authors | January 06, 2013

Margaret Atwood Discusses The Narrative Arts In The Documentary Bad Writing

If there's anyone equipped to discuss the transition of the written word over time, it's certainly Margaret Atwood. In Bad Writing, a documentary from director Vernon Lott, Atwood joins a group of her literary peers to explore what it means to be a good writer—and how important good writing is to our society. "Narrative arts come with being a human being," she says in the film. "Art is an evolved adaptation and, particularly the narrative arts, those capabilities and interests evolved in the 80,000 years they spent in the plasticine because they gave us a survival edge—and they still give us a survival edge." As Atwood explains, indulging in good writing is as much a part of the human condition as eating or sleeping. And, more importantly, it helps us live better lives. The documentary was recently re-released and is screening for free all month.

A giant in the literary world, Atwood has won a plethora of awards including the prestigious Booker Prize. As inspiring in her talks as she is in her writing, she always has refreshing insights to offer on a wide array of topics related to pop culture. Never content to rest on past success and repeat what has made her so successful, the renowned author is constantly pushing the envelope in her work. She speaks about the written word from both a historical and forward-thinking perspective and offers her comparisons of what has changed in the field—and what to anticipate going forward.