"I read this book twice in 48 hours—the first time so that I could read it, the second so that I could breathe it. Água Viva ('Living Water') is a free-flowing collection of thoughts brought to us by Ukrainian-born Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. These thoughts are expressed through the perspective of an unidentified narrator who, throughout the book, addresses a perpetual ‘you.’ Lispector pushes the limits of written abstraction by carefully crafting a framework in which conventional language and a non-linear narrative can coexist. The result is a savage inquiry into life, death, being, nothingness, and self-expression. I felt comfort in Lispector’s meditative descriptions of the ephemerality of existence, and despite how exhausting it can be to think and feel so deeply, she still somehow made me feel like I was just having a conversation with a friend over morning coffee. The thrilling intensity, mild absurdity, and profound beauty of this text left me feeling both deeply understood and fully, consciously alive."
Lispector at her most philosophically radical.
A meditation on the nature of life and time, Água Viva (1973) shows Lispector discovering a new means of writing about herself, more deeply transforming her individual experience into a universal poetry. In a body of work as emotionally powerful, formally innovative, and philosophically profound as Clarice Lispector’s, Água Viva stands out as a particular triumph.