Ask Us AnythingNarrativeMagazine.com Get the Narrative Magazinene app, iPad and iPhoneAmazon Kinde Narrative Magazine Inc.
October 11, 2012
vintageanchor:

“You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.”— Margaret Atwood



SCOTT-COE
This need to express, to tell stories, seems universal. Talking with Patt Morrison a while ago, you referred to storytelling as part of an “ancient human tool kit.” You have also talked extensively with Bill Moyers about human impulses toward religion, which seems to be related.


ATWOOD
It’s actually part of the same kit, or very close.


SCOTT-COE
Can you talk about that?


ATWOOD
Let’s talk about language and what happens when human language comes into existence, with a complex grammar that we must’ve spent millennia working on. Once you have a past tense that can infinitely regress, you’re always going to come to the question, “What happened at the beginning?” And once you have a future tense that can recede indefinitely into the future, you’re going to come eventually to, “What happens next?” Then, after that, “What happens to me?” (laughs) And you’re going to get to a place where you’re going to get either happily ever after or fry in hell forever. (laughs)  . . .
—From an interview with Margaret Atwood, Narrative (Fall 2010).

vintageanchor:

“You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.”
— Margaret Atwood


SCOTT-COE
This need to express, to tell stories, seems universal. Talking with Patt Morrison a while ago, you referred to storytelling as part of an “ancient human tool kit.” You have also talked extensively with Bill Moyers about human impulses toward religion, which seems to be related.

ATWOOD
It’s actually part of the same kit, or very close.

SCOTT-COE
Can you talk about that?

ATWOOD
Let’s talk about language and what happens when human language comes into existence, with a complex grammar that we must’ve spent millennia working on. Once you have a past tense that can infinitely regress, you’re always going to come to the question, “What happened at the beginning?” And once you have a future tense that can recede indefinitely into the future, you’re going to come eventually to, “What happens next?” Then, after that, “What happens to me?” (laughs) And you’re going to get to a place where you’re going to get either happily ever after or fry in hell forever. (laughs)  . . .

From an interview with Margaret Atwood, Narrative (Fall 2010).

(Source: vintageanchorbooks, via litreactor)

  1. allgirlsarereal reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  2. englishmajorsaftergraduation reblogged this from yeahwriters
  3. quotesbitches reblogged this from yeahwriters
  4. ooohhnooo reblogged this from thelifeguardlibrarian
  5. niziolbookreviews reblogged this from thelifeguardlibrarian and added:
    Margaret Atwood came to Davidson College when I was a senior. She was crotchety, wise, and full of opinions on stories...
  6. themiighty-fall reblogged this from yeahwriters
  7. rcginger reblogged this from themonicabird
  8. starbucksandstardust reblogged this from themonicabird
  9. prue126 reblogged this from themonicabird
  10. norwegian-fem reblogged this from themonicabird
  11. themonicabird reblogged this from thelifeguardlibrarian
  12. notaparagon reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  13. kalimehndi reblogged this from thepessimisticoptimist
  14. darlingstomurder reblogged this from yeahwriters
  15. dare2bdifrent reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  16. homecomingqueen reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  17. acciomjollnir reblogged this from erstwhilegirl
  18. sonrisafalsa reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  19. thepessimisticoptimist reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  20. syllablesofvelvet reblogged this from yeahwriters
  21. crandberrycrush reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks and added:
    if you haven’t read something by this woman yet, you should.
  22. anneloveswords reblogged this from yeahwriters
  23. bohnnita reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  24. voyagering reblogged this from vintageanchorbooks
  25. drunktasha reblogged this from inkdot
  26. books40boxes reblogged this from inkdot
  27. emmabtvs reblogged this from inkdot
  28. inkdot reblogged this from erstwhilegirl
  29. kasemama510 reblogged this from theantidote