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The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector

A person’s self is everything that time fails to be. A self preoccupies space in translation. It moves through itself, through others, and through passions. Time’s ephemerality is unable to hook this net of presences that only run deep into a self’s soul.

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Time’s soul is rather quiet, it flows like a river, into the ocean, and with it takes from a self most of its memories. Does time ever conquer a person’s self? Perhaps it does; when time is even more powerful in its own absence than the self is in it. You’ll never read any book the way you’ll read Lispector’s The Passion According to G.H. Perhaps some stories aren’t stories at all. They’re transient realities of dreams through which desire, imagination, and melancholy summon up the courage to shine forth. Every page is a contemplation of life. Every utterance felt alive and perceptive from the dawn of the writer’s mind. What is the book about? It’s hard to say because I’m yet to recognize what the reading felt like. Clarice Lispector writes like a magician. In this book, she has weaved together a very conscious way of savoring life’s idiosyncrasies. Her words are meant to be read one after the other as if new words appear anew page after page. As a book that hasn’t been read yet, it sits on your desk or shelf as a bundle of blank pages. Clarice Lispector urges you to understand her words as an ode to all the passions of the selves you’ve inhabited over the years. And as an ode to the unrequited longings of the selves you’ve had to let go off. She wraps language with the divinity of time and belonging. Only to give birth to a truth that is misunderstood and cast aside. That beauty is not the answer to a human’s miserly and intolerant existence, it’s identity. When for her “reality is the raw material,” language is the way she embraces to search for it.

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