On Facing the Blank Page
“If you’re skiing downhill, and you stop in the middle of it to think: How am I doing this? You’ll fall over,” says award-winning author Margaret Atwood in this video about beginning a book and the elusive flow of writing.
Atwood recalls a definitive moment from English author George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’, where the hero of the book purchases a notebook, which draws him in. She feels that this is descriptive of how the blank page affects a writer: “There’s something compelling about the blank page. It beckons you in to write something on it. It must be filled.”
Margaret Eleanor Atwood (b. 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist and environmentalist activist. She has been shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize five times, winning once for ‘The Blind Assassin’ (2000), and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001. Furthermore, she is a founder of the Writers’ Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada’s writing community. Among her novels are ‘The Edible Woman’ (1969), ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (1985), ‘The Robber Bride’ (1994),‘The Blind Assassin’ (2000), ‘Oryx and Crake’ (2003), ‘The Year of the Flood’ (2009) and ‘MaddAddam’ (2013) – the last three forming a dystopian trilogy. While she is best known for her work as a novelist, she is also the author of children’s literature and has published several books of poetry inspired by myths and fairy tales.
Margaret Atwood was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in connection to the Louisiana Literature festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark in August 2014.
Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Edited and produced by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015
Supported by Nordea-fonden