Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Atwood, a ring and Anarchy


Bagged has been an outstandingly busy day, and a very fun one.

But boy O boy, I'm wiped.

We went into Barcelona today, just my Godmother and I. We went to the big fat flea market that they have there every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning. I love it. I love markets at the best of times, and this is a good one. Though rather HOT. A brain boiler. Maybe that is why they refer to your brain pan.

I picked up a couple of things, hand towels for the kitchen, sounds boring but it was exciting, I got a large cast iron frying pan...YAHOO! and this:

It was not exactly what I was aiming at, but when I asked the price he said ten Euros. I didn't want it for ten. No thanks.

OK, five Euros...

No, thank you...

OK, Three?

Fine deals done. Seems this one had my name on it...I do like it quite a bit, and yes, that is my wrinkly thumb. Years of sailing, constant immersion, hauling on ropes, sunscreen that wasn't waterproof and naturally dry skin has left my hands pretty wrinkly...though they looked pretty much the same when I was 22 as well...


Several people have asked how I am getting on with the Margaret Atwood book. I am reading "The Robber Bride". It is much better than I feared it would be, but I am not in love. There is no doubt in this world that Atwood has a rare skill, and can craft a sentence that makes me green with jealousy. She has a true mastery of wordsmithing. I do have to wonder however why she has chosen such a clunky storyline. There is one main character who is the incarnation of evil, and three protagonists, who have all been wronged in the distant past by the evil woman. Atwood chooses to play the day the protagonists meet her after several years three times over. One from each protagonists perspective, and I am now going through three versions of the evil the nasty woman did to each in their youth.

This strikes me as very undergrad. Just not a smooth way of telling a story. On a sentence level, the book is excellent. At the paragraph too, even the internal chapter and section level it is very good, but her insistence on plowing us all through this three times over seems like a bit of determined showmanship. See, look at me, I can write so well that you will even tolerate this idiotic plot lay out. For me, just tolerate would be more accurate.

I got it Maggie, the woman's a rotten person. She's selfish and takes joy out of destroying others, especially the weak.

I got it.

This same heavy-handedness is what drove me away from the Handmaid's Tale, although the problem there for me was not so much a matter of either repetition, or determinedly poor structure as the bludgeoning we received from the imagery. Lead footed.

I am not yet an Atwood fan, but I must say, I never expected to enjoy one of her books as much as I am. I will probably finish it, which is saying something. I won't if it is too bad. I also have to say that I have not finished the book and all may be redeemed at the end. No spoilers in the comments please...It would not be ther first time that a book was written to be deliberately slow for, oh say, the first half or more, and then it all gets turned over and is spectacular by the finish.

I may never become an Atwood fan, but I may well become a willing, though cautious, reader.

On a humourous note, during the local elections, the Anarchist party had their say as well. Of course being Anarchists they did not put up posters, or run candidates, or attend the meetings. Their campaign consisted of graffiti...usually on other candidates campaign posters.

Most often it was that ever familiar anarchy A, but in several places they have added more.

"No Vota
Por favor"
then the symbol.

Well I must say that these are the best brought up anarchists that I have ever heard of.

Don't vote, please. Anarchy.

I wonder if they serve tea too?

There is a long and distinguished history of Anarchists in Catalonia, and my husband's grandfather was a fighting embattled Anarchist in Spain at a time when that had real meaning...Despite this, my father-in-law used to say that he wasn't a very good anarchist since he sent his kids to school.

Maybe it is all part and parcel of the please. That wouldn't thrill those punk teenagers hanging out in dark corners to know that the real fighting Anarchists sent their kids to school, and their followers use please....


Joanne PL said...

your take on Atwood tallies with mine. Sometimes I have the feeling she is just being lazy and putting something out to keep up the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed - knowing that she will sell even if she gets sloppy.
But when she is good - she is very very good.....
in my opinion - WORST - include Handmaid's Tale, Surfacing (though not cause she was lazy here)
and among best - or that I enjoyed - Edible Woman (!!), Alias Grace, Blind Assasin (although in those last 2 I sometimes felt as if she was somehow taking shortcuts).. in any case - i think it's always worth dipping your toes in to check ;-)

Beth said...

Before you give up on Atwood, try Cat's Eye.
Bet you'll like it. (Maybe...)

Nice ring!

oreneta said...

JPl: Yeah, I'll give it a go, I think I have Alias Grace here...

Beth: Boo also recommended Cat's Eye, I may try it. Thanks about the ring...