Unraveling the Articulable: Thinking, Being and Becoming in Clarice Lispector's Near to the Wild Heart

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marcyanne Hannemann (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site: http://library.unca.edu/
Kirk Boyle

Abstract: Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s debut novel Near to the Wild Heart follows Joana as she tries to make sense of meaning where meaning is mediated through an articulation of language, which seems to always escape or void true meaning itself. Delving into linguistic and phenomenological questions of the “thing-in-itself”, Joana is consistently feeling at odds with herself and the world, and often between herself and herself. She struggles to bridge the distance between two versions of herself: one being the version that has a slight idea that she was, and the other who profoundly was. This sets up a separation between being and knowing, as though even with ourselves there is a distance between who we are, and who-we-are-in-ourselves. Similar to the feeling of things existing beyond and before their verbal articulation, Joana feels that she exists before, beyond and after her attempts to articulate “herselfness.” In this thesis I will argue that Lispector’s rhetorical use of language, structure and narrative places the reader within the same distance between reading and reading as Joana has between herself and herself, or as all objects have between themselves. While the reader is experiencing the act of reading, the structure does not lend itself to a complete immersion of plot, and thus maintains the reader’s (like Joana’s) awareness of themselves. Through this awareness I hope to explore Lispector’s ultimately positive embrace of becoming- beyond and through meaning.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Brazil, Clarice Lispector, Near to the Wild Heart, Linguistics

Email this document to