The work of Clarice Lispector revolves around on two notions: the symbol and the thing. The thing, physics, and the symbol, metaphysics; the thing, immanence, and the symbol, transcendence; the thing, the body, and the symbol, language; the thing, existence, and the symbol, the saying; the thing, the event, and the symbol, the way to make it possible to read the nonsymbolizable thing.
In the 1960s, the Spaniard Jaime Vilaseca was a carpenter in Rio de Janeiro until a fateful encounter with Clarice Lispector, for whom he had gone to make a bookcase in her apartment in the Leme neighborhood.
The numerous commentators who not only in Brazil but also throughout the world investigate Clarice Lispector’s work encounter several aspects to highlight in her multifaceted writing.1 From the fruitful tension between transcendence and contingence to the profound and refined attention to the human condition, one can encounter an immense variety of dimensions in her body of writings.
That was the first sensation which I had when I saw Clarice’s paintings: my whole body shivered in a flush that was shared with these two women who worked every day at the archive. A kind of slip, a discomposure, a “human dismantling.” As Clarice wrote, “She needs to move her whole boneless head to look at an object.”