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Clarice Lispector's "Hour of the Star"

PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE AND TIME. "Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this brief, strange, and haunting tale is the story of Macabea, one of life's unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabea 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, Macabea 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."

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  • John

    This short engrossing novel was a kind of fable about the fate of a poor woman abused by various "friends" as well as by Brazilian class dynamics and her own naivete. Lispector's framing narrative (the heroine is presented as the invention of a frustrated superficial male author) did not seem particularly successful to me, though it did add a layer of irony. Our members read two different translations, and we compared passages taken from each.

    January 15, 2015

  • chris g.

    What's the next book (for October) on the list?

    September 9, 2014

  • elsa

    started school

    September 7, 2014

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