‘Report on the Thing’ by Clarice Lispector

For Lispector, any everyday object can be the start of meditations on time, the universe, God, as well as her own domestic routines. In this instance we’re dealing with an alarm clock which serves as the pretext for a wild, incantatory resistance to any notion of categorisation or predication. The story is littered with what is and what isn’t this or that: “The Sun is, not the Moon. My face is. Probably yours is too.” Philosophical ideas are combined with intensely physical description, making this a typical Lispector piece where any and all assumptions are reclaimed through the medium of the body, the body which writes.

(1974; in Complete Stories, Penguin. Translated by Katrina Dodson. Online here

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