Margaret Atwood

24Aug06

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is to proclaim that for all official, unofficial and god-knows-what reasons I, hereby, am a fan of Margaret Atwood. The Blind Assassin – the latest one that I finished reading is one amazing bit of a literary treat. A classically written metafiction – a story in a novel within a novel.

The novel is narrated by Iris Griffen Chase and embeds a posthumously published novel named The Blind Assassin written by her sister Laura. Placed for most part in the 1930s and 40s with the economic depression and the World War looming over the head, the story is a gripping narration. And Atwood introduces a little spin in the 512th page – 9 pages before the story ends – that completely overturns your outlook over the story and the characters in it. One line changes it all. This is pure genius, folks!

Get a hold of this line, when Iris tries to find all that was in Laura’s mind in those last few days,

Nothing is more difficult than to understand the dead, I’ve found; but nothing is more dangerous than to ignore them.

And this utterly butterly delicious last line of the novel,

What is it that I’ll want from you? Not love: that would be too much to ask. Not forgiveness, which isn’t yours to bestow. Only a listener, perhaps; only someone who will see me…  But I leave myself in your hands. What choice do I have? By the time you read this last page, that – if anywhere – is the only place I will be.

She didn’t win the Booker for nothing.

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10 Responses to “Margaret Atwood”

  1. Is that how the woman who couldn’t hear and the man couldn’t see learn to love each other?

  2. 2 Jax

    Foucault’s Pendulum is another example. So when on earth are you finishing the book and handing it over to me?

  3. 3 Bewitching

    OOooohhh… I like the sound of this one…the last line especially. It’s direct and to the point…kind of sarcastic. (Yesterday night… I was trying to find a way to say those exact words…but I couldn’t…I kept stumbling over my thoughts…and I wasn’t making any sense. Poor Guy.)

  4. 4 Kishore

    Prat,
    Actually, that’s how the woman who couldn’t talk and the man couldn’t see learn to love each other.

    Jax,
    I’ve finished FP. Send me Queen Loana, i’ll send FP.

    Bewitching,
    Poor Egyptian Guy! Did ya try again?

  5. Glad I am reading this post today; otherwise, Ganeshaa wouldn’t have forgiven me for concentratingon someone else on His birthday :)

    So Margaret Atwood it shall be, this weekend.

  6. Amazing, right ;)

  7. 7 Bewitching

    No. I figured that it was meant to play out the way it did. Anyway, things shouldn’t be that difficult. Ya know? :)

  8. 8 Kishore

    Sailaja,
    And you shall never be sorry for doing so. :)

    Prat,
    Yep.. Amazing! ;)

    Bewitching,
    I know. :)

  9. 9 t

    Blind Assassin is the best book in the world. If you didn’t weep at reading the chapter entitled “The Telegram” — well, there’s something wrong with you.

    :)


  1. 1 The Handmaid’s Tale « All in a day’s work!

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