Saturday, November 24, 2007

I love the CBC Digital Archives. It's awesome. They (archivists? interns?) take 20-plus clips about a subject (The Grey Cup, AIDS, Joni Mitchell) spanning, usually, about 40 years of history. Among these clumps is a collection of interviews about Ottawa-born poet and novelist Margaret Atwood. Perhaps my favourite is the trainwreck of an interview she did with Hana Gardner As amply proved by the other interviews, it's not that she's trying to be a bitch, she's just got a low tolerance for dumb questions. But the catty ones are fun, like this interview with CBC Radio, for instance. She's promoting -- or trying to promote -- one of her books of poetry,The Animals in that Country (Oxford UP). Here's how it begins:

CBC: I'm going to ask you again, Margaret, why The Animals in that Country, the title? You wouldn't tell me before.

MA: I'll simply say that's up to the reader to find out.

CBC: It's one of those things where you put your own meaning on, eh?

MA: Well, it's the title of one of the poems in the book and perhaps if one read that poem, one would have a clue.