The Stream of Life

by Clarice Lispector

Other authorsHelene Cixous (Foreword)
Paperback, 1989




Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1989.


A monologue about an unnamed female protagonist's awareness of self-realization.

User reviews

LibraryThing member carioca
This is one of masterpieces of Clarice Lispector, a personal favorite author of mine. The novel has that same form of interior dialogue that characterizes Lispector's work. Agua Viva is in fact a book that deals with the struggle of writing and of creating at the same time it deals with the
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protagonist's quest for self-discovery and self-affirmation. This is a beautiful, extremely lyrical book. A gem.
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LibraryThing member DavidCLDriedger
Makes me wonder if we gave up on our stupid high school questions about life too soon. The questions remain, we can either sit with them or ignore them.
LibraryThing member librarianbryan
Wow. I've been working on this since July. Lispector is trying to capture with words what you can do with painting. Good luck. She just can't keep up the ecstatic soul cracking for any sustained length and it sort of devolves into what I was afraid PKD's Exegesis was going to be. There are some
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great life affirming poetic nuggets in here, and pagan gods pop in a time or two, but far too often she just come off as bored. And I'm reading it in translation. I want to say more positive things but if it took me this long to finish?

I have a story about this book.
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LibraryThing member b.masonjudy
Lispector's novel is, well a novel may not be the right word, a collection of philosophical musings or the distillation of a landscape of thought might be a better way to put it. Either way it is an excellent read that engages a deep and idiosyncratic specificity that blossoms outward to the
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universal. Her authorship is arresting and befuddling in the best way possible. I can't wait to come back to Água Viva.
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LibraryThing member stillatim
A fascinating attempt to write a philosophical 'novel,' and one which should appeal to readers of the Camuses and Satres as well as those searching for new forms! I say attempt, because I'm pretty sure this is a failed attempt! Lispector's translators all bemoan the difficulty of getting her
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idiosyncratic Portugese into English, and I have to think, from the two novels I've read, that nobody's succeeded, because this (and The Passion) both sound like over-awed teenagers who've just realised they're allowed to use their brains, but don't really have the skills with words needed to, you know, get their brains out into the public!

Lispector was clearly very intelligent; her thought in here is much better than the older existentialist-novel types, and would probably repay close study! But I just can't read books in which every sentence seems like it should have Spanish-style exclamation points before and after! Is this just because I'm so hemmed into the Anglophone tradition that I've lost touch with my inner excitable child?! Perhaps! But I'm too old to really care! If I want to read musings on the nature of time and memory, I'll stick to Proust, Woolf and, in a pinch, Bergson! And even Henri's a little too over the top for me! So Lispector probably never stood a chance!
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LibraryThing member albertgoldfain
Probably not a great introduction to this author. A rambling meditation on nothing in particular, which is fine by me, but none of the fragments comes in to focus and the work cannot sustain momentum without anything resembling focus or characterization.


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