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The Hour of the Star

The Hour of the Star

by Clarice Lispector

Language and Communication Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

So long as I have questions to which there are no answers, I shall go on writing. (1.3)

And here we have the basic reason that people blog, keep diaries, and post videos of themselves talking to YouTube: writing is a way of thinking on paper. The narrator is writing not because he wants to but because life is so complicated that he feels like he has to.

Quote #2

I do not intend to write anything complicated, although I am obliged to use the words that sustain you. (1.7)

Meet our narrator, master strategist. He wants to keep thing simple to do justice to the story; but he also wants to hold our attention. Notice that he's making certain assumptions about the audience—that we're sophisticated (or jaded) enough that a boring story about a miserable teenager isn't going to hold our attention.

Quote #3

Remember that, no matter what I write, my basic material is the word. So this story will consist of words that form phrases from which there emanates a secret meaning that exceeds both words and phrases. (1.16)

Talk about secret meaning—this is one of those passages that might leave you scratching your head. It seems like this book is as much about exploring the power of language as it about detailing the misery of Macabéa's life.

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