The Hour of the Star
by Clarice Lispector
The Hour of the Star Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
She did not think about herself: she lacked self-awareness. (4.353)
Forget cogito ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am"); this is non cogito ergo non sum ("I do not think, therefore I am not." Or, you know, something along those lines. Our Latin's a little rusty.) If you are not aware of yourself, do you exist? If others are not aware of you, do you exist? It's awful to think about—but, at the same time, there seems to be a connection between this inner emptiness and the abundance of grace that Macabéa attains.
If she was no longer herself, this signified a loss that counted as a gain. (5.416)
After Macabéa visits the fortuneteller, she is full of hope about her future, and she feels like a new person, so she is no longer her old self. This is Macabéa 2.0: better, hope-ier, and, sadly, not long for the world.
Meanwhile, Macabéa, lying on the ground, seemed to become more and more transformed into a Macabéa, as if she were arriving at herself. (5.432)
So, maybe Macabéa really is becoming more and more herself—but we have to remember that this is a story told by our narrator, who tells it from his perspective and from his own search for the meaning of life. Maybe Macabéa is really just becoming Macabéa for him, and she still feels as lost as ever.