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A Fragment of Ibykos Translated Six Ways

Anne Carson, 8 November 2012

... Ibykos fr. 286, Poetae Melici Graeci] In spring, on the one hand, the Kydonian apple trees, being watered by streams of rivers where the uncut garden of the maidens [is] and vine blossoms swelling beneath shady vine branches bloom. On the other hand, for me Eros lies quiet at no season. Nay rather, like a Thracian north wind ablaze with lightning, rushing from Aphrodite accompanied by parching madnesses, black, unastonishable, powerfully, right up from the bottom of my feet [it] shakes my whole breathing being ...

By Chance the Cycladic People

Anne Carson, 25 April 2013

... 9.4. They put stones in their eye sockets. Upper-class people put precious stones. 16.2. Prior to the movement and following the movement, stillness. 8.0. Not sleeping made the Cycladic people gradually more and more brittle. Their legs broke off. 1.0. The Cycladic was a neolithic culture based on emmer wheat, wild barley, sheep, pigs and tuna speared from small boats ...

Fate, Federal Court, Moon

Anne Carson, 16 March 2017

... The fate of the earth. The fate of me. The fate of you. The fate of Faisal. The fate of the court where Faisal will plead his case. The fate of the court’s bias. Every court has a bias. It sifts to the surface gradually. The fate of whomever we drink to after court. The fate of that branch of mathematics that deals with ‘dead-end depth’. The fate of Yemen where Faisal will probably never return ...

1 x 30

Anne Carson, 5 March 2020

... Once, once somehow I lost both of them, a man was saying as he came out of the elevator that morning. He was alone. He flicked his eyes on me, off me. He had a furtive tinge and a swank black overcoat – I thought at once of Joseph Conrad, as he is in formal photographs, with the not-quite-Western eyes and virtuosic goatee.Once I attended a christening at a farmhouse in a country far away ...

Euripides to the Audience*

Anne Carson: Euripides, 5 September 2002

... I don’t understand your faces, I don’t understand them. At night I stand at the back of the theatre. I watch you suck in sex, death, devastation, hour after hour in a weird kind of unresisting infant heat, then for no reason you cool, flicker out. I guess for no reason is an arrogant thing to say. For no reason I can name is what I mean. It was a few years ago now I gave you a woman, a real mouthful of salt and you like salt ...

The Albertine Workout

Anne Carson, 5 June 2014

... 1. Albertine, the name, is not a common name for a girl in France, although Albert is widespread for a boy.2. Albertine’s name occurs 2363 times in Proust’s novel, more than any other character.3. Albertine herself is present or mentioned on 807 pages of Proust’s novel.4. On a good 19 per cent of these pages she is asleep.5. Albertine is believed by some critics, including André Gide, to be a disguised version of Proust’s chauffeur, Alfred Agostinelli ...

Oh What A Night (Alkibiades)

Anne Carson, 19 November 2020

... Plato’s Symposium prelude.A symposium was usually a gentleman’s drinking party. This is an unusual one. It has been going on for hours with no drinking. The participants agreed at the outset to forego wine in favour of entertaining one another with speeches in praise of love. Phaidros, Pausanias, Eryximachos, Aristophanes and Agathon have spoken; Sokrates is just subsiding to applause when a knock comes at the door ...

Two Poems

Emile Nelligan, translated by Anne Carson, 11 May 2006

... Funeral Marches I hear in me the funeral voices call out transcendentally, when in German style the bands go beating by. At a mad shiver of my vertebrae if I sob like a lost man, it’s that I hear the funeral voices call out transcendentally. As a ghostly gallop of zebras my dream goes strangely prowling and I am so haunted that in me always, inside my darknesses I hear the funeral voices groan ...
... IX. But what word was it Word that overnight showed up on all the walls of my life inscribed simpliciter no explanation. What is the power of the unexplained. There he was one day (new town) in a hayfield outside my school standing under a black umbrella in a raw picking wind. I never asked how he got there a distance of maybe three hundred miles. To ask would break some rule ...

The man who would put to sea on a bathmat

Elizabeth Lowry: Anne Carson, 5 October 2000

Economy of the Unlost (Reading Simonides of Keos with Paul Celan) 
by Anne Carson.
Princeton, 147 pp., £18.95, July 1999, 0 691 03677 2
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Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse 
by Anne Carson.
Cape, 149 pp., £10, July 1999, 0 224 05973 4
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... And can love be said to have its own economy? In Economy of the Unlost and Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson has proposed answers to both these questions. Economy of the Unlost is a compact yet supple series of essays (first aired in the Martin Classical Lectures series delivered annually at Oberlin College) complementing her previous long essay on a ...

Let’s Cut to the Wail

Michael Wood: The Oresteia according to Anne Carson, 11 June 2009

An Oresteia 
translated by Anne Carson.
Faber, 255 pp., $27, March 2009, 978 0 86547 902 9
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... ago the scholar Jean-Pierre Vernant reminded us that Greek gods are not persons but forces; and in Anne Carson’s Oresteia, her sharp, sceptical, often laconic version of three plays about the legacy of Atreus, one each by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, as well as in her translations of four other plays by Euripides,* I kept hearing an invitation to ...

Professor or Pinhead

Stephanie Burt: Anne Carson, 14 July 2011

by Anne Carson.
New Directions, 192 pp., £19.99, April 2010, 978 0 8112 1870 2
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... Some writers discover their powers gradually. Others – Anne Carson, for example – spring from the head of Zeus. With three books in four years during the mid-1990s, the Canadian poet, classical scholar, essayist and translator became suddenly prominent in North America; she had found readers in Britain as well by 2001, when The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos won the T ...

from ‘Unexhausted Time’

Emily Berry, 12 September 2019

... the sense that fell through us of untouchable wind, unknown effort – one black mane? Anne Carson Funny you should mention a crow. For years light … for years light eluded me or stayed only a short time … something … what was it … heavy in me … a weight I couldn’t put down … How will you let her go, the girl with the high ...


Michael Hofmann: Eley Williams, 7 September 2017

Attrib. and Other Stories 
by Eley Williams.
Influx, 169 pp., £9.99, March 2017, 978 1 910312 16 2
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by Eley Williams.
Sad, 35 pp., £6, April 2017
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... it produces a kind of constructive estrangement from words. Think William Gass, Lydia Davis or Anne Carson, and you won’t be too wrong. Now I feel like someone who thinks there’s a shower on the way, and then it rains for ten days straight. Williams is just full of alphabets. The first story is even called ‘The Alphabet’, and near its end ...

At Sadie Coles

Brian Dillon: Helen Marten, 21 October 2021

... There are numerous small literary quotations in Sparrows on the Stone – passages from Auden, Anne Carson, William Gass – but none of them are quite so peculiar as Marten’s own style, whether in prose or in polished Jesmonite.In an essay on the word ‘and’ in his Habitations of the Word, Gass writes: ‘To the logician, who is at least patient ...

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