Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Voyage BestoftheYear Outdoor Deals on HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Digital List Price: $31.95
Kindle Price: $8.69

Save $23.26 (73%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

Economy of the Unlost: (Reading Simonides of Keos with Paul Celan): (Reading Simonides of Keos with Paul Celan) (Martin Classical Lectures) Kindle Edition

4 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"

Length: 152 pages

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

It's hard to imagine two poets farther apart in time and space than Simonides, who lived in fifth century B.C.E. Greece, and Celan, a 20th-century Romanian Jew who lived in Paris and wrote in German. Yet Carson connects them through the idea of economy, the management of resources that determines the nature of one's poetry as well as one's life. Carson is an acclaimed poet herself (her Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse, was nominated last year for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry), and if her subject is daunting and her style elliptical, at least she counters scholarly woolgathering with lapidary anecdote: of Simonides leaving a banquet after being told by a stingy host that his fee would be halved only to witness the collapse of the roof and the death of everyone inside; of Celan fleeing before Nazi exterminators and returning to find his house sealed and his parents taken to the camp where they would die. In their work, both writers not only measured off the area "within which word holds good," writes Carson, but also discovered that "it is a limited area." For academic collections only.ADavid Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Erudite and entertaining, effortlessly able to play across a range of associations, the book traces a number of similarities in artistic approach between two writers who would seem, on the face of it, to have inhabited very different worlds . . . Economy of the Unlost is a beguiling piece of work, both scholarly and persuasive."--Elizabeth Lowry, London Review of Books

"This is one of those rewarding, original, rigorously attentive books that only Anne Carson could have written. At its core is an idea-the way the overlapping senses of 'economy' play out in language and in monetary history-that only this brilliant poet/classicist could have come up with. Economy of the Unlost is a strange book, bringing together as it does Simonides and Paul Celan; but its strangeness is one of its great virtues, for startling insights spring uncannily off every page."--Wendy Lesser, Editor, The Threepenny Review

"[A] magnificent and lovely essay. . . . I never wanted [the] book to end. .. ."--Stanley Corngold, Modernism/Modernity

"[Carson] convincingly draws out the fraternity of tone and inclination in two poets far removed in time, experience, and language, a significant accomplishment. It is. . . .difficult to do full justice to her book--rich, delicate, and complex. . . . An act of grace."--Danielle Allen, Chicago Review

Product Details

  • File Size: 957 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0691091757
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (April 11, 2009)
  • Publication Date: April 11, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001CDE9QA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,292 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

More About the Author

Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living. Her awards and honors include the Lannan Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Griffin Trust Award for Excellence in Poetry, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the MacArthur "Genius" Award.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Like _Eros the Bittersweet_, this is a fine example of Carson's scrupulous and beautifully- written scholarship. And like all of her work, the strangeness of her intensity and consideration is charming and virtuosic. The juxtaposition of Simonides and Celan *works* in spite of the centuries separating their oeuvres; even as she's making connections within the text, one wonders how she's going to pull it off--and then she does. Carson's discussion of poetic economy (both monetary and linguistic)--a topic not often discussed in criticism--illuminates the coinages and clipped syntax of Celan, providing leverage on reading a difficult poet, and will most likely prove to be a useful critical tool for reading other modern poets. Carson couples intellectual density with warm, lyrical prose, yielding a text of intricate research and rewarding insight--a rare and real pleasure for readers of poetry and/or criticism.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Boris Bangemann on February 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is unusual in many ways. Firstly, it dares to compare Simonides of Keos, a Greek poet of the 5th century BC, and Paul Celan, a 20th century poet who wrote in German. Secondly, it dares to apply economic ideas, in particular those of Karl Marx, to explain poetry.

What connects Simonides and Celan? They share a sense of alienation and an acute awareness of the limits of what "is;" and they are both masters of composition and language. Anne Carson points out that she chose to look at two men at the same time because the attention devoted to one enhances the attention devoted to the other: "Sometimes you can see a celestial object better by looking at something else, with it, in the sky." (viii)

A particularly fascinating aspect of both poets' work is their preoccupation with nothingness and negation. "Negation links the mentalities of Simonides and Celan. Words for 'no,' 'not,' 'never,' 'nowhere,' 'nobody,' 'nothing,' dominate their poems and create bottomless places for reading." (9) It is exactly these bottomless places in their poems, invisible to the cursory reader, that Anne Carson knows to locate.

Anne Carson divides the book into four chapters. In the first chapter, "Alienation," Carson uses analogies from the sphere of economics most extensively. She explains how the changing economic situation of poets in the fifth century BC accounts for the fact that Simonides was considered the stingiest person of his time (in addition to being one of the smartest). The "economy" in the title of the book refers to the actual life of the poet as a recipient of gifts and money, and to the act of composing poetry. The "unlost" in the title is a more complex idea and hints at the themes of negation and nothingness explored in the other three chapters.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Arch Llewellyn on January 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I can't say enough good things about these lectures, which mesh Celan, Simonides and Karl Marx with a grace that makes their union seem inevitable. The way Carson folds together money, language and memory reminds me of Ezra Pound without the shouting. Her insights have a math-like clarity ("Eureka! I've got it!") that brings two extreme ends of our history under the same light. You'll never mistake negation and loss for modern inventions after reading this book. The coins have changed since Simonides's time but the economy's remarkably the same. The funny thing is, after Carson's dazzling treatment, lament never looked so good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Anne Carson's ECONOMY OF THE UNLOST promise to juxtapose two poets separated by a vast distance: the ancient Greek poet Simonides of Keos and the 20th-century figure Paul Celan, a Jew who continued to write in German after the Holocaust. Unfortunately, I found this very disappointing as both a fan of Celan, and as someone with a Classics degree.

Let me make one thing clear here: this is mainly a book about Simonides of Keos. Celan is rarely brought in, and when he is, it doesn't really follow on Carson's observations about Keos. I was reminded of the scene in Don DeLillo's novel WHITE NOISE where a professor of "Elvis studies" drops in on a class taught by his colleague, a professor of "Hitler studies", and the two alternate in making statements about their respective fields that have nothing to do with one another. Furthermore, nearly all of Carson's citations for Celan are from English sources, which suggests she lacks the essential German-language background for that famously polysemic poet.

Now, there is *some* value to Carson's lecture in introducing one to Simonides of Keos, a fascinating figure that I missed out on during my studies of Greek. Simonides was active just as a monetary economy was replacing Greece's earlier gift economy, and his financial relationship with his patrons gained him a reputation as something of a miser. However, Carson chooses to continually name-drop Karl Marx, citing him in a way that doesn't elucidate Simonides much, but seems to display the author's liberal arts street cred.

I read a great deal of literary criticism and have often found that it has expanded my appreciation, but ECONOMY OF THE UNLOST was simply an exercise in frustration. I just don’t get the other, positive reviews.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?