“O divino para mim é real”: Divinity, Maternity and Jouissance in <i>A Paixão Segundo G.H.</i>

  • Robin Peery University of Wisconsin, Madison
Keywords: Clarice Lispector, A paixão segundo G.H., femininity, jouissance, Lacan, Irigaray


In an analysis of the linguistic, feminine and spatial features of Clarice Lispector’s A paixão segundo G.H., this article proposes an alternative reading of the text as an aesthetic treatise on the gendered female body and female sexuality. Contemplating the textual occurrences of Freudian and Lacanian jouissance, I trace the protagonist’s physical trajectory in the spatial dimension of her apartment. Through an analysis of the etymological ties between Christ’s πασχειn to G.H.’s paixão, textual similarities to Joyce and religious linguistic wordplay, I demonstrate the particularly biological and feminized specificities of G.H.’s passion. Drawing from the theoretical work of Kristeva, Cixous and Irigaray, I suggest
that G.H. both supports and refutes the Freudian paradigm of female sexuality. Through a discursive and structural analysis, this article will also make a case for a reading of the novel as the textual representation of female autoeroticism and poetic climax.