Anne Carson se ongewone elegie

"Nox"

"Nox"

Anne Carson is een van daardie digters wat die leser telkens verras met elke nuwe publikasie van haar. Soms, wanneer haar eksperimentele aanslag werk, soos met “The beauty of the husband” en “Plainwater“, is dit ‘n onvergeetlike leeservaring. Maar wanneer dit nié werk nie, soos met haar onlangse “Decreation“, is dit ‘n gewroeg en gekners van tande. Soos om ‘n monsterboom met die stomp kant van ‘n byl te probeer afkap.

Pas het haar nuwe digbundel, “Nox“, verskyn en wat ek daarvan te lese kon kry, is eweneens fassinerend, aangesien Carson, wat jare reeds baie jaloers waak oor haar eie privaatheid, met hierdie bundel alles rondom haar en haar familie aan die publiek ten toon stel in die vorm van ‘n invou-plakboek met foto’s, briewe, vertellings, nota’s en gedigte wat in hoofsaak met haar ouer broer, Michael, te make het en sy onverwagse dood in 2000. Michael Dirda som dié publikasie soos volg op in sy bespreking daarvan in die Washington Post: “The assembled ‘text’ of Nox itself is a mosaic of memories of Michael – both the ‘starry lad he was’ and the ‘windswept spirit’ he became – illustrated with family photographs, bits of artwork and various typographical scraps and orts. To this personalia, Carson juxtaposes her reflections on the nature of historical truth, according to Herodotus. ‘We want,’ she says, ‘other people to have a centre, a history, an account that makes sense. We want to be able to say This is what he did and Here’s why. It forms a lock against oblivion. Does it?'”

Blykbaar is die hele bundelkonsep gebou rondom die klassieke Romeinse digter, Catullus, se elegie vir sy gestorwe broer. Nie net open die bundel met dié gedig nie, maar daarna word elke woord in die Catullus-vers geneem en met behulp van “digterlike kommentaar” uitgebrei. Die lemma vir “miseras” lees byvoorbeeld soos volg: “Miseras . . . (of a person) that is to be pitied, sad, poor, wretched, unfortunate (applied to the actions of persons in a pitiable state) attended by misery, grievous, distressing; miserrima Dido: most sad Dido . . . nocte fratris quam ipso fratre miserior: made sadder by the brother’s night than by the brother himself . . . solacium miserum: worthless consolation.”

Oor hierdie werkswyse het Carson haar soos volg uitgelaat: “No one (even in Latin) can approximate Catullan diction, which at its most sorrowful has an air of deep festivity, like one of those trees that turns all its leaves over, silver, in the wind. I never arrived at the translation I would have liked to do of poem 101. But over the years of working at it, I came to think of translating as a room, not exactly an unknown room, where one gropes for the light switch. I guess it never ends. A brother never ends. I prowl him. He does not end.”

Lees die gerus Dirda se volledige bespreking op Washington Post se webblad; ook vir die outobiografiese gegewe wat deur die digter aan die leser verskaf word. En ja, vir jou leesplesier volg daar een van Anne Carson se gedigte onder aan vanoggend se Nuuswekker.

***

Sedert gister het daar sommer heelwat nuwe inhoud op die webblad verskyn. So is daar die diggesprek tussen Alfred Schaffer en Ronel Foster (de Goede), asook Andries Bezuidenhout se bydrae as die tweede aflewering in Digstringe. Maar dit is veral onder die bloggers waar daar opwindende bydraes gelewer is deur Niel van Deventer, Andries Bezuidenhout, Desmond Painter, Jo Prins en Ilse van Staden.

Lekker lees aan dit alles; en geniet die middel-van-die-week dag.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

SHE

 

She lives on a moor in the north.

She lives alone.

Spring opens like a blade there.

I travel all day on trains and bring a lot of books-

 

some for my mother, some for me

including The Collected Works Of Emily Brontë.   

This is my favourite author.

 

Also my main fear, which I mean to confront.   

Whenever I visit my mother   

I feel I am turning into Emily Brontë,

 

my lonely life around me like a moor,

my ungainly body stumping over the mud flats with a look of transformation

that dies when I come in the kitchen door.

What meat is it, Emily, we need?

 

© Anne Carson

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

  •