Sunday, February 23, 2014

Clarice Lispector

New to Penguin Classics

Clarice Lispector was born in the Ukraine, moved to Brazil, lived in relative obscurity and has been described as the new Kafka. Hard to believe? Well I thought it was until I started to read 'Near to the Wild Heart'. 
I would probably have to disagree with the comparison to Kafka because I dislike those form of comparison status remarks. Lispector deserves her own status. The writing is vivid, mysterious and it makes you question your own existence, what it really means to be alive. 

“Just as the space surrounded by four walls has a specific value, provoked not so much because it is a space but because it is surrounded by walls. Octávio made her into something that wasn't her but himself and which Joana received out of pity for both, because both were incapable of freeing themselves through love, because she had meekly accepted her own fear of suffering, her inability to move beyond the frontier of revolt. Besides: how could she tie herself to a man without allowing him to imprison her? How could she prevent him from developing his four walls over her body and soul? And was there a way to have things without those things possessing her?”
Lispector had a unique style of internal monologue that made many critics in Brazil compare her to Joyce. Comparisons should be limited in literature.  

Bonhoeffer - To the strong

"It is the nature, and the advantage, of strong people that hey can bring out the crucial questions and form a clear opinion about them. The weak always have to decide between alternatives that are not their own."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 'Resistance and Submission'.

What do you think?