Posts with news and critical essays on the work of Clarice Lispector.

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  • 16/05/2024

The Darkness in Darkness

Darkness is a hollow word and one never really knows what fits inside Its dimensions are so undetermined that perhaps it could even be said that everything fits and nothing fits in it, since, being an immense storehouse of paradoxes, the ambiguous quality of immeasurable is immediately added to the primordial void that characterizes it. These attributes, thus agreed, gain particular density when prepared by the wrought of the author of The Apple in the Dark.

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  • 22/02/2024

The Unfamiliar

The word “unfamiliar” is used by Clarice Lispector in several of her works. To be precise, in the original Portuguese, Clarice employed the neologism infamiliar, which is not in the dictionary, though it cannot be affirmed that the author is the source of this term in Brazilian literature. Nonetheless, by mentioning the word “unfamiliar” at least sixteen times, whether in novels, short stories, or chronicles, the author makes this unique signifier an object of greater attention.

The Rio de Janeiro of Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector spent her childhood in Recife, but at the age of 15 she moved with her father and two sisters to Rio de Janeiro. It was in the then capital of Brazil that the writer lived her youth and early adult life: she completed high school, graduated from law school, had her first professional experiences in the press, got married, and in 1943, released her first book Near to the Wild Heart.

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  • 19/10/2023

Interview with Claire Williams

On a Reading, the Secret Happiness

In a small, vast, and brilliant book called Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, by Hélène Cixous (1993), the author is taken to three schools by writers that she loves: the School of the Dead, the School of Dreams, and the School of Roots. One of the books that transport Cixous to the School of Dreams is Clarice Lispector’s second published novel, The Chandelier.

Child and Origin

More or less fantastic in their plots, these children’s stories reveal narrators who, stripped almost completely of their fictional character, are very similar to the author: they are mothers, writers, they go by the initials “C.L.,” or even say their name is Clarice. Thus, if there is a horizontal posture in these narrators in which respect for the particularities of childhood is presupposed, this same movement also shows the desire to become a little more like a child.

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  • 26/04/2023

Ulisses Lispector: A Portrait

The film portrays the famous Ulisses, Clarice Lispector’s dog and a prominent character in her life and fiction. He is present in the posthumous novel A Breath of Life, he is the narrator of the children’s book Quase de verdade (Almost True), he was mentioned in countless chronicles, and today he is immortalized, alongside his owner, in a bronze statue at Leme Beach, in Rio de Janeiro.

Clarice’s Childhood

In this video lesson, Mell Brites, author of the book As Crianças de Clarice: Narrativas da Infância e Outras Revelações (The Children of Clarice: Narratives of Childhood and Other Revelations), addresses the theme of childhood in Clarice Lispector’s literature, both in her children's books and in those aimed at an adult audience.

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  • News
  • 08/12/2022

Close to Clarice

On December 10th, IMS Rio celebrates Clarice Lispector’s birthday. This year, we will present, in a single screening, the short film Perto de Clarice (Close to Clarice), by João Carlos Horta, from 1982, in a new digital version based on the 35mm original preserved by the Audiovisual Technical Center (CTAv). After the film screening, there will be a conversation between the writer Heloisa Buarque de Holanda, who was involved in the making of the film and is the director's widow, and Teresa Montero, author of the most recent biography of the writer, À procura da própria coisa (In Search of the Thing Itself – Rocco, 2021), mediated by the IMS literature consultant, the poet Eucanaã Ferraz. 

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  • News
  • 08/12/2022

Clarice in Princeton’s Network

The Brazil LAB is an interdisciplinary initiative at Princeton University that considers Brazil to be a crucial nexus for us to understand today’s most pressing issues. Based at PIIRS (Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies), the LAB brings together professors, researchers, and students from more than 20 different university departments (from the social to the natural sciences, from engineering to the arts and humanities) in interaction with dozens of researchers from academic institutions of excellence.

A Chronicle of a Patrimony that Needs To Be Preserved

I died. I found out when, one day, on the sidewalk of Praça Maciel Pinheiro, I lifted my head, opened my eyes, and saw myself dead, there on the plaza’s sidewalk, the two-story house on the other side of the street. My broken heart inside my chest, the two-story house on Rua do Aragão, 387, where, on the second floor, Clarice Lispector lived a happy childhood here in Recife, despite the pains of the world and experiencing and feeling, mainly, the pains of an implacable disease that would one day take Mania, her mother, away from her. I found out when, laid out on the sidewalk there under the scorching Sunday sun, I turned my head to the right and saw a man beside me, who was also looking at the house.

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  • 29/06/2022

In Search of Clarice Lispector: The Biographical Challenge of Teresa Montero

In addition to confirming the value of the biographical genre as a privileged means to meet the demands of a curious public about the past of famous personalities, Teresa Montero challenges the genre’s conventions by reconstructing the family life, personal experiences, friendships, and creative process of Clarice Lispector, an author who, with all her strengths, gave life to her vocation for literature as a fatality and a salvation.

Olímpico: The Last Man Will Be the First

[...] throughout all of Clarice’s work there is a dazzling – almost primordial, inaugural, Edenic – vision of gender, of the man-woman division.  One notes a frightened fascination that there is a male-animal-man in the world, as we read, for example, in the short story “The Buffalo,” and also in another story about phantasmic and monstrous masculinity titled “The Dinner”.

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  • News
  • 13/01/2022

Clarice Lispector’s New Website Receives an Award

Last December, Clarice Lispector’s new website, launched on the author’s centenary, on December 10, 2020, earned second place in the Best Digital Design category of the Brasil Design Award.

Idiocy and Holiness

Michel de Certeau, in his La fable mystique, addresses an important aspect in the relation between idiocy and holiness in the first centuries, particularly in Christian literature, namely: a mode of isolation in the crowd. Idiocy, in the form of madness, is attributed to the crowd, and additionally, is established as a provocation, a transgression in the field of the “right-minded.”

Fragments of Stars

The writer Ana Maria Machado had an unusual and emotional episode with Clarice Lispector. This happened in 1975. After having read an article by Ana Maria, published that very day in the Jornal do Brasil, about the birthday of the writer Roland Barthes, Clarice, who did not know her personally, insistently asked her for help to organize what in two years would be the book The Hour of the Star. 

At Home With Clarice

I believe that Clarice and I shared a common feeling: objects are not inanimate, on the contrary, they have a secret life. I do not know if the reader has already tried turning off the lights at night in your room and, little by little, noticed that your eyes adapt to the dark and finally you can perceive the living presence of things.

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  • 14/10/2021

The Symbol and the Thing

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.

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  • 16/09/2021

A frame for Clarice Lispector

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.

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  • 11/08/2021

Scliar in Cabo Frio

I spent an unforgettable weekend in Cabo Frio, hosted by Scliar who painted two portraits of me. Scliar’s house is very beautiful. Cabo Frio inspires Scliar. I asked him about so much creativity.

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  • 09/08/2021

A Literature Without Literature

The chronicles of Clarice Lispector were collected in a book for the first time in 1984, in The Discovery of the World, a volume edited by Paulo Gurgel Valente, the author’s son, who arranged in chronological order 468 texts published in the Jornal do Brasil between 1967 and 1973.

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  • 08/07/2021

Between Mystery and Politics

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.

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  • 14/04/2021

Meaning is a Breath: Images in Clarice Lispector

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.”

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  • 09/12/2019

Clarice in a new reedition

In 2020, Clarice Lispector would turn 100 years old. A series of events has been scheduled to celebrate the occasion.