11.03.2010

They're in my head, but who knows where!



Margaret Atwood interview with The Paris Review, 1990

INTERVIEWER
Yet you write as if you’ve lived through violence.

ATWOOD
But I write as if I’ve lived a lot of things I haven’t lived. I’ve never lived with cancer. I’ve never been fat. I have different sensibilities. In my critical work I’m an eighteenth-century rationalist of some kind. In my poetry I’m not at all. There’s no way of knowing in advance what will get into your work. One collects all the shiny objects that catch the fancy—a great array of them. Some of them you think are utterly useless. I have a large collection of curios of that kind, and every once in a while I need one of them. They’re in my head, but who knows where! It’s such a jumble in there. It’s hard to find anything.


Read the entire interview at The Art of Fiction no. 121.

12 comments:

  1. Oh Margaret! She's a woman who writes with more balls and gusto than so many men.

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  2. Ben, Seriously! You should read the whole interview she talks about mens writing vs. women's writing in a very interesting way.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this interview. Atwood makes so many great points on writing and gender. Her ideas are literally floating above my head- and I'm sure many others. I see it and think, "yes, that's exactly how boring the same representation of things like sex and love and gender can be." I've always been a fan of her fiction, and, most recently, her poetry.

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  4. Never in a million years would I compare myself to the wonderful Ms. Atwood, but if it's ok for her to have a jumbled head, then it must be ok for me as well! Thank Goodness!! ;)I can't wait to read this interview in full :)

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  5. Beth, She does make many great points which I think are incredibly relevant today, especially after the Franzen/Weiner debate. I've yet to read any of Atwoods poetry but I hope to get to it soon!

    Peppermint, The full interview is great! And yes, I think a lot of us can relate to the idea of a jumbled head :)

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  6. I will definitely be having a look at that interview. Margaret Atwood is amazing. There are no other words

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  7. Love this!! Thanks for posting it -- good gracious, guess who I want with me in battle?

    Awesomest author *ever*

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  8. Becky, Agreed!

    Coffee, You're welcome! You need to read the whole interview it's fabulous.

    History, Me too!

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  9. This is making me want to read some books of hers really badly! Intriguing thought isn't it!

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  10. I just finished reading (and reviewing) Atwood's The Penelopiad and loved it. Awesome little novel, and ever so Atwood. Great (and timely) posting, Brenna! Serendipity is such a cool thing. Do read The Penelopiad, it is a quick read, and ever so satisfying. Cheers! Chris

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  11. Viashnavi, She's great you really should read her!

    Christopher, I read The Penelopiad a month or so ago. My review is posted under "The Books" tab. I didn't love it. I think her other works speak to me more.

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