In A Pinch

30 May 2007

toga party

The following appears in the the preface to Anne Carson’s new translation of four plays by Euripides.

“Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of greif. . . . Perhaps you think this does not apply to you. Yet you recall the day your wife, driving you to your mother’s funeral, turned left instead of right at the intersection and you had to scream at her so loud other drivers turned to look. When you tore her head off and threw it out the window they nodded, changed gears, drove away.

“Grief and rage-you need to contain that, to put a frame around it, where it can play itself out without you or your kin having to die. There is a theory that watching unbearable stories about other people lost in grief and rage is good for you-may cleanse you of your darkness. do you want to go down to the pits of yourself all alone? Not much.”

And so on. Remarkable.