Margaret Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Margaret
Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood
1939

Canadian Author, Poet, Critic, Essayist and Environmental Activist

Author Quotes

We ate the birds. We ate them. We wanted their songs to flow up through our throats and burst out of our mouths, and so we ate them. We wanted their feathers to bud from our flesh. We wanted their wings, we wanted to fly as they did, soar freely among the treetops and the clouds, and so we ate them. We speared them, we clubbed them, we tangled their feet in glue, we netted them, we spitted them, we threw them onto hot coals, and all for love, because we loved them. We wanted to be one with them. We wanted to hatch out of clean, smooth, beautiful eggs, as they did, back when we were young and agile and innocent of cause and effect, we did not want the mess of being born, and so we crammed the birds into our gullets, feathers and all, but it was no use, we couldn?t sing, not effortlessly as they do, we can?t fly, not without smoke and metal, and as for the eggs we don?t stand a chance. We?re mired in gravity, we?re earthbound. We?re ankle-deep in blood, and all because we ate the birds, we ate them a long time ago, when we still had the power to say no.

We tend to think of Freud as a great innovator, but the truth is that he himself rested, like a ship on an iceberg, on a huge body of theory and knowledge which had accumulated before his time. Even the famous Unconscious had made its appearance at least seven decades earlier. As for such supposedly modern phenomena as multiple personalities, the vogue for them began in the first half of the nineteenth century; and the first case in which the perpetrator of a murder pleaded amnesia, and got off, was in the eighteen eighties.

What are we do to? The child sex trade is not for us: our children are unattractive and rude, and - due to the knowledge of our history - have a bad habit of mugging prospective customers and shoving them over cliffs.

What she read was a series of short connected lyrics, Isis in Darkness. The Egyptian Queen of Heaven and Earth was wandering in the Underworld, gathering up pieces of the murdered and dismembered body of her lover Osiris. At the same time, it was her own body she was putting back together; and it was also the physical universe. She was creating the universe by an act of love.

To fix and make plausible, the nebulous emotions of my costumed heroines, like diamonds on a sea of dough.

Walking along past the store windows, into which she peers with her usual eagerness, her usual sense that maybe, today, she will discover behind them something that will truly be worth seeing, she feels as if her feet are not on cement at all but on ice. The blade of the skate floats, she knows, on a thin film of water, which it melts by pressure and which freezes behind it. This is the freedom of the present tense, this sliding edge.

We battled in secret, undeclared, and after a while I no longer fought back because I never won. The only defense was flight, invisibility.

We thought we had such problems. How were we to know we were happy?

What breaks in daybreak? Is it the night? Is it the sun, cracked in two by the horizon like an egg, spilling out light?

What thumb-suckers we all are... when it comes to mothers.

To live in prison is to live without mirrors. To live without mirrors is to live without the self. She is living selflessly; she finds a hole in the stone wall and on the other side of the wall, a voice. The voice comes through darkness and has no face. This voice becomes her mirror.

Walking into the crowd was like sinking into a stew - you became an ingredient, you took on a certain flavor.

We get along by a symbiotic adjustment of habits and with a minimum of that pale-mauve hostility you often find among women.

We thought we were running away from the grownups, and now we are the grownups.

What could he have done or said differently? What change would have altered the course of events? In the big picture, nothing. In the small picture, so much.

What was about this that made us feel we deserved it?

To pronounce the name of the dead is to make them live again.

Walking was not fast enough so we ran. Running was not fast enough, so we galloped. Galloping was not fast enough, so we sailed. Sailing was not fast enough, so we rolled merrily along on long metal tracks. Long metal tracks were not fast enough, so we drove. Driving was not fast enough, so we flew. Flying isn't fast enough, not fast enough for us. We want to get there faster. Get where? Wherever we are not. But a human soul can go only as fast as a man can walk, they used to say. In that case, where are all the souls? Left behind. They wander here and there, slowly, dim lights flickering in the marshes at night, looking for us. But they're not nearly fast enough, not for us, we're way ahead of them, they'll never catch up. That's why we can go so fast: our souls don't weigh us down.

We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat.

We understand more than we know.

What do you want me to do? he whispers into the empty air. It?s hard to know. Oh Jimmy, you were so funny. Don?t let me down. From habit he lifts his watch; it shows him its blank face. Zero hour, Snowman thinks. Time to go.

What was in them was promise. They dealt in transformations; they suggested an endless series of possibilities, extending like the reflections in two mirrors set facing one another, stretching on, replica after replica, to the vanishing point.

To take that risk, to offer life and remain alive, open yourself like this and become whole.

Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pat‚.

We have begun to slam doors, and to throw things. I throw my purse, an ashtray, a package of chocolate chips, which breaks on impact. We are picking up chocolate chips for days. Jon throws a glass of milk, the milk, not the glass: he knows his own strength, as I do not. He throws a box of Cheerios, unopened.

Author Picture
First Name
Margaret
Last Name
Atwood, fully Margaret Eleanor Atwood
Birth Date
1939
Bio

Canadian Author, Poet, Critic, Essayist and Environmental Activist