Nox by Anne Carson

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Anne Carson’s haunting and beautiful Nox is her first book of poetry in five years―a unique, illustrated, accordion-fold-out “book in a box.”

Nox is an epitaph in the form of a book, a facsimile of a handmade book Anne Carson wrote and created after the death of her brother. The poem describes coming to terms with his loss through the lens of her translation of Poem 101 by Catullus “for his brother who died in the Troad.” Nox is a work of poetry, but arrives as a fascinating and unique physical object. Carson pasted old letters, family photos, collages and sketches on pages. The poems, typed on a computer, were added to this illustrated “book” creating a visual and reading experience so amazing as to open up our concept of poetry. 50 color and black-and-white prints

About Anne Carson

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Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living at New York University. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur "Genius" Award. She is the author of Nox; Glass, Irony and God; The Autobiography of Red; The Beauty of the Husband; Decreation; Economy of the Unlost; Eros the Bittersweet; Grief Lessons; If Not, Winter; Men in the Off Hours; and Plainwater.
Published April 27, 2010 by New Directions. 192 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Nox

The New York Times

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Even the dictionary entries are rolled into the big theme: the discussion about the metaphorical dark room leads her to talk of “entries” as endless ways into “a room I can never leave.” The book is totally recherché and weirdly clear, lingered over and neatly boxed, precious in the word’s best s...

Jun 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

The Guardian

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Anne Carson's new book of poems is an elegy for her brother.

Jul 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

Publishers Weekly

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In order to discuss Carson's latest work—a foldout, Jacob's ladder collage of letters, photographs, and poetry, all housed in a beautiful box—one must first address its resistance to being addressed.

Feb 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

The Globe and Mail

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From as early as the mid-1990s, Canadian reviewers have been asking why Toronto-born poet and classicist Anne Carson is not known to a wider readership.

Apr 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

The Washington Post

NO 'PAGES' HERE: The books is one single accordion-folded sheet with scraps apparently pasted in.

Apr 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

The Telegraph

Here’s the whole poem: “Spring…/Too long…/ Gongula… ” One point of this poem is to say: what if we take the gaps to be part of the poem?

Jul 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

Open Letters Monthly

Nothing could prepare you for Nox, but the title tries: It sounds like “book” and “box,” and “nix” and “knocks,” maybe even “knick-knack.” To elegize her brother, Anne Carson has packed a study of night and nothingness in a cardboard container whose lid resembles a door, complete with the cut-out...

Oct 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

Review (Barnes & Noble)

This fragment, one of the few pieces of hard information we get, appears on four pages in a row, accompanied by various snippets of the one letter he wrote home to Carson's mother during his absence, as Carson tries to give her story a start.

Apr 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

London Review of Books

River river river river river river river Here Carson wants you to look up the Latin, or to look up a faithful translation, unless you have either by heart: in the original four-line poem, Catullus’ lover says she will marry nobody but him, not even Jupiter.

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The New Yorker

Carson, a poet and classicist, views translation as an act of retrieval;

Jul 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

New York Magazine

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New York Magazine

Two-thirds of the way through the book, Carson finally solves for us the riddle of that opening Latin poem.

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New York Magazine

Eventually even the dry lexicography starts to smolder: It becomes clear that Carson is smuggling her own poetry into the dictionary entries, often in the form of illustrative sentences featuring variations on the word nox, Latin for “night” (“and do you still doubt that consciousness vanishes at...

Apr 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

Full Stop

“I wanted to fill my elegy with light of all kinds,” Carson begins in Nox, written for her estranged brother ten years dead.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Nox

she writes at the outset, “My brother ran away in 1978, rather than go to jail,” and later “My brother dies in Copenhagen in the year 2000 a surprise to me,” with the word DIES into the page under the main text.

Jul 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

Pank Magazine

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Jun 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Nox

The appeal of Nox (New Directions), Anne Carson’s collection of poems eulogizing the unexpected death of her brother Michael, is not only its skillful verse but also its unusual format: it is printed on a single long piece of paper, which is folded like an accordion into a sturdy box.

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Nox

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Sarah Ann 1 Mar 2014

Rated the book as 5 out of 5