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Glass, Irony and God (1992)

by Anne Carson

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6231137,524 (4.02)2
"Anne Carson is the most original, most uniquely gifted poet to have appeared in the past decade. Her first full-length publication in Britain, Glass, Irony and God introduces an assured and challenging new voice- vivid, laconic and precise. Her 'Short Talks' are about everything from Sylvia Plath to Franz Kafka, from waterproofing to walking backwards; the brilliant long poem 'The Glass Essay' deals with the end of a comtemporary love affair, but is haunted by the Bronte sisters. Blending the modern and the classical, Anne Carson writes with an intensity and an integrity that is transfiguring; it is the work of a philosopher and poet - work of luminous, enigmatic genius."… (more)
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I loved the first two sections and the concluding essay*; the other pieces I was more neutral on. Star ratings feel particularly silly for this kind of reading experience, but.

*Well, the concluding essay was frequently horrifying because it so deeply excavates certain pervasive strains of patriarchal self-conception (and, always through the self, a conception of the world). But informative, enlightening even. ( )
  localgayangel | Mar 5, 2024 |
found at Powells early spring ( )
  Overgaard | Jun 21, 2022 |
Anne Carson's poems here are confessional in a very unexpected way. She creates chimeras of personal history, literary critique, and surreal and macabre humor. She blues the boundaries of prose and poetry concretely, in that she isn't writing "prose poems" but crafting a style that is completely her own. Her speculative but obsessive examinations of God and religion presented here are utterly fascinating in the radical and bizarre images she applies to them.

To call these images Rilkean would be an approximation, but a misnomer. To say she is confessional in the way of Plath or Sexton would be altogether misleading. Carson has an style of form and subject that is altogether different and challenging. Though her approach doesn't always come off, the consequences are but a few unrealized moments in a collection that on the whole astounds. The essay that finishes this book "The Gender is Sound" is spectacular and essential reading to anyone interested in classicism or feminist literary criticism. ( )
2 vote poetontheone | Oct 5, 2014 |
Poetry

Throughout the reading of The Glass Essay, the first narrative poem in this book I couldn't help but think what a truly gifted poet Carson is. Even more compelling is the fact that the entire narrative centers on lost love and the complex emotions felt in the midst of that experience. Every word in this much too short work is impactful and moving and I felt every word of it. I now have a new favorite poet! ( )
  TheAlternativeOne | Mar 18, 2014 |
Essential reading. Anne Carson's intelligence is blistering, her confidence breathtaking. The first piece in the book floored me. One of my all-time favorite books.
  Oh_Carolyn | Jul 18, 2013 |
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For my mother and father
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I can hear little clicks inside my dream.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Anne Carson is the most original, most uniquely gifted poet to have appeared in the past decade. Her first full-length publication in Britain, Glass, Irony and God introduces an assured and challenging new voice- vivid, laconic and precise. Her 'Short Talks' are about everything from Sylvia Plath to Franz Kafka, from waterproofing to walking backwards; the brilliant long poem 'The Glass Essay' deals with the end of a comtemporary love affair, but is haunted by the Bronte sisters. Blending the modern and the classical, Anne Carson writes with an intensity and an integrity that is transfiguring; it is the work of a philosopher and poet - work of luminous, enigmatic genius."

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Anne Carson’s poetry––characterized by various reviewers as “short talks,” “essays,” or “verse narratives”––combines the confessional and the critical in a voice all her own. Known as a remarkable classicist, Anne Carson in Glass, Irony and God weaves contemporary and ancient poetic strands with stunning style. This collection includes “The Glass Essay,” a powerful poem about the end of a love affair, told in the context of Carson’s reading of the Brontë sisters, “Book of Isaiah,” which evokes the deeply primitive feel of ancient Judaism, and “The Fall of Rome,” about her trip to “find” Rome and her struggle to overcome feelings of terrible alienation there.
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