Eros the Bittersweet

Eros the Bittersweet A book about love as seen by the ancients Eros is Anne Carson s exploration of the concept of eros in both classical philosophy and literature Beginning with It was Sappho who first called eros bitte

A book about love as seen by the ancients, Eros is Anne Carson s exploration of the concept of eros in both classical philosophy and literature Beginning with It was Sappho who first called eros bittersweet No one who has been in love disputes her What does the word mean , Carson examines her subject from numerous points of view and styles, transcending the constA book about love as seen by the ancients, Eros is Anne Carson s exploration of the concept of eros in both classical philosophy and literature Beginning with It was Sappho who first called eros bittersweet No one who has been in love disputes her What does the word mean , Carson examines her subject from numerous points of view and styles, transcending the constraints of the scholarly exercise for an evocative and lyrical meditation in the tradition of William Carlos William s Spring and All and William H Gass s On Being Blue.

  • ✓ Eros the Bittersweet ê Anne Carson
    132 Anne Carson
Eros the Bittersweet

  1. Anne Carson is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator and professor of Classics Carson lived in Montreal for several years and taught at McGill University, the University of Michigan, and at Princeton University from 1980 1987 She was a 1998 Guggenheim Fellow and in 2000 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship She has also won a Lannan Literary Award.Carson with background in classical languages, comparative literature, anthropology, history, and commercial art blends ideas and themes from many fields in her writing She frequently references, modernizes, and translates Ancient Greek literature She has published eighteen books as of 2013, all of which blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and non fiction She is an internationally acclaimed writer Her books include Antigonick, Nox, Decreation, The Beauty of the Husband A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos, winner of the T.S Eliot Prize for Poetry Economy of the Unlost Autobiography of Red, shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T.S Eliot Prize, Plainwater Essays and Poetry, and Glass, Irony and God, shortlisted for the Forward Prize Carson is also a classics scholar, the translator of If Not, Winter Fragments of Sappho, and the author of Eros the Bittersweet Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship Her latest book, Red Doc, was shortlisted for the 2013 T.S Elliot Prize.

988 Reply to “Eros the Bittersweet”

  1. If something terrible happens to me one day, and all that s left is my body, and if, around the same time, something terrible should happen to Anne Carson and all that s left is her brain, I would hope that somehow medical science and luck would combine, and allow these terrible accidents to be resolved through a relatively happy solution, by which one of us not Ms Carson would be greatly improved.

  2. Anne Carson s debut book is certainly an impressive piece of scholarship, which, for this particular reader, made this both a pleasure and a burden to trudge through Summoning her impressive knowledge of Greek drama, prose both philosophic and fictional and poetry, Carson conjures a daring argument about the symbiotic and triangular connections between words on a page, their writer and their reader, with the notion of desire as the Spanish Fly that keeps all the sweaty limbs and soiled sheets in [...]

  3. In one of her chapters Anne Carson writes, Imagine a city where there is no desire Supposing for the moment that the inhabitants of the city continue to eat, drink and procreate in some mechanical way still, their life looks flat They do not theorize or spin tops or speak figuratively Few think to shun pain none give gifts They bury their dead and forget where A city without desire is, in sum, a city of no imagination Carson s elucidation of this idea that desire is what moves the mind to imagi [...]

  4. There are no words for how perfect this book is A gorgeous exploration of the edges of personhood, letters, desire Endlessly fascinating and utterly engrossing I couldn t put it down I want to fall in love A sample from a favorite passage The English word symbol is the Greek word symbolon which means, in the ancient world, one half of a knucklebone carried as a token of identity to someone who has the other half Together the two halves compose one meaning A metaphor is a species of symbol So is [...]

  5. Both the experience of desire and the experience of reading have something to teach us about edges We have endeavored to see what that is by consulting ancient literature, lyric and romantic, for its exposition of eros We have watched how archaic poets shape love poems as triangles and how ancient novelists construct novels as a sustained experience of paradox We caught sight of a similar outline, even in Homer, where the phenomenon of reading and writing resurfaces in Bellerophon s story We spe [...]

  6. It s all coming back to me now, why I dislike this kind of theoretical, transhistorical argument grounded in a series of close readings The author appears to believe that she has stumbled upon a deep psychological, even ontological, truth which transcends all context and time, as well as any counter examples This is an enormous claim, and it would take something verging on religious faith to countenance it based on what it presented here My own personal experience is an important counter example [...]

