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18.8.13

Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam

Ruth Scurr reviews Atwood's new novel in the TLS
Margaret Atwood
A review of Atwood's MaddAddam, from Ruth Scurr (TLS):
“The act of naming is the great and solemn consolation of mankind.” Margaret Atwood found this first epigraph for her William Empson lectures, published as Negotiating with the Dead: A writer on writing (2002), in Elias Canetti’s The Agony of Flies: Notes and notations (1992). The act of naming explains the peculiar title of Atwood’s new novel MaddAddam – the third volume of a dystopian sequence, so far including Oryx and Crake (reviewed in the TLS, May 16, 2003) and The Year of the Flood (TLS, September 18, 2009). The title MaddAddam looks and sounds like a stretched (or stuttered) version of the appellation “Madam”, but in Atwood’s dystopia it is the collective name for the grandmasters of an elaborate computer game: “EXTINCTATHON, Monitored by MaddAddam. Adam named the living animals, MaddAddam names the dead ones. Do you want to play?” [Read More]

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