Characteristically fusing essay, poetry and criticism, this cahier by the celebrated Canadian poet and classicist Anne Carson explores the role of silence in translation. Two texts, essay and poem, sit side by side, encouraging the reader to discover the resonances between them. Ranging from Homer through Joan of Arc to Paul Celan, Carson’s essay examines how the refusal to translate can sometimes be a form of resistance. In the poem, ‘By Chance the Cycladic People’, the order of the lines has been determined by a random number generator. The cahier is illustrated by Lanfranco Quadrio’s drawings and gouaches, inspired by his reading of Anne Carson’s texts. Densely packed with ideas and experiments in form, Nay Rather offers an opportunity to encounter one of contemporary poetry’s most nimble and original minds meditating on the nuances of her craft.
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PNR Review May/June 2014
The Times Literary Supplement