© Aljoscha Begrich

More than a year ago, Rolf and Heidi Abderhalden of Mapa Teatro recommended that I read Clarice Lispector. I had never heard the name before, tried to get the book, but it was neither available in stores nor in antiquarian bookshops, neither in Berlin nor Bochum libraries. I forgot about the book until suddenly an email reached me: »You are interested in the following book. Now available.« I picked it up and immediately ate my way through the novella, which turned out to be a journey between fascination and torture. All the time I was thinking: how is it that I don't know it? How come no one talks about this author? Lispector was born in 1920 in the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, fled from progroms to Romania, later to the bitterly poor north-east of Brazil, and wrote this concept novel The Passion according to G.H. in Rio de Janeiro in 1964. In 33 chapters, each beginning with the last sentence of the previous one, she describes the thoughts and feelings of a woman who can't help but stare at a squashed cockroach and then question herself, the city, the world, and life. Existentialism meets cohabitation.

Aljoscha Begrich, in the train from Murcia to Barcelona, 24 April 2022