Book a Week: The Beauty of the Husband, by Anne Carson

In 2012, I resolve to read at least one book a week and to post my thoughts on the books I read here each Monday.

I don’t remember what led me to add Anne Carson’s book to my “to-read” list. I’m sure it had something to do with the mixture of genres in this “fictional essay in 29 tangos.” I plan to tell a tale via poems and short stories for my master’s capstone project (aka thesis), so I probably noted this book as one to read for ideas on how to structure my own book.

The structure of The Beauty of the Husband is fascinating. Carson pays homage to Keats throughout the book. She also pulls from greek classics and many other works that I’m not very familiar with. Sometimes this makes for difficult reading for the less-educated (me).

Still, I was moved by the tragedy of this love story, the desire and obsession. The “tangos” read like poems that at times verge on prose. I worried that I would get lost in all the allusions, but to Carson’s credit I did not, though I’m sure one with a better understanding of them would pick up on even more layers of meaning than I was able to.

A challenging, complex choice for my first read of 2012, but inspirational as well.

2 thoughts on “Book a Week: The Beauty of the Husband, by Anne Carson

  1. Hi Karen, what a wonderful commitment–to read a book a week and write a post on it. I was familiar with Anne Carson but not with this book, which intrigues me. Just ordered a copy.

    And thanks for visiting Catching Days. I hope you’ll be back.


    1. Well, Cynthia, as you can see I haven’t kept up so well with the book a week commitment, but I do plan to get back to it very soon. Hope you enjoy the book. I’ve actually been following Catching Days for quite a while, just finally coming out of the shadows to comment. Thanks for stopping by my Facebook page. ~Karen


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