February 27, 2009

ONE FASCINATING THING ABOUT THE BOOK THOUGH...:

Fictional drivel (BARBARA KAY, 2/27/09, CERC)

Monday's front page news contained an unprecedented case of literary lèse majesté. A parent of a Grade 12 Toronto high school student petitioned for the removal from the school's reading list of The Handmaid's Tale, a 1986 novel by the queen of Canadian literature, Margaret Atwood.

A review board concluded that the book should remain a classroom text. No surprise there. It is hard to imagine the venerated Ms. Atwood being effectively "dissed" by a mere parent.

The parent thinks the novel, a futuristic fantasy of a totalitarian society -- American, not Canadian! -- in which women become the reproductive slaves of conservative patriarchs, is "fictional drivel." Well, of course it is, and so is much else in the gifted Ms. Atwood's diverse oeuvre, but the parent misses the greater point.h

The Handmaid's Tale isn't drivel because of the sex and violence that concerned the parent. It is drivel because it is a paranoiac fantasy whose principal purpose and effect is to stir up hatred of men.


...is that it attributes the politics of women to men.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2009 7:29 AM
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