Anne Carson – Decreation: How Women Like Sappho, Marguerite Porete, and Simone Weil Tell God – Common Knowledge 8:1

Anne Carson – Decreation: How Women Like Sappho, Marguerite Porete, and Simone Weil Tell God – Common Knowledge 8:1: “For the jealous lover must balance two contradictory realities within her heart: on the one hand, that of herself at the center of the universe and in command of her own will, offering love to her beloved; on the other, that of herself off the center of the universe and in despite of her own will, watching her beloved love someone else. Naked collision of these two realities brings the lover to a sort of breakdown, as we saw in Sappho’s poem, whose effect is to expose her very Being to its own scrutiny and to dislodge it from the center of itself. It would be a very high test of dialectical endurance to be able to, not just recognize, but consent to this breakdown. Sappho seems to be entering on a mood of consent when her poem stops. Marguerite faints three times before she can manage it. But then, with a psychological clarity as amazing as Sappho’s, Marguerite pushes open the implications of her own pain.”

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