Antigonick is a comic-book presentation of Sophokles' Antigone in a new translation by Anne Carson, with text blocks hand-inked on the page by Carson and her collaborator Robert Currie. On separate translucent vellum pages, the artist Bianca Stone has created stunning drawings to overlay the text. Antigonick is her first attempt at making translation into a combined visual and textual experience. Sophokles' luminous and disturbing tragedy is here given an entirely fresh language and presentation: it will provoke poetry readers, classical scholars, theatre people and comic-book aficionados.

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Translated from the Greek by Anne Carson. Antigonick is her seminal work. For two decades her work has moved—phrase by phrase, line by line, project by improbable project—in directions that a human brain would never naturally move.

The approach has won her awards, accolades, and an electric reputation in the literary world. Anne Carson Canadian poet, essayist and translator of Greek mythology.

Anne Carson is a daring, learned, unsettling writer. It is a cry of grief posed in question form, emphatic, handwritten, excessive and abbreviated and, in this sense, a measured scream that gives us some sense of who or what lives on when it is all too late. A beautiful, bewildering book, wondrous and a bit scary to behold, that gives a reader much to think about without making it clear how she should feel.

Antigonick is as much a re-telling as it is a testament to the importance of Antigone in Western art, of re-tellings, and of refiguring narrative. One of the best designed books of the year and a unique reading experience. It captures, too, the rift between our everyday efforts to keep ourselves busy, and infinite tragedy: that raw nick between Tuesday and death.

Antigonick plays extensively with the conventions of narrative form, translation, and the physical presentation of literature. Carson does more than just update the language and quicken the pacing—she rewrites the play, mines its subtleties, its absurdity and its strangely comic timing and manages to produce a unique text out of a story that goes back much further than the fifth century B.

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Two Reviews of Anne Carson's "Antigonick," Pro and Con

Some of her best works merge her two roles: Nox , a facsimile of Carson's own scrapbook, presented the reader with notes for a translation of a Catullus' elegy for his brother, poem , alongside photographs and notes detailing the history of her own brother, Michael, who died after a long disappearance. Being scholarly and methodical, Nox suggests, has its limits: "Prowling the meanings of a word, prowling the history of a person, no use expecting a flood of light," she writes. For readers of Nox , in which Carson describes poem as "a room I can never leave", there is something quietly horrific about Carson's choice of Antigone for a sequel — another difficult text about mourning a brother, in which the heroine is condemned to a living death in a sealed cave. The title is disconcerting, too. That "nick" is suggestive of a chipped ancient sculpture, a prison, a critical moment — or, as Carson's cast-list suggests, a ghostly presence: Nick is "a mute part [always onstage, he measures things]. Antigonick , a "comic book" of Sophocles' tragedy, is one of Carson's strangest works. It dramatises its own eccentricity, evoking a portrait of the author in a state of distraction; the words of the translation are printed in handwriting Carson's own , almost entirely without punctuation, in tiny capital letters that are both neat and a little frantic.


Anne Carson

The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. This article was published more than 7 years ago. Some information in it may no longer be current. In her updated rendition of the play she calls the Antigonic k by Sophokles, Anne Carson fashions a protagonist with the headspace of a suicide bomber. Her Antigone is in love with the idea of martyrdom, and the fact that she is so public about it undermines her noble motives. Born from the incest of Oedipus, she has a cursed life, so this is a respectable way out for her.

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