9780691066813 / 0691066817

Eros the Bittersweet


Publisher:Princeton Univ Pr



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About the book:

Anne Carson has become one of the best-known poets of our time, but her first book, Eros the Bittersweet, was deeply rooted in her other life, as a scholar and professor of classics at McGill University. Eros the Bittersweet is a multi-layered essay that is in part an explication of the Greek philosophical concepts of "eros" and "agape" as they are found in 7th-century BC Greek poetry, but it's also a scintillating study of the way we use language, how we react to language in poetry, how writers write and readers read. It's sleek and sensuous, with the rich, ripe language that we have come to expect from Carson's poetry.

Beginning by guiding readers through a discussion of the poet Sappho's definition of "eros" as bittersweet, Carson soon moves toward the heart of her book: the connection between love and knowledge. The act of reading, like the act of loving, is one of coming to know, and Carson argues that the novelist who constructs a literary "moment of emotional and cognitive interception is making love, and you are the object of his wooing." Eros the Bittersweet is as provocative as it is arresting, and it is a marvellous place to begin to know and love Anne Carson. --Jeffrey Canton

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