HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector
Loading...

The Complete Stories (2015)

by Clarice Lispector

Other authors: Katrina Dodson (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
327651,365 (4.08)4

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)


Literature saves -- master of the craft, Clarice Lispector from Brazil

This recently published collection translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson of all eighty-six Clarice Lispector short stories is a treasure. Inventive in both style and content, a number of these masterful stories will haunt a reader, but, for me, none more haunting than the following piece I have chosen to make the focus of my review:

THE FIFTH STORY
The Attack: One of the acknowledged kings of fiction editing, Gordon Lish, termed the first lines of a short story “the attack.” No better example of a literary attack than: “This story could be called “The Statues.” Another possible name is “The Murder.” And also “How to Kill Cockroaches.” So I will tell at least three stories, all true because they don’t contradict each other. Through a single story they would be a thousand and one, were I given a thousand and one nights.” Oh, Clarice! Fantastic way to build dramatic tension – your first-person narrator has such a story to tell, a veritable weaving Shahrazad, she will tell her story several different ways, and, given the chance, she could tell the same story in a thousand and one diverse ways.

How to Kill Cockroaches: Cockroach problem? Our narrator (let’s call her Livia) employs an effective solution. From one vantage point this sounds so cut and dry but for the person sensitive to the entire web of life, killing is never cut and dry. There are a good number of spiritual traditions, Buddhism for example, that emphasize compassion for all living beings, including insects. The Jain religion of India is even more extreme, a religion founded upon the tradition of nonviolence to all living creatures where many devotees even go so far as to wear masks so as not to breathe in microorganisms.

The Murderess, One: Livia lets us know this story, although told second, is actually the first, a story starting out where she is overheard complaining about cockroaches, a complaint lodged in the abstract, that is, not her actual problem but rather a general complaint about the insects, since the cockroaches were on the ground floor and would crawl up the pipes to her home. But, she says, once she prepared the mixture, the cockroaches became, in fact, her cockroaches. Very true. When we actively engage with others, even animals or insects, at that exact point we enter into a personal relationship.

The Murderess, Two: At this juncture in the story, we read: “In our name, then, I began to measure and weigh the ingredients with a slightly more intense concentration. A vague resentment had overtaken me, a sense of outrage. By day the cockroaches were invisible and no one would believe in the secret curse that gnawed at such a peaceful home.” My goodness, the narrator’s emotions are fully engaged. This version of the story kicks into high gear with language touching on the sacred and religious.

The Murderess, Three: Oh, yes, Livia measures out the deadly elixir for those cockroaches’ drawn-out death, an excited apprehension and her own clandestine curse providing the direction. She has reached that dramatic climax where, icily, she desires but one thing: death to all cockroaches. Is this story beginning to sound a bit sinister, as if our narrator has crossing over to the dark side?

The Murderess, Four: Livia reflects how cockroaches will crawl up the pipes while we, exhausted, dream. But now she’s ready: she has spread the powder expertly, making it look like something from the natural world. She wakes the next morning and inspects: there they all are on the laundry room floor, hard and huge. Not only is there is something eerie and unsettling about what she sees, those many petrified cockroaches, dark, still bodies on a white floor, but also the manner in which she uses language to frame her seeing.

Statues: In this third version of the story, Livia waxes poetic, eulogizing in many exquisite, excruciating details how the cockroaches have hardened from the inside out. She likens herself to the first witness at daybreak in ancient Pompeii. Here’s a snip from her panegyric: “Others—suddenly assaulted by their own core, without even the slightest inkling that some internal mold was being petrified!—these suddenly crystallize the way a word is cut off in the mouth: it’s you I . . . “

The Fourth Story: As she tells us, this forth version initiates a new era in her home. She looks over at the pipe where the cockroaches enter and knows she will prepare the lethal mixture each night as if performing a rite. Then eagerly anticipating bearing witness to the mass death toll the next morning, Livia trembles at the double life she is now living as a sorceress. Think of how many thousands of novels and stories have been written in the genres of dark fantasy and horror. To my mind, Clarice Lispector’s brief tale powerfully encapsulates much of the underlying psychology of these genres.

