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  1. Roger Brunyate Roger Brunyate says:

     Drowning in Sensation or Lost in Translation? The young Clarice Lispector photo Paulo Gurgel Valente SensationSo far as I know the chandelier of the title is mentioned once only on page 10 It makes as good a place to start as any Without knowing why she’d nonetheless halt fanning her bare thin arms; she lived on the verge of things The parlor The parlor filled with neutral spots The smell of an empty house But the chandelier There was the chandelier The great spider would glow She’d look at it immobile uneasy seeming to foresee a terrible life That icy existence Once once in a flash—the chandelier would scatter in chrysanthemums and joy Another time—while she was running through the parlor—it was a chaste seed The chandelier She’d skip off without looking back The she is Virgínia a young girl living on an estate in the country uiet Farm where she grows up worshipping but also dominated by her older brother Daniel The long middle section there are no chapters will see her as a young woman in the city getting to know other men Towards the end she will return home for a while only to change her mind and go back to the city Apart from the stunning final pages that is basically the entire story The few lines I uoted above contain it all the chaste seed the terror the chrysanthemums and joy This is something I realize only now; while actually reading I was reeling from the delirium of wordsFor Virgínia may live on the verge of things as a girl but the feelings that flood from her awareness of everything around her take total possession of her inside and out; she is drowning in sensation Here is another example from near the beginning of her life in the city Lispector is writing in longer sentences now but there is still that extraordinary use of language She opened the door of her little apartment penetrated the cold and stuffy surroundings of the living room Slight stain was rippling in one of the corners expanding like a light nearly erased coolness She screamed low sharp—but they’re lovely—the room was breathing with half closed eyes in the silence of mute pickaxes of the construction sites The flowers were straightening up in delicate vigor the petals thick and tired damp with sweat—the stalk was tall so calm and hard The room was breathing oppressed asleep Lispector apparently said that her writing was trying to photograph perfume Almost literally so here the boundaries totally erased between the woman and the flowers their scent and the absence of sound from the street Inanimate things take on feelings; the woman becomes one with the things TranslationBut such writing does make it an extraordinarily hard book to read Take the second sentence in the passage above Slight stain was rippling in one of the corners expanding like a light nearly erased coolness It reads almost like a parody doesn’t it as though spit out by Google Translate unaltered On the very first page when Virgínia is described as looking down at a river with her serious mouth pressed against the dead branch of the bridge and that word branch appeared again a few pages later I got hold of the original Portuguese text online for comparison; could it mean railing? But no I read Spanish not Portuguese but that was enough to suggest that for the most part the translators Benjamin Moser and Magdalena Edwards have indeed stuck close to the original But close or not it left an uneasiness in my mind if I could not totally trust the translation what was the point of reading on? I continued though but in a rapid fashion that did not leave time to agonize over detailsHalfway through I stopped to read the marvelous review in the New York Times by Parul Sehgal Here’s what she says about Lispector’s languageNo one sounds like Lispector—in English or Portuguese No one thinks like her Not only does she seem endowed with senses than the allotted five she bends syntax and punctuation to her will She turns the dictionary upside down shaking all the words loose from their definitions sprinkling them back in as she desires along with a few eyelashes toast crumbs and dead flies—and doesn’t the language look better for it?Sehgal also points out that the editor and co translator here Benjamin Moser is also the author of the 2009 biography of the writer that did much to put Lispector back on the map of modernist originals so it seems I am wrong to complain All the same I have a sneaky feeling that closeness to the original is not necessarily the best criterion for those who do not know the original If an author makes her reputation by rearranging the syntax and dictionary in her own language surely the best kind of translation would be one that takes similar scissors and tongs to English without being constrained by the patterns of Portuguese? SubmissionParul Sehgal uotes Moser as saying in a strange and difficult body of work as perhaps her strangest and most difficult book She goes on in her own words The Chandelier is uniuely demanding—it’s baggy claggy and contentedly glacial It is that; the sensation of reading it was like struggling with a dream from which you cannot wake But I could sense that this second novel of Clarice Lispector 1920–77 written when she still under 25 heralds a truly original artist You might think of a Latin American Virginia Woolf except that I now know she had not read her at the time so very much her own person I surrendered as though submitting myself to sleepOne example must suffice It comes at the end of a scene between Virgínia and her lover Everything he says and does typical male is all in mental uotes as he imagines how he will describe it to a friend later But then Lispector switches back to her She suddenly felt pain commingle with flesh intolerable as if each cell were being stirred and shredded divided in a mortal birth Her mouth abruptly bitter and burning she was horrified rough and contrite as if in the face of spilled blood a victory a terror So that was happiness Such immediacy such violence From this point on the novel seemed to accelerate—whether because Lispector had her foot on the pedal or I was just getting used to her driving But the last few pages—again I thought of Virginia Woolf—were simultaneously a tour de force of modernist abstraction and totally devastatingly clear Here is the sentence in Portuguese Leve mancha ondulava num dos cantos expandia como uma luz frescuras uase apagadas And here is what Google Translate does in fact spit out A slight spot rippled in one of the corners it expanded like a light almost obliterated A lot normal isn't it? I have noticed that the translators seem to go almost out of their way to use less usual words stain is a particular favorite and odd syntactic constructions such as the omission of articles and strange plurals Google simply ignores the word frescuras coolness Moser and Edwards get it in but so awkwardly Surely translation can do better than this?

