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Tag: Margaret Atwood

Is Margaret Atwood a bad feminist?

Monday, 15 January, 2018 0 Comments

Margaret Atwood, the celebrated author of The Handmaid’s Tale and more than 40 books of poetry, fiction and essays, asks Am I A Bad Feminist? Money quote: “My fundamental position is that women are human beings, with the full range of saintly and demonic behaviours this entails, including criminal ones. They’re not angels, incapable of wrongdoing… Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote.”

And note her comment on the current “guilty because accused” rampage which, she says, has its roots in the excesses of the French Revolution, Stalin’s purges in the USSR, the Red Guard period in China and the reign of the Generals in Argentina:

“Such things are always done in the name of ushering in a better world. Sometimes they do usher one in, for a time anyway. Sometimes they are used as an excuse for new forms of oppression. As for vigilante justice — condemnation without a trial — it begins as a response to a lack of justice — either the system is corrupt, as in prerevolutionary France, or there isn’t one, as in the Wild West — so people take things into their own hands. But understandable and temporary vigilante justice can morph into a culturally solidified lynch-mob habit, in which the available mode of justice is thrown out the window, and extralegal power structures are put into place and maintained. The Cosa Nostra, for instance, began as a resistance to political tyranny.”

It will take brave people to fight the new Cosa Nostra.


Javier Marías for the Nobel Prize in Literature

Thursday, 5 October, 2017 0 Comments

“He’ll be a minister in Spain some day, or, at the very least, ambassador to Washington, he’s exactly the kind of pretentious fool with just a thin veneer of cordiality that the Right produces by the dozen and which the Left reproduces and imitates whenever they’re in power, as if they were the victims of some form of contagion.” — Javier Marías, Tu Rostro Mañana: 1 Fiebre Y Lanza

They’re awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature today up in Scandinavia. The betting is that it’ll go to a writer, but that’s not a sure thing anymore. “For having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016 was awarded to Bob Dylan. Very few saw that coming.

Today, we’ll see a return to the norm, such as it is in the world of letters. Haruki Murakami? Margaret Atwood? Ngugi wa Thiong’o? Amos Oz? Worthy candidates all, but our money is on Javier Marías, the Spanish novelist, short story writer and translator. He’s a superb writer and because the Spanish establishment could do with some good news at the moment, the Nobel committee might be inclined to lend a hand.


Singer sewing at 87

Thursday, 30 July, 2015 0 Comments

Mother celebrated her 87th birthday yesterday with some essential stitching using grandmother’s vintage Singer sewing machine. Life goes on.

Singer sewing machine

“I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.” — Margaret Atwood, Alias Gracee


Rat race run

Sunday, 10 February, 2013 0 Comments

You think: That one’s too clever, she’s dangerous, because I don’t stick around to be slaughtered and you think I’m ugly too despite my fur and pretty teeth and my six nipples and snake tail. Rat Song by Margaret Atwood.

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