Writing by Ear: Clarice Lispector and the Aural Novel

By Marilia Librandi

© 2018

Considering Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector’s literature as a case study and a source of theory, Writing by Ear presents an aural theory of the novel based on readings of Near to the Wild Heart (1943), The Besieged City (1949), The Passion According to G.H. (1964), Agua Viva (1973), The Hour of the Star (1977), and A Breath of Life (1978). What is the specific aesthetic for which listening-in-writing calls? What is the relation that listening-in-writing establishes with silence, echo, and the sounds of the world? How are we to understand authorship when writers present themselves as objects of reception rather than subjects of production? In which ways does the robust oral and aural culture of Brazil shape literary genres and forms? In addressing these questions, Writing by Ear works in dialogue with philosophy, psychoanalysis, and sound studies to contemplate the relationship between orality and writing.

Citing writers such as Machado de Assis, Oswald de Andrade and João Guimarães Rosa, as well as Mia Couto and Toni Morrison, Writing By Ear opens up a broader dialogue on listening and literature, considering the aesthetic, ethical, and ecological reverberations of the imaginary. Writing by Ear is concerned at once with shedding light on the narrative representation of listening and with a broader reconceptualization of fiction through listening, considering it an auditory practice that transcends the dichotomy of speech and writing.

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Product Details

  • Series: University of Toronto Romance Series
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP004757

  • PUBLISHED JUL 2018

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    Regular Price: $80.00

    ISBN 9781487502140
  • PUBLISHED JUN 2016

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    Regular Price: $80.00

Quick Overview

Writing by Ear examines the explicit articulation of listening-in-writing found in the work of Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector. The terms “writing by ear,” the “aural novel,” and “echopoetics” rethink fiction as a poetics of listening to the world.

Writing by Ear: Clarice Lispector and the Aural Novel

By Marilia Librandi

© 2018

Considering Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector’s literature as a case study and a source of theory, Writing by Ear presents an aural theory of the novel based on readings of Near to the Wild Heart (1943), The Besieged City (1949), The Passion According to G.H. (1964), Agua Viva (1973), The Hour of the Star (1977), and A Breath of Life (1978). What is the specific aesthetic for which listening-in-writing calls? What is the relation that listening-in-writing establishes with silence, echo, and the sounds of the world? How are we to understand authorship when writers present themselves as objects of reception rather than subjects of production? In which ways does the robust oral and aural culture of Brazil shape literary genres and forms? In addressing these questions, Writing by Ear works in dialogue with philosophy, psychoanalysis, and sound studies to contemplate the relationship between orality and writing.

Citing writers such as Machado de Assis, Oswald de Andrade and João Guimarães Rosa, as well as Mia Couto and Toni Morrison, Writing By Ear opens up a broader dialogue on listening and literature, considering the aesthetic, ethical, and ecological reverberations of the imaginary. Writing by Ear is concerned at once with shedding light on the narrative representation of listening and with a broader reconceptualization of fiction through listening, considering it an auditory practice that transcends the dichotomy of speech and writing.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: University of Toronto Romance Series
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.8in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "In this book, Marília Librandi analyzes the juncture of the sonorous aspect of speech and the silent nature of reading, looking at what is produced between sounds and silence. By means of a wide theoretical discussion, as well as a close reading of Lispector in her relationship to the acts of writing and listening, Librandi avoids any false opposition between silence and sounds, and investigates that which she aptly calls the ‘conjugation of these two moments – their friction.’"


    Pedro Meira Monteiro, Arthur W. Marks ’19 Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Princeton University

    "While contributing to our understanding of Clarice Lispector, Writing by Ear offers a rational and compelling argument about how and why she is being received so enthusiastically by a new generation of readers, in Brazil and across the globe."


    Earl E. Fitz, Professor of Portuguese, Spanish, and Comparative Literature, Vanderbilt University
  • Author Information

    Marilia Librandi is an assistant professor of Brazilian literature in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures at Stanford. Visiting Professor at Princeton University.
  • Table of contents

    1. Introduction: A Certain Intimate Sense
    2. Writing by Ear
    3. The Aural Novel
    4. Hearing the Wild Heart
    5. Loud Object
    6. The Echopoetics of G.H.
    7. Coda: Hearing Horses