Near to the Wild Heart
by Clarice Lispector – (Tr: Giovanni Pontiero)
1943 / 192 pages (new trans 2012)
rating – 8.5 / existential lit?
This came up in a reading group and because I’ve never read anything by Lispector and she’s from Brazil I thought I’d give it a shot. I expected a lot of stream-of-consciousness and I’m not fond of being all taken over by the workings of the mind of a fictional character – however the author thinks that character thinks. It feels really claustrophobic. (I’ve never met a stream of consciousness character who thinks anything like I do.)
Anyway, it’s certainly not all stream-of-consciousness from a character known as Joana but it’s close. There is no real plot – just a fairly young woman remembering chunks of her life while experiencing a few other chunks and focusing on her interior thoughts and feelings. She really wants to be free but can’t find the self and she’s seeking an authenticity of a physical self as well as an emotional, mental and spiritual self. >>>>MORE (no spoilers)>>>>