- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: New Directions (June 12 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780811219907
- ISBN-13: 978-0811219907
- ASIN: 0811219909
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 68 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Agua Viva Paperback – Jun 12 2012
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Brilliant and unclassifiable… Glamorous, cultured, moody, Lispector is an emblematic twentieth-century artist who belongs in the same pantheon as Kafka and Joyce. — Edmund White
This is a book that, like a good painting, can be picked up anywhere and that will continue to reward renewed contact over months and years of acquaintance. — Scott Esposito (Barnes & Noble Review)
Her images dazzle even when her meaning is most obscure, and when she is writing of what she despises she is lucidity itself. — The Times Literary Supplement
I had a sort of missionary urge with her...but I started thinking, even when I was 19: How can I help this person reach the prominence she deserves? — Benjamin Moser
One of 20th-century Brazil’s most intriguing and mystifying writers. — The L Magazine
About the Author
Benjamin Moser is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award, and is also the editor of a new translation of Clarice Lispector's work, of which this is the sixth volume. A former books columnist at Harper's Magazine, Moser is now a columnist at The New York Times Book Review, and is currently at work on the authorized biography of Susan Sontag. He lives in the Netherlands.
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Reading Clarice Lispector is mad love, it's convulsive beauty. I think so few people have written amazon reviews of the new translations because it is frightening to talk about her she's so intimate.
There are so many great authors, but I have never encountered a better writer. Her sentences are sharp-edged miracles. She is one of the two writers who has made me cry.
So many of her sentences are monuments in themselves and would be strange and wonderful secrets in the desert if they did not also stand together-- Her writing is like looking at La Sagrada Familia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia
Here are a few examples from memory:
"Life is a kind of madness that death makes. Long live the dead because we live in them."
"The true thought seems to have no author."
"This is life seen by life: I may lack meaning but it is the same lack of meaning that the pulsing vein has."
"In every word a heart beats."
"I am already in the future. This future of mine shall be for you the past of someone dead. When you finish this books cry a hallelujah for me."
"All of me is writing to you and I feel the taste of being and the taste-of-you is as abstract as the instant. I also use my whole body when I set the bodiless upon the canvas, my whole body wrestling with myself. You don't understand music: you hear it. So hear me with your whole body. When you come to read me you will ask why I don't keep to painting and my exhibitions, since I write so rough and disorderly. It's because now I feel the need for words-- and what I'm writing is new to me because until now my true word has never been touched. The word is my fourth dimension."
And most of all:
"It's as if life said the following: and there was simply no following."
I recommend her with my whole self.
Barthes wrote: "I am only interested in my eyes when they're looking at you."
Depending on your mood, Clarice will either sound like the closest thing to truth or the most preposterous self-magnification. She writes on the line between truth and bad taste, and it is a dangerous line, and she goes closer than anyone else: she stands on it and whispers in your ear.
It's painful telling you to read her because I am afraid of how you will react. O, she's a universe in a fragile body...