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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. She left Brazil in , following her marriage to a Brazilian diplomat, and spent the next decade and a half in Europe and the United States. Injured in an accident in , she spent the last decade of her life in frequent pain, steadily writing and publishing novels and stories until her premature death in 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. 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. They eventually managed to flee to Romania, from where they emigrated to Brazil, where her mother Mania had relatives.
They sailed from Hamburg and arrived in Brazil in the early months of , when Chaya was little more than a year old. The Lispectors changed their names upon arrival. Only the middle daughter, Tania April 19, — November 15, , kept her name. In Recife, where her father continued to struggle economically, her mother — who was paralysed and had been raped in the Ukraine pogroms  — finally died on September 21, , aged 42, when Clarice was nine.
A year later, strongly influenced by Hermann Hesse 's Steppenwolf , she "consciously claimed the desire to write". In , Pedro Lispector decided to move with his daughters to the then-capital, Rio de Janeiro, where he hoped to find more economic opportunity and also to find Jewish husbands for his daughters. In , she entered the Law School of the University of Brazil , then one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the country.
Her first known story, "Triunfo", was published in the magazine Pan on May 25, Cardoso was gay, however, and she soon began seeing a law school colleague named Maury Gurgel Valente, who had entered the Brazilian Foreign Service, known as Itamaraty.
In order to marry a diplomat, she had to be naturalized, which she did as soon as she came of age. On January 12, , she was granted Brazilian citizenship. Eleven days later she married Gurgel. The novel, which tells of the inner life of a young woman named Joana, caused a sensation. This novel, like all of her subsequent works, was marked by an intense focus on interior emotional states. When the novel was published, many claimed that her stream-of-consciousness writing style was heavily influenced by Virginia Woolf or James Joyce , but she only read these authors after the book was ready.
There, Maury served as a liaison between the Foreign Ministry and the international visitors who were using northern Brazil as a military base in World War II. On July 29, , Clarice left Brazil for the first time since she had arrived as a child, destined for Naples , where Maury was posted to the Brazilian Consulate. She worked at the military hospital in Naples taking care of wounded Brazilian troops  In Rome , she met the Italian poet Giuseppe Ungaretti , who translated parts of Near to the Wild Heart , and had her portrait painted by Giorgio de Chirico.
This longer and more difficult book also met with an enthusiastic critical reception, though its impact was less sensational than Near to the Wild Heart. This was a time of considerable boredom and frustration for Lispector, who was often depressed. In front of my house, in the street, was the colored statue, holding the scales. Around, crushed kings begging perhaps for a pardon. In the winter, the little lake in the middle of which the statue stood, in the winter the freezing water, sometimes brittle with a thin layer of ice.
In the spring red geraniums … And the still-medieval street: I lived in the old part of the city. What saved me from the monotony of Bern was living in the Middle Ages, it was waiting for the snow to pass and for the red geraniums to be reflected once again in the water, it was having a son born there, it was writing one of my least liked books, The Besieged City , which, however, people come to like when they read it a second time; my gratitude to that book is enormous: the effort of writing it kept me busy, saved me from the appalling silence of Bern, and when I finished the last chapter I went to the hospital to give birth to the boy.
The book, which is full of metaphors of vision and seeing, met with a tepid reception and was "perhaps the least loved of Clarice Lispector's novels", according to a close friend of Lispector's.
May someone find the key. They remained in England from September until March Lispector liked England, though she suffered a miscarriage on a visit to London. In , back in Rio, where the family would stay about a year, Lispector published a short volume of six stories called Alguns contos Some Stories in a small edition sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Health. In September, , the family moved to Washington, D. On February 10, , her second son Paulo was born. She also began publishing her stories in the new magazine Senhor , back in Rio.
But she was increasingly discontented with the diplomatic milieu. It was published in The book, her friend Fernando Sabino wrote her, was "exactly, sincerely, indisputably, and even humbly, the best book of stories ever published in Brazil.
