Saturday, November 24, 2012

California Journal of Poetics Interview!

I'm very excited about an interview with Brandon Lussier over at the California Journal of Poetics.


[ excerpt ]

In an interview with Irish radio station RTE, Carson discussed her appreciation for Stein, saying that Stein was a writer who understood that words have an impulse of their own and was willing to let words “do, be, go where they want to.” It seems like, based on what you just said, her approach to this project and the collaboration with you was similar. But I’m curious about the artwork that seems unrelated to Sophocles’ Antigone, as well as Carson’s translation. One piece, for example, includes a figure in a Star Trek uniform. Can you talk a little about your greatest leaps in inspiration—the ones that took you the furthest from the text of Antigonick into your own creative space? Clearly you let the images go where they wanted to. The surprising results are likely to make most readers smile in curiosity and wonder: why did the images want to go **there**?

It’s interesting because I didn’t feel that that one in particular made the farthest leap from Antigonick. For me, looking back, something more like the lone armchair ink drawing, seemed a better example of an image that hung outside the text. The line of figures you refer to was completely linked to the text; the feeling of being watched, or of the chorus overseeing everything. I think having a Star Trek insignia makes it slightly absurd. And it is! But it’s not without purpose. It’s just what Stein was talking about: letting images (just as words) go where they want. It’s about allowing imagination into your process. Letting imagination cross the border of what you want to convey to the reader—what is perhaps appropriate or literal—and the unknown, the enigmatic. That is what I am most interested in. I didn’t want to control the sacredness of the text within it’s own time, but rather interact with it tonally (if not emotionally) and imaginatively. In allowing flourishes of the contemporary to come, such as Star Trek, football players, etc., the story of Antigone is visually able to cross generations, supersede time, interact with the present and the past simultaneously. Which is what Anne Carson does so incredibly well in her work. I encourage readers to smile in curiosity! But also to surrender themselves to The Not Knowing. There’s a power in not asking what something means, the irony being that the question becomes relevant only once you stop asking it. And also perhaps, in some ways, answered.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Get Antigonick for Christmas

Just came back from an incredible recitation of Antigonick, performed at the 92nd Street Y. Anne Carson's introduction in the form of a letter to Antigone blew my soul apart. It made me think about the book all over again. Thus, as we snake into the Holidays, I am writing a post about how you should get with it and buy Antigonick if you haven't already.

I sometimes get sweet, welcome compliments about the book, followed by "but I didn't buy it yet." Buy it! I think it's amazing to support New Directions and the authors. And this is not just any book, it's really insane. With vellum and red text and images that don't directly bop you on the head with meaning--(but hopefully with something emotive and meaningful)...And the main reason to buy this book is the Sophokles and Anne Carson text. It takes time to absorb it. You can't just glance through. Reading the play with the images, slowly, is the best way to experience it. And then try it out-loud.

And here on Amazon it's only 16.47

“It is indeed a big topic, the different angles that Sophokles and Euripides take on tragic projects, but in general I would say that Sophokles is deeply interested in language and Euripides is not. For Euripides language is a means to an end, the end being a spectacular speedy plot line and crashing confrontations. As a translator you cannot travel into the language of Euripides, and you can that of Sophokles. In Sophokles every word is a universe.”

— Anne Carson on Antigonick interviewed by Alex Dueben.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Alina Gregorian runs this awesome series on the Huffington Post, and I'm so honored to be up this week! She wrote such a steller intro I had to put it here:

"This video poem starts with Bianca Stone miming a poem by Ruth Stone, her grandmother. We can make the claim that this gesture indicates the resonance Bianca feels towards Ruth's poem. We could also call this is a meme, and what's being copied stays relevant because it changes forms. What's being copied here is the constancy of the human condition. Ruth Stone's poem ends with the line: "I cannot live without you, oh brief and inconceivable other." And then we're brought to Bianca's reality: writing poems on typewriters, drinking wine, and the line to start it all: "This is your love speaking." We're introduced to collaged images of Bianca's landscapes, her situations, and the people she surrounds herself with. The line "But this is also your life made / with your clumsy hands -- " indicates that it's not fate that brings us to the place we inhabit, rather it's that we choose to exist in certain ways. Bianca writes that the dead "want to be remembered correctly." But it's too daunting to remember ourselves correctly. Instead we change to stay in synch with a projected version of ourselves. So then we see the change of clothes -- the white tank-topped Bianca changes to a Star Trek personage -- after we hear the lines: "There is the clear image / of someone beside you who looks just like you / but can get bluebottle flies to land on her finger." We understand who we are by observing who we are with, or more effectively, by recognizing who we would like to become. You can preserve the past by recreating it, and by outsourcing yourself to a new persona."

--Alina Gregorian 

Be sure to go to the Huffington Site to see it and give Alina props. 

BECAUSE YOU LOVE YOU COME APART from Bianca Stone on Vimeo.


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