This is the 3000th post on The Reading Life. I think for me Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector (1920 to 1970)is a perfect subject for this post. She is one of my favorite writers, her image is on my blog sidebar. If I had never started my blog I would have, I am quite sure, died having never heard about much less read her great work. There are hundreds of other writers of which the same can be said featured on the blog.
As of now I am still dealing with a painful and strength sapping illness, but nothing on the level of the pain of the terminal cancer Clarice dealt with in the final days of her life. In Clarice's family and life story much of the history of the 20th century can be encapsulated.
Near to the Wild Heart, the title comes from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, was her first novel, published at age twenty three when she was still in law school and working as a journalist. Her prose style mesmerized Brazilian literary society. Early critics proclaimed it the best novel ever written in Portuguese by a woman.
It is a stream of consciousness work, not conventionally plotted, in which Joana, a recently married woman in her early twenties, recalls incidents from her life. I was struck by her extensive quotations from Spinoza.
There is background information on Clarice in my prior posts.