Clarice Lispector, True to Her Wild Essence

Translated  by Marvin Najarro

 This text belongs to Las Insurrectas series

The great Clarice Lispector has turned 100. 

The amazing writer who never believed she was one; plenty of purity in her soul to walk through life with the arrogance of the intelligentsia. Her texts made their way amid the intricacies of daily life, with the typewriter on her lap while keeping an eye on her young children. The appropriate room of which Virginia Woolf speaks was for Clarice that typewriter that saved her from the void. 

Clarice, who grew up in poverty, an emigrant since she was a child, who spoke Portuguese with a strange accent, and was able to travel the world and taste the honeys of economic comfort, never forgot her origins. But how did someone who knew spectacular places, who rubbed shoulders with the cream of the crop in the world of politics, culture and the arts, wrote a text to a hen? Yes, to the feeling of a fleeing hen that did not want to end up as the soup of the day on a family’s table. 

She who could have written about skyscrapers, expensive wines, amazing views, homes with Persian rugs; wrote a text to a blind man like many of those who live on the streets and are invisible to society. And what about the story of the mischievous girl who made fun of her friend’s poverty while pretending that she would lend her a book to read, only to see her arrive at her house every afternoon and knock on the door with enthusiasm and then snatch that joyful moment from her by saying not today. 

Clarice wrote to breathe –that was writing for her, her oxygen; hence its depth and consistency. Away from the noisy fanfare that follows many glorious writers, Clarice alone created an impressive volume of texts, all very important, essential –with emotions running high. 

A single line from any of her texts leaves the reader ecstatic, astonished, immersed in the depths of his own soul. Clarice displays that ability, an extraordinary talent to penetrate all layers of the skin and reach directly to the human spirit. Her texts don’t have an expiration date; they are timeless because they depict the reality of life in myriad of circumstances. Her poise to relate the everyday life of a woman who will be excluded by the world created by men and for men. That has not changed or it has very little in the last 100 years. 

Diverging from literary norms, Clarice invents her own language, her own form of expression and writing. She breaks with every imposition, navigates without radar –jumping into the waters of the sea without lifeguards; she walks without measuring the steps, without fear, just advancing and penetrating into the nooks of the soul. From Clarice Lispector you never come back.

Also a painter, the girl of Russian origin, Chaya Pinkhasovna Lispector gave Brazil its greatest glory in literature. And to us its readers in every corner of the world, the joy of being able to enjoy her supernatural talent and the wild essence of her writings. 

For having dared to be herself, for having broken the rules of literature, for having created her own language and world, for having been faithful to her human essence, Clarice Lispector is an insurrecta. And on this occasion, on the centenary of her birth, I celebrate her –and I always will– because she, with her impetus, opened the doors for generations of writers not only in Latin America.  

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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado

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