Anne Carson on links & lapses

From Immaculate Imperfection Anne Carson’s Unruly Art of Renewal, which is a review of Carson’s latest book, Wrong Norma, Jennifer Krasinski quotes Carson as saying the following regarding links (i.e., associations).

“The things you think of to link are not in your control,” Carson told the Paris Review in 2004. “It’s just who you are, bumping into the world. But how you link them is what shows the nature of your mind. Individuality resides in the way links are made.”

Link so much that Carson says or writes, this compact set of words implies a lot and entices further interpretation.

Also from this same review, Krasinski wrote,

Holes in the record can also feel like open wounds to those who sit in a present, a fate, that was written long ago. How in the world does a survivor sit beside and breathe the same air as the genocidal? We know that we don’t know, and by seizing elision rather than suffering from it, we access a space in which to conceive as-yet-untold possibilities for the future. 

The ideas of links and lapses are important in psychoanalysis. Links are associations, the ability to put things together, and the capacity to make experiences make sense by associating them with other things via chains of signifiers. Lapses are the space between the links/associations, the place where something is missing.

The lapse is the most interesting space. Something is in there, but it eludes our attempts to grab it with words and make sense of it.

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