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Burning Questions - Essays and Occasional Pieces 2004-2023

English · Paperback

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Informationen zum Autor Margaret Atwood Klappentext In this brilliant selection of essays—including three new pieces—the award-winning, best-selling author of The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments offers her funny, erudite, endlessly curious, and uncannily prescient take on everything from whether or not The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopia to the importance of how to define granola—and seeks answers to Burning Questions such as... • Why do people everywhere, in all cultures, tell stories? Including thoughts on the writing of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, Oryx & Crake , and Atwood's other beloved works. • How much of yourself can you give away without evaporating? • How can we live on our planet? • Is it true? And is it fair? • What do zombies have to do with authoritarianism? In more than fifty pieces, Atwood aims her prodigious intellect and impish humor at the world, and reports back to us on what she finds. This roller-coaster period brought the end of history, a financial crash, the rise of Trump, and a pandemic. From when to dispense advice to the young (answer: only when asked) to Atwood’s views on the climate crisis, we have no better guide to the many and varied mysteries of our universe. Leseprobe Chapter 1 Scientific Romancing (2004) I’m very honoured to have been asked to give the Kesterton Lecture here at Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication. I note that I’m the fourth in this series, and that I’ve been preceded by three very eminent men. I have always distrusted the number 4, whereas I do have a preference for the number 3. So I’ve broken the dubious 4 down into two sets: one of three, a lucky moonstruck set, which includes persons of the male persuasion but excludes me; and a second set of one, which includes persons of the female sort and also, incidentally, me. I am therefore the first in a set that I trust will number many more individuals before long. That’s the feminism for this evening, which, as you can see, I have cunningly combined with the initial fooling around so you won’t feel too threatened by it. I’ve never known why people have sometimes felt threatened by me. After all, I’m quite short, and apart from Napoleon, what short person has ever been threatening? Second, I’m an icon, as you’ve doubtless been told, and once you’re an icon you’re practically dead, and all you have to do is stand very still in parks, turning to bronze while pigeons and others perch on your shoulders and defecate on your head. Third, I am—astrologically speaking—a Scorpio, one of the kindest and gentlest of astrological signs. We like to lead quiet lives in the dark and peaceful toes of shoes, where we never give any trouble unless someone attempts to cram an aggressively large yellow-toenailed foot in on top of us. And so it is with me: no bother at all unless stepped on, in which case I can’t answer for the consequences. The title of my small talk tonight is “Scientific Romancing.” Its cover story is that it’s about science fiction. Its subtext is probably What is fiction for? or something like that. The subtext under that will be a few paragraphs on the two scientific romances I myself have written. And the sub-sub-subtext might turn out to be What is a human being? So this lecture is like those round candies you could once ruin your teeth on for two cents: sugar coating on the outside, with descending layers of various colours, until you come to an odd, indecipherable seed at the very centre. First, I’ll tackle the peculiar form of prose fiction often called “science fiction,” a label that brings together two terms you’d think would be mutually exclusive, since science—from scientia, meaning “knowledge”—is supposed to concern itself with demonstrable facts, and fiction—which derives from a root verb meaning “to mould,” as in clay—denotes a thing that is feigned or ...

Product details

Authors Margaret Atwood
Publisher Anchor Books USA
Languages English
Product format Paperback
Released 02.09.2023
EAN 9780593314074
ISBN 978-0-593-31407-4
No. of pages 488
Dimensions 132 mm x 202 mm x 21 mm
Subjects Fiction > Narrative literature > Essays, feuilletons, literary criticism, interviews
Fiction > Poetry, drama

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