Selected Crônicas

Selected Crônicas

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by Clarice Lispector
     
 

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"Clarice Lispector was a born writer....she writes with sensuous verve, bringing her earliest passions into adult life intact, along with a child's undiminished capacity for wonder."—The New York Times Book Review
"In 1967, Brazil's leading newspaper asked the avant-garde writer Lispector to write a weekly column on any topic she wished. For almost seven

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Overview

"Clarice Lispector was a born writer....she writes with sensuous verve, bringing her earliest passions into adult life intact, along with a child's undiminished capacity for wonder."—The New York Times Book Review
"In 1967, Brazil's leading newspaper asked the avant-garde writer Lispector to write a weekly column on any topic she wished. For almost seven years, Lispector showed Brazilian readers just how vast and passionate her interests were. This beautifully translated collection of selected columns, or crônicas, is just as immediately stimulating today and ably reinforces her reputation as one of Brazil's greatest writers. Indeed, these columns should establish her as being among the era's most brilliant essayists. She is masterful, even reminiscent of Montaigne, in her ability to spin the mundane events of life into moments of clarity that reveal greater truths."—Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1967, Brazil's leading newspaper asked the avant-garde writer Lispector to write a weekly column on any topic she wished. For almost seven years, Lispector showed Brazilian readers just how vast and passionate her interests were. This beautifully translated collection of selected columns, or crnicas, is just as immediately stimulating today and ably reinforces her reputation as one of Brazil's greatest writers. Indeed, these columns should establish her as being among the era's most brilliant essayists. She is masterful, even reminiscent of Montaigne, in her ability to spin the mundane events of life into moments of clarity that reveal greater truths. Collections of columns often tend to be choppy, but her honesty creates an overall narrative that holds all the incidents, memories, anecdotes and observations together. The effect is novelistic, a blend of insight, poetic detail and craftsmanship. A number of themes pervade the book. Chief among them is her attempt to describe the state of grace. For her, it is "only a tiny aperture which allows us to glimpse a sort of tranquil Paradise" as well as "the lucidity of those who are no longer surmising." She is just as adept with the humorous, particularly her encounters with taxi drivers and the horrors of killing cockroaches that "crawl up the pipes while weary humans dream." Love, too, is examined and compared to the flamenco dance, in which "the rivalry between a man and a woman becomes so naked." This is a superb collection, wonderfully obsessed with exuberance and what it unlocks and reveals. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Lispector, who died of cancer in 1977, is clearly one of the most important Brazilian writers of the 20th century. While she is best known for her short stories and novels, including The Apple in the Dark (LJ 6/15/67), this work brings her readers a new medium, the chronicle. This varied selection of sayings, stories, diary entries, reminiscences, intensely personal essays, and interviews were published as a weekly column in a major Brazilian newspaper in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We become part of the intense world of a self-reflective woman, who values the inner world in her vehement exploration of the true nature of being. The chronicles demonstrate Lispector's literary connections to 20th-century writers, including Mansfield, Woolf, and Sartre. This collection brilliantly reintroduces this writer to North American readers.
—Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., Mcminnville, Ore.
Kirkus Reviews
A vertiginous dash through the mind of a highly idiosyncratic and inventive writer. Lispector, the Brazilian novelist (The Hour of the Star, 1990, etc.), was from 1967 to 1973 also a columnist for the Jornal do Brasil, the largest newspaper in Rio de Janeiro. This collection of 156 of her columns (cronicas) makes the work of her American counterparts, from that of Anna Quindlen to Jimmy Breslin, seem predictable, narrowly focused, and pedestrian. If a newspaper column can be compared with a social visit from the writer, who drops by often enough to become a friend, then Lispector can be said to be an enchanting, unnerving, and sometimes giddy visitor. She casts a wide net in these pieces. There are some deeply cryptic gleanings. ("I dreamed that a fish was taking its clothes off and remained naked" is the entire text of one piece.) There are also several series of full-fledged stories, including "The Princess," told in five parts, and "The Egg and the Chicken," told in three. Other columns resemble conventional feature writing. "Lightning Interview with Pablo Neruda (II)," for example, poses questions to the poet and duly provokes answers. "Does writing make the anguish of living more bearable?" Lispector asks. She further asks to the poet to "say something to surprise me." Most of the time, the need to surprise herself seems to guide the columns, and the result is a body of work likely to give pause to North Americans, who seem to prefer their journalism straightforward and flat-footed. Lispector's is headily expansive, a reprieve from the usual. Of course, the pressure to write for each Saturday edition does lead to various ups and downs; the downs include facilemoments when even Lispector's imagination temporarily folds its tent. But the stumbling is rare.
A provocative revision of journalistic possibilities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811213400
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
11/28/1996
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
566,450
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Clarice Lispector was born in 1920 to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. As a result of the anti-Semitic violence they endured, the family fled to Brazil in 1922, and Clarice Lispector grew up in Recife. Following the death of her mother when Clarice was nine, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters, and she went on to study law. With her husband, who worked for the foreign service, she lived in Italy, Switzerland, England, and the United States, until they separated and she returned to Rio in 1959; she died there in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil's greatest modern writer.

Giovanni Pontiero (1932–1996) was the ablest translator of twentieth century literature in Portuguese and one of its most ardent advocates. He was the principal translator into English of the works of José Saramago and was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for his translation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.

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Selected Crônicas 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago