The Hour of the Star (Second Edition)

The Hour of the Star (Second Edition)

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by Clarice Lispector
     
 

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A new edition of Clarice Lispector’s final masterpiece, now with a vivid introduction by Colm Tóibín.

Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabéa, one of life's unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabéa loves movies, Coca-Colas

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Overview

A new edition of Clarice Lispector’s final masterpiece, now with a vivid introduction by Colm Tóibín.

Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabéa, one of life's unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabéa 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, Macabéa 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Vogue
Macabea is one of the great antiheroines of modern fiction...the literary discovery of the decade.
The New York Times
Lispector is the premier Latin American woman prose writer of this century.
Saturday Review
An artist of vivid imagination. If her work is thoughtful and poetic, distinguished by touching insight and human sympathy, it is also full of irony and wild humor.
Vanity Fair
If she does — dare I say it? — touch you, she touches you like nothing else you’ve ever read.”— Benjamin Mosher
Jonathan Franzen
“A truly remarkable writer.”
Barnes and Noble Review
This is without a doubt one of the most audacious and affecting works of fiction I've ever read.
The Brooklyn Rail
The reader finds herself in the throes of a master, rendered speechless with awe and terror.
Vogue.com
A new translation of Clarice Lispector’s searing last novel, The Hour of the Star by Lispector biographer Benjamin Moser—with an introduction by Colm Tóibín—reveals the mesmerizing force of the revitalized modernist’s Rio-set tale of a young naïf, who, along with the piquantly intrusive narrator,
challenges the reader’s notions of identity, storytelling, and love.
Jesse Larsen - 500 Great Books by Women
“In less than one hundred pages, Clarice Lispector tells a brilliantly multi-faceted and searing story.”
Benjamin Mosher - Vanity Fair
“If she does — dare I say it? — touch you, she touches you like nothing else you’ve ever read.”
The Faster Times
This text investigates the knowledge of not knowing and the rich poverty of the inner void with stratagems of obfuscation, leaps of language, and suspensions of syntax and form that are perhaps best received by the gut.
Critical Mob
In this slim novella, Lispector uses an intricate narrative structure in order to represent a peculiar state of mind. Rodrigo, a well-off and cultured man, struggles to tell the story of the sad life of Macabéa, an unhygienic, sickly, unlovable, and an altogether "un-ideal" typist living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Although Rodrigo claims he's the only person who could love Macabéa—if only because she's the subject of his narrative—he really tells her story as a way to thwart his own isolation. Lispector employs odd sentence fragments and erratic grammatical choices to highlight the importance of imagination as a means for her characters to liberate themselves from their banal existences. Through Rodrigo's narrative, Lispector artfully ponders the fate of her characters, and their fears and desires, in a harsh and unforgiving cityscape. Startlingly original and profoundly sad, The Hour of the Star is a provocative work by a highly influential author who should be more widely read.”— Jeff Brewer
The New Inquiry
The only antidote to stupidity is an agitated intelligence constantly prowling for blank spots in one’s outward seeming. The Hour of the Star is a romance, then, between stupidity and its neurotic observer, a restless stretching away from form, tradition, and the stupefying rules they impose on writing.
Jeff Brewer - Critical Mob
“In this slim novella, Lispector uses an intricate narrative structure in order to represent a peculiar state of mind. Rodrigo, a well-off and cultured man, struggles to tell the story of the sad life of Macabéa, an unhygienic, sickly, unlovable, and an altogether "un-ideal" typist living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Although Rodrigo claims he's the only person who could love Macabéa—if only because she's the subject of his narrative—he really tells her story as a way to thwart his own isolation. Lispector employs odd sentence fragments and erratic grammatical choices to highlight the importance of imagination as a means for her characters to liberate themselves from their banal existences. Through Rodrigo's narrative, Lispector artfully ponders the fate of her characters, and their fears and desires, in a harsh and unforgiving cityscape. Startlingly original and profoundly sad, The Hour of the Star is a provocative work by a highly influential author who should be more widely read.”
Charles Larson - Counter Punch
“The Hour of the Star trips up our concept of the novel. What a story is expected to do. How characters act. Why writers write. Why readers read. It’s an experience you won’t forget.”
500 Great Books by Women
In less than one hundred pages, Clarice Lispector tells a brilliantly multi-faceted and searing story.”— Jesse Larsen
Counter Punch
The Hour of the Star trips up our concept of the novel. What a story is expected to do. How characters act. Why writers write. Why readers read. It’s an experience you won’t forget.”— Charles Larson
Library Journal
As Lispector was dying in 1977, she and her secretary constructed this novel from notes, which partially explains its fragmentary nature. The detached male narrator, Rodrigo S.M., tells the story of Macabéa, a rickety, Coca-Cola-drinking virgin from the poor region of Alagoas, who moves to Rio's urban jungle. She lands a job as a typist and becomes enamored of the self-seeking Olímpico. After he dumps her for the worldlier Glória, Macabéa requests the advice of a fortune teller. No sooner is she buoyed by the seer's optimistic predictions than she is run over by a car. The joy of this novel is that we experience both Rodrigo's indulgent introspection as well as Macabéa's woeful life. This new translation begs comparison with Giovanni Pontiero's 1986 version; many phrases are identical, but some wording is slightly different or has been contemporized. The translator, author of the Lispector biography Why This World, understands the nuances of Lispector's often-hermetic style. VERDICT For readers who passed it up the first time, now would be the chance to become acquainted with the last and perhaps finest work of one of the foremost authors of 20th-century Brazilian literature.—Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811219600
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
10/24/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
239,776
File size:
1 MB

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