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Autobiografie van rood (Red #1)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  11,087 Ratings  ·  1,042 Reviews
In haar eerste roman in verzen overbrugt Anne Carson de kloof tussen poëzie en proza door de meeslepende zielenreis te beschrijven van een gevleugeld monster dat Gerion heet. Carson gaat uit van een aantal gedichtfragmenten van de Griekse klassieke schrijver Stesíchoros over een van de werken van Herakles, waarin ook Gerion voorkomt, 'een monster aan wie alles rood was', e ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published 2000 by Meulenhoff (first published March 31st 1998)
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Laurie Neighbors
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Oh, you should read this book. It's smart and sweet and tender and original. It's erotic, but just under your skin. It's a novel in verse, but don't let that deter you. You can pick it up off the shelf and settle into a big armchair in the bookstore and read the whole thing for free in an hour (even relishing and re-reading parts). But then you'll probably want to buy it anyway so that you can take it home and sleep with it under your pillow for the rest of your life.
Mariel
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gaiety transfiguring all that dread
Recommended to Mariel by: Miriam
What do they think about? Floating in there. All night.
Nothing.
That's impossible.
Why?
You can't be alive and think about nothing. You can't but you're not a whale.
Why would it be different?
Why should it be the same? But I look in their eyes and I see them thinking.
Nonsense. It is yourself you see- it's guilt.
Guilt? Why would I be guilty about whales? Not my fault they're in a tank.
Exactly. So why are you guilty- whose tank are you in?


Australian goodreader Sean (account since nuked, sadly) wrote
...more
Miriam
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: synesthetes
Recommended to Miriam by: Ceridwen Christensen
Shelves: poetry
Seldom have I seen a writer so maximize the balance between raw, grated, difficult, emotional pain and beautiful words that make me want to clutch them to my bosom and squeeze them with delight while making burbling noises of pleasure.
Jessica
Sep 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: samantha morgan
I read this book when I was about twenty, and it was the greatest thing that I'd ever read. Then I purposely avoided rereading it for over a decade after that, terrified that it couldn't be as incredible as I remembered.

So recently I did have to reread it, for school. And no, it didn't do to me what it did the first time that I read it, and it no longer seems light years greater than any other book in human history. HOWEVER, it is still really great and one of my all-time favorites, and I'd reco
...more
Aubrey
It was taking him a very long while
to set up the camera. Enormous pools of a moment kept opening around his hands
each time he tried to move them.
Every so often my education comes in handy when I am confronted by a piece that does not seize me by the heart and wring it till I weep like it has apparently done for most everyone else. One could say peer pressure, or one could admit to capitalism and how a measure of discipline is needed in analyzing any work that is mandated, regardless of persona
...more
Edward
If this is poetry, then I guess I don't really understand

what poetry is.

If it's not about rhyme, or meter, sound, or the controlled use of precise, flowing,

poetic language,

then it seems to resemble prose exactly, but with arbitrary

line-breaks,

which does not preclude it from being a beautiful story

about heartbreak,

and growing up, one that is deeply moving, and filled with powerful

imagery,

just that I felt distracted by the form, driven to constantly question

why it is written

in this way: perha
...more
Neal Adolph
In my short life I have learned that short novels need to be read for as long as they can be. Then the good ones should be reread. This is a challenge. These short novels masquerade themselves as something that you can appreciate in a few hours of reading. Yes, you can read The Lover in an afternoon, or The Hour of the Star in a few hours on a park bench with a good coffee in hand, or you can sit with The Crying of Lot 49 one Tuesday evening and get through it all. If you have the ability to han ...more
Andrew Tibbetts
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of creative literature
Shelves: canadian
This novel was written for me, it feels. It has the perfect blend of funny and sad, raw and elegant, intellectual and sensual. It blew my mind when I read it. And it's the one of only two books I've re-read several times (Great Expectations being the other.)

