Little known and infrequently translated, Brazilian author Clarice Lispector is the creator of fascinating, mystical and psychologically penetrating fiction which is now receiving new attention thanks to a biography and this new translation of The Apple In The Dark.
With regret, I have to report that completing this novel was a struggle. I had already tried The Hour Of The Star - much shorter - and loved it. 'Apple', however, is spoiled by the most execrable proofreading. My copy was littered with wrong words - no misspellings, so the computer spellcheck wouldn't be alerted to them - and the misuse of every kind of punctuation. Quite shocking.
As to this very metaphysical narrative that one might cruelly sum up as, odd-job man experiences delusions of grandeur, well, there is much that is wise and true in the narration, but also much that is obscure or downright fatuous. I frequently found the characters and the narrator's musings exasperating. The sleeve compares Lispector to Virginia Woolf, so if you're a fan, maybe you'll find more to glean from this novel than I did.
I strongly recommend The Hour Of The Star to newcomers interested in Lispector. For what it's worth, I wrote and complained about the state of the text to the publishing house. They promised me another book by way of compensation. I'm still waiting for it...(N.B. Since writing the above, I have received compensation.)