Glass, Irony and God (New Directions Paperbook)

by Anne Carson

Paperback, 1995





New Directions (1995), Edition: First Edition, 142 pages


"Anne Carson is the most original, most uniquely gifted poet to have appeared in the past decade. Her first full-length publication in Britain, Glass, Irony and God introduces an assured and challenging new voice- vivid, laconic and precise. Her 'Short Talks' are about everything from Sylvia Plath to Franz Kafka, from waterproofing to walking backwards; the brilliant long poem 'The Glass Essay' deals with the end of a comtemporary love affair, but is haunted by the Bronte sisters. Blending the modern and the classical, Anne Carson writes with an intensity and an integrity that is transfiguring; it is the work of a philosopher and poet - work of luminous, enigmatic genius."

User reviews

LibraryThing member poetontheone
Anne Carson's poems here are confessional in a very unexpected way. She creates chimeras of personal history, literary critique, and surreal and macabre humor. She blues the boundaries of prose and poetry concretely, in that she isn't writing "prose poems" but crafting a style that is completely
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her own. Her speculative but obsessive examinations of God and religion presented here are utterly fascinating in the radical and bizarre images she applies to them.

To call these images Rilkean would be an approximation, but a misnomer. To say she is confessional in the way of Plath or Sexton would be altogether misleading. Carson has an style of form and subject that is altogether different and challenging. Though her approach doesn't always come off, the consequences are but a few unrealized moments in a collection that on the whole astounds. The essay that finishes this book "The Gender is Sound" is spectacular and essential reading to anyone interested in classicism or feminist literary criticism.
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LibraryThing member nefernika
The brilliant Carson is one of my favorite authors. Here are some lines from The Glass Essay: "Everything I know about love and its necessities/ I learned in that one moment/ when I found myself/ thrusting my little burning red backside like a baboon/ at a man who no longer cherished me. There was
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no area of my mind/ not appalled by this action/ no part of my body/ that could have done otherwise"
These are lines that echo for hours afterwards, every time I read them. sometimes I think of them when I'm riding the train and I feel an intensely pleasurable sadness. If you read this book, you can read many, many lines like these.
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LibraryThing member lukeasrodgers
Anne Carson is one of my favourite modern poets. In a way unmatched by any other author I've read, she is able cast familiar characters and personages in entirely new light, exploding the boundaries of received interpretation and sedimented preconceptions.

My favourite selection from this book is
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"The Truth About God".

"On the day He was to create justice
God got involved in making a dragonfly

and lost track of time."
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LibraryThing member Oh_Carolyn
Essential reading. Anne Carson's intelligence is blistering, her confidence breathtaking. The first piece in the book floored me. One of my all-time favorite books.
LibraryThing member TheAlternativeOne

Throughout the reading of The Glass Essay, the first narrative poem in this book I couldn't help but think what a truly gifted poet Carson is. Even more compelling is the fact that the entire narrative centers on lost love and the complex emotions felt in the midst of that experience. Every
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word in this much too short work is impactful and moving and I felt every word of it. I now have a new favorite poet!
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LibraryThing member deliriumslibrarian
A journey, a compulsion, a Nude vision.


Quebec Writers' Federation Award (Winner — Poetry — 1996)


Original language



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