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The Hour of the Star

The Hour of the Star

Paperback

By (author) Clarice Lispector, Translated by Benjamin Moser

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  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Format: Paperback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 198mm x 10mm | 113g
  • Publication date: 19 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0811219496
  • ISBN 13: 9780811219495
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Sales rank: 68,992

Product description

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. In her last book she takes readers close to the true mystery of life and leave us deep in Lispector territory indeed."

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Review quote

In this slim novella, Lispector uses an intricate narrative structure in order to represent a peculiar state of mind. Rodrigo, a well-off and cultured man, struggles to tell the story of the sad life of Macabea, an unhygienic, sickly, unlovable, and an altogether "un-ideal" typist living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Although Rodrigo claims he's the only person who could love Macabea if only because she's the subject of his narrative he really tells her story as a way to thwart his own isolation. Lispector employs odd sentence fragments and erratic grammatical choices to highlight the importance of imagination as a means for her characters to liberate themselves from their banal existences. Through Rodrigo's narrative, Lispector artfully ponders the fate of her characters, and their fears and desires, in a harsh and unforgiving cityscape. Startlingly original and profoundly sad, The Hour of the Staris a provocative work by a highly influential author who should be more widely read. --Jeff Brewer (02/24/2012)"