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The Beauty of the Husband: A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangosby Anne Carson
Synopses & Reviews
The Beauty Of The Husband is an essay on Keats?s idea that beauty is truth, and is also the story of a marriage. It is told in 29 tangos. A tango (like a marriage) is something you have to dance to the end. This clear-eyed, brutal, moving, darkly funny book tells a single story in an immediate, accessible voice?29 ?tangos? of narrative verse that take us vividly through erotic, painful, and heartbreaking scenes from a long-time marriage that falls apart. Only award-winning poet Anne Carson could create a work that takes on the oldest of lyrical subjects — love — and make it this powerful, this fresh, this devastating.
"Montreal's Carson is, arguably, the hottest poet in the world. Here she displays her trademark deep erudition with an even deeper sense of life's (and love's) fragilities." The Globe and Mail, Best Books of 2001
"Impressive....[Carson's] references to or quotes from the likes of Homer and Jane Austen and Beckett are kept in a vibrant present with infusions of a jazzy language that has come to define our age and our relationships....With swift strokes depicting the illusions and disillusions of a marriage gone sour, Carson has managed to make the intellectual life hip. In her hands, a quote from Plato seems as natural as a pop reference....Then there are the lines of sheer lyricism, lines that send us spinning back to idea of beauty, of truth....This new work, while resembling poetry, still has that edge, that charming threat of becoming at any moment something other than what we expect....A single light does not illuminate this volume. It is as though individual candles were strategically placed throughout the length of the marriage, highlighting essential moments....The Beauty of the Husband is an essential song, fully aware of all the perils and brave enough to play itself out." Dionisio D. Martinez, Miami Herald
"In Carson's most welcoming and intimate work to date, she loosens the robes of erudition that cloaked Men in the Off Hours in an aura of wry intellectualism. Here the tango provides inspiration for lashingly precise yet sultry and graceful poems that depict the eroticism and possessiveness, competition and resentment of a marriage in dissolution, a process envisioned as both an elaborate dance and vicious warfare....With Keats as her touchstone, Carson?audacious, funny, poised, and extraordinarily smart?considers our often contradictory needs for beauty and love....[A] piquant inquiry into the nature of desire far beyond familiar parameters." Booklist
"This poet's voice is so strange, so unique, so wholly her own that it seems a paradox that she already has such a wide audience. And the message of her seventh book is another paradox: that sexuality both the body's intellect and the mind's desire is thinking." Talk Magazine
"In a few swiftly cut lines, her 29 tangos, Ms. Carson tells what might be seen as a pedestrian love story: a marriage, a divorce, a sad life left behind. But there is nothing pedestrian about the way her verse pierces the mind with a laserlike light." Richard Bernstein, New York Times
The Beauty Of The Husband is an essay on Keatss idea that beauty is truth, and is also the story of a marriage. It is told in 29 tangos. A tango (like a marriage) is something you have to dance to the end.
This clear-eyed, brutal, moving, darkly funny book tells a single story in an immediate, accessible voice-29 “tangos” of narrative verse that take us vividly through erotic, painful, and heartbreaking scenes from a long-time marriage that falls apart. Only award-winning poet Anne Carson could create a work that takes on the oldest of lyrical subjects-love-and make it this powerful, this fresh, this devastating.
About the Author
Anne Carson lives in Canada.
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