  7. I have to admit, I read this book because oh so literary characters on The L Word dropped the name while flirting And again, I admit, I have also tried to talk about this book while hitting on women Why Because this book, so thick with Carson s immense knowledge of classical literature, is also incredibly romantic To the Greeks, the idea of writing itself was relatively new Instead of telling stories orally a setting that allowed the listener and speaker a closeness with the words, because they [...]

  8. Anne Carson, following Sappho, argues that Eros is a lack, a wound, a gesture toward a wholeness that s only possibility exists in our total self annihilation This sort of also describes my relationship to this book I can only read it as a void, a gaping hole in myself, knowing that I will never make something so perfect.

  9. As my background in literary analysis, as well as my knowledge of mythology and greek poetry is than just meager, I m sure a good deal of what Carson was trying to tell me went straight through my head, unnoticed Nevertheless, reading about Eros, the indeed bittersweet has been one of the most enlightening rides in a long time Carson isn t only impressively learned across a number of disciplines, but her writing despite its academic packaging is conveying a humane intimacy, a witty and almost c [...]

  10. It is arguable, then, from the way they wrote and the tools they used, that ancient readers and writers conceived the Greek alphabet as a system of outlines or edges But let us penetrate beyond the physical procedure of their writing to the activity of mind that informs it It is an activity of symbolization Being a phonetic system, the Greek alphabet is concerned to symbolize not objects in the real world but the very process in which sounds act to construct speech Phonetic script imitates the a [...]

  11. Do you know how what we call love, came to be Anne Carson does She examines the nuances of love, through the lens of Greek fragments and culture Her chapter titles Ruse, Tactics, The Reach, pars out the subtleties of desire with all its paradoxical underpinnings If you ve ever wondered if your lover was playing a game, read this book to understand the impossibility and awesome responsibility for wanting what you want, denying it so you can eventually enjoy it, and where honesty truly lies Pun in [...]

  12. F r att hon, genom sin poesi, sina vers ttningar och studier, har teruppv ckt Sapfo fr n de d da och inf rlivat henne i modern tid Svenska Akademiens nobelmotivering till Anne Carson, en inte alltf r avl gsen framtid.

  13. I was in pain when I read this Wanted a guide to the mysteries of love and lovepain and Carson had just cracked me open with The Beauty of the Husband A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos What was Kafka s thing about a great book cracking open the ice berg of the soul Wait let me look for it A book must be an ice axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul So I wanted More insight More guides to the mysteries But this book wasn t that This book, instead of being a guide, instead of being Beatrice, i [...]

  14. Eros is always a story in which lover, beloved and the difference between them interact The interaction is a fiction arranged by the mind of the lover It carries an emotional charge both hateful and delicious and emits a light like knowledge No one took a clear eyed view of this matter than Sappho What must it be like to have Anne Carson s mind What does she think about while eating breakfast or tying her shoelaces Perhaps eros and every shade of its meaning from Sappho to the present, perhaps [...]

  15. Ruth read this earlier and I decided to give it a go And Ruth is right it s a great book I would add that if anyone is actually going to write about Heraclitus, as I would like to have happen, Anne Carson is the person to do it For one thing, she spells the greek names with k s instead of c s This might seem pedantic, but when I thought about it, it made sense for two reasons First, the ancient Greeks didn t have the letter c And second, Anne Carson devotes a great deal of thought to how the alp [...]

  16. Infants begin to see by noticing the edges of things How do they know an edge is an edge By passionately wanting it not to be The experience of eros as lack alerts a person to the boundaries of himself, of other people, of things in generalIf we follow the trajectory of eros we consistently find it tracing out this same route it moves out from the lover toward the beloved, then ricochets back to the lover himself and the hole in him, unnoticed before Who is the real subject of most love poems No [...]

  17. What can we learn about romantic love by looking at ancient greek poetry I would have said I don t particularly care but Anne Carson s writing, ever poetic in itself even when it s in the form of essays, drew me in And there s actually a lot to connect to like, when I go to the movies, why is it that the best moments in an eros related story are the ones before they hook up, from the moment you realize it s a possibility until when it actually happens or doesn t happen it almost doesn t matter T [...]

