Clarice Lispector quotes

Clarice Lispector photo
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Clarice Lispector

Birthdate: 10. December 1920
Date of death: 9. December 1977
Other names: کلاریس لیسپکتور, クラリッセ・リスペクトール

Clarice Lispector was a Brazilian novelist and short story writer acclaimed internationally for her innovative novels and short stories. Born to a Jewish family in Podolia in Western Ukraine, as an infant she moved to Brazil with her family, amidst the disasters engulfing her native land following the First World War.

She grew up in Recife, the capital of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, where her mother died when she was nine. The family moved to Rio de Janeiro when she was in her teens. While in law school in Rio, she began publishing her first journalistic work and short stories, catapulting to fame at the age of 23 with the publication of her first novel, Near to the Wild Heart , written as an interior monologue in a style and language that was considered revolutionary in Brazil.

She left Brazil in 1944, following her marriage to a Brazilian diplomat, and spent the next decade and a half in Europe and the United States. After returning to Rio de Janeiro in 1959, she began producing her most famous works, including the stories of Family Ties , the great mystic novel The Passion According to G.H. , and what is arguably her masterpiece, Água Viva. Injured in an accident in 1966, she spent the last decade of her life in frequent pain, steadily writing and publishing novels and stories until her premature death in 1977.

She has been the subject of numerous books, and references to her and her work are common in Brazilian literature and music. Several of her works have been turned into films. In 2009, the American writer Benjamin Moser published Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector. Since that publication, her works have been the object of an extensive project of retranslation, published by New Directions Publishing and Penguin Modern Classics, the first Brazilian to enter that prestigious series. Moser, who is also the editor of her anthology The Complete Stories , describes Lispector as the most important Jewish writer in the world since Kafka. Wikipedia

Photo: Unknown, Arquivo Nacional / Public domain

Works

The Hour of the Star
The Hour of the Star
Clarice Lispector
Near to the Wild Heart
Near to the Wild Heart
Clarice Lispector
A Breath of Life
A Breath of Life
Clarice Lispector

„She believed in angels, and, because she believed, they existed“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Hour of the Star

Source: The Hour of the Star

„The world's continual breathing is what we hear and call silence.“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Passion According to G.H.

Source: The Passion According to G.H.

„Who hasn't asked oneself, am I a monster or is this what it means to be human?“

—  Clarice Lispector

The Hour of the Star (1977)
Source: A Hora Da Estrela

„I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort.“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Hour of the Star

Source: The Hour of the Star

„There it is, the sea, the most incomprehensible of non-human existences.“

—  Clarice Lispector

An Apprenticeship, or The Book of Delights (1968)

„For one has the right to shout.
So, I am shouting.“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Hour of the Star

Source: The Hour of the Star

„So long as I have questions to which there are no answers, I shall go on writing.“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Hour of the Star

Variant: I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort. So long as I have questions to which there are no answers, I shall go on writing.
Source: The Hour of the Star (1977), p. 11

„I don't know what to do with the horrifying freedom that can destroy me.“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Passion According to G.H.

Source: The Passion According to G.H. (1964), p. 5

„Do not mourn the dead. They know what they are doing.“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Hour of the Star

Source: The Hour of the Star

„Do you ever suddenly find it strange to be yourself?“

—  Clarice Lispector, book A Breath of Life

Source: A Breath of Life

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