Munere Mortis: The Agon Between Elegiac Duty and Postmodern Technique in Anne Carson's Nox
Nox by Canadian author Anne Carson represents a development in poetic composition and associated philosophical thought grounded in postmodern techniques yet which moves towards what some have called a metamodern or post-postmodern structure. The work is an assemblage that compares the difficulties Carson faced while investigating the life of her deceased brother to those she encountered while translating a similarly-themed elegy by Catullus. The approaches to history and language that result are informed by postmodernism, but complex elements of the text, such as its theological component, suggest a classification distinct from postmodernism as often understood. The relationships of Nox and others of Carson’s works to the writings of major postmodernist Jacques Derrida and those of Idealist G.W.F. Hegel reveal Carson’s awareness of the significance of Nox’s dilemmas not only the personal level, but to the history of culture and writing in the Western context. Carson’s Nox stands as a profound and deeply moving example of a metamodern poetic artifact.
Literary Studies, Canadian Literature, Carson, Anne, Postmodernism, Elegy
Master of Arts (M.A.)