There are some clever metafictional framing sections which come at the material from historical and literary angles, but the central section, the heart of the book, is the story, the novel in verse.

"Verse" in Anne Carson isn't strident metri
...more
Khashayar Mohammadi
A truly unique poetic experience. An important milestone for the verse novel. An idiosyncratic, fantastic (in the purest sense of the word) tale that explores the most important issues of our society from a somewhat comedic and surreal perspective. One of the great classics of Canadian poetry.
Ellie
Jan 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I read a work that is so complete that I don't want to write a review. Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson is that kind of book.

A retelling of the story of Geryon, a red-winged monster who has a short but painful affair with Heracles that reverberates through his life.

What struck me was Geryon's unending effort to make art out of his life-first through writing, even as a child before he could actually write, and then as a photographer. Geryon's life is painful but he constantly searche
...more
Pewterbreath
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not in a long time have I obsessively read anything, just to want to obsessively re-read it all in one fell swoop. There's two parts to this book: first is the meta-writing bit--poem fragments and the like from the original Hercules myth, a writer who goes blind for insulting Helen, and then regains his sight again for rescinding his comment (how very political) and the like. This part is good (not great--just good).

It's the story itself that is absolutely wonderful. Anne Carson is good at many
...more
brian
Nov 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
if you no like this book, i no like you
Pavle
Čudno. Jako čudno, ali u potpuno pozitivnom smislu. Na tren mitološka dekonstrukcija, na tren metaforička rekonstrukcija jednog malog delića Herkulove legende, iz druge, beskrajno interesantnije perspektive. Priča o osetljivim, ličnim temama, o identitetu i ljubavi, o umetnosti i odrastanju i kako smrt tj. ubistvo ne mora biti bukvalno. Neću da zalazim u detalje same priče, pošto je ona ovde na drugom mestu. Dovoljno je reći kako se radi o malom crvenom dečaku, a posle mladiću, koji ima krila i ...more
Matthew
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm reminded of Michael Ondaatje's book of poetry, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid . The book is a "verse novel" that loosely follows the exploits of Billy the Kid under the pretext that he is the author (though Ondaatje frequently deviates). There are aspects of this in Autobiography of Red (as you may have gathered from the title).

The idea, a classic story from another perspective, is more reminiscent of John Gardner's Grendel (Beowulf from the perspective of the monster). The same appro
...more
Jeff Jackson
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-2, poetry
This was surprisingly engaging, emotional, and compulsively plot-driven. I've found other Carson texts occasionally too knotty and the first 20 pages made it seem like this was more of the same. But the importance of the set-up soon becomes clear and gives way to a poetically charged and compelling coming-of-age story that seamlessly mixes modern life with Greek legend. There are lots of wonderful reviews for this, so the only thing I'll add is that if you've been hesitating DON'T BE DAUNTED. Ta ...more
Msmurphybylaw
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-the-best
Most people who know me through work or socially find my cynicism biting yet funny. I get compliments often on my wit, though it is dark and sharp. I'm surprised when people tell me that I'm quite entertaining, because I tend withdrawal and am generally introverted. I have psychological test to back this up. I am forever the INTJ. Sometimes bordering on the J, but never the I.
This review contains, what may seem an infinite narcissistic hall of mirrors, reflecting Fibonacci images of big ol' Al,
...more
Kathryn
Nov 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, religion-myth
I liked this very much. The entire work is perfection, with the exception of the evasive ending. The awe I felt while reading was lessened due to this, which makes me very sad as this is a beautiful and heartwrenching book. I really wish it had ended with a stronger conclusion.

This book managed to smack against my ick wall pretty early. Umm, yeah, I am so not qualified to write a review or anything resembling a review about this book.

