Saturday, August 06, 2005

"The Smallest Woman in the World" by Clarice Lispector

Deep in the forests of the Congo, a French explorer discovers--you guessed it. What this tiny woman invokes in those who learn of her varies from houseold to household and from heart to heart. Read by Scoot.

Though she was born in the Ukraine and had first intended to become a lawyer, Clarice Lispector became one of Brazil's most well-known and celebrated writers. This story is translated by another very well-known writer, the American poet Elizabeth Bishop, who was on and off a resident of Brazil herself. You might call "The Smallest Woman," as one critic has, "an ironic study of racism and sexism." But it also reflects the inherent poetry which Bishop must have admired and which made Lispector's books such as Beside the Savage Heart and The Apple in the Dark such successes. (Those of you who have read Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory might see something here akin to the Oompa Loompas in that book.) Lispector, our sources note, saw snow for the first time in 1947 (she was born in 1920, died in 1977). In 1967 she was severely burned while falling asleep while smoking a cigarette (another reason not to start, kids!). And in 1975 she took part in the Witches' World Conference in Bogota, Colombia. Oh, the things you can discover on the Interweb!


Anonymous said...

Agghhh! There is no way I can listen to this story or recommend anyone else listen to it with Scoot narrating!

Scoot said...

Thanks for not listening, then!

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't mess up so much!