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Lispector at her most philosophically radical.
A meditation on the nature of life and time, Água Viva (1973) shows Lispector discovering a new means of writing about herself, more deeply transforming her individual experience into a universal poetry. In a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically profound as Clarice Lispector’s, Água Viva stands out as a particular triumph.
About the Author
Clarice Lispector (1920–1977), the greatest Brazilian writer of the twentieth century, has been called “astounding” (Rachel Kushner), “a penetrating genius” (Donna Seaman, Booklist), and “one of the twentieth century’s most mysterious writers” (Orhan Pamuk).
Born in Belem, Brazil, in 1974, Stefan Tobler is a translator from Portuguese and German. He won English PEN’s Writers in Translation prize. His translation of Raduan Nassar's A Cup of Rage was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.
Benjamin Moser, the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, is the editor of ND’s Clarice Lispector translation series, of which this is the ninth volume. For Sontag: Her Life and Work, he won the Pulitzer Prize.
This is a fictional account of a woman’s attempt to escape from conventional time and exist instead in a perpetually renewing “this instant-now”. Lispector pursued this same seemingly impossible aim through a number of books – getting closer and closer to the confused and thrilling feeling of fully conscious aliveness. Água Viva is where she succeeds most amazingly.
— Toby Litt
Brilliant and unclassifiable… Glamorous, cultured, moody, Lispector is an emblematic twentieth-century artist who belongs in the same pantheon as Kafka and Joyce.
— Edmund White
This is a book that, like a good painting, can be picked up anywhere and that will continue to reward renewed contact over months and years of acquaintance.
— Scott Esposito
Her images dazzle even when her meaning is most obscure, and when she is writing of what she despises she is lucidity itself.
One of 20th-century Brazil’s most intriguing and mystifying writers.