“Shifting Ground”: Breaking (from) Baudrillard’s “Code” in Autobiography of Red


This paper reframes Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red in the context of Jean Baudrillard’s “Fetishism and Ideology” (1970) in order to locate the tensions experienced by her protagonist, Geryon, between interiority and exteriority, the self and the world. Carson’s anxiety about the link between representation and reality is expressed in Geryon’s relationship to writing, which simultaneously recognizes and denies the gap between a (potentially) resistant interiority and an ever-encroaching exterior reality. I trace how the imbrication of subject and object makes Geryon’s writing of his autobiography gradually impossible, leading him to turn to the photographic essay as a means of realizing a more productive synthesis of interior and exterior worlds.

This article ““Shifting Ground”: Breaking (from) Baudrillard’s “Code” in Autobiography of Red” originally appeared in 21st-Century Poetics. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 210-211 (Autumn/Winter 2011): 152-167.

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