Cat's Eye

Cat s Eye Cat s Eye is one of Margaret Atwood s most intriguing novels a ruminative symbol laced and deceptively loose book that encompasses many of the concerns of her earlier works compounding them with a

  • Title: Cat's Eye
  • Author: Margaret Atwood
  • ISBN: 9780770428235
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Paperback
  • Cat s Eye is one of Margaret Atwood s most intriguing novels, a ruminative, symbol laced, and deceptively loose book that encompasses many of the concerns of her earlier works, compounding them with a new awareness of aging and the curious vagaries of memory Its premise is simple enough Elaine Risley, a successful painter living on the West Coast, returns to Toronto, theCat s Eye is one of Margaret Atwood s most intriguing novels, a ruminative, symbol laced, and deceptively loose book that encompasses many of the concerns of her earlier works, compounding them with a new awareness of aging and the curious vagaries of memory Its premise is simple enough Elaine Risley, a successful painter living on the West Coast, returns to Toronto, the scene of her childhood and artistic development, for a retrospective of her work at an independent feminist gallery As Risley arrives in Toronto, she begins to examine her past in that city, from her early girlhood through to the final days of her first marriage Risley s memories dominate the book her exhibition is a light but important counterpoint to all that has gone before it In a sense, Cat s Eye is a feminist deconstruction of the artist s coming of age novel, but Risley s feminism is skeptical and detached Her painful girlhood friendships haunt her through her middle age, and she has far sympathy for men than she does for the women who have supported her career As a result, Cat s Eye transcends orthodox feminism and rigorously examines troubling questions of gender, sexuality, and art from a wryly nonpartisan perspective Fans of Atwood s recent novels will love Cat s Eye, but it is a book that deserves the attention of her numerous detractors perhaps it will encourage them to give her a second look Jack Illingworth

    One thought on “Cat's Eye”

    1. i know for a fact that books were written and published after this one, but i can't for the life of me understand why.

    2. "This is the middle of my life, I think of it as a place, like the middle of a river, the middle of a bridge, halfway across, halfway over. I'm supposed to have accumulated things by now: possessions, responsibilities, achievements, experience and wisdom. I'm supposed to be a person of substance." The scary thing is that you stay a child inside that accumulation of life. You take your childhood with you when you enter the grown-up world, and as much as you try to pretend that you are free and li [...]

    3. I look at the progression of 5-star ratings by friends - mostly women - and wonder if it is a womanly weakness to rate a book 5 stars which deconstructs the world from the female perspective? Is this visceral urge something to be ashamed of, something you must suppress to show due deference to 'standards' of literary appraisal? But then why don't I feel conflicted enough while handing out my 5 stars to those modern masterpieces written mostly by dead, white men? All those narrative voices that b [...]

    4. What it's about"We are survivors of each other. We have been shark to one another, but also lifeboat. That counts for something." The power of abusive friendships and relationships is the theme of this book, though not all the relationships are tainted, so it's not depressing and at times it's quite amusing (e.g. discerning the mysteries of puberty). There is also a fair bit about art and artists, with a dash of early feminism. Plot structureElaine is an artist in her late fifties/early sixties [...]

    5. Pity-wanting PainReading Cat's Eye is like watching a film, only with smells, and taste, and touch in addition to cinematic sight and sound. Its heroine, Elaine, has all these 'outward wits' which Atwood captures magnificently. But, although Elaine is an artist, she has almost nothing of the 'inward wits' of communal sense, imagination, fantasy, estimation or memory.The story is three dimensional: the North/South dimension of her life with her parents who migrate every year from Toronto to the L [...]

    6. As a relative latecomer to the works of Margaret Atwood (this was my fourth book in) – she continues to impress and engage immensely.‘Cat’s Eye’ has, like ‘The Blind Assassin’ (which it predates by around a decade) memory and memories as its central narrative device. Both novels have a central protagonist nearer to the end of their days than to the start – looking back and confronting the memories from various periods in their earlier lives. Ostensibly, that is as far as any simila [...]

    7. Margie!It's a little tough-going to talk about this book, because the description makes it sound so Ya-Ya Sisterhood chick-lit. Girl/girl friendships, coming of age, an assembly-line presentation of messy sexual relationships, dadurdydurr. It's sad that a simple outline of the plot could potentially close off 50% (or more) of the population's interest in reading this book, because unlike her speculative fiction, this is less a plot-driven novel reveling in world-building, and more of a parade of [...]

    8. "Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise."Simply put, I worship this book. Cat’s Eye follows the controversial painter Elaine as she reflects upon her childhood and younger years when she returns to Toronto (the city of her youth) for a retrospective of her works. Her reflections stir up memories of friendship, longing, betrayal, love, hate, and pain. Especially haunting are her memories of Cordelia, a childhood friend with whom she had a [...]

    9. The annual Santa Claus Parade trotted and pranced through downtown Toronto a couple of Sundays ago, and while it was going on I thought of Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye.Although I read the book – considered a highlight of Atwood’s middle period – more than two months ago, the image of protagonist Elaine and her frenemies watching the parade from her entomologist-father’s office at the University of Toronto stuck with me. While passing the big boulevard of University Avenue, I even look [...]

