Archive for March, 2014

Oh, Margaret…

the year of the flood
Today, when I was looking up a poem by Margaret Atwood, I came across another one I’d forgotten about called “After the Flood, We.” It was published in her collection The Circle Game in 1964.

If there is one thing I love, it’s watching an artist play out a set of themes over a long period of time. Margaret Atwood is like that. The frightening future is an obvious example, seen in one of her most memorable works, The Handmaid’s Tale, and now in the MaddAddam trilogy, which is extra terrifying because everything in it feels too possible, too close, too actually-happening and not-made-up to fit into that “dystopian future” category everyone keeps talking about.

I’ve been reading the trilogy since Christmas. What does it mean to see this poem on the same day I closed the cover on her novel The Year of the Flood? What does it mean to have two works titled so much the same, yet be separated by 50 years? Are they related at all? Only Margaret can answer that question, but I say yes. They have to be! If you’re an artist, you’ll know what I mean – for me at least, it’s the stuff of hopes and dreams that the thing you write today will evolve into something so beautifully-formed over the course of a long life’s work.

On second thought, this is not sounding nearly dystopic enough. Forgive me and my hopeless nostalgia. Clearly it’s time to move on to book number three: MaddAddam is waiting.

March 5, 2014 at 11:31 pm Leave a comment


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