An Apple Out of Reach: The Unattainable Ideal Beloved and Sappho’s Poetics in the Poetry of Marguerite Yourcenar and Anne Carson

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Mylrea, Colin Richard




The way the Archaic Greek poet Sappho and her poetry is represented and engaged with in the writing of Anne Carson and Marguerite Yourcenar appears on the surface to be decidedly disparate. However, when the thematic elements of Yourcenar and Carson's respective Sapphic texts are excavated, the two authors in fact demonstrate resemblance, specifically in how they both engage with Sappho and her poetry as a way to push eroticism beyond the profane and into the realm of the sacred. By drawing on criticism of Sappho, moral philosophy, and other writings from Yourcenar and Carson, I argue that both Youcenar and Carson invoke Sappho as an incarnation of the ideal beloved inside the text and in their biographies.


Literature - Comparative
Literature - Canadian (English)
Literature - Classical
Yourcenar, Marguerite
Carson, Anne, 1950-




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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