shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


she is a robot.

Tod Goldberg breaks the news that Atwood's fans might actually prefer a robot signature, relating his own wonderfully painful anecdote of a brush with her mighty pen:

“I wrote my thesis on you,” I say. “Would you be willing to sign it?”

“I suppose,” she says. “What did you write about?”

“Yes, I, uh, compared Handmaid’s Tale to Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time.”

“What did you conclude?” she asks.

“Well,” I say, and then ramble on for several incoherent moments about my findings, including several thoughts and interpretations that my teacher underlined in the text as “brilliant” and a few more that the teacher had indicated were “astonishing” and which indicated I had a keen sense of what both texts truly meant to the world at large. I conclude with a stunner, direct from the text itself, followed by the summation of, “It is a dream that seems grounded in the most basic human needs, isn’t it? It’s a shame we will probably never get there.”

Ms. Atwood signs my thesis, hands it back to me and says, “Your conclusions are completely wrong.”

Meanwhile in the comments to the earlier post where I pointed to Wendy McClure's reaction to Atwood's invention, Ted Chiang makes an excellent point:

Handy how Margaret Atwood gets credited with this invention, even though she's not doing any of the work of turning the idea into a working device. If only all inventors had it that easy.

I'm now picturing Atwood in a very large basement laboratory, lashing scientists with a whip.


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