Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay by Anne Carson

By Anne Carson

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Publish yr note: initially released in 1989.

A ebook approximately love as obvious by means of the ancients, Eros is Anne Carson's exploration of the idea that of "eros" in either classical philosophy and literature.

Beginning with: "It was once Sappho who first known as eros 'bittersweet.' nobody who has been in love disputes her. What does the notice mean?", Carson examines her topic from various issues of view and types, transcending the limitations of the scholarly workout for an evocative and lyrical meditation within the culture of William Carlos William's Spring and All and William H. Gass's On Being Blue.

The insights provided within the quantity are many and wide-ranging, recognizably in track with the subtlest sleek discussions of hope (such as triangulation. or loving what others love), but delivering new ideas to outdated difficulties, just like the right interpretation of Plato's Phaedrus. at the often mentioned influence of literacy on Greek civilization, the publication bargains a clean view: it was once no coincidence that the poets who invented Eros have been additionally the 1st readers and writers of the Western literate tradition.

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Additional resources for Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay

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The man sits like a god, the poet almost dies: two poles of response within the same desiring mind. Triangulation makes both present at once by a shift of distance, replacing erotic action with a ruse of heart and language. For in this dance the people do not move. Desire moves. Eros is a verb. ___________ 36 2 The two most recent commentators on this poem assemble scholarship for and against jealousy: Burnett 1983, 232-43; Race 1983, 92-101. 3 See Dover 1978, 178 n. 18; Race 1983, 93-94. 4 On seeming in this poem, see Robbins 1980, 255-61.

A second tangent connects the girl to the poet. Between the eye of the poet and the listening man crackles a third current. The figure is a triangle. Why? An obvious answer is to say that this is a poem about jealousy. Numbers of critics have done so. 2 How is such blanket disagreement possible? Are we all operating with the same idea of what jealousy is? ’ It is a hot and corrosive spiritual motion arising in fear and fed on resentment. The jealous lover fears that his beloved prefers someone else, and resents any relationship between the beloved and another.

21), “stolen my reasoning mind” (Theognis 1271). Eros is expropriation. He robs the body of limbs, substance, integrity and leaves the lover, essentially, less. This attitude toward love is grounded for the Greeks in oldest mythical tradition: Hesiod describes in his Theogony how castration gave birth to the goddess Aphrodite, born from the foam around Ouranos’ severed genitals (189-200). Love does not happen without loss of vital self. The lover is the loser. Or so he reckons. 54 But his reckoning involves a quick and artful shift.

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