Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Margaret Atwood Speaks

No time for anything today! So I give you some cogent thoughts from Margaret Atwood at TOC. I followed this on Twitter yesterday in between things and it sounded as if -- as usual -- she had some smart things to say. Check out the conference site as there are all kinds of informative bits of information.



5 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

There is a fantastic doc. about her, done many years ago. The doc maker cannot get a word out her so just follows her around Pellee Island. Amazing.

K. A. Laity said...

Her insistence that her spec fic novels are not spec fic always grates on me, but apart from that blindness, Atwood tends to be thoughtful and more importantly, willing to think intuitively. I'll have to find that doco.

Todd Mason said...

She has a weird doubleness of thought about her relation to sf that rivals Kurt Vonnegut's, but seems less driven by personal irritation with other sf writers, at least taken en masse, than with KV (among other things, Vonnegut kinda sorta wanted the Hugo for THE SIRENS OF TITAN, and frankly deserved it). Hers seems perhaps less commercially driven than Vonnegut's was in part, though perhaps not...yet, like Vonnegut, she can't leave sf alone, both in her own work (which is true of a lot of people who don't engage with the sf community and only nervously labeled as sf writers, if at all, by the ignorant--inside the club, the useless tag "slipstream" has been carved into a handstamp for this work, along with anything else that can be caught and made to fit in that elastic bag), but also in her engagement with the sf community, particularly in Canada.

K. A. Laity said...

I can understand the desire to avoid pigeonholing: Vonnegut made clear that what he objected to was not being put in the drawer labeled SF, but that people felt free to piss in that drawer. But her insistence on squids in space as a definition of SF is stubbornly wrong-headed.

Todd Mason said...

And she's actually inconsistent in that, as well (as I've helped Dave Langford chronicle in ANSIBLE...notably in her interview on Richard Lupoff [mostly in absentia] and Richard Wolinsky's radio show BOOKWAVES a year or so back (and leaving aside contributions she's made to such blatantly sf-labeled items as Contento's anthology OTHER CANADAS)...while Vonnegut made the point that sf was a social group, at least in large part, with which he felt uncomfortable...also wrongheaded, at least when we get beyond the interpersonal. (Which of course didn't stop him from writing introductions for the Sturgeon Project or blurbs for Ellison's books...)