Paris Review interview with Anne Carson

We’re big Anne Carson fans around here, so I’d be remiss not to point out that she’s interviewed in the newest Paris Review.

This exchange, about a line from Carson’s poem “Stanzas, Sexes, Seductions,” is both interesting–I love Carson’s description of the way the line came to her–and amusing:


The other line, the one I persist in using as the title of the poem despite your efforts, “I want to be unbearable,” is one of the most startling lines you’ve ever written. I thought it was exact and expressive of you as a writer.


I remember that sentence driving at me in the dark like a glacier. I felt like a ship going toward the South Pole and then all of a sudden a glacier comes zooming out of the dark, and I just took it down. I appreciate that it’s accurate of what I both have and choose to have as my effect on people. I don’t know exactly why that’s the case.


You once said you meant “unbearable” in a metaphysical sense.


Well, yes, it couldn’t be physical, could it? Unless I went around hammering people.


There are those days.

You can read the whole interview at the Paris Review cite, or in the magazine, or I suppose you could wait for The Paris Review Interviews, Volume 5, if you’re the masochistically patient sort.


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