There’s something painful in the new newsMargaret Atwood’s collection.
I do not mean by this that the author of the television series “The Handmaid’s Tale” is not as sharp as before, or as full of the literary imagination which makes us see the life itself of a new way.
No, it is rather age that has taken its toll. Atwood is now 83, she has been widowed, and it is only the experiences of a wise old woman that fill the collection.
It’s new this year, although some of the stories have appeared in various magazines in the past.
“Grouse in sunset” contains fifteen stories. The three princes sinkthe font “Tig & Nell”, the following eight under “Min onde mor”, while the last four are grouped under the brandthe “Nell & Tig” note.
Then Nell is widowed, Tig is gone, but at the same time he is strongly present in the memories she evokes.
Here I would like to draw attention to the saleswoman Inger Gjelsvik. She is aware of the nuances of the language used by Atwood – which are also touched on in the text – and picks up terms and vocabulary that were fashionable in the 1960s and 1970s, but now give the impression of something outdated. .
Who wins slut or fly rag today?
As we can see, Atwood is her feminist positionOn point, as always. And the title is even better in Norwegian than in English, if that’s possible. “Old Babes in the Wood” makes less sense, I think, than “Ryper i sunset”.
Hats off, Gjelsvik!
then and now
Both in the stories about Nell and Tig and some others, we meet people who remember something that happened many years ago.
This is where nostalgia comes in. It’s not awkward, it becomes more like a feelingwas a break in the present, where a person adjusts their status and thinks about what made sense everywherethe days that followed.
In this way, Atwood can remember an author like Elizabeth Strout, or why not Alice Munro, who is perhaps the most famous short story.author from Canada?
Then it seems that Atwood, who probably pays the most attention to her novels, is also a brilliant short story writer.
This is her eleventh collection, so she is new to the genre so far.
Depicts our time
But Atwood wouldn’t have been Atwood if she hadn’t used words to portray a startling look at the world we live in.
In “Conversation with a Dead Man”, a young writer meets George Orwell himself (yes, the one who wrote the classic dystopias “1984” And “farm animal”) and discusses the fictional situations he wrote about in the 1940s that have become realities today, and where he missed.
How does he perceive the surveillance brought about by social networks and what does he think of the growing political polarization? How will he react to the cancellation that many artists are experiencing today?
It will be very fun and amazingwitty conversation.
In “Impatient Griselda”, an octopus-like creature from another galaxy must calm those detained following a threatening pandemic. He does this by telling stories of the earth, a globe he does not know.
Lack of recap and creative language solutions is laughableevocative, for example when depicting food with a jointsnazzy recap. Later he describes a ride on a snask, because what is a snask before it becomes a snask? Inkthe squirt is carnivorous, you have to know that.
In another of the stories, a snail takes up residence in a woman, a bit of a soul journey!
Here too, we become humanlife and our natural actions themed from an outsider’s point of viewcomprehension. Cleverly done – here Atwood can recall Tor Åge Bringsværd or the wonderful illustrator and children’s bookauthor Shaun Tan, who also doesn’t bother to portray the exteriorcreate in a surreal way.
love and criticism
Margaret Atwood is a fearless, always lively and original writer. Not all stories are so strong, some of them almost feel like novel drafts. Then they become too fluid and circumstantial. But they are in the minority.
So what kind of essence can I extract from the collection? This is Atwood as we know her: playful, curious, sharp.
Let me end with a quote from the story of Hypatia, the mathematician from Alexandria, who, 400 years after Christ, was murdered in the most hideous way. She was flayed alive. Was it because she was a woman, or had she been given too much power?
Laconically, Atwood summarizes ahis speech, which Hypatia delivers after his death:
“Passionate pop cultureaholic. Proud bacon trailblazer. Avid analyst. Certified reader.”