Ex Libris Kirkland

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Illustrator Bianca Stone
Translator Anne Carson
First Written -441
Genre Poetry
Origin Greece
Publisher New Directions
ISBN-10 0811219577
ISBN-13 978-0811219570
My Copy library hardcover
First Read March 29, 2013


This is a new translation of Antigone that I recently stumbled upon (thanks, Library!). It's a really beautiful book, with illustrations done on vellum, that overlay and intersect with the hand-written words. The translation is vibrant and immediate, and I found it both moving and sonorous enough that I kept reading parts out loud.

More than anything else, it made me want to read more traditional translations of Antigone, which I think is fairly high praise.

Noted on April 5, 2013

Blessed be they whose lives do not taste of evil
But if some god shakes your house
ruin arrives
Ruin does not leave
It comes tolling back over the generations
It comes rolling the black night salt up from the
ocean floor
and all your thrashed coasts groan

Archives of grief I see falling upon this house
Death on birth birth on death there is no end to it
some god is piling them on
One last root was reaching up for the light in
the house of Oidipus
but the bloody dust of death
hacks her down mows her down
All the tall mad mountains of her mind

Zeus you win you always win
the whole oxygen of power
belongs to you
Sleep cannot seize it
Time does not tire it
Your Mt Olympus glows like one white stone
around this law:
Nothing vast enters the lives of mortals without ruin

Quoted on April 5, 2013

KREON: You think you are iron but I can bend
you I'm the man here ANTIGONE: Yes you are
KREON: I'll bend your sister too ANTIGONE: Can
we just get this over with KREON: No let's split
hairs a while longer, I'd say you're the only one
in Thebes who sees things this way wouldn't you

Quoted on April 5, 2013

CHORUS: This, this
Oh I don't know
Let's not mention gods
Let's not mention Oidipus
Here's Antigone
Please don't say she's the one

GUARD: She's the one I got her

CHORUS: Oh perfect
Here's Kreon

Quoted on April 5, 2013

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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