Imagine you’re cleaning a room, and you kill a cockroach with the door of a wardrobe…
What would you do next? (A) keep cleaning the room?, or (B) think about your reason to exist? Or do both things belong to the same process
Back to my Brazilian Literature project, I just started reading A PAIXÃO SEGUNDO G.H. (“The Passion According to G.H.”), by Clarice Lispector. Written in a very difficult moment for Clarice, the book is the monologue of a woman simply identified by G.H. drawn in an existential crisis after a random episode in her life.
It all starts when G.H. decides to clean her maid’s room in the morning after her maid had quit. When she enters the room, expecting chaos, she finds it clean and empty, and compares it to “an insane asylum from which dangerous objects have been removed” and “the portrait of an empty stomach”. But there’s one thing disturbing the room’s order, a creepy drawing of a man, a woman and a dog drawn with black carbon scratches.
She realizes the maid hated her and she opens the wardrobe with anger, then she sees a cockroach and shuts the wardrobe door back on it to crush it, leading to an entire Sartrean monologue on her own existence and the ordinary life.
Clarice had a superpower, her words grab attention and immerse her readers deep inside her head and the stories she created. And as soon as you allow it to happen as a reader in this work, you become G.H. and you thank f that dangerous objects had been removed from the room while you slowly become the portrait of an empty stomach yourself.
You may be asking, why would I read such a book? It’s simple. Absorb the metaphor of life as an empty room, follow her thoughts to guide you in your own cleaning process, then clean your room and crush all the cockroaches you see. I’m quite sure you’ll feel better after that.
Or not. LOL.
■ Now, what are you reading this week? Or have you ever been in a situation where you were cleaning a room and ended up thinking about life, the universe, and everything?
↓ first seen on @beardbetweenthelines