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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author:

Susana Fuentes, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, State University of Rio de Janeiro, R. Sao Francisco Xavier, 524, Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 20550-013, Brazil.

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There are a lot of connections between the narrative of the Underground Man and that of C. Lispector’s characters (in her novels The Passion According to G.H., The Hour of the Star and short stories The Buffalo and The Discontentment of an Angel). The main similarities are as follows: therapeutic quality of both Dostoevsky and Lispector’s narratives; their questioning (and lacking answers) tone; the image of ‘underground’ as a special transformative locus. Suffering is a recurring motif in Lispector’s works, which she often interprets in a Dostoevskian way. She also suggests her own interpretation of ‘underground’: in the novel The Hour of the Star the female protagonist finds an underground inside herself. It is devoid of subjectivity, looks like unshaped substance and smells like ‘underground’ odour. The female character of the short story The Buffalo also lacks subjectivity. Unlike the Underground Man, who is the source of hatred himself, she is looking for a source of hatred which could fill her. The basis of another Lispector’s short story The Discontentment of an Angel is another important Dostoevskian motif — that of painful interaction with ‘the other’. However, this interaction is impossible because Lispector’s and Dostoevsky’s narratives resist dialogism.

  • Keywords: Brazilian literature, C. Lispector, F. Dostoevsky, underground, ‘self ’ and ‘the other’, M. Bakhtin.


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