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The Passion According to G.H. (Emergent Literatures) Paperback – September 15, 1988

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Aficionados of South American fiction as well as literary critics will welcome this posthumous translation of a nearly plotless novel by one of Brazil's foremost writers. Availing herself of a single character, Lispector transforms a banal situationa woman at home, aloneinto an amphitheater for philosophical investigations. The first-person narration jousts with language, playfully but forcefully examining the ambiguous nature of words, with results ranging from the profound to the pretentious: "Prehuman divine life is a life of singeing nowness" or "The world interdepended with me, and I am not understanding what I say, never! never again shall I understand what I say. For how will I be able to speak without the word lying for me?" These linguistic games frame existential and experiential crises that Lispector savors and overcomes. Although this idiosyncratic novel will not have wide appeal, those with academic or markedly erudite tastes should like it very much.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This Ukranian-born Brazilian author is regarded in France as a philosopher rather than a storyteller. Here she offers a meditation on the human condition full of aphoristic declarations and merciless self-scrutiny. The narrator, whose identity is continually undone and remade, claims she doesn't have "a word to say," then observes, "But if I don't force myself to talk, silence will forever engulf me in waves." Plot is secondary; the aim is to push language to the limit. Part of the publisher's new "Emergent Literatures" series, which will make available in English authors whose "works have been ignored . . . because of their difference from established models of literature," this is recommended for adventuresome readers. Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 173 pages
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (September 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816617120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816617128
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I know that "human gender" sounds weird in English.I'm trying to persuade you to see the H. and the G., now invert it as it would be in Portuguese G.H. I also know that the word "Gospel" does not have the double "entendre" that "passion" evokes in Portuguese. If you read the King James version of the Bible, you may find "The Passion according to Mark, Luke, Matthew..." If I mention these aspects of the title is because this book should be read with a spiritual approach of some sort. Clarice uses language in the most unorthodox manner, a stylistic trait that the translator unfortunately neglects. He actually tries to "conform" to a more mainstream presentation of the text so the average reader understands it. He way didn't get it. Two thumbs down for him. In spite of that, Clarice's supernatural ability to pierce the soul comes across intensely whenever her fluid words challenge our preconceived, static understanding of what things mean. Biblical allusions (both in the Jewish and Christian sense, mixed with Eastern and Western mistical traditions can be subtly and overtly detected in G.H.'s (Genero Humano, Human Kind)inward exploration and personal revelations. The text is fluid and, as such, serves as a changing mirror to the reader, that is, as you read it the narrative transforms itself to reflect your inner projections. Whatever meaning you attribute to Clarice's words comes from your inner life. But, as she said, "don't worry about understanding. To be alive is much vaster than understanding..." Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the vision of your soul.
P.S. I strongly recommend this book to the dying, to those facing major life transitions, and to the truly living.
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Format: Hardcover
Clarice writes beautiful poetry, but in prose. She permanently talks about solitude in large cities, most the times about woman solitude.
There is a totally trivial incident. Someone is alone in a flat that gives a view of granite hills (a very common sight at Rio de Janeiro, where she lived). Suddenly she finds a huge cockroach and has to fight or flee. And facing it, reviews her whole life, identifies with the cockroach and takes the decision to fight her fears.
The above script may not sound much, but Clarice is a master of the word, writes marvellous short stories and, as Guimaraes Rosa, another brazilian writer tells, "the Devil is on the details".
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Format: Paperback
Clarice Lispector is certainly the best thing we have concerning to women literature in Brazil.She is able to touch our hidden feelings. This small book contains every thing one must reads over a lifetime.Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it tastes delicious.
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Format: Paperback
The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector is a provocative piece of writing that defies categorization. It is built around a literary framework in that the reader follows a fictional character through one day of her life, yet the book lacks conventional narrative techniques in its approach. In terms of plot, a woman walks into a room that used to belong to her maid, sees a drawing on the wall that disturbs her and instigates a series of musings, and eats a cockroach to unite with the basic matter of creation. Interior monologue then is the focus of the book, a deeply personal, philosophical journey that culminates in a sense of enlightenment for the narrator. The book is a haunting one, sometimes paranoid, sometimes exultant, but always in motion, undergoing an evolution of thought that leads the narrator, at least, to a state of inner peace. Brilliant philosophizing, not much fun as a work of fiction. This one's for a very select audience.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clarice Lispector combines philosophy, autobiography and sociology when whe writes her turning around books. They are short, compact, evocative. They challenge old concepts of what makes fiction/reality.
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