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Second Words: Selected Critical Prose
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Margaret Atwood > Second Words group discussion

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Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
This collection of wide-ranging essays sounds really interesting!


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
My library finally got this one to me! It's a collection of 50 pieces, the majority of them short book reviews. Unfortunately most of them are about books I've never read.... But scanning the table of contents I saw a few I'm quite interested in.


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
This is kind of fun! Reading her reviews of poetry is sort of like watching a magnificent performance - I wish I could read her own poetry with that sort of critical insight, but I can't, but I can still enjoy watching it done.

Then there's a review of H. Rider Haggard (She, King Solomon's Mines, Allan Quatermain and those sort of boys-own adventures) that was interesting given that this was during her self-described apolitical pre-feminist life. (Which I'm not sure I totally buy.)


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
Some are amusing, some are intriguing, some are fascinating. I feel like I'm getting to know her and her opinions much better than I do through her fiction. (Where I always find myself wondering which is her and which is fiction.)


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
One interesting point I learned from this is that she considers the publication of Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature to have been a major milestone in her life. Apparently this is the work that brought her to the attention of most Canadians!


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
Absolutely excellent - "The Curse of Eve - Or, What I Learned in School." A lecture she gave in 1978 about female characters in literature.


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
I've vaguely wanted to read Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution for ages, but Atwood's review of it now makes me really want to read it!


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
From "An End to Audience?"

"I believe that poetry is the heart of the language, the activity through which language is renewed and kept alive. I believe that fiction writing is the guardian of the moral and ethical sense of the community."


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
This is quite wonderful -lots and lots of great essays, really worth tracking down!


Alexa (AlexaNC) | 1256 comments Mod
I love this bit from "On Being a 'Woman Writer': Paradoxes and Dilemmas," ('76) “These writers accomplished what they did by themselves, often at great personal expense; in order to write at all, they had to defy other women’s as well as men’s ideas of what was proper, and it’s not finally all that comforting to have a phalanx of women – some younger and relatively unscathed, others from their own generation, the bunch that was collecting china, changing diapers and sneering at any female with intellectual pretensions twenty or even ten years ago – come breezing up now to tell them they were right all along. It’s like being judged innocent after you’ve been hanged: the satisfaction, if any, is grim.”


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