Image: AZQuotes: Margaret Laurence
Stranger Than Fiction
... is the truth about the Nobel Prize
Independent: Nobel Prize in Literature ... sexual misconduct scandal
Heck, I didn't even know about the sexual allegations before today, yet have not perceived the Nobel prize as credible since Obama won it under the heading War is Peace, and Al Gore for making the world's greatest fool of himself by channelling Michael Mann.
But it seems that few people find any of that disgraceful, and in fact, most are only bothered that too few women have been similarly sullied.
DW.com: Of the 113 laureates honored since French author Sully Prudhomme won the first prize in 1901, only 14 have been women.
In the first place, books ought to be judged on excellence, relevance, and, one would hope, an elevation of the human condition, with no regard whatsoever to the gender of the author. If Atwood wins because of the pressure to include a female, and she accepts on that basis, she is a hypocrite of the saddest sort. Not to mention what's going to happen when it's pointed out that very few of the winners, if any at all, were LGBTQ2S...
We all should be careful what we mentally accept as possible. The power of suggestion is a potent power, capitalized upon every day by the so-called leaders of society. Personally, I think Atwood has sunk into a very dark world mentally, and I don't want to go there with her. I long for the other Margaret, the one who wrote about present human realities -- not some dark future dystopia devoid of any redeeming protagonist.
I met her once, Margaret Laurence, in the late '70's at a conference centre. She was natural, warm and friendly. She wore a brightly embroidered slacks top that I couldn't resist complimenting. She said it was Guatemalan, a gift from her daughter who had lived in Guatemala for a time.
My own daughter (in the mid '80's), as an enthusiastic member of OPIRG in University, gave me a Guatemalan scarf for Christmas along with a gentle lecture on the need to support the work of women in poorer countries -- as if I were not already aware. My pride in her own cultural awareness and concern for the rest of humanity overrode the slight insult to my acuity, and to this day, I happily wear that scarf in winter and it seems softer and cozier than any other scarf in my closet.
In telling me how she came to own such an attractive piece of clothing, Ms. Laurence was working up to a punch line. Her daughter, having returned from Guatemala, suddenly realized she had forgotten to bring a gift souvenir for her mother. Luckily, she located a shop in downtown Toronto that sold handmade imports and that's where she found the colourful top. Ms. Laurence and I laughed knowingly together about daughters, and agreed it was the thought - and the humane message - that counted.
I doubt I would ever have come away from meeting Margaret Atwood with anywhere near the same warm memory. In fact, I was told by a disapointed fan of hers, who had arranged a dinner in her honour, that Atwood was actually quite rude and contemptuous of her adoring female followers who, in an attempt to get to know her better, asked questions about herself personally -- demonstrating, it appears, the reality of "a new form of misogyny: women's hatred of women" (From Scholarworks "Women Disunited: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale As A Critique of Feminism" by Alanna A. Callaway)
Yet in Atwood's own words in The Handmaid's Tale (Pg. 60 of Callaway's treatise):
Not to mention that Atwood pitched way out into left field in giving the impression that women are the new "blacks". (Wikipedia)
In my whole life, although I have experienced misogyny numerous times, I could never imagine my own experience as anything remotely resembling the life of a "woman of colour", although I could imagine a "black" woman feeling doubly put down if she were among the coldly rebuffed at an Atwood dinner.
Of Atwood's works, I think Cat's Eye stands out as the most real, and it does deal with adolescent female cruelty toward another female. Atwood and I both were adolescents in the 50's, but it seems that she is acting out a bizarre history of her own. I always had good female friends, and my personal truth was sad only in retrospect. At the time, most females had no idea of their true situation. We devoured romance magazines and dreamed of marriage and children and a home filled with love and laughter and nice furniture. We didn't wake up until the late 60's, early 70's, when we read Friedan and others who opened our eyes to male domination. Until then, I think most of us just thought marriage wasn't what it was cracked up to be for either of the spouses.
I realized, for one thing, that I had the ability to support myself and my child, and didn't need to be tied to an alcoholic skirt chaser. I actually determined who were my real female friends by whether or not they tried to alert me after refusing his advances, but I already knew who he scored with because he told me himself. He lived according to Time Magazine, the Kinsey Report and the sexual revolution, no insult to me, mind you; he said he had the best of both worlds. So, against my will, we had a modern "open marriage" with no secrets, or so I was led to believe.
I couldn't live as he did. I had one affair during that time and it was a love affair with a man who is now dead. Eventually, I couldn't live with him at all. It was surprising how many intelligent single moms I met after that. It was the best time of my life. Eventually, they all remarried, but with different expectations. I was only one who never did, but I was happy for them and enjoyed their friendship right up until death and Alzheimer's got in the way.
But now we're reading Atwood who wants us to distrust females as well? That lady has a serious problem.
Of all of the female authors, I learned the most from Margaret Laurence who clearly saw privileged white power in all its glory, exploiting males and females alike. Atwood may not realize it, or imagine that it clouds her judgement, but she is a member of that club. According to sources that ferret out such information, she is a multi-millionaire and may well not refuse a Nobel prize awarded to her to raise the female quotient. Like George Soros, she can buy the bloody Nobel Prize!
By contrast, Laurence's books provided a more take-home, down-to-earth philosophy of human interaction. From The Diviners: I'll never forget Christie's homily "Sorry is a christly, bloody useless word". Christie dealt in garbage and consequently knew far more about the snooty types than they would want to see publicized. He also had a zinger for today's Greta Thunberg: “Well, you're young. You know a whole lot you won't know later on."
And, as a mother, I will always be grateful for the quote attributed to Laurence at the top of this page.
Margaret Laurence was a supporter of the Social Gospel movement that promoted ideas which I believe are what Jesus Christ (if he existed at all) had in mind -- working, without judgement, for the overall welfare of one's fellow humans:
Unlike what today is literal war perpetrated by people calling themselves Christians on non-Christians (excluding Jews, of course, whose takeover of the whole of Palestine is integral to the hope of Christ's return to earth), and on anything to do with sexuality that stands outside the purview of one man, one woman, in churchified holy matrimony.
With all that's gone on in the world, Atwood wants me to see women as the real enemy? Including herself?
Here are some amazing Margaret Laurence quotes.
Somebody else who speaks up about lies and injustice is Ralph Nader (though I wish he could be clearer in this article about "climate change" beyond wanting to find a better name for it) and who, in my considered opinion knows how best to live:
In many ways, he reminds me of myself and we're not even the same sex!
No man oppresses me now. Well, the old guy down the hall tries to. He dresses like a cowboy, 10 gallon hat, string tie, big silver belt buckle, tight jeans, boots and all, and calls me dear when we meet at the elevator and offers to carry my recycles down to the bins to save me the trouble. Meanwhile his yappy little dog is allowed to jump on me and lick my leg. It's irritating, but at the same time, it's sad that the poor man doesn't have a clue after having lived through all these past years of women's lib.
And I do. So here's my advice:
Most people are pretty shallow, overly influenced by movies, novels, and TV. For a thinking person, finding truly kindred spirits, male or female, is rare under the best of circumstances. But if you don't do anything else this year, try not expecting disaster simply because a female Nobel nominee wrote down one of her fantasies, or because some idiot man created a hockey stick graph.
And about Boris Johnson's most embarrassing week, sure, he's a danger even to himself, but we've all known that since day one. But what do you call the people who allowed him to get to where he is? My advice is to give them all Nobel Prizes and consign them to a nice retirement home, in rooms devoid of breakables, with strong locks on the exit doors.
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