I found the book accessible yet distant, dreamy but familiar
...more
Will
Autobiography of Red is an epic without the endless description and patronymics. And that only makes it better. Anne Carson is a literary genius. Her syntax is remarkable and her purpose is never clear. Those are two reasons I loved this, but there are many others. Read it. You will feel strange, but undoubtedly you will learn something from this. I don't know what you'll learn, nor do I know what I learned. Judge it for yourself.
Eric
Dec 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eric by: Ceridwen Sparkle Princess
Shelves: bagatelle, poetry
Formally very beautiful, delivers all the pleasures (celerity, compression, wit) I associate with "A Novel in Verse." But I found the story (assuming it can be considered apart from form) wan and Geryon vaguely annoying. Looking forward to Plainwater.
Patty
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not often that a book of poems makes my heart pound.
I started reading it before bed on Sunday night. I was EXCITED TO WAKE UP ON MONDAY MORNING because I couldn't wait to get on the subway and continue reading it. On a Monday. Morning. Enough said?
julieta
Strange, and lovely. Funny and sad. a wonderful book I will certainly read again.
Ruby
May 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poets, underdogs, people who have fallen in love with a breeze
This book marks, without an ember of doubt, the first time I've ever felt burned by my lack of education in the classics. I approached this book ready to feel cowed and lost, so I was enthralled when that was not the case.

I understand Geryon intimately, for I, too am a red creature.

From a forgotten notebook of mine:

"On my steady diet of nicotine and coffee, my thoughts grind (like bad teeth) into points. I am a sharp-shaped thing. A needle, an arrow, I cut. I can touch rage: rage that was the o
...more
August Smith
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest, my initial reaction as I began "Autobiography of Red" was a rolling of my eyes. The book opens with a short, informal "essay", which functions as a way of contextualizing the main narrative in the mythological/historical framework of Stesichoros' writing. And while reading this essay, I grew worried that the "novel in verse" was going to be another fragmented postmodern reference-fest; the essay evokes a snarky sense of humor, drops a Baudrillard quote, and talks about how "words ...more
Beth
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the perfect combination of story and philosophy. It conveys the immediacy of sensory and emotional experience while simultaneously asking serious intellectual questions about that experience. The main character, Geryon, is a version of a monster from Greek mythology. Carson turns his monstrosity into all that is both beautiful and difficult about being a creative and desiring person.

The main part of the book is the story of a romance between Geryon and Herakles (In Greek mythology H
...more
Bina
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This hybrid novel / epic poem is one of my favorites. It wreaked havoc on my life, mostly in a good way.

Based on the Greek myth of Herakles (Hercules for all you Romans), it recasts Geryon, the slayed, sheepherding red-winged monster, as a protagonist who also takes form as a gay, socially-marginalized school boy. From the monster's perspective, a story unfolds that is at once disturbing, coruscating, and beautiful.

The way Carson shapes verse awes me, you want to touch her craft, know its conto
...more
Zeynep
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: şiir, roman
<3
aconeyisland
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: la-poetica
…quest’idea che ti esplodano i polmoni
se non riesci a raggiungere la superficie…
i polmoni non esplodono piuttosto diciamo che senza ossigeno franano lo so da Virgina Woolf
con cui una volta ho parlato a una festa non ovviamente
di annegare visto che ancora non ci pensava…te l’ho già raccontata questa storia?
Ricordo che il cielo dietro di lei era vermiglio
lei venne verso di me dicendo: Perché se ne sta tutta sola in questo enorme giardino vacuo
come un pezzo di elettricità? Elettricità?
Forse invece
...more
Ammara Abid
I'll rate it later.
Because now at this moment
I'm in between like and dislike -_-
imagination was good
writing style was good enough but that one thing -_- the concept of 'pedestary in ancient Greece' ughhhhhhhhh. I don't think so that beautiful poetic fiction need that content. The book is good without it too.
emily
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twenty
i feel like i just *have* to give this 5 stars..but i have no idea how to talk about it
Nick
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.3/5 rating on GR is right where I'd rate this
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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
...more
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“Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.” 166 likes
“Desire is no light thing.” 95 likes
More quotes…