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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing the essence of life, 8 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This is surely the greatest work ever written by Clarice Lispector. In The Stream of Life Clarice is interested in capturing each fleeting instant of life, as she feels that the essence of existence is hidden in the flowing of day-by-day experience, in what might seem trivial to most people whose eyes have been blinded by custom. Her sensual writing (defined by Hélène Cixous as the best example of écriture féminine) is here displayed as a flowing of 'paintings' and 'photographs' in words, which aims at recreating a wider reality than the one we are usually aware of. Throughout The Stream of Life, animals, plants (even objects) are endowed, as it were, with a new life, their everyday life being ordinarily taken for granted and disregarded. Intuition, emotions, instincts, and dreams are specially valued and opposed to cold logic, in a writing which so much recalls Virginia Woolf's style, while keeping, however, its own originality. In her Foreword to this work (which introduces this edition), Hélène Cixous declares the impossibility of "talking about" The Stream of Life: its unconventional writing escapes definitions. Rather, one should simply immerse in its stream: a must-read, which confirms Clarice Lispector as the greatest Brazilian writer of this century and one of the greatest woman writers of all times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More prose-poetry, incantated by Clarice Lispector, 12 Oct 2012
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Philoctetes (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Stream of Life (Emergent Literatures) (Paperback)
True thought seems authorless.

So says Clarice, but I have a feeling if someone handed you an unidentified line or two from Agua Viva you would guess her right away. Hélène Cixous' foreword refers repeatedly to the text's difficulty: "The text says what it says which makes reading very difficult. One has to read the very phenomena of writing, reading oneself." If that last bit made you go "Whoa!", proceed. If you thought, OMG, what the heck's that mean?", maybe avoid this author.

Then again, maybe that's not good advice. Lispector's writing, aptly, has perfect fluidity, not like Cixous; the preface, despite a handful of intriguing statements, is like beating your head against a wall. It reminded me of the first volume of Proust, in that respect.

No, the only way to approach Clarice's Agua Viva is to hear it as prose-poetry, a song of the spirit. Ramblings of the Pythia. Remember Yoda's advice to Luke before he enters the dark hollow: (what's in there?) Only what you take with you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it, buy it, buy it!!!!, 17 April 2012
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Ms. P. C. Birchall (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Stream of Life (Emergent Literatures) (Paperback)
This book is fantastic, this book is intriguing, this book is a roller coaster, this book is a white knuckle ride. This book is breath taking and inspirational and will put down all feelings of 'is my work good enough?' It will give you confidence, vision and courage. Hurrah for The Stream of Life. I defaced my first copy with loads of notes and then ordered a new copy that I want to read in one sitting, because it deserves that intensity because the intensity of life in it will blow your mind. I bought this book on the strength of the reviews written and also knew about her from the author Helen Cixous, whose literature was discovered from the Nancy Spero exhibition of art at the Serpentine Gallery in London last year, 2011. One thing leads to another and it was Helene Cixous who put me onto this fantastic book. If you love writing and write and love art and reading buy it.
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The Stream of Life (Emergent Literatures)
The Stream of Life (Emergent Literatures) by Clarice Lispector (Paperback - 28 Jun 1989)
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