I do love Margaret Atwood, but her books are a little erm gut wrenching…so I thought I’d try some of her non-fiction work. This was actually a series of lectures that she did turned into chapters, I’m not sure it works but that might be because I didn’t understand most of her references.
She’s definitely read, and understood, more poetry than I have. I’m not that cut up about that to be honest but I think I missed the point of some of it. Generally, she is writing about writing and being a writer. Being a young female writer in Canada in the 1950’s and 60’s must have been interesting.
If sacrifice was demanded of the male artist, how much more so of the women?…A male artist could have marriage and children on the side…but for women, such things were supposed to be the way.
She explores the reasons why writers write, and whether there is something more noble about making art for arts sake rather than for money.
The pagan God of Art may be a nasty piece of work…but you can’t say he isn’t good at what he does. So if it’s art you crave…this is the god you must pray to.
She also questions who the writer is writing for, who is the reader and how do they interpret the writing. Should writers take responsibility for their work and the effect it has on society?
Language is not morally neutral because the human brain is not neutral in its desire.
It’s probably an interesting book if you have read Gilgamesh. I definitely prefer her fiction work!