‘Temptation’ by Clarice Lispector

Temptation by Clarice Lispector, 1964

The magic trick:

Setting up a moment of connection and then watching it pass

Well, is this flash fiction? Eh. Probably not. But, look, it’s very brief. So we put it in this week of flash fiction on SSMT. If you’re mad, get over it.

The story pinpoints an unlikely moment of connection between a girl and a dog. It then mourns for the fleeting nature of such a moment. And that’s quite a trick on Lispector’s part.

The selection:

On the deserted street not a sign of the tram. In a land of dark-haired people, being a redhead was an involuntary rebellion. What did it matter if one day in the future her emblem would make her insolently hold erect the head of a woman. For now she was sitting on a shimmering doorstep, at two o’clock. What saved her was an old purse, with a torn strap. She clutched it with a long-familiar conjugal love, pressing it against her knees.

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