Margaret Atwood is my favourite author. Oryx and Crake was a big disappointment for me and so I stopped reading her books until Moral Disorder grabbed my attention at the library a few weeks ago. I picked it up, brought it home and there it sat waiting for me to get around to reading it. I wasn’t all that keen. It felt like a should read book rather than a must read book.
I picked it up, read the first few pages, thought it was really good, but it didn’t grab me. I put it down again. I finally picked it up again today, starting over from the beginning and for the first time in a long time I read a book from start to finish without putting it down once. I was pulled in on page 9 with the phrase “It’s not that they feel useless; it’s that they feel unused.”
I adore words but it always feels as if they never quite say what I mean. I can talk and type forever, but I don’t have the capacity to breathe meaning into every day words in a way that they capture a moment or a thought or an emotion just the way I feel it. Language is very much an imperfect art and some days I look at a blank page and just can’t fill it with anything other than noise. It’s her ability to take these same words and turn them into exact replicas of that elusive internal state of being that I admire the most.
My favourite passage in the book:
“What am I supposed to be?”
“You are supposed to be the wonderful woman who lives here with me,” said Tig. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck, but she could tell that he was annoyed nonetheless. She was making difficulties where none existed. She was overstepping a line. But where was the line? She couldn’t see it.”