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The Passion According to G.H.


The Passion According to G.H.  by Clarice Lispector


"G.H., a well-to-do Rio sculptress, enters the room of her maid, which is as clear and white 'as in an insane asylum from which dangerous objects have been removed'. There she sees a cockroach - black, dusty, prehistoric - crawling out of the wardrobe and, panicking, slams the door on it. Her irresistible fascination with the dying insect provokes a spiritual crisis, in which she questions her place in the universe and her very identity, propelling her towards an act of shocking transgression. Clarice Lispector's spare, deeply disturbing yet luminous novel transforms language into something otherworldly, and is one of her most unsettling and compelling works."

The book is essentially a mystical experience, brought on by the protagonist’s encounter with a cockroach. This encounter with the insect Other causes the woman to have an existential crisis and a profound experience of awareness of Self and her connection to all. Published in 1964, the novel's canonical status was recognized in 1988 by its inclusion in the Arquivos Collection, the  UNESCO series of critical editions of the greatest works o Latin American literature. 

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