Antigonick - Winner of the Criticos Prize

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Antigonick - Winner of the Criticos Prize

Antigonick - Winner of the Criticos Prize

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Instead the collaboration is a typical effect of the latitude that is given to visual artists in some contexts: the artist is allowed to do whatever she wants, because art is thought to work on the register of visuality, of the non-verbal. 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. And initially Kreon interacts with her as a family member, not a threat, just a wayward girl acting out of turn.

I enjoyed my reading experience, but honestly found parts of the translation took away from the language I liked in previous translations I have read of Antigone. Translation seems loosely applied, as it is more of a metatextual retelling in minimalism, often humorous, beautifully bizarre and explosively emotional.

Carson, a poet influenced by authors as diverse as Sappho, Euripides, Emily Brontë, Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf, is known both for innovative translations of ancient texts and for her restrained but searing confessional poetry (try " The Glass Essay" or The Beauty of the Husband). Anne Carson's translation of "Antigone" received a number of serious reviews, including thoughtful pieces by Judith Butler, George Steiner, and Nick Mirzoeff. I also seek out other texts that may illuminate Carson's which always seem just (tantalizingly) out of my reach, but close enough to hook my interest. Carson updates the language to current times, with Antigone feeling rather modern herself with snarky responses such as when Kreon asks if she is the one who touched the body, Antigone spits out ‘ BINGO.

That comment does not seek to denigrate the text in any way, since this brief rendering of the original is wonderful, it is just that I have missed out on an additional experience and feel annoyed with myself for being a cheapskate. Antigonick is a translation of Sophocles's Antigone only in the loosest sense—with significant changes and metatextual additions to the original, an extra character, and illustrations with interpretations left open to the reader, it could easily be considered a different work altogether.Having now read yet another translation of Antigone (yes, maybe I am moderately obsessed with this play, sue me) I like this translation less and less. and such) as if written by an adolescent barely familiar with the CliffNotes version of the original play. 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. It is probably a great work of art in itself, but for me, coming from a love for the original drama and story, it didn’t feel like ‘Antigone’ to me.

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