Vrinda Jagota
August 08, 2016 1:18 pm
Instagram/comic_con

Writer Abraham Riesman recently attended Comic-Con with esteemed poet, writer, critic and activist Margaret Atwood (who was there promoting her new graphic novel, Angel Catbird).

Riesman and Atwood spoke about geek culture — which Atwood said was a relatively new invention — her undying love for Lord of the Rings, and the perils and beauty of capitalism (it was a big day).

But perhaps Atwood’s most interesting insight into the world of Comic-Con was her take on why it’s so important to so many people.

“People really like moments when they don’t have to be themselves, when they don’t have to be stuck in their usual daily persona.”

She continued, “In ancient Rome, it was the Saturnalia. In ancient Greece, it was the Dionysian festivals. In medieval Christianity, it was Mardi Gras. The chance to be somebody else, to disguise yourself, to take on another persona, and, at some of those moments, to mock authority, because there were moments when that was permitted.”

The 76-year-old noted that while many might consider her a “geek,” since she can delve (deeply) into Tolkien mythology, is a self-proclaimed superhero fan, and has just penned a graphic novel (the first in a trilogy), she doesn’t think of herself that way or feel the need for labels. “I’m too old. You know, this split into ‘geekdom’ and ‘other people’ — that happened fairly late in the game,” she said.

Whatever you want to call her, it’s pretty clear that Margaret Atwood is majorly cool and incredibly comfortable in her own skin, serving as a major #inspiration.

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