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Glass, Irony and God (1992)
by Anne Carson
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found at Powells early spring ( )
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.
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!
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.
i've never been an anne carson fan, though i love and respect many people who are absolutely fanatical about her...i've tried "plainwater" and "autobiography of red" and "the beauty of the husband" and failed to get in...but yesterday was one of those revelatory days at a used bookstore, when you find exactly what you were hoping for, though without realizing what it was that you were hoping for. i swallowed the first part of the book, "the glass essay," in no time, and i finished the section section this morning. while i'm still working out my feelings for the second piece, "the glass essay" blew my mind. just: gone. have i reached some point in my life/reading life where carson makes a greater sense to me? or is this particular piece just more sensical and relatable? whatever it is, i'm now determined to finish this, reread it, and then go back to the other books with a different mind.
"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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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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