“The Hour of the Star”; Literate Talks


  “In no sense an intellectual, I write with my body. ”

From the very beginning of this book, you know that you’re going to annotate it a hell lot. Lispector manages to fill every sentence of hers so very beautifully and simply. Even if you put aside her wonderful writing, you get a text and a persona.
This is a short novel. A novel that plays quite sensitively with the lines of fiction and autobiography.

“Just as I am writing at the same time as I am being read. Only I do not start with the ending that would justify the beginning — as death appears to comment on life — because I must record the preceding events.
Even as I write this I feel ashamed at pouncing on you with a narrative that is so open and explicit.”

Plot-wise, we get to hear the tale of Macabéa, a young girl who is quite lost in the acts of nature and in the streets of Rio de Janeiro. She seeks answers to existential questions, to questions about love, eros, sex, compassion, beauty and fate. Rodrigo S.M, our narrator, has found something sacred, something mysteriously enchanting in her “ugliness, unhappiness, lost-ness, unfortunate-ness and misery”.

“The anonymous girl of this story is so ancient that she could be described as biblical.”

He attributes her the attractiveness of an old, cold coffee. A coffee desirable to none. She lacks the beauty, she lacks the eroticism, the warmness of a hot coffee. As you can probably tell already, Rodrigo takes a unique and unreliable look on our heroine.

Lispector really spoke to my heart. The eras and the continents may be different but I could see myself so beautifully portrayed in her character. Macabéa expresses the anonymity we all feel, the anonymity that others embrace and others hate with all their being.

The author seems to be entering the narration the entire time. As I said, this book contains a large amount of autobiographical elements. Clarice looks back to her past, to her first years in Rio de Janeiro lost in fiction and the mystery of life.

“Also because if anyone should read this story, I’d like them to absorb this young woman like a cloth soaked in water. The girl embodies a truth I was anxious to avoid.”

I should not say much more. I spontaneously picked up this book, not knowing anything about the writer or the book. This way, pleasant surprises found their way to me more mysteriously and beautifully. Thus, I recommend you this very reading experience.


The job of the reviewer seems way more difficult and heavy when it comes to books that have gained a special part in your heart and in your whole being. It has impacted me, as well as my writing. I got absolutely drunk with her words and images. Clarice Lispector has bewitched me!

Au revoir,
​my dearest readers! 🌹

2 comments on ““The Hour of the Star”; Literate Talks

  1. sadeknows says:

    Great review. I’m really interested to read this book now. It sounds so lyrical.

    Liked by 1 person

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