New KTCO: Anahid Nersessian
I tend not to read a whole lot of nonfiction books—for the most part, if I'm going to read criticism then I tend to read it as separate essays, and usually online. But Anahid Nersessian's Keats's Odes: A Lover's Discourse was such an edifying and resonant experience to read. Not only did she teach me a lot about a set of poems that I hadn't thought about in years—John Keats's Great Odes—but moving through the essays in this book is a personal narrative about a relationship that, although oblique, I found both emotionally moving and intellectually fascinating, particularly in how that personal narrative functions with the more straightforward critical portions. I really enjoyed having this conversation with Anahid, and I hope you enjoy it, too.
Here are some handy episode links:
And some purchase links for the book! As always, I recommend picking it up from your local independent bookstore, but if you don't have one of those available, here are some other options:
Some additional resources that you might find interesting in conjunction with this conversation:
- Anahid has a new piece out in the New York Review of Books, titled "Catastrophic Desire," which is about the Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad.
- This conversation between Anahid and her friend, the actor Zoe Kazan, about the book was one of the first sources I checked out to help shape this conversation, and I thought it was pretty enlightening.
- Similarly, this conversation between Anahid and Michael Robbins was very useful.
- I also very much enjoyed reading Anahid's NYRB piece "Love for Sale," about Eva Illouz’s The End of Love. Reading someone's critical work, I find, always gives an interesting perspective into how they think.