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red_final97 - Hannah Edwards Dr. Morrison English 1102 19...

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Hannah Edwards Dr. Morrison English 1102 19 October 2009 Finding the Red Meat When reading Autobiography of Red , it is made quite clear to the reader that its author, Anne Carson, is not shy of making her audience think beyond the words written on each page. Not only does she throw the reader off balance when she refuses to use proper punctuation, but also with the fact that her story cannot be easily interpreted: is the piece a fictional story with monsters, or is it an autobiography full of metaphors? One cannot simply read Autobiography of Red without asking many questions along the way. As Monique Tschofen suggests in her review of Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red , “Carson's interests are in the red meat, in what lies unseen underneath surfaces and appearances;” we, as readers, can conclude that such a statement is proven true by Carson's use of specific metaphors and themes, and all of their hidden meanings that are just waiting to be discovered (Tschofen 47). The final unearthing of the red meat is a process of exploring Carson’s central metaphor involving her main character, Geryon, and the theme she creates out of his hobby, photography. Carson intends for us, as readers, to dig and explore until we find what she wants to reveal that has been carefully hidden beneath the printed words found in her novel. Carson is no stranger to entering “into the realm of metaphor, where connections [are] limitless”, and in fact, she has even “written extensively about the workings of metaphor” (Tschofen 33). To be able to grasp her true feelings towards them, it is best to
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Edwards look at her other works; in one of her poems, “Essay on What I Think About Most,” she writes, “From the true mistakes of metaphor a lesson can be learned. / Not only that things are other than they seem, / and so we mistake them, / but that such mistakenness is valuable. / Hold onto it, Aristotle says, / there is much to be seen and felt here” ( Men 31). This suggests that her audience is encouraged to find her symbolism or deeper meanings, and whether they are necessarily correct is not what matters, for what matters is that the red meat is being uncovered. Carson also uses metaphors in order to let us enter into her writing on a deeper level: Outside things are moral, Carson shows us in Autobiography of Red , but the realm of metaphoric language connects us back to time and thus to duration. Outside things can only be known through their surfaces, but the
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This note was uploaded on 11/04/2009 for the course ENG 1102 taught by Professor Morrison during the Fall '09 term at UGA.

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red_final97 - Hannah Edwards Dr. Morrison English 1102 19...

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