Monday, January 23, 2006

a pleasant surprise

I really have to thank Dani for enticing me to read this book. One I would definitely not have picked up on my own but her reviewreally intrigued me in a twofold kind of way.

First, Margaret Atwood. That name alone brought me back to my pre-university years in college. I was a science student and it was mandatory for us to take English and Humanities. I despised those courses. Science courses were neat and organized, factual, black and white. These courses were filled with shades of grey and were difficult and brought my overall average down :( One of those courses was titled "Women in Canadian Literature" and given by this b*tchy radical feminist. Of course we read Margaret Atwood, Silvia Plath and the like. Now this was back in 1978 so Atwood's work didn't have the scope it now has. We read and agonized over The Edible Woman, Surfacing and Lady Oracle. I hated writing book reports. Give me a lab report or calculus problem and I would have been happier.

Secondly, the Odyssey. At the same time as I was struggling with Margaret Atwood I met my own Greek God and ended up marrying him and his whole Greek culture. He introduced me to the Iliad and the Odyssey, greek Mythology, greek archaelogical sites, ancient greek history. Our pursuit of knowledge in this field is ongoing.

So this combination of Margaret Atwood (yikes) and the Odyssey (yeah) prooved to be a pleasant surprise. An easy read and something fun and totally different. An old story retold from a different point of view, a woman's point of view. It also made me realize how now, in my older and much wiser years, I've come to appreciate all those English and Humanities courses I had to take and how they've thought me so much. Wish I had known that more then.

And as I was reading this book I kept imagining how young students will be reading it and analyzing it and cursing it. Made me smile :)


Silver Creek Mom said...

I do like a good Atwood Book and if I ever get back to reading I will definitely look it up. I took Greek studies at Cegep and I found it not to my liking but I did love my english class. Show's how different we can be and still be buds. I still don't like the sciences.

Good blog my friend

BeachMama said...

I was the complete opposite to you at University. I took my first University course when I lived in Winnipeg and I fell in love with it. I almost stayed in Winnipeg just for the U of M... almost ;) Margaret Atwood was one of the first authors I got to read and she kept me registering in English, so I ended with a concentration in English :) And had many difficulties with the sciences. Silver Creek Mom said it best at "how we can be so different and still be buds". Will pick it up soon.

DaniGirl said...

I'm so glad you liked it!! And thanks for the honourable mention, too!

When I was in university, my CanLit prof took an informal survey the first day and asked us what we wanted to study. At the time, freshly sick of her from high school, I said "Anything BUT Margaret Atwood, please!" And now she's one of my favourite authors bar none.

nancy said...

Still not sure I'd be able to get thru it. The only other two Atwoods I tried I almost rather despised. Maybe I'll take a peak at it if I see it along the way. I doubt it.

I am so not anywhere diverse or smart enough (as smart as all you ladies) to be able to open my little mind to 'get it' and like it.

Does it qualify as chick-lit?? lol

twinmomplusone said...

Hey, thanks for your comments girls!

SCM and Beachmama, that's what's so cool, we can be buds and accepting of our differences. I still can't believe I'm "writing" a blog, so not in my nature as a "scientist" but years do make you wiser and more in tune with other aspects of life.

Dani, you had read Atwoods in high school?? Just shows you how you were/are a decade after me !

nancy, guess its a chick-lit in the sense its from a woman's point of view and it does have some feminist undercurrents but not a chick lit as in the other book I'm reading now "The Devil Wears Prada"

this is definitely not a book for everyone, very specific in teh audience it targets