Margaret speaks...


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Margaret speaks...

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jul 3, 2007, 8:58 am

I thought I'd post snippets here from various interviews with Margaret Atwood or bits from her essays. Please feel free to add your own snippets or comment.

Here's one that caught my eye this morning, from an interview in 1976. Found in Waltzing Again.

Q. (with regards to Surfacing). Were you trying to create a positive heroine, the way George Eliot did in Middlemarch?

Atwood: Is Dorothea so positive? Look where she ends up. What you have in Middlemarch is an idealistic young woman living in a society which will not permit her to be so. Saint Theresa achieved sainthood, but what happens to somebody in the nineteenth century who has similar impulses? So Dorothea ends up marrying this rather simpy young man.

The question is, why did George Eliot not write about a successful female writer? Why did she kill off Maggie Tulliver and marry off Dorothea? Perhaps Eliot was attempting to portray the fate of the average woman in her society---the average intelligent woman with no options. You could ask the same question of me. Why am I not writing about a successful female writer? Why isn't she a poet? Instead she's a rather mediocre illustrator of children's books. What point is that making about my society?

aug 28, 2007, 10:26 am

On Creativity:

I think everybody should go out and get themselves a set of colored pencils and play with them. They will have fun. I think one thing about being an adult is that the role definition that we have made up for adults is that they have to be very serious and boring all the time. So, I think that if we expanded the role definition of adults to include more play---and I don't mean just golf --- probably people would be happier and would enough their stay on earth more than they do.

From Waltzing Again: New & Selected Conversations with Margaret Atwood, edited by Earl G. Ingersoll. Excerpted from a 1994 interview with Gabrielle Meltzer.

I'm off to play with my colored pencils, how about you?

aug 28, 2007, 10:28 pm

I like that! I think that as adults, we tend to have "things" that we "do" because we are good at them or they are easy for us and we avoid things that we are not good at and leave them to "artists" or "musicians" or whatever. Sometimes its fun to do things, even if we are bad that them. At some point, I just bought a box of crayons and a Seasame Street coloring book for the sense of fun that coloring, even in a kind of mindless way, provided.

Redigerat: sep 11, 2007, 4:30 pm

Here's an interesting link from the LT Canadian Bookworms group, posted by Kathrynnd.

The Literary Review of Canada published a list of the most important books in Canada, the LRC 100, and Margaret Atwood wrote the introduction. In it she comments on heavy criticism of her 1972 book Survival: a thematic guide to Canadian literature, and she predicts that the new list will be just as controversial. She challenges all Canadians to get reading and to argue over the List, to prove that Canada really exists as a nation, and has a history and literature worth arguing over. It's pretty funny.

Redigerat: sep 13, 2007, 8:56 pm

Det här meddelandet har tagits bort av dess författare.

sep 13, 2007, 9:08 pm

tripleblessings, that's an interesting intro and list. Although, admittedly, I won't be running out for some of those titles:-) It's interesting that of Atwood's novels, they should pick Handmaid's Tale. I've read a few, own a few I haven't read, and have jotted down a couple for the wish list.

mar 3, 2008, 6:45 am

"Repeat reading for me shares a few things with hot water bottles and thumb-sucking: comfort, familiarity, the recurrence of the expected." - Margaret Atwood from The Reader's Quotation Book: A Literary Companion, edited by Steven Gilbar.