Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Operaby Anne Carson
Simone Weil described “decreation” as “undoing the creature in us”–an undoing of self. In her first collection in five years, Anne Carson explores this idea with characteristic brilliance and a tantalizing range of reference, moving from Aphrodite to Antonioni, Demosthenes to Annie Dillard, Telemachos to Trotsky, and writing in forms as varied as opera libretto, screenplay, poem, oratorio, essay, shot list, and rapture. As she makes her way through these forms she slowly dismantles them, and in doing so seeks to move through the self, to its undoing.
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Outwardly His Life Ran Smoothly
Comparative figures: 1784 Kant owned 55 books, Goethe 2300, Herder 7700.
Windows: Kant had one bedroom window, which he kept shut at all times, to forestall insects. The windows of his study faced the garden, on the the other side of which was the city jail. In summer loud choral singing of the inmates wafted in.
Kant asked that the singing be done sotto voce and with windows closed. Kant had friends at city hall and got his wish.
Tolstoy: Tolstoy thought that if Kant had not smoked so much tobacco The
Critique of Pure Reason would have been written in language you could under-
stand (in fact he smoked one pipe at 5 AM).
Numbering: Kant never ate dinner alone, it exhausts the spirit. Dinner guests, in the opinion of the day, should not number more than the Muses nor less than the
Graces. Kant set six places.
Sensualism: Kant's favourite dinner was codfish.
Rule Your Nature: Kant breathed only through his nose.
Meet the Author
Anne Carson was twice a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; was honored with the 1996 Lannan Award and the 1997 Pushcart Prize, both for poetry; and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. IN 2001 she received the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry–the first woman to do so; the Griffin Poetry Prize; and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She currently teaches at the University of Michigan.
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