  2. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    It is agonizing to bail on this book because I have heard SO much about the author and I really wanted to connect with it The way this novel is written the characters feel almost manic and it is like my own brain gets pushed out of the way as their thoughts demand all the space and air in the room It makes it hard to understand what is going on the relationship between the brother and the sister is the most clear but I have no idea what is real and what's not and difficult to navigate as a story I think I'll bail on the novel and at some point return to the short stories and see if I have a better experience with them Perhaps they will aid in my understanding of this novel as well I got about halfway after multiple attempts before calling it uits because I really felt like this would be for me Thanks to the publisher for approving my reuest through Edelweiss and apologies for not making it through

  3. Luís Luís says:

    This fourth book by Clarice Lispector dazzles to the point of confusing while also illuminating crucial aspects of her fiction It tells the story of what is probably an incestuous relationship between siblings Virginia and Daniel and Virginia’s safe solitude Which she uses to construct all shapes of what is real distorting them projecting misunderstandings and revealing the fragility of the way we relate to others and the world Virginia’s uncompromising gaze penetrates those corners of the self we adults agree to hide That’s why when the surprising outcome uickly arrives we all understand that it was the only possible ending

  4. Asha Kodah Asha Kodah says:

    “Oh the calm sadness of memory”“At those same instants her body was living fully in the living room such was she divining the need to surround with solitude the beginning erected in the half light Beneath an appearance of calm and hard brightness she was addressing herself to nobody and abandoning herself watchful as to a dream she would forget Behind secure movements she was trying with danger and delicateness to touch the same light and elusive to find the nucleus made of a single instant before the uality came to rest on things before what really came unbalanced tomorrow—and there’s a feeling ahead and another falling away the tenuous triumph and the defeat perhaps nothing than breathing Life making itself the evolution of the being without the destiny—the progression from the morning not aiming for the night but attaining it”To see language and the world through the eyes of Clarice Lispector is to enter a new plane of perception of existence an otherworldly experience and one that is pure magic Here Lispector is working with experience with environment both internal and external in fascinating ways and relentlessly exploring her lifelong pursuit of capturing “the nucleus made of a single instant A breathtaking and breathgiving read There are bursts moments of her inventive syntax where sentence structuring gets put on its head which would later become a trademark uality of her prose but here the flow is fluid less jarring and I had an easier time dropping into the stream finding the rhythm This is a prose that sings one that spirals and spirals returns her breath held longer the language liuid perfectly paced Just a brilliant piece of literature Such energy such command such rawness Reminded of Woolf and uin and hold her in the same regard A must read for any who live to explore language Bliss bliss bliss Translation wizardry How is it possible that this was written between the age of 23 and 24 She is a master And look out mid way through when the page comes you'll know when I mean

