Quotes from The Stream of Life

Clarice Lispector ·  120 pages

Rating: (2.1K votes)


“I want the following word: splendor, splendor is fruit in all its succulence, fruit without sadness. I want vast distances. My savage intuition of myself.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“You don't understand music: you hear it. So hear me with your whole body.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“But I welcome the darkness where the two eyes of that soft panther glow. The darkness is my cultural broth. The enchanted darkness. I go on speaking to you, risking disconnection: I’m subterraneously unattainable because of what I know.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“Oh, living is so uncomfortable. Everything presses in: the body demands, the spirit never ceases, living is like being weary but being unable to sleep–living is upsetting. You can’t walk around naked, either in body or in spirit.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“I just know that I don't want cheating. I refuse. I deepened myself but I don't believe in myself because my thought is invented.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life



“I want to seize my is. And like a bird I sing hallelujah into the air. And my song belongs to no one. But no passion suffered in pain and love is not followed by an hallelujah.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“I’m restless and harsh and despairing. Although I do have love inside me. I just don’t know how to use love. Sometimes it tears at my flesh, like barbs. If I can hold so much love within me, and nevertheless continue to be uneasy, it’s because I need God to come. Come, before it’s too late. I’m in danger, as is everyone who’s alive.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“What am I in this instant? I’m a typewriter making the dry echo in the dark, humid dawn. I haven’t been human for a long time. They wanted me to be an object. I am an object. An object dirty with blood. An object that creates other objects and the machine creates us all. It makes demands. Mechanisms make endless demands on my life. But I don’t totally obey: if I have to be an object, let me be an object that screams. There’s something inside of me that hurts. Oh, how it hurts and how it screams for help. But tears aren’t there in the machine that is me. I’m an object without a destiny. I’m an object in whose hands? such is my human destiny. What saves me is the scream. I protest in the name of what’s inside the object behind the behind of the thought-feeling. I’m an urgent object.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“… everything is so fragile. I feel so lost. I live off secret, radiating, luminous rays that would smother me if I didn’t cover them with a heavy cloak of false certainties. God help me: I have no one to guide me and it’s dark again.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“But I don’t know how to capture what takes place except by living each thing that now and at the instant happens to me and it’s not important what. I let the horse gallop free, fiery from pure, noble joy. I, who run nervously and only reality delimits me. And when the day comes to an end I hear the crickets and I become full of thousands of tiny, clamouring birds. And each thing that happens to me I live here, taking note of it. Because I want to feel in my inquiring hands the living and trembling of what is today.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life



“Whoever wishes may accompany me: the road is long, it's painful but it's lived.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“I see that the wardrobe looks penetrable because it has a door. But when I open it, I see that penetration has been put off: since inside is also a wooden surface, like a closed door. Function of the wardrobe: to keep drag and disguises hidden. Nature: that of the inviolability of things. Relation to people: we look at ourselves in the mirror on the inside of the door, we always look at ourselves in an inconvenient light because the wardrobe is never in the right place: awkward, it stands wherever it fits, always huge, hunchbacked, shy and clumsy, unaware how to be more discreet, for it has too much presence. A wardrobe is enormous, intrusive, sad, kind.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“But what can I do if you are not touched by my defects, whereas I loved yours. My candour was crushed underfoot by you.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“The terrible duty is that of going all the way to the end. And without relying on anyone. To live oneself.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“I don’t know what my secret is. Tell me about yours, teach me about the secret of each one of us.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life



“this is a feast of words.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“Mis desequilibradas palabras son el lujo de mi silencio.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“Qué fiebre, no consigo parar de vivir. En esta densa selva de palabras que he envuelto frondosamente lo que siento y pienso y vivo y que transforma todo lo que soy en algo mío que sin embargo está completamente fuera de mí.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“Antes de me organizar, tenho que me desorganizar internamente. Para experimentar o primeiro e passageiro estado primário de liberdade. Da liberdade de errar, cair e levantar-me. Mas se eu esperar compreender para aceitar as coisas - nunca o ato de entrega se fará. Tenho que dar o mergulho de uma só vez, mergulho que abrange a compreensão e sobretudo a incompreensão. E quem sou eu para ousar pensar? Devo é entregar-me. Como se faz? Sei porém que só andando é que se sabe andar e - milagre - se anda.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“What I’m writing to you is not for reading— it’s for being.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life



“I was born a few instants ago and I am dimmed.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“he thinks that flowers are hauntingly delicate like a sigh of nobody in the dark.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“To restore you and myself, I return to my state of garden and shade, cool reality, I hardly exist and if I do exist it’s with delicate care. Surrounding the shade is a teeming, sweaty heat. I’m alive. But I feel I’ve not yet reached my limits, bordering on what? Without limits, the adventure of a dangerous freedom. But I take the risk, I live taking it. I’m full of acacias swaying yellow, and I, who have barely begun my journey, begin it with a sense of tragedy, guessed what lost ocean my life steps will take me to. And crazily I latch onto the corners of myself, my hallucinations suffocate me with their beauty. I am before, I am almost, I am never. And all this I gained when I stopped loving you.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“And so I realise that I want for myself the vibrant substratum of the word repeated in a Gregorian chant. I’m aware that everything I know I cannot say, I know only by paining or pronouncing syllables blind of meaning. And if here I have to use words for you, they must create an almost exclusively bodily meaning. I’m battling with the ultimate vibration. To tell you my substratum I make a sentence of words composed only of the now-instants.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“What I really do when I write you is follow myself, and I’m doing it right now: I’m following myself without knowing what it will lead me to. Sometimes following myself is so hard. Because of following something that’s still so nebulous. Sometimes I end up stopping.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life



“I'm not a synonym—I'm a proper noun.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“Quiero escribirte como quien aprende. Fotografío cada instante. Profundizo en las palabras como si pintase, más que un objeto, su sombra. No quiero preguntar por qué se puede preguntar siempre por qué y seguir siempre sin respuesta: ¿consigo entregarme al expectante silencio que sigue a una pregunta sin respuesta? Aunque adivino que en algún lugar o en algún tiempo existe la gran respuesta para mí.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“Pero esos días de fuerte y condenado verano me insuflan la necesidad de la renuncia. Renuncio a tener un significado, y entonces un dulce y doloroso quebranto se apodera de mí.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“Y cada cosa que me suceda yo la vivo aquí anotándola. Porque quiero sentir en mis manos indagadoras el nervio vivo y trémulo del hoy.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life


“¿No usar palabras es perder la identidad? [...] Pierdo la identidad del mundo en mí y existo sin garantías. Realizo lo realizable y lo irrealizable yo lo vivo y mi significado y el del mundo y el del tuyo no es evidente.”
― Clarice Lispector, quote from The Stream of Life



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About the author

Clarice Lispector
Born place: in Tchetchelnik, Ukraine
Born date December 10, 1920
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