If Not, Winter by Sappho
Fragments of Sappho (English and Greek Edition)

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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. In If Not, Winter Carson 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.

About Sappho

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Anne Carson lives in Canada.
Published August 27, 2002 by Knopf. 416 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for If Not, Winter

Publishers Weekly

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A classicist at McGill University, Carson has mined Greek literature, and Sappho in particular, to tremendous effect and acclaim in her poetry and essays.

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London Review of Books

Jong infuses her novel with echoes of Homer’s epic, as her Sappho travels to Delphi, Egypt, the Land of the Amazons, the Land of the Dead, the Island of the Philosophers and the Land of the Centaurs, and enriches the narrative with her own elegant adaptations of Sappho’s fragments from the origin...

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Monsters and Critics

"Among the mutilated poets of antiquity, there is none whose fragments are so beautiful as those of Sappho.

Mar 03 2008 | Read Full Review of If Not, Winter: Fragments of ...

Austin Chronicle

It isn't often that one looks forward with excitement to a new translation of an ancient and much translated text, but that's how I anticipated reading Anne Carson's translation of Sappho's complete works.

Apr 25 2003 | Read Full Review of If Not, Winter: Fragments of ...

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