Spellcoats ending (spoiler)

Joe Joe.Nankivell at ucd.ie
Fri Jul 25 05:58:00 EDT 2003

On 25 Jul 2003, at 6:14, Charles Butler wrote:

> I recently finished the Spellcoats - a very good yarn -
 > I couldn't help but be reminded of the Historical Notes at the ending of
> Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale', with its scholarly symposium. Except that
> Spellcoats came first, of course! But then it occurred to me that maybe this
> is a well-worn device, used all over the place by many writers I just
> haven't come across. So - can anyone think of any other examples? And any
> earlier than DWJ's?

Atwood said somewhere that hers is homage to Orwell's notes on 
Newspeak which come at the end of 1984. Both are supposed to 
imply hope & 'happy endings' in scenarios which otherwise seem 
so desparate. In Orwell's case, the notes are written in standard 
English and the past tense; and in the postscript Handmaid's Tale I 
think Atwood does a good job of sending up that academic 
cosiness which is the natural product of nicely balanced & 
complacent societies...

But they're writers, so surely they're both nicking the idea from 
someone else.

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