Last night, I started reading Autobiography of Red, a novel in verse, by Anne Carson. I’m only 40 pages in and I can tell you that Carson’s masterpiece is already burning through me. From the beauty of her sentences to the brilliance of her ideas to the myth she retells to the little red heart that breaks and the arrow that kills it. Here’s an excerpt from the book’s opening, but be warned: It, in no way, prepares you for the rest of the book.
“What is an adjective? Nouns name the world. Verbs activate the names. Adjectives come from somewhere else. The word adjective (epitheon in Greek) is itself an adjective meaning “placed on top,” “added,” “appended,” “imported,” “foreign.” Adjectives seem fairly innocent additions but look again. These small imported mechanisms are in charge of attaching everything in the world to its place in particularity. They are the latches of being.”