indeed he might have been describing the author of Eros, the Bittersweet. Car- Carson traces the paradoxical nature of Eros from Sappho’s famous definition. Deadpan Sexy: Anne Carson’s “Eros the Bittersweet”. Austin Allen. 10 February, Anne Carson writes books that refuse to be just one thing. Autobiography. Eros the Bittersweet An Essay Anne Carson. Editions. Paperback. ISBN. pp. 6 x 9. Hardcover.

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A book about love as seen by the ancients, Eros is Anne Carson’s exploration of the concept of “eros” in both classical philosophy and literature. What does the word mean? Gass’s On Being Blue. Paperbackpages. Published March 1st by Dalkey Archive Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Eros the Bittersweetplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Oct 02, Jessica rated it really liked it Recommends it for: If something terrible happens to me one day, and all that’s left is my body, and if, around the same time, bitterswet terrible should happen to Anne Carson and all that’s left is her brain, I would bjttersweet that somehow medical science and luck cagson combine, and allow these terrible accidents to be resolved through a relatively happy solution, by which one of us not Ms.

Carson would be greatly improved. May 28, Anthony Vacca rated it liked it. As much of a rousing celebration this book is for the love of Literature, too much of her prose is dry erox bloated with jargon and rhetoric for this particular, not-smart-enough reader.

Jun 18, Laura Casron rated it it was amazing. Annee one of her chapters Anne Carson writes, “Imagine a city where there is no desire. Supposing for the moment that the inhabitants of the city continue to eat, drink and procreate in some mechanical way; still, their life looks flat.

They do not theorize or spin tops or speak figuratively.

Eros the Bittersweet

Few think to shun pain; none give gifts. They bury their dead and forget where [. Through the course of her exploration of “eros,” Carson offers fascinating cultural details on the ancient Greeks and analyzes small poetry fragments that I’ve never read bitgersweet.

One of my favorites is from Archilochos who wrote what “it feels like to be violated by Eros: Such a longing for love, rolling itself up under my heart, poured down much mist over my eyes, filching out of my chest the soft lungs– Carson’s analysis of this fragment is mind-opening for those readers careon appreciate close reading. She does the same for Sappho, as well as others, but keeps her focus narrowed on the question of why bitetrsweet love to fall in love.

By the time I was done reading, I became convinced it is because our minds take the deepest joy in the blttersweet of metaphor – of the heart’s palpitating excitement over the difference in two unlike things. The space between them is the ache of desire. Jul 08, Grace Hobbs rated it it was amazing. There are no words for how perfect this book is.


A gorgeous exploration of the edges of personhood, letters, desire. Endlessly fascinating and utterly engrossing. I couldn’t put it down. I want to fall in love. A sample from a favorite passage: Together the two halves compose ero meaning. A metaphor is a species of sym There are no words for how perfect this book is. A metaphor is a species of symbol. So is a lover. Every hunting, hungering lover is half a knucklebone, wooer of a meaning that is inseparable from its absence. The moment when we understand these things – when we see what we are projected on a screen of what we could be – is invariably a moment of wrench and arrest.

We careon that moment, and we hate it. We have to keep going back tne it, after all, if we wish to maintain contact with the possible. Sappho drew this conception together and called Eros glukupikron [bittersweet].

Eros the Bittersweet by Anne Carson

Nov 20, mwpm rated it it was amazing Shelves: But let us penetrate beyond the physical procedure of their writing to the activity of mind that informs it. It is an activity of symbolization. Being a phonetic system, the Greek alphabet is concerned to symbolize not objects in the real world but the very process in which sounds act to construct speech.

Phonetic script imitates “It is arguable, then, from the way they wrote and the tools they used, that ancient readers and writers conceived the Greek alphabet as a system of outlines or edges. Phonetic script imitates the activity of discourse itself. The Greek bitterzweet revolutionized this imitative function through introduction of its consonant, which is a theoretic element, an abstraction.

The consonant functions by means of an act of imagination in the mind of the user. I am writing this book because that act astounds me. It is an act in which the mind reaches out from what is present and actual to something else.

The fact that eros operates by means of an analogous act of imagination will soon be seen to be the most astounding thing about eros. Feb 20, Steven rated it it was amazing Shelves: We have endeavored to see what that is by thf ancient literature, lyric and romantic, for its exposition of carskn.

We have watched how archaic poets shape love poems as triangles and how ancient novelists construct novels as a sustained experience of paradox. We caught sight of carspn similar outline, even in Homer, where the phenomenon of reading and writing resurfaces in Bellerophon’s stor “Both the experience of desire and the experience of reading have something to teach us about edges.

We caught sight qnne a similar outline, even in Homer, where the phenomenon of reading and writing resurfaces in Bellerophon’s story. We speculated about writers’ purposes to seduce readers? It is a necessarily triangular design, and it embodies a reach for the unknown. Oct 10, Nicole rated it it was ok Shelves: It’s all coming back to me now, why I dislike this kind of theoretical, transhistorical argument grounded in a series of close readings.

The author appears to believe that she has stumbled upon a deep psychological, even ontological, truth which transcends all context thee time, as well as any counter-examples. This is an enormous claim, and it would take something verging on religious faith birtersweet countenance it based on what it presented here. My own personal experience is an important counter-exam It’s all coming back to me now, why I dislike this kind of theoretical, transhistorical argument grounded in a series of close readings.


My own personal experience is an important counter-example, yet I feel sure the author would without hesitation dismiss my ability to access my own subjective experience as quickly as she dismisses Hephaistos and Aristophanes as uncredible witnesses. And yet they are making the same type of universal claim. Apparently the one thing everyone can agree upon is that a large claim is always better than a small, precise, specific claim. The evidence for this kind of thing is never sufficient to support the vastness of the claim being made.

And yet somehow we are meant to admire it as a kind of performance in itself, and to set aside our doubts and to believe based on the facility of that performance, evidence becoming and old-fashioned and largely irrelevant afterthought.

Aside from everything else, the narcissism of this approach makes me livid. Lurking here is also the unargued and by no means self-evident premise that is “culture”. In these arguments, culture is a homogenous and annf THING, to which we have access via all and each of its productions, rather than a tension of similarity and difference, including its own variants and disputes, which needs much more care and information to be described accurately.

In this sense, even the claims about the Greeks are too broad. They resemble, too, current simplistic constructions of identity and culture in the form of identity politics in which group trumps all. No wonder such facile constructions flourish in the humanities departments of universities: It is deeply unfortunate that thinkers such as these have the care of the intellectual development of our young. Oh, and let us not forget argument from authority, the appeal to performances past.

What Freud says may be interesting, and indeed it may even be true, but if true, it is not so because he was the one who said it. This book has flashed me back to a career in a set of disciplines that would accept virtually any theory, provided that it was discredited in its original and proper disciplinary home.

Something is terribly wrong with a community who will accept as valid the formulation, “well, Freud said”.

I love literary study, and feel it should be taken seriously. And yet I find that those who dismiss it as pseudo-scientific, metaphysical woo-woo with no real value in any kind etos rational or scientific community need not look far for examples of what they mean.

What I would not give for better allies.

The Iliad Book 3: Either this is deliberate, in an effort to force a piece of evidence that does not fit into her schema, or she has actually come to see it this way because of her presuppositions. Either way, the evidence comes after the conclusion, and the author is not to be trusted.

Being an expert on one thing does not make you an expert on everything. Apr 17, Jesse rated it it was amazing Shelves: Carson always perches her abne in the most precarious positions.

One wonders what exactly they are holding in their hand: