‘Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. But before prehistory there was the prehistory of prehistory and there was the never and there was the yes. It was ever so. I do not know why, but I do know that the universe never began.’ p.11
‘The more genuine part of my life is unrecognisable, extremely intimate and impossible to define.’ p.12
‘Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?’ p.15
‘Why do I write? First of all because I have captured the spirit of the language and at times it is the form that constitutes the content.’ p.17
‘Of one thing I am certain: this narrative will combine with something delicate: the creation of an entire human being who is as much alive as I am.’ p.19
‘I have grown weary of literature: silence alone comforts me. If I continue to write, it’s because I have nothing more to accomplish in this world except to wait for death. Searching for the word in darkness.’ p. 70
Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star (t. Giovanni Pontiero)
This earlier translation by Giovanni Pontiero (Carcanet, 1986) is more fulfilling as a work of art than the later New Directions edition. I can’t comment on the success of the translation, but think Pontiero’s version a better piece of writing.