Writer’s Writer Revisits Authorship
Iteration in Anne Carson’s Decreation
This essay explores how Anne Carson’s Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera (2005) engages with the notion of authorship by reappropriating critical voices and rewriting central ideas. It accordingly takes Carson’s alleged name-dropping as a starting point to argue that Decreation is a project of re-engagement that is underpinned by synthetic disjunctions of competing viewpoints. To this end, Carson relies on the principle of intratextuality, which instils a blurring of the speaker’s identity in the reader, while her use of echoes ingrains the notion of decreation in the reader's mind. Since both aesthetic strategies hinge on the principles of creative reproduction and recognition, they are capable of evoking a sense of iteration. In this way, Carson’s collection instigates a critical re-evaluation of the notion of agency in literary production while still providing the reader with an—albeit paradoxical—centre of conceptual gravity, which is therefore better conceptualized as a network of relations.