Episode 22: The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

Introduction

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‘The story of a girl who was so poor that all she ate was hot dogs. That's not the story, though. The story is about a crushed innocence, about an anonymous misery.’ This is how Clarice Lispector describes The Hour of the Star, the novella she published shortly before her death in 1977.

Colm Tóibín writes that reading The Hour of the Sun is ‘like being brought backstage during the performance of a play and allowed odd glimpses of the actors and the audience, and further and more intense glimpses of the mechanics of the theatre – the scene and costume changes, the creation of artifice – with many interruptions by the backstage staff.’

Ostensibly the story of poverty and sexism and a young woman struggling to survive, The Hour of the Sun is also a fascinating exploration of the how and why of storytelling thanks to a particularly intrusive narration.

Perhaps Brazil’s greatest modern writer, Lispector was prolific, publishing nine novels, ten short story collections, children’s books and a range of journalism and other non-fiction writing, some of which has been translated.

Show Notes:

Clarice Lispector's The Hour of the Star is as bewildering as it is brilliant: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/18/clarice-lispector-hour-of-the-star

What I loved: Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector: https://www.readings.com.au/news/what-i-loved-hour-of-the-star-by-clarice-lispector

My Hour of the Star: On Clarice Lispector: https://themillions.com/2012/01/my-hour-of-the-star-on-clarice-lispector.html

Hour of the Star Clarice Lispector: https://www.rte.ie/entertainment/book-reviews/2014/0422/610240-hour-of-the-star-by-clarice-lispector/

Latin American Book Club: The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandarts/books-and-arts-thursday-29-june-2017/8651368

Reading Pathways: Clarice Lispector Books: https://bookriot.com/2018/10/17/clarice-lispector-books/

The True Glamour of Clarice Lispector: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-true-glamour-of-clarice-lispector

The Second Death of Clarice Lispector: https://electricliterature.com/the-second-death-of-clarice-lispector-68b96feb9cf3

The Tenuous Nonfiction of Clarice Lispector’s Crônicas: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/12/14/tenuous-nonfiction-clarice-lispectors-cronicas/

If you were to read one Clarice Lispector book, which should it be?: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/if-you-were-to-read-one-clarice-lispector-book-which-should-it-be-1.1861874

Recommendations:

Neve:

The Good Trouble

Maxine Beneba Clarke at Saturday Paper

Virginia Woolf essay: Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown

Kirby:

Derry Girls on Netflix

‘The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath’ by Leslie Jamison

Fi:

‘On Looking: Essays’ Lia Purpura

‘Say Hello’ by Carly Findlay

Russian Doll on Netflix

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