Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Beauty of the Husband


The Beauty of the Husband is described as being made up of twenty-nine tangos, as described - A tango (like a marriage) is something you have to dance to the end, as is further explained on the back cover, each of the tangos here is made up of a prose poem with a preface of a line or two of Keats as a way of introduction. The Beauty of the Husband is also described as being an essay on Keat's idea that beauty is truth, the book won Anne Carson the T.S. Eliot Prize back in 2001, The Autobiography of Red is a book I've been aware of and have been trying to get to within my reading for some time and after reading The Beauty of the Husband I hope it will be in the near future. The tangos form a web of narratives and observations exploring the relationship between the narrator and the husband, (here named Ray), perspectives shift and change, many with an emotional directness and address issues such as the anguish of betrayal, some extend on to explore the emotional landscape after betrayal as can be seen in tango number twenty-six where the narrative recalls how the narrator compiles notebooks of observations of a branch on a tree outside her window. The pieces often dip into the classical world of Homer and Thucydides, and works by other author's are alluded to; Claude Levi-Strauss, Oe Kenzaburo, Samuel Beckett.  
The Beauty of the Husband at Random House        

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