Besieged City, The
Paperback $16.99 - Penguin UK
Fiction - Published: 17/Sep/2019 - ISBN: 9780241371374
Written in flight from Lispector's 'shipwreck of introspection' it is a book unlike any other in the Lispector canon, a novel about simply seeing the external world. Its heroine Lucrecia is utterly mute and unreflective. She may have no inner life. The plot itself is utterly unlike any other Lispector narrative- small-town girl marries rich man, sees the world, and lives happily ever after.
But there are miraculous horses, linguistic ecstasies, catty remarks, minor characters' visions and music from unknown sources. There is Lucrecia, the heroine free of the burden of thought, who 'leaned over without any individuality, trying merely to look at things directly'. And yet her 'mere' looking leads, as Lispector's biographer Benjamin Moser notes, 'paradoxically but inevitably, to Clarice's own metaphysical concerns. As it turns out, not being profound is simply another way of being profound'.
Translated by Johnny Lorenz Clarice Lispector was a Brazilian novelist and short story writer. Her innovation in fiction brought her international renown. She was born in the Ukraine in 1920, but in the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Civil War, the family fled to Romania and eventually Brazil. She published her first novel, Near to the Wildheart in 1943 when she was just twenty-three, and the next year was awarded the Gra a Aranha Prize for the best first novel. She died in 1977, shortly after the publication of her final novel, The Hour of the Star. Clarice Lispector's revelatory third novel, now in English for the first time.
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