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Margaret Atwood

Why do authors wish to pretend they don’t exist? It’s a way of skinning out, of avoiding truth and consequences. They’d like to deny the crime, although their fingerprints are all over the martini glasses, not to mention the hacksaw blade and victim’s neck. Amnesia, they plead. Epilepsy. Sugar over-dose. Demonic possession. How convenient to have an authorial twin, living in your body, looking through your eyes,

You even supply the costumes: gauzy Madonna whites, black leather and whips, brisk little suits, they are all you’re doing. I myself own none of these clothes. A projection, a mass hallucination, a neurological disorder- call her what you will but don’t confuse her with me. She had nothing to do with writing this text, this is it, which was performed by me, and me alone, with a blue Express ballpoint pen on a Hilary lined notepad-I supply the brand names to

“Call her what you will but

don’t confuse her with me”

pushing pen down on paper or key down on keyboard, while you do what? File your nails? It was me, I confess it. Or, to be more authorial: It was I. But please note: The was is crucial. By the time you read these words, the I that wrote them will have forgotten what it was, the it lingers on, haunting the paper, unheard until you happen across it and your energy field activates it, and a voice plays eerily in your head, like a long forgotten gramo-phone. At the same time a miasmic image rises like a spirit from a bog. Wavering, indistinct, part fear,part wish-fulfillment, she is me as you conceive me.

convince you-on a boat crossing Lake Erie, this sixth of September, 1993. A date which, even as I set it down, assumes the slipperiness, the liquid shine, the alluring phosphorescence of the most devious and lie-inspired fiction. How can you believe it? How can you believe anything I say? That’s always the problem, though it’s never hers. She’s the one you find plausible, she’s the one who takes you in, because she is your creature. But I am not.

November 20 12

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