- Published: January 26, 2022
- Updated: January 26, 2022
- University / College: University of Huddersfield
- Level: Undergraduate
- Language: English
- Downloads: 5
Clarice Lispectors ” Hour of the Star” According to Barbara Creed, the term abject is best defined a place where meaning collapses. It refers to a situation that must be excluded from the living subject and deposited in an imaginary border which demarcates self from reality.
In The Hour of the Star, Lispector employs the language of abjection in various instances in line with the evolution of language as her ideology. In this novella, Lispector develops the narrator to narrate the tale of Macabea, a young downtrodden native of Brazil. Macabea’s place of origin in Brazil is the Northeast, a barren place that despite its harsh climate and severe economy, it has inspired a number of Brazilian writers. Macabea, who is the protagonist in the novel, arrives in Rio de Janeiro with an attire and speech that betrays her origin. Her future is cut out through her inexperience, immense anonymity as well as her utter unsightness. She seems to be designed from her birth to swing in the balance of the notion of the survival for the fittest. In line with her simple lifestyle, she exits the world in a simple way. In an ultimate fit of irony, she succumbs to the wheels of a yellow Benz just after learning that she was soon going to meet her love. Ironically, a German car of the same color knocks her down leaving her in deep pains.
Through this recount Lispector employs fine threads to put the novella together as makes reference to the simplicity of the primitive language. Every word, in this case, becomes literal rather than figurative as she blends the borders between content and form. In the above case, both Macabea and Rodrigo are denied the future. Rodrigo inability to follow the title is as a result of the death of the protagonist as he states that, “ Macabea has murdered me” Lispector (85). Lispector, in this case, employs Punctuation as a toll to unite content and form in attempt to deny the future. The same happens elsewhere in the novel in which the Vichian cycles function to suggest not denial of the future but rather as a means of acknowledging Cixous statement of “ nonbeginning” (160). Lispector does not believe in the orders of spatiality and temporality. Even though she opens the text with a statement that the world originated with a yes, she ends the world and hence the novel with a “[y]es” (86). By doing this, she enables the figurative language to weave into the literal, enabling the layout and form of her words to provide insights into the content. She allude to the continuity of the cycles of mankind and that before prehistory, there was history prior to which there was the never (11). The novel is, therefore, history.
She portrays an image of abjection through everything that is related to Macabea. Macabea’s existence is portrayed in the shadow of the abject. Macabea’s humble beginnings perceived as an accident of nature and a fetus wrapped and thrown into the rubbish pit bring out the violence of the abject. Macabea’s image with abjection is also linked in an instance where they break up their relationship with Olimpico’s. He attempts to console her before eventually dumping her. Even at the time of her death, the protagonist’s image cannot be delinked from abjection as seen through Rodrigo’s comments in which he compares her to a hen whose neck is half-severed and running around while dripping in blood.
Lispector, Clarice. The Hour of the Star. Trans. Giovanni Pontiero. New York: New Directions, 1986. Trans. of A hora da estrela. 1977. Print.
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