Antigonick by Carson, Anne; Sophocles

By Carson, Anne; Sophocles

An illustrated new translation of Sophokles’ Antigone.

Anne Carson has released translations of the traditional Greek poets Sappho, Simonides, Aiskhylos, Sophokles and Euripides. Antigonick is her seminal paintings. Sophokles’ luminous and demanding tragedy is right here given a wholly clean language and presentation. This paperback variation incorporates a new preface by way of the writer, “Dear Antigone.”

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ISBN 978-0-8112-2292-1 ISBN 978-0-8112-2293-8 (e-book) I. Carson, Anne, 1950– II. Title.

To Stalin in 1942 speaking of the ’40s, you made a good impression on the Nazi high command and simultaneously on the leaders of the French Resistance when they all sat in the audience of Jean Anouilh’s Antigone opening night Paris 1944: I don’t know what color your eyes were but I can imagine you rolling them now let’s return to Brecht, maybe he got you best to carry one’s own door will make a person clumsy, tired and strange on the other hand, it may come in useful if you go places that don’t have an obvious way in, like normality or an obvious way out, like the classic double bind well that’s your problem my problem is to get you and your problem across into English from ancient Greek all that lies hidden in these people, your people crimes and horror and years together, a family, what we call a family “one of my earliest memories,” wrote John Ashbery in New York magazine 1980, “is of trying to peel off the wallpaper in my room, not out of animosity but because it seemed there must be something fascinating behind its galleons and globes and telescopes” this reminds me of Samuel Beckett who described in a letter his own aspirations toward language “to bore hole after hole in it until what cowers behind it seeps through” dear Antigone: you also are someone keeping faith with a deeply other organization that lies just beneath what we see or what we say to quote Kreon you are autonomos a word made up of autos “self” and nomos “law” autonomy sounds like a kind of freedom but you aren’t interested in freedom your plan is to sew yourself into your own shroud using the tiniest of stitches how to translate this?

ALSO BY ANNE CARSON AVAILABLE FROM NEW DIRECTIONS the albertine workout glass, irony & god nox the task of the translator of antigone dear Antigone: your name in Greek means something like “against birth” or “instead of being born” what is there instead of being born? it’s not that we want to understand everything or even to understand anything we want to understand something else I keep returning to Brecht who made you do the whole play with a door strapped to your back a door can have diverse meanings I stand outside your door the odd thing is, you stand outside your door too that door has no inside or if it has an inside, you are the one person who cannot enter it for the family who lives there, things have gone irretrievably wrong to have a father who is also your brother means having a mother who is your grandmother a sister who is both your niece and your aunt and another brother you love so much you want to lie down with him “thigh to thigh in the grave” or so you say glancingly early in the play but no one mentions it again afterwards oh you always exaggerate!

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