Clarice Lispector, Agua Viva: Autobiography, Exile, Violence

Rodica Grigore 1
  • 1 Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu,


Considered “the great witch of Brazilian literature”, acclaimed as the best woman-writer of Jewish origin and the perfect example of an exquisite reconfiguration of European modernist ideas, Clarice Lispector is a fascinating author. This is obvious since her first novel Perto do coração selvagem (Near to the Wild Heart, 1943), a book that was awarded several literary prizes in Brazil, even if afterwards the text would be often ignored within the critical studies dedicated to Lispector. Compared to Borges and Kafka and even to the narrative strategies used by Virginia Woolf (apparently influenced by James Joyce’s stream of consciousness, even if Lispector underlined that she had not read Joyce’s creation much later) her book entitled Agua viva (1973) represents a perfect example of a very special kind of aesthetic experiment, underlying the importance of art (painting or literature) in its protagonist’s life. Without being precisely an autobiography, this book is obviously influenced by the author’s life and work, also expressing Lispector’s ideas on two important issues of 20th century Latin American literature: exile and violence.

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  • Clarice Lispector, Apa vie. Ora stelei. Traducere de Dan Munteanu Colán, București, Editura Univers, 2016

  • The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature (Vol. III). Edited by Roberto González Echevarría and Enrique Pupo-Walker, Cambridge University Press, 2008, („Brazilian Prose from 1940 to 1980”)

  • Helene Cixous, Reading with Clarice Lispector, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1990

  • Benjamin Moser, Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, Oxford University Press, 2009.

  • Irving Goh, „Writing, Touching, and Eating in Clarice Lispector Agua Viva and A Breath of Life”, MLN, Vol. 131, No. 5, Dec. 2016 (Comparative Literature Issue), Johns Hopkins University Press

  • Marta Peixoto, Passionate Fictions: Gender, Violence and Narrative in Clarice Lispector, 1994, University of Minnesota Press

  • Levilson Reis, „Clarice Lispector”, in Cynthia M. Tompkins and David W. Foster, eds., Notable Twentieth-Century Latin American Women, Westport C.T., Greenwood, 2011


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