Synopses & Reviews
is an epitaph in the form of a book, a facsimile of a handmade book Anne Carson wrote and created after the death of her brother. The poem describes coming to terms with his loss through the lens of her translation of "Poem 101" by Catullus for his brother who died in the Troad.
<> is a work of poetry, but arrives as a fascinating and unique physical object. Carson pasted old letters, family photos, collages and sketches on pages. The poems, typed on a computer, were added to this illustrated book creating a visual and reading experience so amazing as to open up our concept of poetry.
"In order to discuss Carson's latest work a foldout, Jacob's ladder collage of letters, photographs, and poetry, all housed in a beautiful box one must first address its resistance to being addressed. Rather, what Carson does (and with furious precision) is impress upon us her grief over a life she cannot recapture for Carson, this life is her brother's, for whom this collection is both an elegy and a history. What results is a work of astonishing candor, in which Carson manages to define the elegy anew by exploring the lacunae of her brother's life. 'It is when you are asking about something,' she writes, 'that you realize you have survived it, and so you must carry it, or fashion it into a thing that carries itself.' Carson accomplishes just that, creating a physical record of a life in the form of a book that allows its fragments to carry her brother's absence. To call this art object extraordinary more than a book, it's a reproduction of a scroll Carson made by hand would be to understate. What Carson has given us is an act of devotion of such integrity that it carries its grief on its back." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"She is one of the few writers writing in English that I would read anything she wrote." Susan Sontag
"The book is an extraordinary object to behold, and more extraordinary to read, but it's hardly accurate to even call it a 'book.' It's perhaps 10 feet of paper, folded accordion-like, displaying as near a reproduction of Carson's original collage journal as is possible. The whole thing is folded and packed into a beautiful gray box....The result is breathtaking, evidence of visionary publishing at a moment when the book business is increasingly cynical." Publishers Weekly
Rarely has forking over thirty dollars felt like such a solemn act of memorial.Anne Carson is a poet who likes to get under people"s skin. -- Melanie Rehak
Carson has . . . created an individual form and style for narrative verse. . . . Seldom has Pound’s injunction ‘Make It New’ been so spectacularly obeyed.Trust me: it's an Anne Carson book. Maybe her best....The book is totally recherché and weirdly clear, lingered over and neatly boxed. Precious in the word’s best sense. --Ben Ratliff
"'s intelligence, sadness, and wry humor alone might be enough, but its form takes me even more. To read is sensual. You handle the folds, opening one winged pair at a time or in quick, slinky unfurlings. And this read is not linear, with pages dissolving behind you as you turn, but spatial, more like letting your eyes wander a room. With the whole book unfurled you see it entire and make links among images, like a staircase or an egg that reappear folds apart, and among words like ash, festive, blush. You prowl the book itself." The Millions
Anne Carson's haunting and beautiful Nox is her first book of poetry in five years — a unique, illustrated, accordion-fold-out "book in a box."
Anne Carson's haunting and beautiful Nox is her first book of poetry in five years--a unique, illustrated, accordion-fold-out "book in a box."
Nox is an epitaph in the form of a book, a facsimile of a handmade book Anne Carson wrote and created after the death of her brother. The poem describes coming to terms with his loss through the lens of her translation of Poem 101 by Catullus "for his brother who died in the Troad." Nox is a work of poetry, but arrives as a fascinating and unique physical object. Carson pasted old letters, family photos, collages and sketches on pages. The poems, typed on a computer, were added to this illustrated "book" creating a visual and reading experience so amazing as to open up our concept of poetry.
About the Author
Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living at New York University. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur "Genius" Award. She is the author of Nox; Glass, Irony and God; The Autobiography of Red; The Beauty of the Husband; Decreation; Economy of the Unlost; Eros the Bittersweet; Grief Lessons; If Not, Winter; Men in the Off Hours; and Plainwater.
Review A Day
"Anne Carson calls herself a maker of things. That has never been plainer than with this so-called 'poem' (a Greek-derived word meaning 'a thing made'). A unique assemblage of bits of conversation, letters, postmarked stamps, memories, cut-up photographs, drawings, paint, staples, etc., Nox
is here replicated as one long accordion foldout in a clamshell box. Carson says: 'I had a need to gather up the shards of his story and make it into something containable.' The visual art of this extraordinary new book, with scissors-and-paste used to powerful effect, adds layers of expression to its dazzling verbal art." Mark Gustafson, Rain Taxi (read the entire Rain Taxi review)