Proof, evidence, witness…
Why is it we want so badly to memorialize ourselves? Even while we’re still alive. We wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants. We put on display our framed photographs, our parchment diplomas, our silver-plated cups; we monogram our linen, we carve our names on trees, we scrawl them on washroom walls. It’s all the same impulse. What do we hope from it? Applause, envy, respect? Or simply attention, of any kind we can get?
At the very least we want a witness. We can’t stand the idea of our own voices falling silent finally, like a radio running down.
—Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood will be a guest of the 2013 Perth Writers Festival in February.
5 responses to “December fragments #21”
I think it’s about our lives having some meaning, some purpose. I loved this book The Blind Assassin. And I agree with Ms Atwood beautiful description that we can’t stand the idea of our voices falling silent finally, like a radio running down. Thanks for this fragment Amanda which carries with it enormous gravity.
It was one of your comments on an earlier post that made me think of it, Marlish 🙂
Glad to hear I’m a woman of some influence 🙂
this reminds of that great story about Ezra Pound responding to the claim that poetry is about people needing to be heard, to assert their presence through a tale… – No, he cried! Poetry is about the man who believes in silence so much he cannot remain silent! Respect, homage – not to thyself but to this mystical goddamned world! 🙂