The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector
Tuesday 6 Nov, 7 – 9pm
SPACE Mare Street
Free & open to all
led by Roisin O’Sullivan
The world has no visible order and all I have is the order of my breath. I let myself happen. Clarice Lispector
This meeting focuses on The Passion According to G.H. by Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector (1920-1977), a celebrated Brazilian writer whose work deals with ontological questioning and mystery. Breaking the boundaries of conventional writing and language, she seeks to open human experience and suffer its excesses and incomprehensibility.
Avoiding all categorisation in the ways she uses words, Lispector creates imagery and forgoes the form and structure of traditional novels (in a similar way to that of Virgina Woolf). Despite her many female protagonists, Lispector did not align herself to the feminist movement or label; her mission was to articulate and give form to internal struggles lived unseen within people. Lispector fights within her writing to work beyond boundaries, categorisation and any sense of the binary, allowing what ‘is’ to happen without comment or judgement. It is this mystery that makes Lispector’s writing often impenetrable, but one which always leads her readers to uncharted places and internal territory. Language is a tool which Lispector uses to give voice and tangibility to the struggle that takes place within this medium of communication when expressing the incommunicable.
Lispector was a Brazilian writer born in Russia to Jewish emigrants. Although her writing does not overtly reference her Jewish origins, the continuing themes of displacement, diaspora and exile testify to the spiritual impact of Lispector’s early life on her work.
Together we read extracts from The Passion According to G.H., which explores the theme of exile. (You can read an extract here). ‘Passion’ in this book describes the internal breaking down of the self to give way to something greater. Lispector narrates the internal, mystical journey of a middle-class woman who has a breakdown after crushing a cockroach in the door of the wardrobe.
No advance reading is required as we read together, out loud, on the night.