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SARAWALKS's Photo SARAWALKS Posts: 1,087
11/15/10 11:24 P

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Janis, I love the sandwich description too! That sandwich could be a metaphor for the whole culture of the period...blech!

"Mind like parachute - only function when open!" Charlie Chan

“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”
** E. Y. Harburg**


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SARAWALKS's Photo SARAWALKS Posts: 1,087
11/15/10 11:20 P

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Well, I am terribly late but I'm going to share anyway - I think I was the only one who actually liked this book, maybe because I was age 20 in the summer of 1965 when Atwood wrote it. She was 24 and I think it's quite an amazing book, with some marvelous descriptions & striking metaphors that make very down-to-earth points.
She said in an interview that there was no women's movement in sight when she wrote it and that is certainly true. Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir's books had been published but no one much was talking about them.
A "career going nowhere" or "marriage as an exit from it" were the choices then - I remember it quite well since I graduated an English major in 1966.

Atwood has called it an "anti-comedy" but I found it quite funny, especially the first section, perhaps because I am no longer living through that time. At the time, it was miserable.

I love her description of good-looking Peter: "People noticed him, not because he had forceful or peculiar features, but because he was ordinariness
raised to perfection, like the youngish well-groomed faces of cigarette ads. But sometimes I wanted a reassuring wart or mole, a patch of roughness, something the touch could fix on instead of gliding over." I agree completely. But that was the ideal back then. Beauty with no individuality.

I totally love the description of Peter's
"treating me as a stage prop, silent but solid, a two-dimensional outline...he was depending on me!" That was what was meant by relationship back then.
Marian's friend Len's attitude toward marriage is totally understandable in the context - "Len never wished matrimony on anyone, especially anyone he liked."

Duncan and his roommates - oh yes, familiar types, I had a few friends like that too. And the descriptions of grad school!
"things get pickier and pickier and more and more stale, and it all collapses in a welter of commas and shredded footnotes...and besides
that, everything's been done..."

But I must confess my favorite simile was this, when Marian is reacting to Duncan's monologue:
"all this talking, this rather liquid confessing, was something I didn't think I could ever bring myself to do. It seemed foolhardy to me,
like an uncooked egg deciding to come out of its shell; there would be a risk of spreading out too far, turning into a formless puddle." Marian is locked up in herself and so she is very threatened by Duncan's openness. But what a great comparison!

Well, all the stuff I liked was from part 1, so maybe you guys are right about the point of view thing. I liked part 3 too. Part 2 was the most painful but also quite understandable to me since I actually went ahead and married a guy for no better reasons than Marian's.

I must say I really liked Marian, she strives for honesty and she is a survivor, even though she is from an earlier time and it is not always pleasant to think about how things were and how few options women really had.

so thanks for suggesting the book, Jenn! Blast from the past for me!



"Mind like parachute - only function when open!" Charlie Chan

“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”
** E. Y. Harburg**


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 13,499
10/19/10 8:07 P

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Jenn, hadn't thought of that, but maybe....

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10/15/10 12:36 P

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CHIPPEE: Yes, I noticed the switch in narrative voice as well. Did you find it masterful? I tended to feel like it was really contrived. emoticon

I wanted the book as a whole to be much more like the last few chapters. I wanted her mysterious boyfriend to be imaginary. Maybe he was?

Jenn

CorsetlessFitness.blogspot.com

- Leader of the LITERARY WOMEN team
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"Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort" (Dickens)


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 13,499
10/13/10 5:05 P

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"SPOILER ALERT": Finally finished The Edible Woman. I agree with Jenn that it got better at the end.
What I did find interesting is that the first part is written in the narative. The second in the third person. The third and final part went back to the narative. Marian lost her voice, it seems, as well as her appetite while she was engaged to Peter. It was as if she was giving her self up.
Lastly, because we're looking at food, I liked the description that Atwood/Marian made of a cheese and lettuce sandwich, "a slice of plastic cheese between two pieces of solidified bubble-bath with several flaps of pallid greenery". That about sums up how I feel about white bread and processed American cheese. emoticon

Edited by: CHIPPEE at: 10/13/2010 (22:33)
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10/13/10 1:44 P

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I didn't read much as I have said but it really bothered me that the nosey old woman kept making references to "the child". I'm sure that child has a name so she should USE it. I guess that reflects the time too and had I read more I probably would have found out. :)

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10/13/10 1:06 P

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I'm struggling to get through it, but still trying. I'm about 1/4 the way through it and had to step away from it for a day or so.

The book was written in 1969 and it definitely echoes the sentiments of the time and talks about what the norms were for women especially in jobs and love. Very interesting, but still a very slow read.

Edited by: MONA_MONA at: 10/13/2010 (13:07)
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10/9/10 3:36 P

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Ladies, I felt the same way about the novel. It didn't really get to me, but the end is OK. I thought that it'd be more about food, but it seems to be about self-consciousness and introspection. I didn't really like the novel, but I'd be interested to hear some other feedback!

Jenn

CorsetlessFitness.blogspot.com

- Leader of the LITERARY WOMEN team
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- Co-Leader of the FEMINISM team

"Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort" (Dickens)


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10/9/10 12:54 P

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I haven't gotten past page 9. I startd reading it a week ago. This is not like me with books. I should be done with it by now. I am not certain but I might have to call it quits on this one.

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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 13,499
10/9/10 11:16 A

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About halfway through. Not loving it, but will give it more time. It has its moments. emoticon

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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 13,499
10/4/10 8:14 P

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Got the book from the library. The print is so tiny! I may have to order it in large print, but was able to read some in good light in the lunchroom at work today. Only a few pages in, can't comment yet, but will do soon if I can, indeed, read this copy. emoticon

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SARAWALKS's Photo SARAWALKS Posts: 1,087
10/3/10 9:43 P

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I am a quarter of the way in (she's just met Duncan, the English lit grad student) and I think it's hilarious! Of course I grew up in the 60s so I remember what this was like... emoticon

"Mind like parachute - only function when open!" Charlie Chan

“Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.”
** E. Y. Harburg**


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CJWORDPLAY's Photo CJWORDPLAY Posts: 29,096
10/3/10 5:58 P

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I've got the book and I'm scheduling a Spark appt. for myself for reading! emoticon

CJ
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SASSAFRASA's Photo SASSAFRASA Posts: 15
10/3/10 4:20 P

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I just joined the team and love this book! Happy to have found you all. :)

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TAMLKING's Photo TAMLKING Posts: 2,858
10/2/10 7:23 A

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The library is holding my copy and I will pick it up today and get reading. I'll let you know what I think.



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10/1/10 1:11 P

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My husband found the box today so sometime this evening I am going to start it and let you know what I think.

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10/1/10 12:35 P

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What do you like best about this book so far?

Jenn

CorsetlessFitness.blogspot.com

- Leader of the LITERARY WOMEN team
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"Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort" (Dickens)


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CHIPPEE's Photo CHIPPEE Posts: 13,499
9/28/10 9:30 A

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Library just called that it's in. I liked Atwood's Blind Assassin.
Interesting comment, Jenn. Can't wait to start it and see how it is.

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9/27/10 2:45 P

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Ah, I have to find the copy I got from the library. It got packed away somewhere last week.

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9/27/10 12:05 P

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I am about halfway through Margaret Atwood's *The Edible Woman* and I have mixed feelings about it so far.

Jenn

CorsetlessFitness.blogspot.com

- Leader of the LITERARY WOMEN team
- Leader of the NOURSHING TRADITIONS team
- Co-Leader of the FEMINISM team

"Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort" (Dickens)


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