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    Negotiating With The Dead – Margaret Atwood

    I still do not know what impels anyone sound of mind to leave dry land and spend a lifetime describing people who do not exist. If it is child’s play, an extension of make believe – something one is frequently assured by people who write about writing – how to account for the overriding wish to do that, just that, only that, and consider it as rational an occupation as riding a bicycle over the Alps? (Mavis Gallant, Preface, Selected Stories) Negotiating with the Dead (2002) is a result of Margaret Atwood’s William Empson lectures, and attempts an enquiry into…

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