Abstract

This article analyzes the novel Água viva by Clarice Lispector in light of the main postmodernist theories of the second half of the twentieth century. This approach examines the Claricean text as écriture, in which there is no communication of a moral or cognitive message, but the representation of the unrepresentable or the ineffable. The narrator expresses emotions and feelings, as well as corporal sensations through the own materiality of the signifier without the presence of a transcendental signified. The analysis focuses on concepts such as the pleasure of the text or jouissance (Barthes), écriture féminine (Cixous), sublime/differend (Lyotard), and arché-écriture/différance (Derrida). It also uses Foucault's concept of the reorganization of historical discourse and McHale's dominant. This study challenges the argument that the text fails in the act of expression or communication by trying to reach an absolute plenitude through the use of arbitrary signs that do not succeed in representing reality. However, this interpretation comes from a mimetic conception of language, in which language is considered as an agent of signification or transmission of a message. The postmodern art of Lispector does not look for an absolute representation, but renounces it with the purpose of representing (intensively) the unrepresentable through a new aesthetics of language. The success of Água viva lies in a Claricean plenitude of the ineffable, where there is an auto-reflexive movement of implosion into the subject/text, as well as an ontological search of a unique universe ruled by its own norms. "A linguagem é o meu esforço humano. Por destino volto com as mãos vazias. Mas —volto com o indizível" (Clarice Lispector, A paixão segundo G.H.)

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9957
Print ISSN
0024-7413
Pages
pp. 120-144
Launched on MUSE
2013-02-27
Open Access
No
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