Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Autobiography of Red

The style used in Autobiography of Red made the work challenging to read through yet was refreshing in that it is a style I have never seen used in any other work. Coupled with the unique lines of verse was the curious character of Geryon. What first struck me about this work was how both the style and subject matter utilized such a strange menagerie of physical description, dialogue, and sequence of events. Had the work been written in a more traditional, prose format, I believe it would not have been as successful overall. Also, the lines of verse truncate events and thought processes, which adds to the ongoing curiosity generated by Geryon's unique qualities.
A scene that struck me as particularly peculiar was the scene early on where Geryon moves into his brother's room and soon engages in some type of incestual action with his brother. Little information of Geryon's brother is given as a lead up to this encounter, which makes the event profoundly perplexing. Also, Geryon's mother is an interesting character. The only time where I found clues at this "world" that Geryon is living in resembles reality is through description of Geryon's mother. This is illustrated on page 34 where his mother shares a conversation with a friend on the phone, which Geryon overhears as he sits nearby.
Overall, Anne Carson's work was enjoyable, yet makes me question what exactly she is trying to say in this work. It is incredibly imaginative, however, which is something I appreciate among modern writers. Perhaps closer reading or more commentary/context would relieve this confusion and allow me to see a fuller picture of Carson's creative intentions.

1 comment:

Erin Brady said...

Since, we're the last two insomniacs to post I thought I'd comment on your findings. I found the encounter with the brother to be lacking in exposition as well but I think that is because Carson uses it as the foundation for the rest of Geryon's sexual experiences (ie. while it lacks exposition it eventually becomes exposition to shed light on the relationship between Geryon and Herkales.) It seems Geryon's early experiences with sexual abuse and domineering, affects the dynamics of his later relationship. I think the infatuation factor Herkales holds over Geryon plays off the brother's similar position in Geryon's development as a sexual being- monster, boy, or otherwise.