Margaret Eleanor Atwood Quotes

He wants only the simple things: a chair, someone to pull off his shoes, someone to watch him while he talks, with admiration and fear, gratitude if possible, someone in whom to plunge himself for rest and renewal. These things can best be had by marrying a woman who has been condemned to death by other men for wishing to be beautiful. There is a wide choice.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

My friends, who are both women, tell me their stories, which cannot be believed and which are true. They are horror stories and they have not happened to me, they have not yet happened to me, they have happened to me but we are detached, we watch our unbelief with horror.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

He was not condemned to death, freedom awaited him. What was the temptation, the one that worked? Perhaps he wanted to live with a woman whose life he had saved, who had seen down into the earth but had nevertheless followed him back up to life. It was his only chance to be a hero, to one person at least, for if he became the hangman the others would despise him. He was in prison for wounding another man, on one finger of the right hand, with a sword. This too is history.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

You wonder about her crime. She was condemned to death for stealing clothes from her employer, from the wife of her employer. She wished to make herself more beautiful. This desire in servants was not legal. He was not condemned to death, freedom awaited.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

She must transform his hands so they will be willing to twist the rope around throats that have been singled out as hers was, throats other than hers. She must marry the hangman or no one, but that is not so bad. Who else is there to marry?

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

In order to avoid her death, her particular death, with wrung neck and swollen tongue, she must marry the hangman.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

She has been condemned to death by hanging. A man may escape this death by becoming the hangman, a woman by marrying the hangman. But at the present time there is no hangman; thus there is no escape. There is only a death, indefinitely postponed. This is not fantasy, it is history.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

In view of the fading animals the proliferation of sewers and fears the sea clogging, the air nearing extinction we should be kind, we should take warning, we should forgive each other Instead we are opposite, we touch as though attacking, the gifts we bring even in good faith maybe warp in our hands to implements, to manoeuvres

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

I am yours. If you feed me garbage, I will sing a song of garbage. This is a hymn.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

When you hear me singing you get the rifle down and the flashlight, aiming for my brain, but you always miss and when you set out the poison I piss on it to warn the others.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

I am the horizon you ride towards, the thing you can never lasso I am also what surrounds you: my brain scattered with your tincans, bones, empty shells, the litter of your invasions. I am the space you desecrate as you pass through.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Your righteous eyes, your laconic trigger-fingers people the streets with villains: as you move, the air in front of you blossoms with targets and you leave behind you a heroic trail of desolation: beer bottles slaughtered by the side of the road, bird- skulls bleaching in the sunset.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

The weapons that were once outside sharpening themselves on war are now indoors there, in the fortress, fragile in glass cases; Why is it (Im thinking of the careful moulding round the stonework archways) that in this time, such elaborate defences keep things that are no longer (much) worth defending?

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

I'm working on my own life story. I don't mean I'm putting it together; no, I'm taking it apart.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel. Think about it. There's escaping from the wolves, fighting the wolves, capturing the wolves, taming the wolves. Being thrown to the wolves, or throwing others to the wolves so the wolves will eat them instead of you. Running with the wolf pack. Turning into a wolf. Best of all, turning into the head wolf. No other decent stories exist.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood

I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.

Margaret Eleanor Atwood
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