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If Not, Winter : Fragments of Sappho af Anne…
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If Not, Winter : Fragments of Sappho (original 2002; udgave 2003)

af Anne Carson (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,0092115,196 (4.32)25
A bilingual edition of the work of the Greek poet Sappho, in a new translation by Anne Carson. Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos from about 630 b.c. She was a musical genius who devoted her life to composing and performing songs. Of the nine books of lyrics Sappho is said to have composed, none of the music is extant and only one poem has survived complete. All the rest are fragments. InIf Not, WinterCarson presents all of Sappho’s fragments in Greek and in English. Brackets and space give the reader a sense of what is absent as well as what is present on the papyrus. Carson’s translation illuminates Sappho’s reflections on love, desire, marriage, exile, cushions, bees, old age, shame, time, chickpeas and many other aspects of the human situation.… (mere)
Medlem:yrthroat
Titel:If Not, Winter : Fragments of Sappho
Forfattere:Anne Carson (Forfatter)
Info:Time Warner Books Uk (2003), Edition: New edition, 402 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:queer-lit, to-read, owned-but-not-read-yet

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If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho af Sappho (2002)

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How spellbinding and redolent Sappho's fragments are. In their spaces, incompleteness, and briefness lie the beauty of a thousand interpretations and perceptions. Indeed, it's quite a waste to think that most of her works are lost forever and that we must rely on our imagination in envisioning this stunning arrangement of words ("sweetworded desires", "goldsandaled Dawn", "piercing breezes") sung accompanied by the gentleness of the lyre — wooing, proclaiming, praising. Other than Sappho's indubitable genius as a poet, Anne Carson's translation is not to be missed. Each "]" that designates parts of a papyrus indecipherable / destroyed hints of a much grandeur whole. All is felt and guessed. Moreover, Carson's section for Notes provides fascinating insight on some of her literary decisions regarding the translation, some points theorise for what / for whom perhaps a certain fragment is for. I also marvelled on some of the influences included.

"I don't know what to do
two states of mind in me"
— FRAGMENT 51

"you came and I was crazy for you
and you cooled my mind that burned with longing"
— FRAGMENT 48

Throughout the course of reading this, I tend to forget what's missing due to their sheer brilliance alone ("mingled with all kinds of colors", "both you and my servant Eros", "may you sleep on the breast of your delicate friend"). I'd like to think the lost / destroyed papyri have been sieved; a matrimony with the earth. Oh how much more in their wholeness? Currently, this book is resting on my bed and I sleep beside it. All these nights I leaf through it, more so when sleep would not come, comforting myself with pictures they form in my head; an intimate commune I built for Sappho and me. What an experience. ( )
  lethalmauve | Jan 25, 2021 |
This was a very fun read, with facing pages of Aeolic Greek and English translation. It took a bit to get used to how she organized the translations to reflect missing text as well as the "feel" of discovered papyrus, but after a dozen pages or so, it just faded into the background.

I really enjoyed fragments 16 (on Helen), 31 (the classic piece where Sappho describes her love of a woman), 34 (such beautiful phrasing), 44 (Andromache comes to Troy to marry Hector), 44Aa (Artemis securing her place as an eternal virgin), 48 (on meeting a lover), and 50 (the beauty of good). I also loved fragment 148: "wealth without virtue is no harmless neighbor / but a mixture of both attains the height of happiness".

I always enjoy reading facing pages of text in two languages. It's fun, it's educational, and it sometimes gets you back to the original feeling one might have experienced upon hearing or seeing these ancient works. I enjoyed picking out familiar Greek words, learning new ones, and even recognizing the different spellings between Classical vs. Aeolic words (e.g. rosy-fingered, dawn, slender, and the use of the digamma). I read this while keeping a Classical Greek dictionary and another translation of Sappho (Aaron Poochigian, 2015) at my side.

Like most ancient works, so much of Sappho is lost, but what remains is still so enticing and exciting. Delve in, you won't regret it. ( )
  drew_asson | Dec 3, 2020 |
but I am not someone who likes to wound
rather I have a quiet mind


Carson's translations here are brilliant. Sappho comes to life, simply. The fragmentary nature of her catalogue is not as frustrating as one might think. Carson beautifully renders them on the page, and the lacunae become a part of the experience. After reading a handful of other translations, I have to say that Carson's stand alone as something not quite faithful to text, as much as faithful to the spirit. ( )
  drbrand | Jun 8, 2020 |
I loved the format, the brackets, and the way the poems/words were arranged. I wish there was more. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
The fact the such sparse fragments can be so beautiful really speaks to the talent of Sappho, and of Anne Carson who did an amazing job in translating. ( )
1 stem Fardo | Oct 15, 2019 |
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A bilingual edition of the work of the Greek poet Sappho, in a new translation by Anne Carson. Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos from about 630 b.c. She was a musical genius who devoted her life to composing and performing songs. Of the nine books of lyrics Sappho is said to have composed, none of the music is extant and only one poem has survived complete. All the rest are fragments. InIf Not, WinterCarson presents all of Sappho’s fragments in Greek and in English. Brackets and space give the reader a sense of what is absent as well as what is present on the papyrus. Carson’s translation illuminates Sappho’s reflections on love, desire, marriage, exile, cushions, bees, old age, shame, time, chickpeas and many other aspects of the human situation.

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