Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Margaret Atwood!

Happy Birthday Margaret Atwood!
75 years young and still typing up literary gifts.
To celebrate, ShelfNotes has selected a few favorite quotes and links to past reviews posted of her work.


“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.”

“What am I living for and what am I dying for are the same question.”

“Old lovers go the way of old photographs, bleaching out gradually as in a slow bath of acid: first the moles and pimples, then the shadings. Then the faces themselves, until nothing remains but the general outlines.”

“All it takes,” said Crake, “is the elimination of one generation. One generation of anything. Beetles, trees, microbes, scientists, speakers of French, whatever. Break the link in time between one generation and the next, and it’s game over forever.”

"The Eskimo has fifty-two names for snow because it is important to them; there ought to be as many for love." [from Surfacing, 1972]

“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise." [from Cat's Eye, 1988]

"Nolite te bastardes carbonundorum." (translation: Don't let the bastards grind you down.) [from The Handmaid's Tale, 1985]

On writing: 
"After a year or two of keeping my head down and trying to pass myself off as a normal person, I made contact with the five other people at my university who were interested in writing; and through them, and some of my teachers, I discovered that there was a whole subterranean Wonderland of Canadian writing that was going on just out of general earshot and sight."
"Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy - which many believe goes hand in hand with it - will be dead as well."

And a poem:
Your righteous eyes, your laconic
trigger-fingers people the streets with villains:
as you move, the air in front of you
blossoms with targets

and you leave behind you a heroic
trail of desolation
beer bottles
slaughtered by the side
of the road, bird-
skulls bleaching in the sunset.

--"Backdrop addresses cowboy" (1974)

    Margaret Atwood Books Reviewed by ShelfNotes

    1 comment:

    1. Want more Atwood? Check out this BookRiot post, also in honor of the author's 75th!


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