A moment from ‘The Passion According to G.H.’


“Understand, dying I knew beforehand and dying still wasn’t demanding me. But what I’d never experienced was the crash with the moment called “right now.” Today is demanding me this very day. I had never before known that the time to live also has no word. The time to live, my love, was being so right not that I leaned my mouth on the matter of life. The time to live is a slow uninterrupted creaking of doors continuously opening wide. Two gates were opening and had never stopped opening. But they were continuously opening onto — onto the nothing?

The time to live is hellishly inexpressive that it is the nothing. What I was calling ‘nothing’ was nevertheless so stuck to me that to me it was… I? and that’s why it was becoming invisible as I was invisible to myself, and it was becoming the nothing. The doors as always kept opening.

Finally, my love, I gave in. And it became a now.”

-Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H.
Translated by Idra Novey; New Directions, New York, New York: 2012.