  18. Here are some things I learned while reading my bajillionth Anne Carson book I don t understand love Greek philosophy confuses me, but I love it The chase really is better than the catch Time is weird I love love.

  19. bought at the strand and read in a bar on the lower east side when you could still smoke indoors and was I a smoker, fucking yes I was.

  20. I really enjoyed this book I had read some of Carson s translations of Euripides from her collection called Grief Lessons, which also features some really interesting but small commentary on, in the same vein as this book, the concepts of grief and rage in Greek tragedy and thought they were pretty good and then I found this at one of my favorite bookstores in Astoria.First and foremost this book is about conceptually mapping eros and what it meant for the ancient Greeks Carson s analysis is by [...]

  21. Eros is an issue of boundaries He exists because certain boundaries do In the interval between reach and grasp, between glance and counterglance, between I love you and I love you too, the absent presence of desire comes alive But the boundaries of time and glance and I love you are only aftershocks of the main, inevitable boundary that creates Eros the boundary of flesh and self between you and me And it is only, suddenly, at the moment when I would dissolve that boundary, I realize I never can [...]

  22. I loved this book I was repeatedly astounded by what I was reading I expected some sort of disconnect due to the fact that basically all of my classics knowledge is Latin based and not Greek But it was all very direct and readable As readable as Anne Carson usually is, anyway But yeah, I loved this book very very very very much.

  23. What a fantastic treatise, what a fantastic mind Carson possesses I slurped this book up and loved every second of reading it infinitely resounding through my own experiences of Eros, insight after insight after insight, constant learned and unpretentious references to the classics it was intensely good every step of the way Recommend to everyone.

  24. El gesto del hombre es muy libre, muy calculado Deber a experimentarse el mismo impacto er tico que al principio Ella aparece con el pelo despeinado como la v spera, en la cama Se deja quitar la toca, se deja hacer, la v spera, el amor.Ella baja los ojos Mueca incomprensible Juega con algo que hay en el suelo.Levanta los ojos hacia l l dice con una lentitud enorme me das muchas ganas de amar.Hiroshima Mon Amour, Marguerite DurasAdem s de poeta y traductora, Anne Carson tambi n es ensayista, y es [...]

  25. This is one of my favorite books by Anne Carson I reread bits of it every fall when it comes time for me to teach the Greeks, especially during Sappho week This year I reread it in its entirety and fell under its spell like never before Her brand of poetic scholarship works its magic on me like few others, only Hugh Kenner s The Pound Era and Wyndham Lewis Villon come to mind This time she sent me back to my Plato and I went through a whole Plato phase rereading the Phaedrus, the Lysis and the R [...]

  26. There is something intoxicating about reading a scholar who brings erudition and poetic vision to a creative analysis of desire This book, via a discussion of Sappho and other figures, proves a stunning, trans textual analysis of variations on the constructions of amorous triangulation, whether that which is seen between three people entangled, viewers and lovers, or those triangulations created by either physical distance or prose via correspondence It is an essay adventure, which is deliriousl [...]

  27. Update I m re reading it as I hoped I would , and it is so interesting and provocative I am understanding it differently than I did the first time through, moving all my old book darts to new locations Anne Carson makes me feel so inadequately educated I would love to study this book in a class that also covered the source material Maybe I d like to be a closet classicist Original Extraordinary book, and one I ll be returning to again and again, I hope Beautiful and provocative discussion of the [...]

  28. Anne Carson seems to want to work in spaces between genres to create original work that blends different types of writing Her publisher, Vintage, calls this piece an essay, but after reading it I consider it a treatise or study of desire as seen in classic Greek writings Yet she also brings in philosophy, fiction and literature theory The Greeks certainly dominate, but Carson also weaves in Virginia Woolf, Kafka, W.H Auden and Kierkegaard It s a fascinating, intelligent and well researched book [...]

  29. I didn t really like this book, I m sorry to say It s too academic and reminded me of everything I hated about college interesting ideas that seem like they should be relevant to real life, but only some of which actually fit into my schema of the world, and even then only if angled in precisely the right way They glint and glimmer and tease, but ultimately don t map onto any sort of reality that I know The book has its moments, but it s very, very dense.

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