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Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector
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Near to the Wild Heart (original 1943; edition 1990)

by Clarice Lispector

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6091629,231 (3.73)27
Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called "Hurricane Clarice": a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: "He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life." The book was an unprecedented sensation -- the discovery of a genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: "I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt."… (more)
Member:Silverlion
Title:Near to the Wild Heart
Authors:Clarice Lispector
Info:New Directions Publishing Corporation (1990), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector (1943)

  1. 30
    Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Petroglyph)
    Petroglyph: Even though Near to the wild heart was written some twenty years prior to Wide Sargasso Sea, these two share numerous features: the interior monologue, the lyricism, the heroine mostly living inside her skull, the central character who doesn’t see a way out of their mental frustrations with life. Lispector kicked all that up a few notches, but to me these two belong close together on my mental shelves.… (more)
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» See also 27 mentions

English (13)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
As this slips in and out of consciousness it stays at the bottom of a dreary pool of misery. An enduring dissatisfaction pervades throughout the novel where the unconventional woman in focus, Joana, is anchored down by existential anguish. And perhaps like most of us drift from one “life milestone” to another: at times to be in touch, tethered with our own being, on others to be in an “acceptable” headspace of living. It rides the same train of life’s cyclic clichés. But the dissatisfaction of marriage and relationships glare and glimmer without hope and further tumbles down when indifference shadows them into obscurity and neglect. The minimal encounter with other women (or lack thereof) are somehow fraught with negative feelings that there is a sense of isolation in Joana’s thoughts and views which are so often interspersed with others’. It is all very grim and infectiously so.

Near to the Wild Heart is chipping cold on its edges and doesn’t beat for anything but in its bouts of unanswered questions on one’s purpose and reason. Here, mortality is never fully grieved whilst love lost is willingly misplaced. Yet the most embittered turn to these underwhelming circumstances, of burrowed emotions and apathetic reactions, is the belief that an exterior alteration is causal to contentment. Motherhood is similarly treated as such—both as a product of female rivalry and societal expectations born out of the “patriarchal womb.” Beyond all of this I can say Near to the Wild Heart only nearly sadly hits. It is most often than not near to the wildest delusions to cope. ( )
  lethalmauve | Jan 25, 2021 |
$600 mxn
  BIBLIOTECATLACUILO | Dec 17, 2020 |
Near to the Wild Heart sucked me in and its unexpected palpations in the quiet suction, like bring stuck in a whirlpool of green, have lodged themselves into my heart, my brain, even maybe my calves. It's hard to read Lispector without holding my breath and each book of hers feels like a beautiful and terrible gift.
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
Of course I'd known about Lispector for a while, and she was on my list of "authors I really know I should read someday," but I found something about the way people talked about her to be just a little bit... intimidating. But when I went on my Women in Translation Month shopping trip, this was the only recognizable woman in translation I found (in the new books section, anyway), so this is what I got. Appropriate it's the first book I read for Women in Translation Month this year.

I don't know what I was worried about. I was in love with the fierce and wild Joana from the very beginning. On the second page she announces to her father that she's made up a poem called "The Sun and I." "The hens in the yard have eaten the worms but I didn't see them." The surety in herself, the disappointment that her dad doesn't get it -- I adored her. As she grows, the richness of her introspective interiority only grows, as does her determination to not sway from whatever she feels to be right for herself. No matter what others might think is good or evil, normal or strange. How can you not root for a character like that, especially since everyone else seems simple, weak, conventional by comparison.

The book wanders a bit toward the end and I started to wonder where it was going, but it ended with the same fierce resolution it began with. A wonderful book, and I am glad to finally know what all the fuss over Lispector is about. ( )
  greeniezona | Feb 21, 2020 |
No doubt the writing is beautiful, but the story falls a little flat. ( )
  kvschnitzer | Dec 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lispector, Clariceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Entrekin, AlisonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Härkönen, TarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Losada, BasilioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Era solo. era abbandonato, felice, vicino al cuore selvaggio della vita."

JAMES JOYCE
He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life.
Dedication
First words
Die Maschine des Vaters klapperte tac-tac ... tac-tac-tac ...
Her Father's typewriter went clack-clack...clack-clack-clack...
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called "Hurricane Clarice": a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: "He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life." The book was an unprecedented sensation -- the discovery of a genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: "I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt."

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Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue as Lispector recalls first the childhood and then the adult years of the middle-class Joana, her unhappy marriage and its dissolution. Near to the wild heart is a brilliant psychological and stylistic tour de force that anticipates the complex themes of one of Latin America's foremost woman writers.
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