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I know I am, as always, a couple of decades behind, having just now finished reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. But – oh! What a book! What a writer! What a poet!

I keep telling people how Rilke breaks my heart with his way of weaving the same words I use every day into beautiful, heartstrings-tugging works of art. But Margaret Atwood? I mean – is she even trying? Yes, the story is compellingly interesting. Yes, I wanted to know what was going to happen in this strange, yet eerily familiar world she had fabricated. But what really had me hooked were the words! The same type of words I use (okay, maybe not “palimpsest” and the like, but I swear, it’s mostly everyday vocabulary), but combined SO gorgeously that I had to smile and gasp and marvel all the time at the sheer force of poetry chasing me from page to page.

My favorite quote about the handmaids having to live between the lines of society (or something like that) is lost somewhere in the book (*kicking myself for not writing it down when I had it right there before me*), so the last lines will have to do for now (here be no spoilers):

“As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us from it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our own day.


Are there any questions?”

Bookmark check: You need to search everyone for the individual spot in which they are unique [Man muß an jedem Menschen solange suchen bis man den individuellen Punkt findet wo er originell ist]. J. Paul

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