25 Clarice Lispector Quotes about Life, Art, and More

Clarice Lispector is a legend, known the world over for her dark genius and glamour. She inspires cult-like fervor in her readers. Be inspired by these cutting and brilliant Clarice Lispector quotes on life, art, and more.

The Best Clarice Lispector Quotes

“Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

“The world’s continual breathing is what we hear and call silence.” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey

“Who has not asked himself at some time or other: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

25 Clarice Lispector Quotes about Life, Art, and More

“You don’t understand music: you hear it. So hear me with your whole body.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler

“Do you ever suddenly find it strange to be yourself?” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz

“So long as I have questions to which there are no answers, I shall go on writing.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

“How was she to tie herself to a man without permitting him to imprison her? How could she prevent him from developing his four walls over her body and soul? And was there a way to have things without those things possessing her?” —Near to the Wild Heart, translated by Alison Entrekin

“I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

“I write as if to save somebody’s life. Probably my own. Life is a kind of madness that death makes. Long live the dead because we live in them.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz

“Things were somehow so good that they were in danger of becoming very bad because what is fully mature is very close to rotting” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

“And I want to be held down. I don’t know what to do with the horrifying freedom that can destroy me.” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey

“Do not mourn the dead. They know what they are doing.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

“No it is not easy to write. It is as hard as breaking rocks. Sparks and splinters fly like shattered steel.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

“Because I dived into the abyss I started to love the abyss of which I am made.” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey

“Living isn’t courage, knowing that you’re living, that’s courage” —The Passion According to G.H., translated by Idra Novey

“I hear the mad song of a little bird and crush butterflies between my fingers.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler

“Here is a moment of extravagant beauty: I drink it liquid from the shells of my hands and almost all of it runs sparkling through my fingers: but beauty is like that, it is a fraction of a second, quickness of a flash and then immediately it escapes.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz

“Where does music go when it’s not playing?—she asked herself. And disarmed she would answer: May they make a harp out of my nerves when I die.” —Near to the Wild Heart, translated by Alison Entrekin

“I’m afraid to write. It’s so dangerous. Anyone who’s tried, knows. The danger of stirring up hidden things—and the world is not on the surface, it’s hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea. In order to write I must place myself in the void. In this void is where I exist intuitively. But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood. I’m a writer who fears the snare of words: the words I say hide others—which? maybe I’ll say them. Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz

“Meanwhile, the clouds are white and the sky is blue. Why is there so much God? At the expense of men.” —The Hour of the Star, translated by Benjamin Moser

“Never suffer because you don’t have an opinion on this or that topic. Never suffer because you are not something or because you are.” —Near to the Wild Heart, translated by Alison Entrekin

“At the bottom of everything there is the hallelujah.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler

“I’m no more than a comma in life. I who am a colon. Thou, thou art my exclamation.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz

“I want the following word: splendor, splendor is fruit in all its succulence, fruit without sadness. I want vast distances. My savage intuition of myself.” —Água Viva, translated by Stefan Tobler

“Sometimes writing a single line is enough to save your own heart.” —A Breath of Life, translated by Johnny Lorenz


Do you have a favorite Clarice Lispector quote that isn’t on the list? Share it in the comments! Looking to read more Clarice Lispector but don’t know where to start? Check out this reading pathway through her books.

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