Clarice Lispector’s “Agua Viva”: Oyster, Rose, and Time

In the center of “Agua Viva” a round curving flower unfolds, falling outward, foreshadowed by the oyster and turtle, by animals and insects. But “not having been born an animal,” Clarice is free to experiment, for “the animal never substitutes one thing for another,” never, in other words, uses metaphor, and so animals are better…