Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Calvin Thomas - Chair

Second Advisor

Michael Galchinsky - Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Louis Ruprecht


This thesis undertakes to explore silence as it functions in relation to intimacy in Clarice Lispector’s last narrative. It asks how silence, when perceived as a generative force, may cultivate intimacy between men and women, opening up a horizon of equality and exchange between the sexes. Using Lispector’s work as a symbolic location for asking larger questions about the role of Eros in contemporary literature, the first chapter is dedicated to introducing her work as it relates to the critical canon. After examining silence and intimacy as each have been conceptualized by thinkers from various philosophical traditions, I incorporate the recent work of Luce Irigaray, which has integrated Western discourse and Eastern mystical concepts of the intimate to articulate a new kind of male/female reciprocity. I apply Irigarayan theory to Lispector’s text as a way of enriching the academic scholarship regarding Lispector.