However bad life is, what’s important is to make something interesting out of it. And that has a lot to do with the physical world, with looking at stuff, snow and light and the smell of your screen door and whatever constitutes your phenomenal existence from moment to moment. How consoling—that this stuff goes on and that you can keep thinking about it and making that into something on the page.
—  Anne Carson explains an idea that she and Alice Munro have in common (attachment to the physical world and the details in life), from The Art of Poetry No. 88, Paris Review

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In surfaces, perfection is less interesting. For instance, a page with a poem on it is less attractive than a page with a poem on it and some tea stains. Because the tea stains add a bit of history. It’s an historical attitude. After all, texts of ancient Greeks come to us in wreckage, and I admire that—the layers of time you have when looking at sheets of papyrus that were produced in the third century b.c. and then copied and then wrapped around a mummy for a couple hundred years and then discovered and put in a museum and pieced together by nine different gentlemen and put back in the museum and brought out again and photographed and put in a book. All those layers add up to more and more life.
—  Anne Carson, from The Art of Poetry No. 88, Paris Review
One thing I do understand about the Greeks is that they, too, understood otherness and valued it. That is what the god Dionysus is as a principle—the principle of being up against something so other that it bounces you out of yourself to a place where, nonetheless, you are still in yourself; there’s a connection to yourself as another. It’s what they call ecstasy. The Greeks invented this concept, but they also embody it for us, which may just be our utilitarian approach to them. But who can say. We are always going to be looking at the Greeks and figuring out who they are in relation to what we are.
—  Anne Carson, from The Art of Poetry No. 88, Paris Review