Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing: Strange Familiarity
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If writing novels — and reading them — have any redeeming social value, it’s probably that they force you to imagine what it’s like to be somebody else. Which, increasingly, is something we all need to know.
KeywordsSexual Politics Deer Antler Company Town Violent Duality Political Slogan
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- 1.Margaret Atwood, ‘Writing the Male Character’, 1982; reprinted in Second Words: Selected Critical Prose (Toronto, 1982) pp. 412–30. This remark is quoted in Coral Ann Howells’s excellent study Private and Fictional Words: Canadian Women Novelists of the 1970s and 1980s (London: Methuen, 1987) p. 70.Google Scholar
- 2.Margaret Atwood, Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature (Toronto: Anansi, 1972) pp. 15–16, 18–19.Google Scholar
- 7.Margaret Atwood, Surfacing (London: Virago, 1978). Future page references in this chapter are to this edition.Google Scholar
- 9.Northrop Frye, The Bush Garden: Essays on the Canadian Imagination (Toronto: Anansi, 1971) p. 126; quoted Djwa, ‘The Where of Here’, p. 18.Google Scholar
- 11.Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women (1971; Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin Books, 1982) p. 249. For an extended exploration of this image see my article ‘“Living on the Surface”: Versions of Life in Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women’, Recherches anglaises et nord-americaines, no. xx (1987) pp. 117–26.Google Scholar