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The Passion According to G.H. (1964)

by Clarice Lispector

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8261820,326 (3.92)46
A disoriented and confused young woman looks back on her life and her place in the world."
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
If you want stream of consciousness, introspection, metaphysical pondering, imagination and creativity this is a book for you. A woman enters a room a servant has just left permanently and never leaves it for the entire book. No plot, no dialogue, lots and lots of thoughts. The only other "participant" is a cockroach which, spoiler alert, she crushes with a door. But it persists , and persists, and persists. She thinks about her life and, of course, the cockroach's. If you're looking for escapism, adventure, a journey, take a pass. Not my cup of tea, or even coffee, definitely not ice cream. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | Aug 28, 2021 |
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
For me this is a 3.5 - 3.7 star book. I think there was a time in my 20s where it would have blown me away with its philosophical and existential themes. A thinking persons book written in an unique and effective style.

But now sometimes I just want a good story, with less descriptions of a roach.

I can really be a philistine. ( )
  curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
Exceptional. I originally tried to read at the beginning of quarantine and could not handle it. On the face -- it is the story of a woman who walks into her maids room and kills a cockroach. But it was so much more than that, and the horror goes all the way down. I got so close to where she wanted me to go. I have never read prose like this in my life. ( )
  adaorhell | Jan 3, 2021 |
The Passion is a strange mix of the thrilling and timeless (the central crisis is a *squashed cockroach*, which will probably be comprehensible and original when the fabled cockroaches rule the planet; the mysticism isn't original, but this nearly atheistic version of it is an interesting tweak, and history suggests people will be having mystical experiences for some time) with what seems, today at least, cliche (this book could almost be a chapter from a dissertation on Deleuze and Guattari's concept of becoming-animal; there's altogether too much odor of '60s philosophy for me).

Occasionally it's astonishing, and I'm sure different readers will be struck by different scenes. My memory of the book will probably be the scene itself, which I see as one of those highly schematic, brightly lit Florentine annunciations, only the angel is a half-dead roach.

Rather too often, it's also borderline unreadable. This might be a problem with the translation, but the introduction suggests that the novel is one of those "redrafting and fixing sentences would just get in the way of the authentic emotion" deals, which are close to my least favorite deals. The form is also uncomfortably close to *actual* mysticism textbooks, e.g., Margeurite Porete, which guide the reader through a series of fairly obviously artificial 'stages', breaking down one's self and getting closer to god (or, in this case, something else). No novel should aim to produce the sensations you get from reading those textbooks. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lispector, Clariceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Härkönen, TarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Novey, IdraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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I keep looking, looking. Trying to understand.
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A disoriented and confused young woman looks back on her life and her place in the world."

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