If you believe this, Castlevania beat Handmaid’s Tale in the US #richardarmitage

Here. Of course, Handmaid’s Tale has been available quite a bit longer than the last two weeks. Still, I find this fascinating, since (a) almost every RL friend I have has seen or is watching Handmaid’s Tale (I’m not — I have a strong dislike for Margaret Atwood in general and this book of hers in particular), and (b) every culture venue I follow in RL has commented on Handmaid’s Tale extensively, whereas I’ve seen nothing about Castlevania.

~ by Servetus on July 24, 2017.

14 Responses to “If you believe this, Castlevania beat Handmaid’s Tale in the US #richardarmitage”

  1. So I’m not the only one who doesn’t like Margaret Atwood and this book in particular 😉


  2. I haven’t read anything by her (and have absolutely zero intentions of reading or watching handmaids tale) but may I ask why you dislike her? Out of sheer curiosity.


    • I’m one reader and not a literature expert, so take this as only my opinion: I’ve read four of her novels. (I also met her when I was 19, which contributed to my negative impression — she’s a truly unpleasant individual — and I taught Handmaid’s Tale twice in seminars when I was an undergrad teaching ass’t.) I think her work is more or less agitprop — I never feel moved by her stories, only preached to, and I don’t think her prose style or her capacity to observe the world (two things I really treasure about George Orwell, who also wrote very political novels that I don’t always agree with but which I treasure) are of significant quality to erase her status as a propagandist.

      I feel like when I read a great novel, I’m moved somehow to think differently about the world or, something, maybe something small, about me changes in response to reading it. That never happens to me when I read her work, and yet people tell me all the time how wonderful it is.

      The novel I disliked least of the ones I’ve read is “Alias Grace.” I’ve heard that the first three episodes of “Handmaid’s Tale” are essentially torture porn / unwatchable (and this is coming from friends of mine who feel more positively about her work).


      • That’s understandable; her preachy qualities are what have turned me off reading her as a general rule. And I feel you, in regards to reading something that’s supposed to be perspective-changing and then feeling nothing at all. I often end up either consciously or subconsciously avoiding books other people have said are Great Novels precisely because most of the time I end up nonplussed and frustrated because I feel like I’m not feeling things like I’m “supposed to”.

        The first few episodes of handmaids tale are supposed to be super brutal and I just don’t understand why people find that watchable? Like, there’s a line between “making a point about horrible situations” and “straight up glorifying abuse/rape/etc” and more and more shows keep overstepping that line by disgusting margins.


        • I think it’s really frustrating to have the feeling of being “outside” of a great experience when so many people with whom one sympathizes are “inside” of it. (Although I have that feeling a lot and increasingly as I get older).

          re: brutality — I wish I had the answer to that question, because nowadays I so often find myself thinking that brutality in media is over the top. If I say anything about, there’s always some excuse, and usually it’s about “realism” (“the middle ages were really that way” or “WWII was really that way”) — claims that are frequently questionable, as film is not identical with reality — but it’s unclear why it needs to be that way in a story about a hypothetical future other than that it serves someone’s prurient impulses.


  3. I’ve watched the first 6 episodes of the Handmaid’s Tale before I gave up. I lost interest because of the tone deafness towards race. The most horrifying scenes are not the brutality of Gilead but the state before it turned into Gilead – the tv show is completely unaware of that. Alexis Bledel was good. Elizabeth Moss was smirky. The other actors were okay.

    I think Atwood can create a world but she’s too blinded by her own privilege to explore it fully. Don’t waste your time on Oryx and Crake if you were ever inclined.

    “You fit into me like a hook in a open eye; a fish hook in an open eye.” That’s probably her best line.


    • Thanks for weighing in — I’d read, I think, one critique of it that discussed the race question in terms of representation (why no black faces?) but nothing as intriguing as what you say here.

      I read Oryx and Crake on a long train raid. It felt like agitprop as well. You’re right that the line is good.


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