She was, by then, the coolest professor on earth—too cool, even, for a traditional bio. In (2001) is subtitled “A Fictional Essay in 29 Tangos.” How many genres can you mix before your inventiveness waters itself down? The cross-pollination that had made her writing popular was now running to seed.
“Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches Ancient Greek for a living” is all she was prepared to print about herself. Carson began pursuing increasingly bizarre gambits. Even the physical format of her collections reflected the chaos within.
It includes poems, essays, a screenplay, and an opera libretto.
In the last twenty years, she has published two books of essays, one of translations, and five other books that are not easy to classify, since they contain not only poetry but a great variety of prose.
While she is perfectly capable of composing a straightforward essay or a poem, montage is her preferred technique, allowing all her multiple talents as an essayist, a literary critic, a classical scholar, a translator, and a philologist to come into play.
“A fictional essay in 29 tangos” is how, for instance, she describes one of her book-length poems.
Carson now produces “texts”—genre-less, amorphous pieces of writing.
Her abstruse, down-tuned music is the soundtrack to poetry’s institutionalized life in the twenty-first century.
“No one who has been in love disputes her.”Six years later, .
The book ends with “Short Talk on Who You Are”: People talk about a voice calling in the wilderness. Carson’s answer to that question would make her a literary cult figure.