The Fifth Story: The narrator’s fifth version has an exotic title, a title including the name Leibniz, the German philosopher and co-inventor of calculus, as well as the transcendental nature of love. Thanks, Clarice! Number five can gyrate into at least a thousand and one tales, a gyration serving as a pronouncement: imagination rules! Very true - given the slightest bit of tension, even something seemingly minor, like the extermination of insects, for a fiction writer on fire, such tension opens wide into a world of near infinite possibilities. And to think this is but one of her eighty-six stories collected in this book. Happy reading.
( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
Edição impecável, muito embora eu seja incapaz de dar-lhe cinco estrelas justamente porque abrange todos os contos, inclusive as obras primas até os não tão bons e só fui apta a dar cinco estrelas uma única vez numa edição de contos completos e este foi para o desbunde da Flannery O'Connor. ( )
  Adriana_Scarpin | Jun 12, 2018 |
I've lived with these stories since October and it's a book that's quite impossible to review or rate on a star system. These are all of Lispector's short stories and there are many failures here, places where she attempts to transcend language or basic human experience mediated by words and fails consistently because language is inadequate. These failures are exquisite, because it's rare to read writing that consistently reveals its technical flaws. It helps that Lispector is sharp, intelligent, and funny often when you least expect it. As for Lispector's overall aesthetic programme I'm less sure--there is a certain conformity to gender roles and beauty standards that her female characters seem to be locked in, and often Lispector's droll, knowing narrative voice doesn't allow them any means of escape. It is a book filled stories about bourgeois guilt and suffocation. And what she's striving for in her stories is unique, because it's mystical, if not religious. However, because of that the underlying themes feel conservative--most characters are sealed-off individuals, inscrutable to others. The stories are often the private meditations and philosophical musings of characters. Although firmly rooted in the world, they find it insufficient and live in their heads, and there is a certain sense of superiority to that, which I didn't often like even if I found it bewitching, at times... Lispector's range is quite astounding in this collection, so on a technical level there are so many things that are plain intriguing about these stories. ( )
  subabat | Mar 19, 2018 |
b>A mysterious "83" stories, counted as "86", that are about to become "89."

This was a Kindle Deal of the Day for $1.99 Cdn. back in July 2017 and although I'm not a fan of eBooks it was impossible to resist at that price. It then took me about 8 months to February 2018 to read it since without an actual eBook reader I could only read it in spurts when I had the patience to scroll through it on a laptop. So it was not an ideal medium, but I could at least read at my own pace and when I was in the mood. To keep track over such a long time frame I made brief notes on each story.

To add to the mystery and allure, these supposed 86 "Complete Stories" are about to be supplanted by an even newer edition of 89 "Complete Stories" to be published June 26, 2018 by New Directions Publishing, see their blurb at https://www.ndbooks.com/book/the-complete-stories/

It is actually a bit difficult to pin down what is even meant by the current 86 "Complete Stories" as any sort of standard headcount here would result in a total of 83. As best as I can figure, it becomes 86 if you add 83 + 1 "Explanation" (the foreword to the "A via crucis do corpo" collection) + 1 "Appendix: The Useless Explanation" (used as an afterword for the entire collection) + 1 "Brasilia 2" (counting the 2nd part of "Brasilia" as a separate story, since it was written 12 years later than "Brasilia 1", the 2 are otherwise printed as one story though). There is actually a 4th option if you count the single story "Two Stories My Way" as an actual 2 stories, but there isn't as much of a clear separation there as there is in "Brasilia," so let's not go there.

As mentioned in the excellent foreword by biographer Benjamin Moser (see "Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector") and the afterword by translator Katrina Dodson the lines between fiction and non-fiction are easily blurred in Lispector's work and further "stories" seem to appear as her journalism work is reassessed as creative non-fiction writing. Her surrealistic extended description / vision of the capital city "Brasilia" in the present collection is a perfect example of this.

The collection here spans juvenilia stories from 1940 through all of her published collections through to 2 stories uncompleted at her death in 1977. The translator's note explains the complex process of piecing together the collection from all the disparate sources and publishers. A timeline would have been helpful to follow the publishing history as it is a bit hard to visualize just as text.
Overall my favourites here were mainly from the published collections "The Foreign Legion" (orig. "A Legião Estrangeira" and "Covert Joy" (orig. "Felicidade Clandestina") (the English translations are not available as separate volumes).

My 4 rating is a compromise as the overall work of putting together and translating this collection is definitely in 5 territory. It was just a bit too overwhelming to take all of it in though and there are likely to be sections where your enthusiasm and attention will flag esp. in the some too many "Desperate Housewives"-flavoured tales. And is it just me or did the theme of chicken and the egg seem to come up constantly? ( )
  alanteder | Feb 10, 2018 |


Literature saves -- master of the craft, Clarice Lispector from Brazil

This recently published collection translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson of all eighty-six Clarice Lispector short stories is a treasure. Inventive in both style and content, a number of these masterful stories will haunt a reader, but, for me, none more haunting than the following piece I have chosen to make the focus of my review:

THE FIFTH STORY
The Attack: One of the acknowledged kings of fiction editing, Gordon Lish, termed the first lines of a short story “the attack.” No better example of a literary attack than: “This story could be called “The Statues.” Another possible name is “The Murder.” And also “How to Kill Cockroaches.” So I will tell at least three stories, all true because they don’t contradict each other. Through a single story they would be a thousand and one, were I given a thousand and one nights.” Oh, Clarice! Fantastic way to build dramatic tension – your first-person narrator has such a story to tell, a veritable weaving Shahrazad, she will tell her story several different ways, and, given the chance, she could tell the same story in a thousand and one diverse ways.

