Sunday, August 16, 2009

Correction, in quoting M. Atwood

I'd misquoted Margaret Atwood in a recent post. This passage is the last paragraph of Ch. 33 in her novel, Alias Grace.
When you are in the middle of a story it isn't story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind [...]. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.
The trick I need to master, is in going from confusion to confusion (there has been very little but that for several years), to be able to tell one story while in the middle of another one.

Incidentally, when reading Margaret Atwood I find every paragraph, sometimes each individual sentence to be a discovery. I have realized that I'm holding my breath, waiting to see what the next page will bring not in terms of the story but in terms of how she reveals it. It was how she wrote, for example, Oryx and Crake, that I loved, though I found the story creepy and disturbing. It gave me nightmares about climate change, before it became a topic in the media.

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