Here goes: the most important story collection published in this country since Machado de Assis ", Brazil's classic novelist. Driven by interior dialogue rather than by plot, its purported subject is a man called Martim, who believes he has killed his wife and flees deep into the Brazilian interior, where he finds work as a farm laborer.
The real concerns of the highly allegorical novel are language and creation. In , the work was awarded the Carmen Dolores Barbosa Prize for the best novel of the previous year. Around this time she began a relationship with the poet Paulo Mendes Campos , an old friend. Mendes Campos was married and the relationship did not endure. In the same year, she published another book of stories and miscellany, The Foreign Legion.
The American translator Gregory Rabassa , who first encountered Lispector in the mid s, at a conference on Brazilian literature, in Texas, recalled being "flabbergasted to meet that rare person [Lispector] who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf ". On September 14, , she suffered a terrible accident in her apartment. After taking a sleeping pill, she fell asleep in her bed with a lit cigarette.
She was badly injured and her right hand almost had to be amputated. The fire I suffered a while back partially destroyed my right hand. My legs were marked forever. What happened was very sad and I prefer not to think about it. All I can say is that I spent three days in hell, where—so they say—bad people go after death. I don't consider myself bad and I experienced it while still alive. These pieces were later collected in the posthumous work A Descoberta do mundo The Discovery of the World , In , Lispector participated in the political demonstrations against Brazil's hardening military dictatorship, and also published two books: her second work for children, A Mulher que matou os peixes The Woman Who Killed the Fish , in which the narrator, Clarice, confesses to having forgotten to feed her son's fish; and her first novel since G.
The book drew on her writings in her newspaper columns. She also intensified her journalistic activity, conducting interviews for the glossy magazine Manchete. In , Lispector published another book of stories, Felicidade clandestina Covert Joy , several of which hearkened back to memories of her childhood in Recife.
Olga Borelli, a former nun who entered her life around this time and became her faithful assistant and friend, recalled:. She was insecure and asked a few people for their opinion. With other books Clarice didn't show that insecurity. That was the only time I saw Clarice hesitate before handing in a book to the publisher. She herself said that. When the book came out in , it was instantly acclaimed as a masterpiece. In , Lispector published two books of stories, Onde estivestes de noite Where Were You at Night —which focuses in part on the lives of aging women—and A via crucis do corpo The Via Crucis of the Body.
Part of the reason she wrote so much may have had to do with her having been unexpectedly fired from the Jornal do Brasil at the end of , which put her under increasing financial pressure. She began to paint and intensified her activity as a translator, publishing translations of Agatha Christie , Oscar Wilde , and Edgar Allan Poe. It is a difficult and profound story. That is why I think the audience, very mixed, would have been happier if I had pulled a rabbit out of my hat.
Or fallen into a trance. Listen, I never did anything like that in my life. My inspiration does not come from the supernatural, but from unconscious elaboration, which comes to the surface as a kind of revelation.
Moreover, I don't write in order to gratify anybody else. The book consists of a dialogue between an "Author" and his creation, Angela Pralini, a character whose name was borrowed from a character in a story in Where Were You at Night. She used this fragmentary form for her final and perhaps most famous novel, A Hora da estrela The Hour of the Star , , piecing the story together, with the help of Olga Borelli, from notes scrawled on loose bits of paper.
Its explicit focus on Brazilian poverty and marginality was also new. Shortly after The Hour of the Star was published, Lispector was admitted to the hospital. She had inoperable ovarian cancer , though she was not told the diagnosis. She died on the eve of her 57th birthday and was buried on December 11, , at the Jewish Cemetery of Caju, Rio de Janeiro. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Brazilian novelist and short story writer. Main article: Near to the Wild Heart. Main article: Family Ties story collection. Main article: The Passion According to G. Main article: The Hour of the Star. This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it. Novels portal. Jewish Renaissance. Based on private letters she exchanged with Lucio Cardoso and her sister Tania. Oxford University Press.
Um Sopro de Vida (Em Portugues do Brasil)
Um sopro de vida de Clarice Lispector