THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF WRITERS.
The first one writes for his public, and the last writes for himself.
Clarice is the kind that writes for herself, and it shows in her works. Specially in this novella.
But it's okay, because it's Clarice Lispector, a woman who looks like an old Hollywood sexy villain, the embodiment of a mid-century sophistication that we, poor modern selfie-crazed creatures will never have the power to emulate. And feminism has never been so efortless as in Gertrudes
.AND SHE PUBLISHED HER FIRST BOOK WHEN SHE WAS JUST 22 YEARS OLD.
Let's try not to die in envy.
The Hour of the star begins with a mysterious narrator fixated for a woman. He begins saying that he will tell his story in "simple words"... and, in a 10-page poetic lucubration follows, repeats that 100 thousand times, along with how he intended to write the story.
The story per se
only begins at page 26. So much for "simple story telling".
The woman in question is a Northeastern immigrant. And, like any Northeastern Brazilian in XX-century literature, she suffered a lot with famine and poverty. (Graciliano Ramos can provide fantastic exceptions. Or Lygia Fangundes Telles.)
So in the beginning it is reaaally slow, but the pace picks up fast and suddenly we can't just stop reading. Figures of speech are interesting, but not too overwhelming like they are in the first half.
I recommend for the ones who enjoy "poetic" writing. But, if you are a poor little analytical mind, like me, who enjoys clinical phrasing a la
Herman Hesse, consider skipping a few pages from the start.