Well. I seem to have upset someone very close to me(psst: wife), and she demands a retraction on my expose of MA. But first I must clarify my position on THE ODYSSEY.
You see, Odysseus is my hero, and has been since I was a child. He can outfight, out-think, out-manoeuvre, out-spit, out-last, and overcome anything the gods send his way---a good model for the little ominous surprises life sends you. He defies the gods, shaking his fist and cursing them for their interference in his goal. Odysseus has a goal.
Myths teach us about life, and one of the lessons of THE ODYSSEY centers around the fulfillment of a goal and a goal that's ennobled by love.
A goal is important in life. One must always have a goal in order for his/her life to be fulfilling. And the only goal that's totally and irrevocably fulfilling is the one based on love(a concept that seems to be sadly missing in our present world, by the way). Odysseus' goal is to return to Penelope. Penelope: the one person he truly loves, he truly cherishes(It breaks me up just to think of it). And he will brook no impediment to reach her.
Penelope is no less the hero. She's much more than just the lone wife waiting for her husband to come home. With intelligence, poise, courage, craftiness, and loyalty she fends off the many suitors milling around the estate, raises her son to become a prince, and keeps the estate together for all those years. In a way she endures more trials in this saga than Odysseus because she has to contend with doubt. Doubt as to whether Odysseus is still alive. Doubt can be crippling. Doubt can lead to unwise decisions. But Penelope hangs tough, and stays the course.(That kind of breaks you up too).
Amidst these great , noble deeds enters the twelve jolly maids. OH! I don't see how it's important. OH, by the way, Nino Ricci in his latest bestselling novel THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES(excellent book) also mentions the twelve maids. He calls the hanging of the twelve maids a murderous act. OK. Maybe my man Odysseus went a little too far; maybe just got caught up in the moment. Maybe he should have suspended all the maids without pay, or got them to do a community service, but you got to love the clothesline bit, eh?
Anyway, I am compelled to write a retraction on MA's novels for the sake of peace on my estate(psst: my wife wrote it). (Hang on, I'll get my notes). So here we go: I have no business writing a review of MA's novels since I didn't read any of her great works, and furthermore, what makes me think I know any....hang on, da, da, da, da, Ok. MA does not bash men but focuses on women and in a subtle ingenious writing skill brings forth what her characters are not, rather than what they are. (Hey, this is good!) I wouldn't understand this because I'm just a...hang on, da, da, da, da, Ok. MA has an amazing, easy, poetic writing style that sweeps you along on a most enjoyable literary experience, weaving stories with characters of real essence.(Good!). These books are much more fulfilling than the junk you read...hang on, da, da, da, da, OK. MA's characters are so real you feel you really know them(that's if you want to know them!). Canada's literary scene is truly enriched to have Margaret Atwood as...well, you get the idea. I'll stop there. Hopefully that will put an end to the Margaret Atwood posts. Hopefully.
Norman Mailer is waiting in the wings, as they say. I'll get to him next.