Kiersten Baxley Professor Shirokova English 1102 12 September 2012 Anne Carson’s Lessons Anne Carson is a very intelligent and well rounded writer. When I first read Anne Carson’s “Short Talks”, I was seriously confused. At first, I thought she was an abstract writer that wrote just to write. But then I took a second look at her work and realized there was much more to it than just crazy jumbled ideas. “Short Talks” is a mixture of many elements. It has argumentation, facts, personal opinions, and an unconventional way of writing. As I was rereading the “Short Talks”, I noticed names, facts, and a lesson to go along with each “Short Talk.
This persuaded me to do some research so the stories would start to make more sense. After completing my research, I have come to the conclusion that “Short Talks” has been created to teach the reader a lesson, teach them about a historical figure, and to enable the reader to think outside of the box. I do not like reading something and have no idea what is being discussed; and that is what I liked about Anne Carson’s “Short Talks”, she prompts the reader to think in a critical manner thus persuading them to want to learn about what they are reading.
For the reader to fully understand this style of reading, one needs to research Anne Carson’s background. Next the reader needs to research the main topics of each short talk. Anne Carson truly enables the reader to think outside of the box when she uses this less conventional way of writing since most authors do not use this style of writing. Most writers use a more “normal” approach to their writings. “Short Talks” seem to teach the reader some sort of lesson when they read them. Take the short talk “On Major and Minor” for example, Anne states, “ There are more major things than minor things… I believe that she is portraying that there are people all around the world that turn very small things into much larger issues than it should be (Bartholomae and Petrosky 264-270). Carson uses the fictional character Elektra as an example in this short talk. Elektra’s mother and step-father murdered Elektra’s father. Elektra took this very hard, so she and her brother Orestes plotted revenge against her mother and step-father. Elektra’s father had been against things like this, but Elektra became so bitter she began to commit many crimes. So this short talk helps us decide between what is major and minor in our life.
This helps to keep from overreacting over the small things in life. Another lesson comes from the short talk “On Reading. ” This takes the reader back to their childhood. No, not everyone enjoys reading, but it is also great for you. In this short talk I got the imagery that this little girl was on a road trip with her parents, her father does not enjoy reading but she does. So while on the way to their destination, she reads Madame Bovary. While reading she takes a moment to look around at the sights passing through the window. This just gets the reader to truly think and assess the way they perceive the way they view reading.
Having someone who enjoys reading, and someone who finds no pleasure in reading is what makes the world go round. Not everyone appreciates, or finds interest in the same things, but do not discourage anyone if you have no interest in it. If I were to write some short talks I could use an Anne Carson-like writing style, or writing that flows eloquently. I would try to help the reader to understand what is being said, but to also think about what is before them. I would include an introduction in my short talks to help guide the flow of the short talks.
An example of my short talks would be: Every day starts the same way. Get up, get dressed, go to class. You see sleepy students stumbling to class, some even skip class. Never enough sleep. This is the life of a college student preparing for the future. You never know what life has in-store for you today, tomorrow, and all the days before you. Cheerleading When you see a cheerleader, you see a peppy smile. Energetic. This is an athlete in many many ways. Athlete’s in skirts! Tumbling, Stunting, Jumping,. Can you throw someone in the air? Never boring when were around. Love How do you explain love?
Do you even know where it is or even how to find it? Is it a passion, a sport, a car, or a lover? Expression. Show it in your own way. Never give it up for anything. Adventure How does someone find adventure? One might sky dive, hike a nature trail, bungee jump. Not everyone is adventurous. Not everyone will find adventure in the same way. Riddle me this, when does your big adventure start? Anne Carson did a great job on “Short Talks. ” I thoroughly enjoyed reading her “Short Talks. ” I also liked how I was challenged and pushed to think critically about “Short Talks. ” That is what makes a great writer.