Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

by Benjamin Moser


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"That rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf," Clarice Lispector is one of the most popular but least understood of Latin American writers. Now, after years of research on three continents, drawing on previously unknown manuscripts and dozens of interviews,
Benjamin Moser demonstrates how Lispector's development as a writer was directly connected to the story of her turbulent life. Born in the nightmarish landscape of post-World War I Ukraine, Clarice became, virtually from adolescence, a person whose beauty, genius, and eccentricity intrigued Brazil.
Why This World tells how this precocious girl, through long exile abroad and difficult personal struggles, matured into a great writer. It also asserts, for the first time, the deep roots in the Jewish mystical tradition that make her the true heir to Kafka as well as the unlikely author of "perhaps the greatest spiritual autobiography of the twentieth century." From Chechelnik to Recife, from Naples and Berne to Washington and Rio de Janeiro, Why This World strips away the mythology surrounding this extraordinary figure and shows how Clarice Lispector transformed one woman's struggles into a universally resonant art.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199895823
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 611,983
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Benjamin Moser is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine and a contributor to the New York Review of Books and Condé Nast Traveler. His translation of The Hour of the Star inaugurated New Directions' Clarice Lispector series, of which he is the Editor. He lives in the Netherlands.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Sphinx
1: Fun vonen is a yid?
2. That Irrational Something
3. The Average Pogrom
4. The Missing Name
5. Statue of Liberty
6. Griene Gringos
7. The Magical Stories
8. National Melodrama
9.Only for Madmen
10. Flying Down to Rio
11. God Stirs the Waters
12. Straight from the Zoo
13. Hurricane Clarice
14. Trampoline to Victory
15. Naples
16. The Society of Shadows
17. Volume in the Brain
18. The Country of a Thousand Years of Peace
19. The Public Statue
20. The Third Experience
21. Her Empty Necklaces
22. Marble Mausoleum
23. The Intimate Balance
24. Redemption Through Sin
25. The Worst Temptation
26. Belonging to Brazil
27. Better than Borges
28. The Cockroach
29. And Revolution!
30. The Egg Really Is White
31. A Coarse Cactus
32. Possible Dialogues
33. Cultural Terror
34. I Humanized Myself
35. Monstre Sacre
36. The story of instants that flee: Água viva
37. Purged
38. Batuba Jantiram Lecoli
39. Hen in Black Sauce
40. Pornography
41. The Witch
42. The Thing Itself
43. Lispectorian Silence
44. Speaking from the Tomb
45. Our Lady of the Good Death

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