Recalibrating categorisation: A semiological reading of Anne Carson’s Decreation

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This article explores how the notion of decreation manifests itself in the signifying strategies of Anne Carson’s Decreation: Poetry, Essays, Opera (2005). By revisiting Carson’s stereoscopic poetics and Wolfgang Iser’s branch of reader-response criticism, the article conceptualises these signification strategies, which include generic hybridity and multimodality, as guiding devices that usher the reader’s perspective towards a stereoscopic vision of sameness-in-otherness. These strategies can evoke a sense of ‘decreation’ by drawing the reader’s attention to the boundary between (apparent) incongruities whilst simultaneously encouraging the reader to forge previously unsuspected connections. The semiological argument proposed here concludes that the transcendence of this ‘edge’ by means of analogical thinking constitutes the metaphysical project of personal re-creation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167–195
Number of pages29
JournalEnglish Text Construction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • analogy, Anne Carson, Decreation, generic hybridity, multimodality


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