June 21 - Anne Carson

Bio: Anne Carson is a poet, translator, essayist, and professor with a background in classical languages, anthropology, history, and comparative literature. [1] Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction work has been labelled “unclassifiable”, “a blend of genres and styles”. [2, 4] This is because her writing is informed by her knowledge in multiple academic fields. Her poetry is rich in allusions. [3] Her list of works includes the critically-acclaimed Short Talks (1992), Plainwater (1995), Glass, Irony and God (1995), The Autobiography of Red (1998), The Beauty of the Husband (2002) and red doc> (2013).

Anecdotes:

  • Carson has admitted that she did not begin writing seriously until her twenties. To critic Stephen Burt: “I didn’t write very much at all until I guess my twenties because I drew. I just drew pictures, and sometimes wrote on them when I was young, but mostly I was interested in drawing. I never did think of myself as a writer!” [2]
  • Carson wanted to learn ancient Greek because she wanted to be like Oscar Wilde: educated, elegant, and witty. [5] So strong was this desire in her adolescent years that she and her friends dressed as Wilde and dedicated lunchtimes to the memorisation of his aphorisms. [6]
  • Carson was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000. When asked whether the award changed her life, she answered, “I think I bought some socks.” [6]
  • Carson enjoys being alone. When her husband, Robert Currie, is travelling, she calls him to say, “I miss you, but I’m having a great time.” [5]
  • Carson is obsessed with volcanoes. [5]

Final sentences:

And now time is rushing towards them where they stand side by side with arms touching, immortality on their faces,
night at their back.

from “The Autobiography of Red

It walked out of the light.

from “The Glass Essay

The way to hold on is 

afterwords
so
clear.

from “New Rule

Desires as round as peaches bloom in me all night, I no longer gather what falls.

from “Short Talk on Hedonism

They are victims of love, many of them.

from “Short Talk on Walking Backwards


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