Tuesday, November 29, 2005

State of Psychic Disturbance

"Popular" art is a collection of rigid patterns; "sophisticated" art varies the patterns. But popular art is material for serious art in the way that dreams are...You could say that popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself...They are stories that people want to hear...

Literature can be a mirror, and people can recognize themselves in it, and this may lead to change. But in order to write satire in the traditional sense, you must have certain axioms in common with your audience...That's the problem with the century we live in...People see so many horrible and grotesque things that they become deadened. They have to deaden themselves; otherwise they'd be in a constant state of psychic disturbance...

America is a tragic country because it has great democratic ideals and rigid social machinery. But Canada is not tragic, in the classical sense, because it doesn't have a utopian vision.

--from the Spring 1976 interview of Margaret Atwood by Linda Sandler, published in the Malahat Review 41 (1977), included in the 1990 collection titled Margaret Atwood Conversations, edited by Earl G. Ingersoll.


Blogger magic said...

I know this is a long shot, but I'm desparately trying to get an email address for Linda Sandler, mentioned in this post. Can you help?

1:36 AM  

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