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I had another close encounter with Peggy this past week. She was delivering one of the CBC Massey Lectures, from her new book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth. Much was made of her clairvoyant nature.

The lecture itself, "Debt and Sin," was thought-provoking, though I think most would agree that the next lecture, about debt's many appearances in literature, is where she shines.

The Q&A portion of the evening is always the most revealing, and the thing that gets me is how quick she is. I can't recall a specific example now, but it's like an intellectual party trick, how she can immediately engage with the most esoteric of questions and espouse a related theory.

I was all prepared to redeem myself after the mute star-struck routine of last time, but there was no opportunity. She was giving a taped interview while signing books, so I stood patiently in front of her and the interviewer for a couple of minutes while they talked in low tones.

Margaret fiddled with the Post-It note with my name on it, which I'd been asked to stick on the page I wanted her to sign. I couldn't make out the full conversation, but at one point, she made devil horns in what I believe was an impersonation of Stephen Harper.

She's so awesome.

The CBC Massey Lectures will be broadcast on "Ideas" November 10-14.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2008 09:17 am (UTC)
I haven't read Payback (I tend to read rather than hear Massey Lectures). I must admit, I'm behind on my Atwood. I just started Oryx and Crake yesterday.

(And now I'm remembering that line from Surfacing, where she says that as a child, she drew God with horns because she'd always been told the devil had horns, and horns were an evolutionary advantage.)
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