  5. Judy Judy says:

    Brazilian author Clarice Lispector is acclaimed internationally by literary authors and lovers of literary fiction I read her first novel Near To the Wild Heart a couple years ago and was nearly defeated I decided to try one book her second novel I studied it by reading a few pages a day and taking notes Her style at this point was deep stream of consciousness not my favorite but I wanted to see how she got that interior consciousness of a female's every thought and sensation My purpose after reading the book was to practice or fool around with writing like that and see if I could get of my inner life and emotion into the autobiography I am writingThe almost non existent plot is a girl's growing up from early childhood to young womanhood Taking notes kept me aware of that seuence At times Virginia seems almost mentally ill as far as how she reacts to life the settings and the people around her In any case she is far from what would be considered a normal female But is she?When I finished the novel I realized that at least at times in my most secret thoughts while being a female who has always uestioned what she was being taught about life as a female I have been to some degree divorced from normalSince reading the book I find myself when I am with my female friends and family members listening for those inner realities It was a worthy study for meNext is to do the writing practice and see if I can capture that a bit in my own storytelling about my life Writing is hard enough as far as just getting down the words but I recently watched a talk by Lydia Yuknavitch where she explains what she calls corporeal writing You can find videos of her talks about this by googling corporeal writing I am ready to see if I can get to that level of deeper stuff

  6. Ian Scuffling Ian Scuffling says:

    Clarice Lispector’s writing is the baroue epitome of modernist styling The prose is poesy and essentially resistant to interpretive work It’s an arpeggiation of language where Lispector bends words to her will with the image and feeling of the syntax as the most important factor in choice and placement rather than sparkling clarity This makes for a heady vivid difficult readWhereas Near to the Wild Heart has vague trappings of a plot—or at least Joana has a beginning middle and end to her life The Chandelier is much looser with its convictions to narrative Opting instead to dive deeper into the mind of her protagonist Lispector’s fluid language is in a lot of ways as impenetrable as it is evocative and precise Perhaps only Joseph McElroy has come as close to expressing the interiority of human consciousness in its truest form—ie what lives on the page is a person’s chaotic spontaneous thoughts often unfiltered through the organizing functions of consciousnessI will admit to “enjoying” Near to the Wild Heart than this Lispector’s second novel though The Chandelier is inarguably the significant and important piece of literature It’s just wonderful to see Benjamin Moser and New Directions working together to shine a much deserved bright beaming light on this woman’s oeuvre and bring new translations of her work to the world I will enjoy future trips into Hurricane Clarice’s novels of innerspace

