Admiration: I like a big sprawling library with open stacks, and Green Library is one of my favorites. Thousands and thousands of books on shelves to pull out and browse. There is a light on in the stacks; maybe someone is browsing.
Today I’m reading Anne Carson’s long poem/play red doc > . Reading this strangely titled book is like solving a hard puzzle. I bought it 2 or 3 years ago and am about half-way through. Ms. Carson said in an interview that she worked 7 years, or so on this book. Perhaps, slow reader and slow writer make a good match.
Red Doc > is about Geryon, who is a red-winged monster. In his youth, Geryon herds magical musk-oxen on a Greek Island that is about to be attacked by that terrible despoiler Herakles. But, Geryon survives the attack and changes his name to G. He fast-forwards in time to the present, goes to war in the mid-east, falls in love with a man very like Herakles, and, ultimately,is heart-broken. Sadly, this poem appears headed towards a tragic ending. Maybe that is a reason for my slow progress in reading.
Rescuing a play from antiquity is a job for a McArthur genius or a mad-woman. Not many would labor so many years to create a new poem from a fragment of a lost work by an obscure Greek named Stesichoros.
I admire persistence and genius and Anne Carson has both. I recommend her poems, and hope you read faster than I do.
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