Friday, January 30, 2004

Nagging Question

I just finished Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin last night. Initially when reading it, I had my misgivings because she put a novel-within-the-novel interspersed with the regular novel. Since she published it in 2000 before my groundbreaking novel RI written for Nanowrimo originated the technique, I must conclude that like Newton and Liebnitz with the founding of the calculus, great minds think alike.

In any case, one of the themes the novel explores is how experiences in an author's life are transformed into fiction. So since it appears that Atwood subscribes to this, I have to ask the question: Who the hell are the people in her real life that have given her the basis for such evil characters that she has depicted? I know about the fallacy of assuming novels are thinly disguised depictions of real events. I'm not talking about plopping things directly into fiction. I mean that she has created characters (Zenia in The Robber Bride, Winifred in The Blind Assassin, and other characters in The Blind Assassin not known to be evil until later...) who are so well-roundedly nasty I can't help but wonder if there is some real life model she had the misfortune to observe or experience. I wonder if we will have to wait until an autobiography or biography comes out to really know. Or maybe I can wait until she is interviewed on BookNotes...

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