I was in the middle of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam last week when I went to see the Douglas Coupland exhibit at the art gallery. Now, I know that Margaret Atwood and Douglas Coupland are rather different. You would never mistake the work of one for that of the other. But I couldn’t help but notice a few similarities.
They are both students of the Canadian identity.
The are both experts at digging into the scary parts of our present and taking those parts just one step further. Not a hundred steps further, into Isaac Asimov territory, but one step — which is a much more chilling thing.
They were both recognized early in their careers for their mix of insight and general wackiness. And, thus encouraged, both have continued to grow more cutting and more quirky.
If you combine these three things, what do they say about us, the Canadian readership/audience that has given these two such iconic status? Obviously, we value smarts. We’re willing to gaze (okay, at least glance) into the dark side. But we also have a well-honed appreciation for the wacky.
Would you agree?