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Écriture and the Budding Classicist in Anne Carson: Antiquity

Cover of Anne Carson: Antiquity
Laura Jansen, Editor
Bloomsbury Studies in Classical Reception
November 2021

From her seminal Eros the Bittersweet (1986) to her experimental Float (2016), Bakkhai (2017) and Norma Jeane Baker of Troy (2019), Anne Carson's engagement with antiquity has been deeply influential to generations of readers, both inside and outside of academia. One reason for her success is the versatile scope of her classically-oriented oeuvre, which she rethinks across multiple media and categories. Yet an equally significant reason is her profile as a classicist. In this role, Carson unfailingly refuses to conform to the established conventions and situated practices of her discipline, in favour of a mode of reading classical literature that allows for interpretative and creative freedom.

From a multi-praxis, cross-disciplinary perspective, the volume explores the erudite indiscipline of Carson's classicism as it emerges in her poetry, translations, essays, and visual artistry. It argues that her classicism is irreducible to a single vision, and that it is best approached as integral to the protean character of her artistic thought. Anne Carson/Antiquity collects twenty essays by poets, translators, artists, practitioners and scholars. It offers the first collective study of the author's classicism, while drawing attention to one of the most avant-garde, multifaceted readings of the classical past.