously into a romance, a feminist tract, and a pointed sociological commentary All in 90 pages Clarice Lispector is difficult to keep up with simply because she writes the simplest prose with undoubtedly the highest ratio of thought to word on the planet It takes time to digest One can open to any page to find a dozen arresting examples The truth is always some inner power without explanation Remember that, no matter what I write, my basic material is the word which combines with other words to form phrases and from which there emanates a secret meaning that exceeds both words and phrases God belongs to those who succeed in pinning him down Why is there so much God At the expense of men what is fully mature is very close to rotting Death is an encounter with self The reader is bounced on her sea of prose like a survivor from a wrecked civilisation Withpensees per page than Pascal, meatier aphorisms than Montaigne, contradictions and reversals to challenge the Bible, and offbeat observations to rival Borges, Poe and Kafka, if you like your fiction and your thinking densely packaged, you cannot go wrong with Lispector