Sunday 22 May 2016

Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red (Vintage, 1999), third selection

Some more favourite passages from this amazing book:

The pimiento stung his mouth alive like sudden sunset.


You eat like my daughter. With a certain

shall I say lucidity.


Black outside air tossed itself

hard against the windows.


Oh don't go, thought Geryon who felt himself starting

to slide off the surface of the room
like an olive off a plate. When the plate attained an angle of thirty degrees
he would vanish into his own blankness.


And for a moment the frailest leaves of life contained him in a widening happiness.

from "XXX. Distances"

Cars nested along the curb on their shadows. Buildings leaned back out of the street.
Little rackety wind went by.
Moon gone. Sky shut. Night had delved deep.


He could see the harbor blackly glittering. Cobblestones grew slick. Smell of salt fish
and latrines furred the air.


Hardly glancing
at one another the three of them played
as one person, in a state of pure discovery. They tore clear and clicked and locked
and unlocked, they shot
their eyebrows up and down. They leaned together and wove apart, they rose 
and cut away and stalked
one another and flew up in a cloud and sank back down on waves.


Black night sky weighed starlessly on the windows.


The petals of their colognes rose around them in a light terror. 

from "XXXI. Tango"

...the elevator crashed like a mastodon within its hollow cage.

from "XXXII. Kiss"

Ancash sat very straight,
a man as beautiful as a live feather.


Soon they were out on the street
walking fast along Avenida BolĂ­var with a hard wind strumming their bodies. 


A winter sun had thrown its bleak wares on the sky
and people going past
looked dazzled.

from "XXXIV. Harrods"

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