Margaret Atwood has made her acting debut. Sort of. The deal is that there’s a staged reading in the works of The Penelopiad, Atwood’s latest novel. The book is a reinterpretation of the Odyssey told, go figure, from Penelope’s perspective. Atwood will be playing the part of Penelope. But what’s particularly interesting is how Atwood justified the way women helped Odysseus: ” It’s surprising how many women there are in the Odyssey and they all help Odysseus, which is why I made him so charming. He’s the kind of guy women like – he has a lovely voice, he takes an interest in them, he understands human nature. That’s why he’s so persuasive: he doesn’t get his way by force, he’s not a thug. He was fun to be around. That’s why Penelope is sad he’s not there. He’s helped by women at every turn: by Helen in The Iliad, and by all the goddesses he meets along the way in the Odyssey. And then there’s Penelope holding the fort while he’s away. That’s the kind of guy he was.”
© 2005, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.