How to Kill Cockroaches: Cockroach problem? Our narrator (let’s call her Livia) employs an effective solution. From one vantage point this sounds so cut and dry but for the person sensitive to the entire web of life, killing is never cut and dry. There are a good number of spiritual traditions, Buddhism for example, that emphasize compassion for all living beings, including insects. The Jain religion of India is even more extreme, a religion founded upon the tradition of nonviolence to all living creatures where many devotees even go so far as to wear masks so as not to breathe in microorganisms.

The Murderess, One: Livia lets us know this story, although told second, is actually the first, a story starting out where she is overheard complaining about cockroaches, a complaint lodged in the abstract, that is, not her actual problem but rather a general complaint about the insects, since the cockroaches were on the ground floor and would crawl up the pipes to her home. But, she says, once she prepared the mixture, the cockroaches became, in fact, her cockroaches. Very true. When we actively engage with others, even animals or insects, at that exact point we enter into a personal relationship.

The Murderess, Two: At this juncture in the story, we read: “In our name, then, I began to measure and weigh the ingredients with a slightly more intense concentration. A vague resentment had overtaken me, a sense of outrage. By day the cockroaches were invisible and no one would believe in the secret curse that gnawed at such a peaceful home.” My goodness, the narrator’s emotions are fully engaged. This version of the story kicks into high gear with language touching on the sacred and religious.

The Murderess, Three: Oh, yes, Livia measures out the deadly elixir for those cockroaches’ drawn-out death, an excited apprehension and her own clandestine curse providing the direction. She has reached that dramatic climax where, icily, she desires but one thing: death to all cockroaches. Is this story beginning to sound a bit sinister, as if our narrator has crossing over to the dark side?

The Murderess, Four: Livia reflects how cockroaches will crawl up the pipes while we, exhausted, dream. But now she’s ready: she has spread the powder expertly, making it look like something from the natural world. She wakes the next morning and inspects: there they all are on the laundry room floor, hard and huge. Not only is there is something eerie and unsettling about what she sees, those many petrified cockroaches, dark, still bodies on a white floor, but also the manner in which she uses language to frame her seeing.

Statues: In this third version of the story, Livia waxes poetic, eulogizing in many exquisite, excruciating details how the cockroaches have hardened from the inside out. She likens herself to the first witness at daybreak in ancient Pompeii. Here’s a snip from her panegyric: “Others—suddenly assaulted by their own core, without even the slightest inkling that some internal mold was being petrified!—these suddenly crystallize the way a word is cut off in the mouth: it’s you I . . . “

The Fourth Story: As she tells us, this forth version initiates a new era in her home. She looks over at the pipe where the cockroaches enter and knows she will prepare the lethal mixture each night as if performing a rite. Then eagerly anticipating bearing witness to the mass death toll the next morning, Livia trembles at the double life she is now living as a sorceress. Think of how many thousands of novels and stories have been written in the genres of dark fantasy and horror. To my mind, Clarice Lispector’s brief tale powerfully encapsulates much of the underlying psychology of these genres.

The Fifth Story: The narrator’s fifth version has an exotic title, a title including the name Leibniz, the German philosopher and co-inventor of calculus, as well as the transcendental nature of love. Thanks, Clarice! Number five can gyrate into at least a thousand and one tales, a gyration serving as a pronouncement: imagination rules! Very true - given the slightest bit of tension, even something seemingly minor, like the extermination of insects, for a fiction writer on fire, such tension opens wide into a world of near infinite possibilities. And to think this is but one of her eighty-six stories collected in this book. Happy reading.
( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarice Lispectorprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dodson, KatrinaTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811219631, Hardcover)

Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, 85 in all, are an epiphany, among the important books of this—or any—year

The recent publication by New Directions of five Lispector novels revealed to legions of new readers her darkness and dazzle. Now, for the first time in English, are all the stories that made her a Brazilian legend: from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies to old people who don’t know what to do with themselves. Clarice’s stories take us through their lives—and ours. From one of the greatest modern writers, these 85 stories, gathered from the nine collections published during her lifetime, follow Clarice Lispector from her teens to her deathbed.  

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:04 -0400)

From one of the greatest modern writers, these stories, gathered from the nine collections published during her lifetime, follow an unbroken time line of success as a writer, from her adolescence to her death bed.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.08)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3 3
3.5 1
4 10
4.5
5 10

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,339,046 books! | Top bar: Always visible