Writing, Identity, & Queer Studies

In & Out, Either/Or, and Everything In Between

The Power of Connection

Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red is an inventive piece of literature that displays its creativity in a variety of ways. One instance of such innovation is the fact that the novel can appeal to so many different people. The vast amount of content covered in under 160 pages does an incredible job of connecting to people that have been through all types of experiences. Nearly everybody who reads it will have something to relate to somewhere in the book. One might relate to a larger concept such as queerness or the pain associated with love, but the novel leaves room for those that haven’t been there. Passion and solace through art can be found in Geryon’s love for photography. For myself, art is a form of escaping reality. I was able to further link myself to Geryon through his love for photos because art is so present in my life. Even if one cannot make a life connection to Autobiography of Red, the novel’s poetic style gives deeper meaning to certain concepts, such as childhood trauma. The poetic element leaves Carson free to manipulate the text in any way that she pleases and gives the words life. Onomatopoeia, metaphors, other literary devices, and connections to Greek mythology work to pull readers into certain scenes to give them sense of Geryon’s experiences. Anne Carson gave her novel an inventive pulse that syncs with readers whether they have been in Geryon’s place or not.

2 Comments

  1. There is a definite importance to how relatable Geryon is to the reader. Despite the fact he views himself as a monster, we as readers are still able to connect with him. In an ironic twist, because he is a monster, we may be able to relate to him even more – some classmates have expressed how different they felt in middle school and high school. Perhaps Carson’s emphasis on how different Geryon is, brought people to understand him even more.

  2. literaryvampire

    November 8, 2018 at 8:15 am

    I really appreciated your take on this as something more personal and able to be intimately related to. You said, “Nearly everybody who reads it will have something to relate to somewhere in the book”, and I wholeheartedly agree. Even though the book deals with Greek myth and heavily alludes to queerness, it ties into a lot of themes of defying the “normal” that queer could fit by some of our definitions as given by Sedgwick (that link may be something to explore more). I also think that you really hit the nail on the head with “The poetic element leaves Carson free to manipulate the text in any way that she pleases and gives the words life”. Also traditional novel prose leaves room for anything, poetry really has the potential to bring words to life in a new and exciting way that a traiditonal novel could not.

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