The Hour of the Star
(A hora da estrela) by: Clarice Lispector
Translated By: MAged Al Gebaly
Available only in Arabic
The Hour of the Star deals with the problems of the rural Northeast versus the urban Southeast, poverty and the dream of a better life, and, of an uneducated woman’s struggle to survive in a sexist society. Another prevalent theme is that of the narrator’s powerful position in delivering the plot, including a form of intrusive narration in which the narrator speaks directly to the reader.
The novel starts with the narrator, Rodrigo S.M., discussing what it means to write a story. He addresses the reader directly and spends a lot of time talking about his philosophical beliefs. After some time, he begins the story, which centers on Macabéa, an impoverished 19 year old living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She leads a difficult life, but seems to be oblivious to this fact. She starts dating a boy named Olímpico, who mistreats her and eventually leaves her for her coworker, Gloria. Feeling guilty, Gloria recommends that Macabéa visit a fortune teller named Madame Carlota. She predicts that Macabéa’s life will soon turn around, saying that she will be rich, happy, and marry a foreigner named Hans. However, none of this comes true as Macabéa’s life comes to an abrupt end when a yellow Mercedes runs her over.
Maged Al Gebaly