Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Lispector. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lispector. Show all posts

21 February, 2017

Clarice Lispector, "The Body"

Lispector takes three people, one man, two women, who live together and partake in a ménage à trois. The man, Xavier, cheats on the two women, Carmen and Beatrice, with a prostitute. The two women take knives and kill Xavier. The author invokes The Last Tango in Paris, Ravel's Bolero, and Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers to build a theme of dependence that turns into control, abuse, and revenge. Even after the body is shown to the police one of them said, "'Look,' said one of the policemen, right in front of the astonished secretary, 'it's best to pretend that nothing at all happened, otherwise there will be lots of noise, lots of paper work, lots of gossip.'" The women thank him.

20 February, 2017

Clarice Lispector, "Miss Algrave"

Miss Ruth Algrave, beautiful and chaste, writes letters of complaint to newspapers concerning all that she deems unholy. "She felt offended by humanity." She bathed once a week and removed herself from all sexuality until one particular night. "It was then that it happened." Something entered her bedroom window, wind which stated he was from Saturn. "What matters is that you can feel me." She becomes sexually alive. "She had never felt what she now felt." Her life changed; she began to eat meat, drink wine. "She had asked him [Ixtlan] why he had chosen her. He had said it was because she was a redhead and a virgin." Her unhappiness ended. However, she decides "She was going to take to the streets and bring men up to her room." And, "...she would take a bath, purifying herself of all those men, in order to be ready to feast with Ixtlan."

The story blends Biblical, Old Testament, references, Ruth, archeological, Ixtlan, and fairy tale, happy ever after, elements into a sexual awakening and acceptance of all people story.

Clarice Lispector, 1920-1977, was born in Ukraine and raised in Brazil. She married a diplomat and lived in Europe as well as the United States.