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Wednesday’s Wise Women … Clarice Lispector

March 21, 2012


“So long as I have questions to which there are no answers, I shall go on writing.” The hour of the star

By Clarice Lispector (1925-1977)

I have now arrived in Brazil for long a waited visit with my daughter in Rio de Janeiro. I thought I would like to give my blog a Brazilian feel and feature Brazilian Wise women. My experience is very limited I am ashamed to say.  I apologise to you and my perceived wise women now for my feeble attempt to diversify.

When ‘M’ went away she gave me a book called the Hour of the star by Clarice Lispector to read.  It was a very thin compared with the Apple in the dark I had read earlier.  I enjoyed them both, the latter a little more sophisticated and profound for my needs at the time.  However, the Hour of the star was less challenging but nonetheless deep; a mix of fiction and philosophy – a rich result of Clarice Lispector’s investigations into the psychological consequences of poverty.  (Lispector 1992)

Brazilian writer style much like Virginia Woolf and I would like to read more.
In her short life she wrote seven novels, some short-story collections and some children’s books

Clarice Lispector died of cancer 1977 aged 57 the Hour of the star was published that year.  It is a story of a poor girl called Macabea from the state of Alagoas, the state where the Lispectors landed in Brazil.  She,  like the Lispectors migrated to Rio de Janeiro. It is about a girl who is a bad typist, a virgin and only drinks Coco-Cola – a hopeless misfit – she died under the wheels of a yellow Mercedes. It is believed to be Clarice Lispector’s self portrait.  And I am inclined to agree and can relate to Clarice’s/Macabea’s angst.


Lispector, C. (1992). The hour of the star. Manchester, Carcanet.

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