Everyone's talking about the Olympics but I want to talk about Antigonick by Anne Carson, which I read last night. Postmodern dramaturgy, girlish rant, handwritten pages. Something I thought about was the massive risks Anne Carson takes with the codex, how she subverts not only the idea of a "story" or a "poem" or a "translated play" or an "essay" but also completely radicalizes what can be published. I'm thinking specifically of not only Antigonick but also the scroll-like accordian fold-out of Nox, which is also like a box, which I haven't seen except for that B.S. Johnson book. Thinking of how these books as objects are really these radical feminine forms. But also that one needs permission - or does one just take permission? How do we have it in ourselves to radicalize, if we are sure we will not be published?
John said last night, "Well, she's a genius." Of course she's a genius. "I mean, she received the grant." He was joking (and, he probably loves A.C. more than I do, if that's possible), but there is something to this. The model of institutionalized acceptance breeds wildness. We talk about this as well when speaking of scholars who, once reaching tenure, are allowed to write their wild, radical, discipline-fucking book (Elaine Scarry's Body in Pain, for ex.).
I went to see Anne Carson read from Nox at Poet's House a couple of years ago. Stephen Motika ran the pages up the aisle. She had green toenails and seemed nervous. God, I love her.