Book Review

Decreation by Anne Carson

was almost sectioned today; read a book that was difficult but perfect

cw: suicide ideation, depression

This is a difficult book.

It’s a beautiful book, but a difficult book.

I don’t understand a lot of what Carson writes because I’m nowhere near as intelligent as she is, but unlike the majority of the – this word is a fudge – “intellectual” writing I encounter, I don’t get the impression from her work that Carson would laugh at my being, sometimes, confused.

Carson wears intellect like I wear great patterned shirts: no matter what we do, these things just happen.

Sorry, that’s arrogant.

I’m trying to be chipper and upbeat because I was close to being sectioned by an (imo) over-zealous doctor this morning (over-zealous in my opinion: if I still work and write and fuck and read and cook and exercise, right, I don’t need to be locked in a hospital even though if I’m not occupied with something truly distracting then I-


I’m typing this on the toilet at 1 am and I have to get up in less than four hours.

That’s how I feel tho.

I have had – just before the month ends – my first piece of writing published this year, and it’s a bleak fucking poem about wanting to throw myself off Niagara Falls and my pessimistic fears of the afterlife. Not hell, like. Hell is other people. No: hell is other people who you’ve met before.

I feel uncomfortable most of the time. I feel unwelcome. At school I was bullied a lot, in my twenties, too, and now I’m living in a country where you can’t take a dog anywhere and as I don’t want to be in a strange interior space with strangers and no Cubby, then I’m unwelcome in the ways in which I’ve made myself able to exist in certain spaces. I could probably get him certified as like a service dog due to my long, documented history of mental illness, but I feel that me doing that when I’m able to function in pretty much every aspect of my life other than socialising would devalue the purpose of people being able to have service dogs for psychological support.

I need to go to bed.

I spoke today to the doctor about how I wish wish wish the potential trauma it might cause the person who found or witnessed my suicide didn’t weigh on me. I mean it, though: I don’t want my bloody, bloated, maimed body to imprint onto someone’s eyes and memory so hard that they never see anything else. Yes, I accept that people will be sad when I die, but I’m sad all the time and sadness is normal. I don’t feel preemptive guilt about causing likely sadness, I feel pre-emptive guilt about causing possible trauma. What I don’t want to do is ruin someone else’s life with my last – and maybe truest – action.

I said to the doctor (and this might be why they said they were seriously considering sectioning me), “if you offered me a lethal injection right now, I’d take it.” And I meant it. And I would. If I had enough money to use the services of Dignitas then-

Actually, if I had Dignitas-customer-money I could probably afford to have enough consequence-free fun that I wouldn’t want to die. Everything good, everything fun, is destructive.

Except, maybe, poetry.


There is discussion in Decreation about ageing, loss, mourning, and it is these more simple sections and pieces that I was able to cling to. Carson’s intellect-

In Decreation there are essays and writing in other forms and she explores classical translators and recurring motifs and it’s all beautiful and moving but frequently out of my understanding and-

I don’t feel unwelcome when I read Anne Carson, even when I don’t understand. I rarely feel unwelcome within a book, but sometimes I do. I don’t feel unwelcome in

But the only places I don’t feel unwelcome are imaginary, are places where I am not within the spaces in which I am in. Books and my own blog.

The Now, again (as usual, for me), is not triumphant. I need to make the Now triumphant again.

I have an optician’s appointment tomorrow. I will buy new glasses, then I will save up for a holiday.

I will manufacture things that I could look forward to if I was less depressed. Christ.

Yeah, there’s nothing on the Carson here, I know. But it’s beautiful, read it.

Carson’s coming to town to talk in two weeks, so expect another dip into her work imminently. Maybe I’ll actually try and stay on topic then.

Naaa, probably not. This is my time I’m wasting, not yours. is 10 years old! Celebrate by sharing this post – or others – with friends (if you have any), family (if you have any), lovers (which I presume you have because this website isn’t for children), or by donating to the site via the below link so that I can maybe take a day off work some time and enjoy being alive for a few hours.

2 comments on “Decreation by Anne Carson

  1. Pingback: The Beauty of the Husband by Anne Carson – Triumph Of The Now

  2. Pingback: POETRY MONTH: poetry reviews from the vaults – Triumph Of The Now

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