Antigonick - Winner of the Criticos Prize

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Antigonick - Winner of the Criticos Prize

Antigonick - Winner of the Criticos Prize

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Like AE Housman's parodic " Fragment of a Greek Tragedy" ("ALCMAEON: I journeyed hither a Boetian road. She is a heroine who has been interpreted by critics in myriad ways: for Hegel, she represents the ethical value of the family against the state; for George Eliot, the strength of intellect against society; for Anouilh, during the French resistance, the rejection of authority. Sólo digo que me gustó este aire fresco, esta nueva Antígona, esta posibilidad de dejar a un lado la sobreinterpretación y lo academicista para, sencillamente, disfrutar de un drama que tiene un pelín de todo.

That comment does not seek to denigrate the text in any way, since this brief rendering of the original is wonderful, it is just that I have missed out on an additional experience and feel annoyed with myself for being a cheapskate. Always with Carson, I find myself rereading the text, going back within the text, and rereading the entire work when "finished. A dizzying little play that Carson directs towards maximum effect with minimal space, it is one to read again and again. The book needs to be held, the overlays played with, and the ability to flip back support by the physical text.When the blind prophet, Teiresias, enters he looks to the Chorus instead of Kreon to declare ‘ Hail, King of Thebes’ as a reminder the power is in the people and not the King, lest he is a tyrant.

Like Nox, the hardcover volume here also has a nearly handmade appearance and is notable for the strange surreal drawings that appear almost jarringly against the text and make this a dynamic work of art beyond just the text. Carson shortcuts right to characterization with choice words, such as how Kreon—cruising around in his “powerboat” as a play on his phrase “ship of State”—is quickly constructed through his list of the day’s verbs (Legislate and Scandalize among them) and nouns (Treason, Death and Mine for instance) like a quick profile. It is an unhappy reflection on some contemporary literary culture, and on how the art world presents itself, that a translation as radical and eloquent as Carson's can be marred by such an irresponsibly chosen, poorly executed, effectively random series of pictures, and almost no one notices. Her poetry is expressionistic (you see this in Antigonick), shot through with a spiritual turbulence and an almost violent sensitivity to experience, and the barbed edges of her lines can send shocks through you.For Carson, her uncompromising solutions are little kidnaps in the dark, a trail of softly glowing lamps that mark the way through the centuries and out of the shadows. So it isn't an account of Stone's choices, Carson's collaboration, or the particular images and specific words in the text. Her latest book is The Trojan Women , a collaboration with Rosanna Bruno in a comic book reimagining of Euripides' tragedy, published in 2021 by New Directions (USA) and Bloodaxe Books (UK). Rather, as the scene switches between the textual and the graphic, a temporal shift takes place between the past and the present: something is gone, and something is caught, and vibrates still. Sophokles’ luminous and disturbing tragedy is here given an entirely fresh language and presentation.

Her poetry at it's best, like Antigone's character, is a thrilling combination of hot-blooded instinct and dispassionate resolve. Less translation than reinvention, Antigonick is also a deft work of scholarship, strung through with allusions to earlier interpreters of Sophokles’s tragedy, from Bertolt Brecht (who had his Antigone perform the entire play with a door strapped to her back) to the French dramatist Jean Anouilh, who rewrote the script in such a way that it opened in Paris in 1944, creating a version that was at once palatable to the Nazis in the audience and an unswerving symbol of the French Resistance.She’s quite explicit in the foreword: “dear Antigone, / I take it as the task of the translator / to forbid that you should ever lose your screams”. Her Antigone is up against a ruler who is not only blundering and brutal but misogynistic and crass.

I’ve always been quite fond of the tale of Antigone, the daughter of tragic hero Oedipus and his mother Jocasta who stands up in defiance of the State and her own Uncle.I needed to revisit Anne Carson’s translation of Sophokles’s The Antigone, a masterpiece about tyranny, resistance, and a woman’s act of civil disobedience. She does not allow us the cleansing outpour of emotion that, in classic tragedy, results in restoration and a way forward. I was the fool, not you,” he cries out, addressing his dead son, “to trample out the thing I held most dear. In his Antigone of Sophocles (in David Constantine's excellent translation), Brecht frames it in the context of World War II and Hitler's debacle (Creon is adapted from a tyrannical but nonetheless complicated figure in Sophocles into the mindless "Führer"). I also seek out other texts that may illuminate Carson's which always seem just (tantalizingly) out of my reach, but close enough to hook my interest.



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