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Anne Carson quotes Showing 1-30 of 263

“You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that? And I said,
Where can I put it down?”
Anne Carson, Glass, Irony and God
“Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of grief.”
Anne Carson (Translator), Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides
“Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“To be running breathlessly, but not yet arrived, is itself delightful, a suspended moment of living hope.”
Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet
tags: hope
“Eros is an issue of boundaries. He exists because certain boundaries do. In the interval between reach and grasp, between glance and counterglance, between ‘I love you’ and ‘I love you too,’ the absent presence of desire comes alive. But the boundaries of time and glance and I love you are only aftershocks of the main, inevitable boundary that creates Eros: the boundary of flesh and self between you and me. And it is only, suddenly, at the moment when I would dissolve that boundary, I realize I never can.”
Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet
“What would it be like
to live in a library
of melted books.

With sentences streaming over the floor
and all the punctuation
settled to the bottom as a residue.

It would be confusing.
Unforgivable.
A great adventure.”
Anne Carson
“Desire is no light thing.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“To feel anything
deranges you. To be seen
feeling anything strips you
naked. In the grip of it
pleasure or pain doesn’t
matter. You think what
will they do what new
power will they acquire if
they see me naked like
this.
If they see you
feeling. You have no idea
what. It’s not about them.
To be seen is the penalty.”
Anne Carson, Red Doc>
“When I desire you a part of me is gone...”
Anne Carson
“Could you visit me in dreams? That would cheer me.
Sweet to see friends in the night, however short the time.”
Anne Carson, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides
“It is easier to tell a story of how people wound one another than of what binds them together.”
Anne Carson, Plainwater: Essays and Poetry
“Each night about this time he puts on sadness like a garment and goes on writing.”
Anne Carson
“Under the seams runs the pain.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“Reality is a sound, you have to tune in to it not just keep yelling.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“What is an adjective? Nouns name the world. Verbs activate the names. Adjectives come from somewhere else. The word adjective (epitheton in Greek) is itself an adjective meaning 'placed on top', 'added', 'appended', '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.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“Here we go mother on the shipless ocean.
Pity us, pity the ocean, here we go.”
Anne Carson, Decreation
“Come here, let me share a bit of wisdom with you.
Have you given much thought to our mortal condition?
Probably not. Why would you? Well, listen.
All mortals owe a debt to death.
There's no one alive
who can say if he will be tomorrow.
Our fate moves invisibly! A mystery.
No one can teach it, no one can grasp it.
Accept this! Cheer up! Have a drink!
But don't forget Aphrodite--that's one sweet goddess.
You can let the rest go. Am I making sense?
I think so. How about a drink.
Put on a garland. I'm sure
the happy splash of wine will cure your mood.
We're all mortal you know. Think mortal.
Because my theory is, there's no such thing as life,
it's just catastrophe.
Anne Carson, Grief Lessons: Four Plays by Euripides
“Give me a world, you have taken the world I was.”
Anne Carson
“The words we read and words we write never say exactly what we mean. The people we love are never just as we desire them. The two symbola never perfectly match. Eros is in between.”
Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet
“What is a quote? A quote (cognate with quota) is a cut, a section, a slice of someone's orange. You suck the slice, toss the rind, skate away.”
Anne Carson, Decreation
“A man moves through time. It means nothing except that, like a harpoon, once thrown he will arrive.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“Then a miracle occurred in the form of a plate of sandwiches.
Geryon took three and buried his mouth in a delicious block of white bread filled with tomatoes and butter and salt.
He thought about how delicious it was, how he liked slippery foods, how slipperiness can be of different kinds.
I am a philosopher of sandwiches, he decided. Things good on the inside.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“Men know almost nothing about desire, they think it has to do with sexual activity or can be discharged that way. But sex is a substitute, like money or language. Sometimes I just want to stop seeing.”
Anne Carson
“Time isn't made of anything. It is an abstraction. Just a meaning that we impose upon motion.”
Anne Carson
“He came after Homer and before Gertrude Stein, a difficult interval for a poet.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“When they made love
Geryon liked to touch in slow succession each of the bones of Herakles' back
as it arched away from him into who knows what dark dream of its own, running both hands all the way down
from the base of the neck
to the end of the spine which he can cause to shiver like a root in the rain.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“Sometimes I dream a sentence and write it down. It’s usually nonsense, but sometimes it seems a key to another world.”
Anne Carson
“As Sokrates tells it, your story begins the moment Eros enters you. That incursion is the biggest risk of your life. How you handle it is an index of the quality, wisdom, and decorum of the things inside you. As you handle it you come into contact with what is inside you, in a sudden and startling way. You perceive what you are, what you lack, what you could be.”
Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet
“They were two superior eels
at the bottom of the tank and they recognized each other like italics.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red
“Sometimes a journey makes itself necessary.”
Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red

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