The testaments Margaret atwood

tags: [BookNotes]

last_modified_at: 2023-12-08 12:09

ul book. I hesitate to call it a novel because there’s almost no plot. Instead, there are six monologues that weave in and out of each other. The writing is incredible, so detail rich and hypnotic in their delivery. Towards the end it becomes deeply melancholic and overwhelming. This utterly blew me away.

5 things to steal

  • Specific Detail of each moment in the lives
  • Lives compressed to a series of moments.
  • Not being afraid of sorrow.
  • Life going past fast, attempting to find meaning within each moment. Wanting to hold onto a moment but being unable to.
  • Interlinking monologues almost like a Prose Poem


Could have quoted the whole book. Woolf’s prose is exquisite

I hold a stalk in my hand. I am the stalk. My roots go down to the depths of the world, through earth dry with brick, and damp earth, through veins of lead and silver. I am all fibre. All tremors shake me, and the weight of the earth is pressed to my ribs. Up here my eyes are green leaves, unseeing

‘But when we sit together, close,’ said Bernard, ‘we melt into each other with phrases. We are edged with mist. We make an unsubstantial territory.’

With intermittent shocks, sudden as the springs of a tiger, life emerges heaving its dark crest from the sea. It is to this we are attached; it is to this we are bound, as bodies to wild horses. And yet we have invented devices for filling up the crevices and disguising these fissures.

In a world which contains the present moment,’ said Neville, ‘why discriminate? Nothing should be named lest by so doing we change it. Let it exist, this bank, this beauty, and I, for one instant, steeped in pleasure.

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