Anne Carson consistently dazzles with her inventive, shape-shifting work and the vividness of her imagination. Read more...
Anne Carson consistently dazzles with her inventive, shape-shifting work and the vividness of her imagination. Float reaches an even greater level of brilliance and surprise. Presented in an arrestingly original format--individual chapbooks that can be read in any order, and that float inside a transparent case--this collection conjures a mix of voices, time periods, and structures to explore what makes people, memories, and stories -maddeningly attractive- when observed in spaces that are suggestively in-between.
One can begin with Carson contemplating Proust on a frozen Icelandic plain, or on the art-saturated streets of downtown New York City. Or journey to the peak of Mount Olympus, where Zeus ponders his own afterlife. Or find a chorus of Gertrude Steins performing an essay about falling--a piece that also unearths poignant memories of Carson's own father and great-uncle in rural Canada. And a poem called -Wildly Constant- piercingly explores the highs and lows of marriage and monogamy, distilled in a wife's waking up her husband from the darkness of night, and asking him to make them eggs for breakfast.
Exquisite, heartbreaking, disarmingly funny, Float kaleidoscopically illuminates the uncanny magic that comes with letting go of expectations and boundaries. It is Carson's most intellectually electrifying, emotionally engaging book to date.
- ISBN-13: 9781101946848
- ISBN-10: 1101946849
- Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
- Publish Date: October 2016
- Page Count: 272
- Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-09-19
- Reviewer: Staff
Classicist, poet, and translator Carson (Red Doc>) further expands her reputation as a genre-defying innovator with her latest book-as-art-object: a collection of 23 individual chapbooks presented in a clear acetate case. As a whole, the work initially seems haphazard, as though Carson is responding to her own question, What would it be like/ to live in a library/ of melted books? Yet each section exhibits its own merits, illuminating some new facet of Carsons intellect or digging deeper furrows into her scholarly pursuits. The work is a wildly open text: its essays, plays, poems, lists, and translations include such topics as the ancient Greek prophet Cassandra and Brigitte Bardots transcendent ass. Joan of Arc and Francis Bacon become comrades in stops and silence. Carsons tone shifts as dramatically as her choice of subject, at one moment deeply philosophical, and the next self-effacing and humorous. As detailed in Performance Notes, many pieces arose from creative collaborations with such figures as artist Roni Horn, composer Laurie Anderson, dancer/choreographer Jonah Bokaer, and others. This freewheeling collection is composed of Cracks, cuts, breaks, gashes, splittings, slicings, rips, tears, conical intersects, disruptions, etymologies, as Carson writes in her essay about (among other things) Cassandra. Likewise, sections splice into others, and ideas crack open further contemplations. Carsons whirlwinds of thought, simultaneously swelling and coalescing, disrupt traditional framings, upend cliché, and demand a new kind of candor. (Nov.)