clarice lispector’s the body

Clarice Lispector was a Brazilian author born in Ukraine in 1920. She is a well-known author around the world for her innovative novels and short stories. She was born in Podolia to a Jewish family before being moved to Brazil. Her adoption to Brazil was due to the issues confronting her home country at the time of the First World War. Her mother died when she was nine, and her family was forced to move to Rio de Janeiro when she was in her teens (Moser 78). Later, she enrolled in a law school, from which he began making significant contributions to the fields of literature and music through publications. Clarice is a profound writer. Her area of focus was the creation of understanding on the establishment and distortion in the society that came along with the establishment (Lispector 786). To put this in perspective, she took a deep study of the finer and minuscule details of the changes and challenges affecting the society at her time. One of the short stories she published was The ‘Via Crucis of the Body’ written in 1974.

Just what is the content of the short story? Summarily, in the Via Crucis of the Body, Clarice presents a character of a woman told by a doctor that she had three months of pregnancy. The married woman is then portrayed as a worried character owing to her claim that her husband had never laid his hands on her. The woman also reiterates that her husband is not impotent. When the message reached the man, the latter claimed that the situation was like the happening of the Virgin Mary and Joseph in the Bible. Immediately after this reaction, the woman believes that she will give birth to a son who belongs to God (Lispector 780).

Similar happenings to Joseph then occur to the woman’s husband with the hair growing longer. In preparation for the whole process, the woman collects a manger. What worries the woman is whether there would appear, three wise men, as did in the case of the birth of Jesus. Another concern is whether a star from the East would seem to guide them. Her primary cause of worry through is whether her son will one day walk the path of the cross as Jesus experienced all the way to crucifixion at Golgotha (Moser 86).

Clarice presents the body of a human being as corporeal which idea is based on the philosophy and scientific knowledge (Benard 80). She presents the body as an intentional entity always heading for the earthly activities. As a result, the views on beauty, existence, and body as regularly shown in the dominant cultures are reinvented.

The work in the novel is also a classical example of elegance in the writing and the constant creation of rhythm and flow to properly communicate the precise message to her readers. Her stories reveal a person who was having a thorough engagement with the language. She mastered the art of making words do what they were not originally intended to do. She approached the language in a simple manner to explain a complexity. She often caused an intimate relationship with the reader of her works.

The short story, therefore, posits an acceptance of birth by a lady that is the virgin. It also displays the love for the husband who does not make any other inquiries like the other alternative ways of getting birth, most of which may arise from immorality, other than coitus between the couples. Whether the woman is under insane delusions or is a deception spree, it is not told. This presents a case for a Christian belief in Rio De Janeiro.

Through her short story on the body, it is evident that Clarice was influenced by the desire to discuss unique topics, discussions that had remained unaddressed for long during her tenure in the field of writing and journalistic publications. In this case, she was examining the relationship between men and women in family affairs, a topic which he often had a bias towards during her time of literary publications. Alvaro Pacheco, her publisher, challenged her to do the publication on a unique topic that in this case was sex. This was partly the reason behind this short story (Moser 60).

By the time of writing and publishing the short story on the body, Clarice had just been fired from Journal do Brasil in 1973 (Soffer 43). As a result, she was under intense pressure to make money after the firing which had caused an economic downturn in her life. Perhaps this succinctly explains why unlike the rest of her publications that took years to publish, this particular one only took three days to finish, actually over the weekend. The language and style used in the short story are also one of its kinds. This is because she attended the best of the high schools and got a finer education. After this, her law education must have influenced her quest for research on the topic of her interest. This best explains why the tone in the short story was majorly revolutionary in nature.

The focus of the short story is telling the tale of a woman in the society. At the time of the writing, there was widespread patriarchy at the time, and therefore this informed Clarice’s writing about the various stages of women lives. In the short story on the Body Clarice puts the woman character at the centre. Perhaps this is informed by the earlier experience she had with her mother being raped in Ukraine. Another possible influence is the dating she had with Cardoso who had a unique sexual orientation and later had to be naturalized to marry the diplomat who became her husband (Peixoto 56).

The thirty years of experience in writing was also a driving force for Clarice in developing unique topics which had attracted widespread criticism. She presents her ideas while not warry of her actual and potential critics of her works. As a result, she was able to aggressively take up the challenge by her publisher without minding the growing critics from Brazilians that her stories were near pornographies. The works is an evidence of the elements of Judaism in the works. Her creation of the story around the birth of Jesus is informed by the fact that she was born to a Jewish family before being transplanted to Brazil. Her knowledge of the biblical teachings on Jesus therefore has easily informed the flow in n the short story of the human body.

In conclusion, it is evident from the above contextual analyses that several influences of the time were responsible for the working on the short story on the Body by Clarice Lispector. Some of the contextual influences are external such as the life as it was then. On the other hand, some are internal such as the life that Clarice lived and the way she was brought up. More specifically, they are responsible for the choice of word, comparison, and speed of the publication.

Works Cited

Csabai, M and F Eros. “Bodies in transition: The unbearable lightness of the traditionless self.” Journal of European Psychoanalysis 8(9) (1999): 101.

Lispector, Clarice. A via crucis do corpo. Rio De Janeiro, 1998.

Moser, Benjamin. Why this world: a biography of Clarice Lispector. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Peixoto, Marta. Passionate fictions: gender, narrative, and violence in Clarice Lispector. University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

Soffer, J. “Embodied Perception: Redefining the.” Theory and Psychology 11(5) (2001): 660.

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