Writer’s Desk: Short, Shorter, Shortest

A poet of many talents, including an icy wit and a cross-disciplinary verve, who tends to generate a high degree of excitement in a certain kind of literary enthusiast, Anne Carson is often asked about writing. Rarely does she pretend to be have any great wisdom to impart.

In this interview, though, when prompted about how her terse answers indicated she preferred brevity, Carson proves just that, illustrating her point with one of the greatest sentences in the English language:

Short Talk on Brevity… try to leave the skin quickly, like an alcohol rub. An example, from Emily Tennyson’s grandmother, her complete diary entry for the day of her wedding, 20 May 1765: “Finished Antigone, married Bishop.”

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