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Economy of the Unlost: (Reading Simonides of Keos with Paul Celan)

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  194 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The ancient Greek lyric poet Simonides of Keos was the first poet in the Western tradition to take money for poetic composition. From this starting point, Anne Carson launches an exploration, poetic in its own right, of the idea of poetic economy. She offers a reading of certain of Simonides' texts and aligns these with writings of the modern Romanian poet Paul Celan, a Je ...more
ebook, 160 pages
Published April 11th 2009 by Princeton University Press (first published July 1st 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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Rodney
Oct 07, 2007 Rodney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
These lectures mesh Celan, Simonides, and Karl Marx with a grace that makes their union seem inevitable. The way Carson folds together money, language, and memory reminds me of Ezra Pound without the shouting. Her insights have a math-like clarity that bring two extreme ends of our history--pre-Socratic and post-Holocaust--into the same economy. You'll never mistake negation and loss for modern inventions after reading this book.
Laurie Neighbors
Sep 23, 2010 Laurie Neighbors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what more you could want, really. Paul Celan, Simonides, and Marx. I suppose if you are study for your qualifying exams or whatever this book won't help you much. But if you are a poet, you will find just what you are looking for here.
Megan
Read intently, read with respect and at times, astonishment. AC, deep bows.
Bryant
Apr 20, 2009 Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Economy of the Unlost' is a daring and rare book, a close reading of the ancient poet Simonides juxtaposed with a close reading of the 20th-century poet Paul Celan. This is the sort of idea that comes to you in the shower. Most Celan scholars don't read Simonides, and I bet you all the endowments of every classics department that most classicists don't get around to Celan very often.

Shame. But maybe it's better all the same that they don't, for who knows how many of them could yoke these diffi
...more
Genese Grill
May 22, 2012 Genese Grill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautiful book by Anne Carson is about Paul Celan and the ancient Greek poet Simonides of Keos. It is about poetry, and about the extent to which language can or can not approximate experience. It is a beautiful and subtle apology for sustained power of poetry in the face of current skeptical deconstructions of communication and language. Celan, she tells us, once described the poet's task as "measuring off the area of the given and the possible," which in the context of this discussion mea ...more
Rick
Jan 26, 2008 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
The classics scholar and poet presents an engaging set of lectures on the work of the Greek poet Simonides and the modern poet Paul Celan. Carson is a gifted intellectual who, like Guy Davenport and few others, makes reading about art and literature an inclusive pleasure. She shares her erudition and her enthusiasm. I may not always follow her thinking or understand the arguments (or even all of the words!) but she makes you want to read Simonides and Celan and the many others she references. He ...more
john steven
Apr 05, 2007 john steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, essays
simonides made money as a poet.

...

imagine that. that's fucking crazy. shame you can't do that anymore.
Charlotte
Jan 04, 2011 Charlotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books of all time.
Leif
May 20, 2013 Leif rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To be sure, this is an amazing study by any terms, whether those of poetic analogy, biography, or classical scholarship. In the epilogue to Economy of the Unlost Anne Carson takes as her subject some lines poet Paul Celan wrote weeks before his suicide by drowning, lines from which she derives her epilogue's title ("All Candled Things"):

Die Ewigkeiten fuhren
ihm ins Gesicht und drüber
hinaus,

langsam löschte ein Brand
alles Gekerzte

[The eternities drove at
his face and
beyond it,

slowly a fire extingui
...more
Christopher
Anne Carson's Economy of the Unlost promise to juxtapose two poets separated by a vast distance: the ancient Greek poet Simonides of Keos and the 20th-century figure Paul Celan, a Jew who continued to write in German after the Holocaust. Unfortunately, I found this very disappointing as both a fan of Celan, and as someone with a Classics degree.

Let me make one thing here: this is mainly a book about Simonides of Keos. Celan is rarely brought in, and when he is, it doesn't really follow on Carson
...more
Yifot
Mar 24, 2007 Yifot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: littheory
"They say that Simonides had two boxes, one for graces, the other for fees. So when someone came to him asking for a grace he had the boxes displayed and opened: the one was found to be empty of graces, the other full of money. And that's the way Simonides got rid of a person requesting a gift"
From Anne Carson's Economy of the Unlost
the given and the negation of the given started many moons ago, indeed.
Kelly Neal
Sep 23, 2012 Kelly Neal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with all Anne Carson's books, a deeply nuanced study. Absence, presence, grace in life and death. The comparison of Simonides and Paul celan, an amazingly brilliant bond of humanity across centuries. All three poets, Simonides, celan and Carson are illuminated with this read.
Antonio Delgado
Dec 05, 2016 Antonio Delgado rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read book on the economy of poetry and its vacuum written by one of the best living poets. From antiquity to Marx to Celan (the twentieth century), Carson reveals the importance of the archaeology of poetry.
Borntoread
Jan 28, 2009 Borntoread rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
slow going but very interesting on the difference between a potlatch style economy in ancient Greece and a modern economy post-Marx. Compares 2 poets: Paul Celan and Simonides.
Wayne Hiller van rensburg
Difficult read, but defined labour in a way no other work I've read since Marx.
Don Hackett
Sep 20, 2016 Don Hackett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somehow reading this made Paul Celan mean more to me.
Alexander
Jun 26, 2007 Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This isn't for everyone, but the meditation on the relationship between writing and money, epitaphs and the poetry of Paul Celan (for which she does the translations) was a treat for me.
Anastasios Kozaitis
Mar 31, 2007 Anastasios Kozaitis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: read-past
fascinating
Romayne
Romayne rated it really liked it
Feb 12, 2012
Shannon
Shannon rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2012
Lucy
Lucy rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2007
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Dec 23, 2016
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Szu Yoong rated it it was ok
Apr 13, 2016
Lani Carroll
Lani Carroll rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2011
Jason Diemer
Jason Diemer rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2012
Lisa Gerard
Lisa Gerard rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2013
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Jul 09, 2014
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Catherine McCallum rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2011
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Anne Carson is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator and professor of Classics. Carson lived in Montreal for several years and taught at McGill University, the University of Michigan, and at Princeton University from 1980-1987. She was a 1998 Guggenheim Fellow. and in 2000 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She has also won a Lannan Literary Award.

Carson (with background in classical language
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