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The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
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The Hour of the Star (1977)

by Clarice Lispector

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8093111,269 (3.86)1 / 112
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The Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector's name is among the many Hispanic authors Roberto Bolaño's yearning young writers -- who live only to become writers themselves – put on their lists of sacred names – and so one wants to get to know these inspirational artists. For Lispector, though The Hours of the Star was perhaps not a good place to begin: it was her last work, and very short, so more reading is needed to get a real feel for her work.

The Hours of the Star, however, is attractively transparent in the modern way about the fiction project it embodies, and about what will happen, as the title's meaning comes early on. In lieu of a plot, the story unfolds in a series of vignettes from the protagonist's life, sparsely punctuated with the author's thoughts. Despite the squalor and apparent hopelessness in her life, the character of girl from the country the book chronicles creates in the end an effect of peculiar exhilaration.

I'm looking forward to longer works, perhaps more expressive of Clarice Lispector's full range. For now, The Hours of the Star stands as an intense meditation on a short, obscure life.
  V.V.Harding | Apr 21, 2015 |
A perfect book. ( )
  le.vert.galant | Jan 26, 2015 |
Não é o tipo de literatura que eu aprecio, mas eu respeito a construção do livro em camadas: Clarice no topo, o narrador Rodrigo e a personagem Macabea. Em Rodrigo e Macabea a autora descarrega suas questões e angustias e o jogo de aflições se desenvolve em alternâncias, em idas e vindas tais que, ao fim do livro resta apenas um grande vazio. ( )
  Ursula.Wetzel | Aug 20, 2014 |
I had read a lot of hype on Clarice Lispector and my expectations were high as I started this novella. I found the narrator's introduction to be long winded and a bit confusing yet once the story introduced the main characters it moved quicker with meaning and sensitivity.

The nature of beauty, of wanting to belong to a relationship and how this plays out for the lower classes of Brazil are well illustrated in this short,, simple tale. ( )
  berthirsch | Jul 22, 2014 |
A good translation, with helpful insights provided in fore- and afterwords. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarice Lispectorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moser, BenjaminTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tóibín, ColmIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Clarice stirs in the greater depths, where the world finds its true meaning, portraying mankind.
('Vision of Clarice Lispector')
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
Dedication
For Olga Borelli
First words
Everything in the world began with a yes.
Quotations
Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?
To probe oneself is to recognize that one is incomplete.
Things were somehow so good that they were close to becoming very bad because what is fully mature is very close to rotting.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Macabea, a young woman from the backwoods, arrives in bewildering Rio. Homely, ignorant, without skills or experience, she lodges in a shabby tenement in a squalid red-light district. Her transient boyfriend, a strutting lout and sham, soon abandons her.
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Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabe a, one of life's unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabe a loves movies, Coca-Colas, and her rat of a boyfriend; she would like to be like Marilyn Monroe, but she is ugly, underfed, sickly and unloved. Rodrigo recoils from her wretchedness, and yet he cannot avoid the realization that for all her outward misery, Macabe a is inwardly free/She doesn't seem to know how unhappy she should be. Lispector employs her pathetic heroine against her urbane, empty narrator - edge of despair to edge of despair - and, working them like a pair of scissors, she cuts away the reader's preconceived notions about poverty, identity, love and the art of fiction. In her last book she takes readers close to the true mystery of life and leave us deep in Lispector territory indeed.… (more)

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