Paratexts Entries Replicas Epitaphs

No reprise. From the back of the box that houses a folding fan of text:

WHEN MY BROTHER DIED I MADE AN EPITAPH FOR
HIM IN THE FORM OF A BOOK. THIS IS A REPLICA
OF IT, AS CLOSE AS WE COULD GET.
— ANNE CARSON

I place the paratext from Anne Carson’s Nox alongside this excerpt from Paul Monette’s preface to Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog.

In the summer of 1984 Roger and I were in Greece together, and for both of us it was a peak experience that left us dazed and slightly giddy. We’d been together for ten years, and life was very sweet. On the high bluff of ancient Thera, looking out across the southern Aegean toward Africa, my hand grazed a white marble block covered edge to edge with Greek characters, line after precise line. The marble was tilted face up to the weather, its message slowly eroding in the rain. “I hope somebody’s recorded all this,” I said, realizing with a dull thrill of helplessness that this was the record, right here on the stone.

A kind of reprise. Another pointer to an attempt at translating some of the words from that preface. Displacements.

And move on to quote from Carson on the nature of translation. From Nox [no pagination]
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 […] Prowling the meanings of a word, prowling the history of a person, no use expecting a flood of light. Human words have no main switch. But all those little kidnaps in the dark. And then the luminous, big, shivering, discandied, unrepentant, barking web of them that hangs in your mind when you turn back to the page you were trying to translate.
There follows this which is also a comment on the form of the folded/screen text:

Take
the
word
“entry”
as
used
of
the
arrangement
of
the
contents
of
a
lexicon.

And a few leaves latter it all returns to play with the thought that there is no exit from entries: “In one sense it is a room I can never leave, perhaps dreadful for that. At the same time, a place composed entirely of entries.” And what an appropriate image for a replica of an epitaph.

And so for day 886
17.05.2009

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