What turns us on: Anne Carson

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Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho might have won her books prop status in an L Word seduction, but she woos less with overt scenes of eroticism than with her high-minded mash-ups. A poet, essayist and classical-Greek scholar, Carson couples genres to create bewitching creatures. Her book The Beauty of the Husband mixes the spirit of tango with memories of a bad breakup; The Autobiography of Red, a novel in verse, is a sexy-sad mesh of Greek mythology, romance story and musings on photography. In Eros the Bittersweet she meticulously unfolds her central idea: People, for all their longing, can’t fully connect. A sad thought, but thrilling, too. It’s as if she’s telling us that desire will never sit still—that it’s never going to stop.

Carson narrates her play Uncle Harry on May 8, 2008.

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