Friday, 22, January, 2021
Start Series Reviews Criticism | They in the Singular: Hilda Hilst

Criticism | They in the Singular: Hilda Hilst

A woman ahead of her time

Hilda Hilst is part of the documentary series They on the Singular produced by HBO.

Women's month is full of good debuts. HBO is launching the series in documentary format They on the Singular. The title arrives on March 17th and will tell the story of eight great writers, exploring the personality and talents of each. The episodes will present the life and work of Hilda Hilst, Conceição Evaristo, Rachel from Queiróz, Adélia Prado, Cora Coralina, Nélida Piñon, Lygia Fagundes Telles and Clarice Lispector.

The episode that covers the life and work of Hilda Hilst is fantastic. Poet, chronicler, playwright and fiction writer, she is considered by the specialized critic as one of the greatest Brazilian writers of the 20th century. Regarding themes such as mysticism, insanity, eroticism and feminine freedom, Hilda can be considered for many a woman ahead of her time. 

With a complex life story, Hilda has gone through many things and has always been strongly in the media. Many considered her a "wanton" woman. Journalist's daughter Apolônio de Almeida Prado Hilst, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when Hilda was very young, the episode shows how much she loved her father and in her work it is possible to find poems she had made for him. Hilda had him as an example, she always spoke of him with great respect and admiration. In an interview with Notebooks of Brazilian Literature she tells of the importance of her father for her to become a poet.

With a well-tied script and an impeccable soundtrack, Hilda seems to be talking to the audience in this work. She tells her own story to the viewer. In addition to portraying a little of Hilda's childhood and youth, many scenes show that she had a sexual freedom that was not well regarded at that time. Many called her a “whore” because they considered her way inappropriate. He decided to move to Campinas, at Casa Do Sol, to dedicate himself to writing and there he produced a large part of his work.

One of his most famous works is the pornographic trilogy that begins with The Pink Notebook by Lori Lamby, which addresses a child who writes in his diary in a very erotic way. What are your reactions to the lewd reports of an 8-year-old girl? Would you dare say that you felt desire? Intentionally, this book according to Hilda is a “banana for the publishing market”. People knew Hilda Hilst, but they did not read it and disagreed with that, she wrote this pornographic work that ended up being recognized as one of her best works.

At a certain point in the episode, we see that she is very mystical and believed that she heard voices, in one of the excerpts presented, she is capturing voices by radio waves. She strongly believed in the scientific question and based on the studies done by her and other scientists, she made the recording without religious intent.

“To the memory of the language.

We are all in the gutter, some of us look at the stars.

And whoever looks is fucked.

Lori Lamby ”

-Fragment of the book “Caderno Rosa de Lori Lamby”

In a well-produced way, the series “Elas no Singular” addresses in a very peculiar way each woman who was and is important today. In the women's month, eight great writers will be honored. Examples of courage and daring that are more than examples to be admired and followed. A very interesting bet, because in times of debate about female empowerment, we can see that many were already empowered for their time.

Thunder Wave note
They on the Singular show the story of Hilda Hist, a revolutionary woman for her time.


  1. Please, I knew that the direction of this excellent series “Elas no Singular” is a woman, but I couldn't find her name in the story. What's the director's name, please?


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