“Love is the mystery inside this walking”: Anne Carson on the Road to Compostela

Keywords: Anne Carson, pilgrimage, water, resilience, Camino, Santiago de Compostela


This paper explores Anne Carson’s “Kinds of Water: An Essay on the Road to Compostela,” the author’s journal on her pilgrimage to Santiago. Taking water as a metaphor for the Camino, the text reflects the creative dimension of the pilgrimage both from an artistic and personal standpoint. Alternative discourses of the female writer and pilgrim occur in a text that is an essay and a meditation on the forms of resilience put into practice by Carson after facing a series of personal losses. The progressive construction of self-knowledge is seen as an emancipatory act that transcended Carson’s mourning period in her experience, which she took as an opportunity to embrace personal transformation. I suggest that my approach can bring useful perspectives not only to further and refine knowledge on Carson in Spain but also for the consideration of resilience as an aspect that contributes to the critical understanding of narratives of individual and social transformation.


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