  7. Jason Jason says:

    There is famously a fairly lengthy gap in the supernaturally brilliant Clarice Lispector's literary output to be accounted for by the fact that she spent than a decade and a half of her life starting at the age of twenty four the globetrotting wife of a Brazilian diplomat Generally when people write about or praise Lispector it is with regards to the stories and novels she began to produce upon returning to Brazil and getting back down to work as a writer at the beginning of the 1960s Indeed the stories and two novels I have read from the longer and I suppose mature period are awe inspiring masterpieces Please note however that I throw scare uotes around the word mature It is to my great shame that I confess to having embarked upon reading THE CHANDELIER with some trepidation regarding the prospect of reading something composed by a twenty three year old despite the fact that I had already read and been wowed by stories Lispector wrote during this period collected in the New Directions volume of COMPLETE STORIES published in 2015 If THE CHANDELIER like those stories could be said to focus on the awkwardness and vulnerability of the embodied experience of a young woman in the world there is nothing whatsoever awkward about the writing itself which is totally assured and of a unimpeachable modernist cultivation As when I read those early stories I though freuently of Virginia Woolf when reading Lispector's second novel Though Woolf is a giant and anybody of sound mind would have to revere her without uibble I believe that Clarice at twenty three was or less her eual Yes it is remarkable Starting in the 60s Clarice would begin to develop a wholly idiosyncratic style and approach but in her early work we already encounter bracingly a voice melded to an utterly uniue slant of mind The opening sentence of THE CHANDELIER is She'd be flowing all her life This may well be the most declarative with respects to method opening line ever for a stream of consciousness novel And it is a stream of consciousness novel primarily though it regularly switches reference frames and perspectives about a young woman who though enclosed and restrained by worldly particulars contains the universe as a cell its often said to The thing about Lispector's stream of consciousness it that its syntax is so unconventional and her insights at times so curiously opaue that though the novel does flow like the life of its protagonist it were as though the author wanted to systematically slow you down and make you breath it all in Lispector doesn't want you to have a smooth ride She wants you jostled That said this is a cozy novel strangely almost a womb Every time I got back into it I found my nervous system almost instantaneously pacified There is a uality of exhale When I think back on the book I will always especially remember two metaphysical train journeys and the mystical metaphor of the chandelier itself elaborated near the end of the book and during the second train journey in uestion The chandelier is early Lispector personified crystal and plurality of refraction I love the line during the passage about the chandelier that speaks of intimate spherical movements which itself follows the pining observation that old people benefit from the imponderable living of all the incomprehensible instants of sleep and wakefulness THE CHANDELIER has an additional layer of resonances for me personally as it focuses in no small part on the emotional and spiritual bonds between a brother and sister The protagonist Virgínia makes me think of my younger sister That would make me the brother Daniel I recognize in Daniel my own cruelty and miserliness with tenderness I knew my sister admired me and craved my approval when we were young and I think I resented her for it I routinely failed to comport myself admirably THE CHANDELIER beginnings with a talismanic sign and terminating in a startling consummation ends up above all being a reminder that the whole universe exists inside that mortal and exposed person you neglect Another lesson from the novel the meaning of a firefly is that it disappears

  8. andreea. (paperrcuts) andreea. (paperrcuts) says:

    Brilliant so painstakingly alive as always

  9. Lily Patchett Lily Patchett says:

    this book is everything a girl to a woman how her insides get seduced by knowledge and male? love fill her with desire like always lispector affirms every breath of life and its glitter pen possibility but especially those breaths historically given little airtime within this book and lispector is a way of coming to understand the power in being able to sit in internal appreciation of everything esp the external without it being dignified by some human referent every time i read her i feel like i can love without rationing i can embed myself in the instant in the plastic and dissolution of sensations and connections i can learn live with the pleasure of being alive and accept the inevitability of death a way of going into another layer of matter silence after the such restless talk

  10. Dorie Dorie says:

    The ChadelierBy Clarice Lispector 1946New Directions BookThis was not an easy read It takes a certain focus to get throughit takes the reader not just into the lives of the characters but into their psyche and thinking processes and their daily mental escape exhausted from living Do many amazing and profound paragraphs I'm sure many will give up on this because of the focus it takes but for those that do read and finish it this book will knock you over and leave you breathless The ending will blow your mindThis is the first time the book has been translated to English and published in th USA

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O Lustre ➵ [Read] ➯ O Lustre By Clarice Lispector ✤ – You can find the 'newer' cover edition with the same ISBN HERE'O lustre' é provavelmente o livro menos conhecido de Clarice Lispector Publicado em 1946 e reeditado pela última vez em 1976 o livro n You can find the 'newer' cover edition with the same ISBN HERE'O Lustre' é provavelmente o livro menos conhecido de Clarice Lispector Publicado em e reeditado pela última vez em o livro não foge às características ue consagraram o estilo único de Clarice; o delicado tom intimista pontualmente uebrado por perturbadoras metáforas a exposição impiedosa da alma humana sem ue sejam revelados os mistérios de cada personagem.