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To Join, to Fit, and to Make

The Creative Craft of Margaret Atwood's Fiction

Series:

Christina Ljungberg Stuecklin

«...craft and crafty rub shoulders; and... the words artifice, artifact, articulation and art all come from the same ancient root, a word meaning to join, to fit, and to make.» This quotation, from a review Margaret Atwood once wrote, fits her own literary craftsmanship. Drawing on research into Atwood's unpublished drafts and typescripts and on interviews, To Join, to Fit, and to Make investigates how Atwood plays with the relationship between form and meaning, and the extent to which her narrative designs reflect the themes of her fiction. The author demonstrates how Atwood lets the very construction of her narratives expose the ideological and «constructed» character of all narrative, whether of fact or fiction. Primarily focusing on two mature works, Cat's Eye and The Robber Bride, this study also explores the interconnectedness of all of Atwood's work, throughout which certain literary myths and themes reappear in different guises. Thus, the analysis of Cat's Eye, which centres on the dramatic quality of autobiography, traces the key issues of the novel back to the very beginning of Atwood's writing. In The Robber Bride, the author discusses the function of the intricate mirroring and complex layering of the novel, and demonstrates how Atwood uses these basically gothic conventions to present new and challenging alternatives of vision.
Contents: This study explores how Atwood plays with the relationship between form and meaning, and the extent to which her narrative designs reflect the contents of her various works. Based on research into Atwood's unpublished drafts and typescripts and on interviews with Atwood herself, To Join, to Fit, and to Make primarily focuses on two of Atwood's mature works of fiction, Cat's Eye and The Robber Bride. By tracing the function of certain literary myths and themes that recur in different guises throughout Atwood's work, the author elucidates aspects of Atwood's writing that are vital to her art of creating new and challenging fiction.