Title: Diving in frozen waters: A discussion with Margaret Atwood on literature, dystopias and female identity

Author: Haris Vlavianos

Publishing House: Patakis Publications

Subject:Essays on literature, cultural theory and criticism

Year: 2024

Pages: 80

Technical Features: 13χ20

On April 06, 2023, the writer and translator Haris Vlavianos held a conversation with the great Canadian novelist and poet, Margaret Atwood, at the Pierce Theatre of the American College of Greece.

Now the reading public can seek the conversation in the Patakis Publications series, Ozymandias: Essays in Literary Theory and Criticism.

Through this book, the key questions and the breadth of knowledge of Mr.Vlavianos are highlighted on the one hand, and on the other hand the readiness and the penetrating view of the creator of the Handmaid’s Tale. The discussion starts from the inspiration that ancient Greek mythology has played at times for her work, artificial intelligence, Trump’s personality, the contemporary status of female identity and, above all, political correctness that tends to move citizens away from the focus of common sense.

Among the most important statements she makes in the interview is the one about the art of writing: ‘‘When I started writing the book about writing, I wanted to explore the motivations that drive people to it. The motivations are innumerable and contradictory. So I gathered together everything I could find. Anything can serve as a motivator: trying to justify God’s attitude toward man, the need to get my revenge for kids who treated me badly in school, the need for recognition, inspiration. I think my favorite is what a Czech writer quoted: ‘I want to create my private space that the reader visits and has a good time’. A different version of fun. If you don’t make sure there is a good dose of ‘fun’ in your book, no one is going to read it.

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