Plainwater: Essays and Poetry

Plainwater: Essays and Poetry

by Anne Carson
     
 

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Plainwater brings together five selections from Anne Carson's growing body of highly praised work. Included are Mimnermos: The Brainsex Paintings, a present-day dialogue with a poet of the seventh century BC; Short Talks, one-minute lectures on topics as diverse as trout and Parmenides; Canicula di Anna, a chronicle of a phenomenology conference conducted in Perugia,…  See more details below

Overview

Plainwater brings together five selections from Anne Carson's growing body of highly praised work. Included are Mimnermos: The Brainsex Paintings, a present-day dialogue with a poet of the seventh century BC; Short Talks, one-minute lectures on topics as diverse as trout and Parmenides; Canicula di Anna, a chronicle of a phenomenology conference conducted in Perugia, Italy; The Life of Towns, verbal photographs that capture the essence of the nearly extinct "town"; and The Anthropology of Water, a travelogue of three moments in the journey of a woman's life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite her fastidious, ornately post-modern style, Carson finds her subject matter in classicism. The fruits of this unique, difficult combination are strikingly displayed in this selection of her published work. Seemingly composed of equal parts enigma, experiment and exegesis, Carson's writings incorporate a dizzying spectrum of forms-prose poem, mock interview, travel journal, academic essay. ``Mimnermos: The Brainsex Paintings'' explores what are perhaps figmentary fragments of the ancient Greek poet's work, which divulges ``a kind of hunger for the motions of the self that we are mining still.'' The blurb-like, often humorous paragraphs and prose poems of ``Short Talks'' (which are ``on'' subjects as varied as chromoluminism and Sylvia Plath) and ``The Life of Towns'' (with stops in ``Apostle Town'' and ``Town of Greta Garbo'') afford the pleasure of a whimsical crossword puzzle. But Carson achieves a surreal, perplexing brilliance in ``Canicula di Anna,'' a 53-section poem partially set in the paintings of the 16th-century artist Perugino. The final selection, ``The Anthropology of Water,'' takes an abruptly confessional turn, though one measured (as the title suggests) by the poet's near-scientific intellectualism that, as in all these writings, gives her work a dazzling lucidity. (July)
From the Publisher
"The most exciting poet writing in English today." —Michael Ondaatje

"Breathtaking...[a] work of gorgeous innovation and a staunch, hypnotic intelligence." -The Village Voice

"Carson has created an individual form and style for narrative verse.— Seldom has Pound's injunction — Make It New — been so spectacularly obeyed." -The New York Review of Books

"Carson writes like an angel—Her passions recall that incandescent chronicler of love Elizabeth Smart [and] Malcolm Lowry's passionate stream of consciousness." -Katherine Govier, TIME

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375708428
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
408,506
Product dimensions:
5.11(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

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Meet the Author

Anne Carson lives in Montreal where she is the Director of Graduate Studies, Classics, at McGill University. She is the recipient of many awards, including the QSPELL A.M. Klein Poetry Prize, the 1996 Lannan Award and the 1997 Pushcart Prize. Her most recent book, Autobiography of Red, was a finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

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