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‘Estou asperamente viva’: on identity and the posthuman in Clarice Lispector’s A Paixão Segundo G.H. and Água Viva


For Brazilian author Clarice Lispector, writing was an act of self-interrogation and of becoming for her characters as well as for herself. This article explores two of Lispector’s novels, A Paixão Segundo G.H. (1964) and Água Viva (1973), in relation to posthuman theory, in particular Rosi Braidotti’s The Posthuman (2013). Braidotti's work complements that of Lispector, for it asks where the posthuman condition places humanity today; what new forms of subjectivity it supports; and whether the posthuman engenders its own form of inhumanity. Indeed, analyzing these books through a posthumanist lens enables exploration of various questions surrounding identity and human nature. This article consequently examines key concepts in both Lispector’s and Braidotti’s writing such as the individual questioning what it means to be human; the conflict between the individual and society, specifically in relation to concepts of time and the animal; and the broader challenge of navigating narrative subjectivity when writing. Ultimately, through analyzing Lispector’s relationship with words in conjunction with posthuman philosophies, this article seeks to further illuminate the vision of human nature that Lispector sought to communicate via her writing.


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