A REVIEW IN THE FORM OF FALLING: ON ANNE CARSON’S FLOAT

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  1. Perhaps it might be quite a task to review a book that is made up of twenty-two separate chapbooks. On the front it says Float on the back it says Float on the side it says Float
  2. When I read Float I try to keep them in their original order, flipping each top page or chapbook facedown in a first-in first-out (FIFO) manner so that when I get to the end I can flip the whole stack upside down and put it back in the box and place it back on the shelf like I have never read it before. This feels like integrity to me.
  3. Typeface: Sabon. I have always found the typography of any work to be interesting and important, precisely because they are so unnoticed and underestimated. People are most affected by what they underestimate and what they don’t notice.
  4. The contents page lists the chapbooks alphabetically, which is not the actual order of the stack, at least how they came in my plastic box. N.B.: do not attempt to locate pieces according to contents page, especially if you like language to be normal.
  5. Because some of these pieces were originally set in performance, there are notes that tell who what where why how they were for. Some of these notes were written by Anne Carson, others were not. This is one of two pages that are covered yellow, as opposed to the other pages, which are covered blue/bluish/bluish-green/greenish/color of the sea on a gloomy day.
  6. Sometimes forms and conventions can be empowering, other times they are just plain boring. Carson seems to give in to structure in some sense, as we all must with language and writing, but she seems to be more like a musician.
  7. She also seems to be interested in grammar and punctuation. As in how even when there is faulty grammar and no punctuation we can still maintain some sort of understanding with each other. As in sometimes someone can bumble along with a bunch of incomplete sentences and trains of thought but we know exactly where they are going. As in when that movie scene or song lyric or image pops into your head but the word grabs on tight to the tip of your tongue. As in when you are in an awkward social situation and meet eyes with someone and both of you are thinking the same thing (maybe). As in obviously someone wrote this and that this way and that way but really what do they know?
  8. There are times when Carson’s work reminds me that if you are not confused you are not thinking; is it okay to be okay with that?
  9. On the covers of most of the chapbooks is printed a white thread shaped like a hook. When I first opened “Variations on the Right to Remain Silent,” I found a black hook floating: it was a strand of my hair.
    It is an essay on silence. That means try not to talk or think or
  10. In the middle it says Float.
  11. Anne Carson is a prophet because no one believes her. Etymologically speaking, it means one who speaks in advance. How can it.
  12. Apparently, there was “a set of instructions that [she] misunderstood and misapplied” – but where are the pictures?
  13. According to Jennifer Krasinski’s twitter, Anne Carson is a “fine-minded and fun” reviewer.
  14. 108 years before the Cubs won the world series this year.
    What was baseball like before World War I?
    No accident that 108 = 4+8+15+16+23+42.
    Someone must have pushed the fucking button.
  15. In computer programming, data can be processed in multiple ways, including, but not limited to, first-in first-out (FIFO), last-in first-out (LIFO), and the mythical middle-out compression. Apparently, poets do not think this way. Apparently, poets are not computers.
  16. If all menial tasks and jobs become automated, and enough of the economy is sustainable enough to attribute basic income, and then basic income eventually inflates, then there will be no use for money or fear or pain or laughter or tears or birthdays or tax returns or gods or God or food stamps or
  17. Sometimes people like to think they are computers so they don’t have to worry about things.
  18. Gertrude Stein was also a prophet.
  19. Today I learned that my Teflon frying pan originated from Cycladic culture. They were not, however, originally intended for frying. In Tarzan, some were used as percussive instruments. In Tangled, one was used as a weapon, obviously inspired by Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  20. Q.v. David Foster Wallace on The (As It Were) Seminal Importance of Terminator 2, where he makes a similar argument to Carson’s Contempts, though he focuses on the rise of Special Effects cinematics and the Inverse Cost and Quality Law, while she focuses on Homer and Marx’s distinctions between gift- and merchandise-economy. They do, however, converge on ideas of profit and entertainment.
  21. Does monogamy include form and function?
  22. W is for war, which in Sanskrit is गविष्टि (pronounced ‘gavisti’), meaning “a desire for more cows.”
  23. If all sentences are speculation, then we are all prophets.
  24. On the back it says, “Reading can be freefall.” It reminds me of those falling dreams where you cannot tell if it fell on you or if you even hit the ground.

Czander Tan does not speak Sanskrit or use frying pans as weapons, neither does he judge anyone who does.

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