tiistai 3. elokuuta 2010

Margaret Atwood: Good Bones

Making a Man

Take some dust of the ground. Form. Breathe into the nostrils the breath of life. Simple, but effective!

(Please note that although men are made of dust, women are made of ribs. Remember that at your next Texas-style barbecue!)

As I wrote before
, I wanted to read something by Margaret Atwood this summer, mainly because I haven't read anything by her before and, well, I'm curious. Instead of starting off with one of her novels (The Blind Assassin and The Handmaid's Tale are still both on my to-be-read list), I grabbed one of her collections of short stories entitled Good Bones. I don't know how well the collection represents Atwood's style as a writer, but reading it left me impressed, but somewhat puzzled.

In Good Bones, Atwood takes well-known stories, myths and classic works of fiction and reshapes them and their characters into something new. Some of the most interesting works in the collection are ones where evil stepmothers and witches from popular fairytales get to tell their side of the story, and Gertrude, Hamlet's mother from Shakespeare's classic play, is given a chance to explain herself. Neglected, forgotten, shunned female characters are given new life and a narrative voice.

Atwood also discusses male and female bodies, such as in the biblical story of creation, i.e. "Making a Man" (quoted above). I like the feminist approach of the themes and how Atwood does not underestimate the reader by explaining every single thing. Some of the stories were just too symbolic or bizarre for me, but reading this collection has only increased my curiosity towards Atwood.

Margaret Atwood: Good Bones. Virago. 1992.

Virago: Margaret Atwood
Kirjasto.sci.fi: Margaret Atwood
Wikipedia: Good Bones
Wikipedia: Margaret Atwood

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