"AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED", a novel in verse, based on a Hercules myth, in which the epic hero destroys a red-winged "monster" and his little red dog tending red cattle on a Greek volcanic island,becomes the story of a boy, Geryon,growing up in today'w world, with an adolescent crush on an older boy, Herakles.
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Later, as an adult,Geryon meets Herakles again, and although drawn to him erotically, eventually finds him repugnant.
Moving from various locales, including Buenos Aires and Peru, the novel meditates on the interwoven themes of identity, memory,and eternity.
Geryon's wings, a metaphor for freedom from constraints of time, are hidden as he pursues his adult voacation of photography in which fleeting moments are frozen into eternity.
But the final flight of Geryon into the volcano is a "photograph he never took", entitiled,"The Only Secret People Keep".
The magical way Anne Carson uses words, including the manner in which she infuses the color red throughout the novel in verse, makes this the most spell-binding work in English, since perhaps, T.s. Eliot's poem, "The Wasteland".
The review of this Book prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson