Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Beauty of the Husband

Anne Carson. The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos. Knopf, 2002.

I picked this long poem to read today, honestly, to up my stats for November. I'm reading Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine but it is taking me much longer than expected. Partly the novel's style. Partly my overwhelming schedule these last few weeks, with the labour pains from my first novel, Embers.

Back to the Carson. This is the first of her work I have read, although she is already famous even beyond our borders. It would help to be more familiar with the work of John Keats than I am. The poem riffs on his Beauty/Truth remark, as an approach to a long love affair which ends in a failed marriage. There are also Greek words and references to ancient battles. There is much mystery and even more beauty. Beauty inflated by the unusual sensation for me that, even though I don't understand half of it, I see and feel the beauty.

I also love the cover, an image of a man's chin, with a Keats letter on the back, but my favourite thing about this book is A Note About the Author: Anne Carson lives in Canada. Perfect.

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