Saturday, October 28, 2006

IFOA V - Margaret Atwood

The cold is hanging on for dear life. It's highly annoying and I am quite sick of it. So as much as I wanted to see Margaret Atwood, there was still a part of me that longed to crawl up in my bed and not leave until Monday morning.

I am very glad I went to the reading though. Atwood read from her latest book, Moral Disorder, and told a lovely story about how she borrowed or used the title from Graeme Gibson - it was the name of one of his novels, but as he had stopped writing fiction, the title had languished until Margaret Atwood asked if she could have it. It's nice to note that even creative (and I am loathe to use the word) geniuses still look around for inspiration and/or input.

Annnywaaay, the story she read was about a high school English teacher, two students (the female protagonist and her boyfriend), and a Robert Browning poem called "The Dutchess". It was hilarious and she cracked up in the middle of reading it, both because it was a funny story and, I would imagine, because she was talking about a real person. The audience giggled when she giggled. We were giggling with Margaret Atwood.

The rest of the night followed suit. Margaret Atwood, sharp as a tack, laughed all the way through the interview, cracked up, made jokes, mimed smoking dope and generally proved she is one of the smartest people, well, ever. I had never seen or heard her in person before so I never realized the extent of her grand old sense of humour. Of course, she was serious too, but in the end her wit won me over—dry, brittle as a bone but not quick to break, it was kind of like watching your favourite kooky aunt do a comedy routine after having one too many glasses of wine. It was bloody brilliant. She had the audience eating out of her hands.

I can't get over how great the festival was this year.

Now, I must stop blogging with the Blackberry as my thumbs are about to fall off. Damn internet isn't working at home.

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