Near to the Wild Heart, Clarice Lispector
Reading this book, you’re struck by the feeling that Lispector’s Joana is both filled to the brim with the world and completely disinterested in it. The back matter calls her “amoral,” which is probably on point. But in addition to that, she is a wild creature, and the power of her wildness makes this book a breathtaking one. “The certainty that evil is my calling, thought Joana. What else was that feeling of contained force, ready to burst forth in violence, that longing to apply it with her eyes closed, all of it, with the rash confidence of a wild beast? Wasn’t it in evil alone that you could breathe fearlessly, accepting the air and your lungs? Not even pleasure would give me as much pleasure as evil, she thought surprised. She felt a perfect animal inside her, full of contradictions, of selfishness and vitality.” Don’t we all, girl.