Margaret Atwood’s Lecture. Payback: Debt & the Shadow Side of Wealth

Truly, Margaret Atwood is our everything. When she published “Oryx and Crake” (where humanity perishes of an artificial virus), an epidemy of SARS broke out in Toronto. Now she wrote a book on debt, and… well, you get the idea.

On a more serious note, this lecture is not about paying back your car loan, but about the concept of debt in human culture, history and religion.

And I am not at all surprised at Atwood’s extra-sense, because a great artist always feels something in the air way before it really starts. That’s why it is so ridiculous to see the words “based on a true story” as book subtitles supposed to give these books better credibility.

You know what? A book based on a true story is rubbish, and its author no better than a photocopying machine. Don’t waste your time on it. A really great book is based on no story, and at the same time on a million of true stories – but only a very great artist can hear their tiniest vibrations in the air.

(Read further for Atwood’s lecture details and a link for buying tickets.)

2008 Massey Lecture
Payback: Debt & the Shadow Side of Wealth
Margaret Atwood
Nov 1 Sat 8pm
$23 adults
$13 students & seniors
$5 high school & under 17
general admission
Legendary novelist, poet, and essayist Margaret Atwood delivers a surprising look at the topic of debt. In her wide-ranging, entertaining, and imaginative approach to the subject, Atwood proposes that debt is like air – something we take for granted until things go wrong. And then, while gasping for breath, we become very interested in it.
Payback is not about practical debt management or high finance. Rather, it is an investigation into the idea of debt as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature, and the structure of human societies.
Margaret Atwood writes, “These are not lectures about how to get out of debt; rather, they’re about the debtor/creditor twinship in the broadest sense from human sacrifice to pawnshops to revenge. In this light, what we owe and how we pay is a feature of all human societies, and profoundly shapes our shared values and our cultures.”

Buy tickets here

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2 Responses to “Margaret Atwood’s Lecture. Payback: Debt & the Shadow Side of Wealth”

  1. Futurama and art as radar « Tania Samsonova’s Blog Says:

    […] actually proves the point that I stated here: a real artist does not ape history, he actually foresees it. As Marshall MacLuhan put it, The […]

  2. This video is crap « Tania Samsonova’s Blog Says:

    […] I have already said here and here (incidentally, quoting McLuhan as the video does), the art that apes the everyday life is […]


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