Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG488H1S - L0101

ENG488H1S    L0101    W1-3 
Time and Mourning in Anne Carson's Poetry
Professor Elizabeth Harvey 
Office Phone:
416-946-0276
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 907
Email: elizabeth.harvey@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course: Anne Carson has achieved international acclaim through her innovations in generic form and brilliant engagements with classical literature. This course explores her lyric essays, translations, verse novels, and poems by focusing on questions of time and mourning (among other things). We’ll consider how Carson uses anachronism, decomposition, and prophecy in her radical interpretations of Greek myth and literature. We will investigate her ideas about translation and silence, death and loss, erotic love, such alternative states of consciousness as sleep and madness, the origin of words and the nature of etymology, the sedimentation of affect in language and gesture, and the capacity of poetry to chart the unknowable. We’ll read some of Carson’s critical and theoretical ideas alongside Carson’s poetry, and we’ll chart Carson’s intertextual encounters with Greek myth, philosophy, and English and European literatures. Works will include Nox, Red DocPlainwater, Float, Bakkhai, Economy of the Unlost, and Decreation.

Required Reading: Anne Carson, Decreation, Red Doc, Float, Plainwater, Bakkhai.

First Three Authors/Texts: Anne Carson, Float and Decreation.

Method of Instruction: Seminar

Method of Evaluation: Participation (15%); oral presentation (25%); prospectus (20%); final essay (40%).

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