Clarice Lispector

RIC J: Cavafy or Kawabata?

C.L. :   Cavafy, because he wrote,

“I will not fear my passions, like a coward;

           I will give my body entirely to pleasure,

           to dreamed-of joys, the most brazen

          erotic desires, the most depraved passions in my blood,

           all without fear.”

RIC J: Have you ever wanted to kill (if yes, who?)

C.L. : Of course – but the answer will depend on whether the death you refer to is the grand or the little one – le grand ou la petite-mort?

RIC J: Eat with your hands or with cutlery?

C.L.: In the middle ages, Catholic men and women wore a chemise cagoule that had strategic holes in them to allow them to have sex with minimum bodily contact. Eating with cutlery is eating with fear of food. I do not fear the senses. I eat with my hands. I want to have maximum contact.

RIC J: Love, with a man or a woman?

C.L.:   Men are incapable of love, that’s why I like introducing them to it.

RIC J: A book you would bring with you to a women’s prison?

C.L.:  A book of witchcraft. I have always wanted to learn how to cast spells. It takes time – I hope I will be in prison for a long time.

RIC J: Salty or Sweet?

C.L.:  This is a philosophical question, I thought we were just having a simple interview.

RIC J: Is there a cause for which it can be worth dying for?

C.L.:  Yes, and only one: Life.

RIC J: Light on or dark?

C.L.: There is enough darkness on earth. Lights on, always.

RIC J: Your fifth reincarnation?

C.L.:   I don’t remember anymore. This is my 14th.  Memory has faded a little, maybe I am too old for bodies now. But I know that I have been a cat once, and once a vixen. I can tell because I still resemble my past body.

RIC J: If you were a dream, what would it be?

C.L.:  It would be a beautiful woman living in an apartment in Rio writing the most brilliant and the most mystical prose of the 20th century. The title of the book the woman is writing in this dream would be something strange like The Passion According to G.H. or The Woman Who Killed a Fish.

RIC J: Alchemy or magic?

C.L.: Alchemy, for it actually does what magic merely promises.

RIC J: Hands tied or free? 

C.L.: I like my hands free only for writing. For everything else, hands tied. 

RIC J: In the memory of a Sufi patient, could you please define life in two words? 

C.L.:  Impatient heart.

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