    10. Nearly impossible to write a review for such a masterful work as this. All I can do is write some of my thoughts while reading this. It's like a psychological character study. It's the feelings that are evoked. Everything is full of descriptions, the meaning belongs to the reader. Atwood brings me to the brink, then pulls back leaving me with a sense of uneasiness. Our lives can only be interpreted by us. Which of my own memories have been blocked, or purposely left unremembered only to surface [...]

    11. Not a re-read. Instead I was walking home, today. The air was warm, muggy. Generally I try and concentrate on my feet. This, I say to myself, this is the moment that I am alive. Mind though has a tendency to go were it will. So instead I remembered this book, which does from time to time nag at me on the edges of my conscious mind, and thought the following.A fine late twentieth century example of the Bildungsroman, thoroughly Wordsworthian - the child is the Father of the Man (view spoiler)[wel [...]

    12. I always enjoy Margaret Atwood' s books and this is not an exception. In fact this one is quite amazingly interesting. It revolves around the memories of the main character, Elaine who recalls her friendships as a young girl. It becomes apparent that she was bullied quite severely by her young friends and one of them in particular. As the story progresses we find that in the end Elaine escapes from the bullying and eventually even turns the tables. The bullied becomes the bully. It is a sad stor [...]

    13. When I was considering whether to read this or not, what flashed through my head was, “Do you really want to read a book about bullying?” I knew this was the book’s central theme. I thought, “What can I learn from this?” I knew, even before picking up the book, how despicable such behavior is. I knew where I stood, so I wondered what more could be learned.By reading this book one experiences on an emotional level the cruelty and the fear and anguish bullying inflicts on another. The ex [...]

    14. There is still a wide-eyed teenager living inside me, and this book makes my melty twee little heart break and sing in equal measure. When I was 16 and read it for the first time, that was as close to a transcendental experience as I've ever had. Since then, I have re-read it roughly twenty thousand times, always whenever I need to just submerge myself in drenching beauty and angst.

    15. Cordelia: Hey! You think I'm never lonely because I'm so cute and popular? I can be surrounded by people and be completely alone. It's not like any of them really know me. I don't even know if they like me half the time. People just want to be in a popular zone. Sometimes when I talk, everyone's so busy agreeing with me, they don't hear a word I say.Buffy: Well, if you feel so alone, then why do you work so hard at being popular?Cordelia: Well, it beats being alone all by yourself.(from Buffy th [...]

    16. Another magnificent read for me from one of my new favorite authors Margaret Atwood. She writes in the way I love, with beautiful sentences and paragraphs, filled with metaphors and similes and wonderful descriptions of the landscape and excellent character development, I really loved Elaine our protagonist as a child, I felt protective towards her when maybe she wasn't being protected enoughThe adult Elaine due to events from childhood is a damaged/flawed character who looks back on her life al [...]

    17. I've yet to be disappointed by any of Margaret Atwood's stories. She has such a keen sense of the human experience, a strong skill of observation, and she comments so wonderfully on these insights that I am moved and troubled in reading her works. She forces me to think about my individual experience as well as its reflection in light of our connected humanity.Cat's Eye follows Elaine Risley, an elderly woman, famous for her controversial paintings, as she prepares for a retrospective show of he [...]

    18. حالا که دومین کتاب از مارگارت اتوود را خوانده‌ام، گمان می‌کنم که او خواننده‌اش را ناامید نمی‌کند. توصیف‌هایش زنده است و جاندار و تصویرهایش ملموس و تازه. چشم گربه از جنبه داستان و تکنیک به اندازه آدمکش کور معرکه نیست اما کشش یک کتاب خوب را دارد و من یکی را پشیمان نکرده. حجم زی [...]

    19. So what do you do when you're a girl and you have this peculiar friend, who is also your worst abuser, but for some reason you hang out with her, go to the same school and all that jazz? Why, you become a controversial painter, get involved with some creepy men, and then sort of go on from there. Good thing your brother is a semi-genius fascinated with spacetime and all its promises, and your dad is this entomologist who travels all over the country with his family. We don't want things to be to [...]

    20. Elaine, a painter, returns to her childhood city of Toronto to participate in an exhibition in her honor. There, she is flooded by childhood memories, especially of her childhood friend and tormentor, Cordelia. This is a book about bullying, and how it can affect your whole life. The novel changes between short descriptions of Elaines present visit to Toronto, and longer passages of childhood memories. The childhood memories starts with Elaine travelling around with her parents and big brother, [...]

    21. Until now, Surfacing was my favorite non-dystopian book by Atwood. Cat's Eye now claims that spot. There were parts of this that were so honest and awkward in their depiction of children being cruel to each other that it was uncomfortable to read. Atwood does an amazing job of providing a main character who is not necessarily an unreliable narrator but who is definitely an unaware narrator. And yet the author finds ways to convey subtle ideas of just how unaware that narrator is without ruining [...]

    22. This book has been on my must-read list for a long time, so I was very excited to finally get my hands on a copy. Unfortunately, as much as I tried, I did not love this book. The language was absolutely stunning, with scenes rendered with such poetic language and detail that I felt I was in the scene. The problem was that the scenes Atwood described were so miserable, I did not want to be there. I have never been to Toronto, and after reading this book, I never want to go. I can't imagine a more [...]

    23. DBR, you say?? OKAY!!!With full disclosure I have to admit this is not actually my first DBR, it comes in after both Ryker's Burden Kansas and Cohen's Beautiful Losers. Something about books I love apparently makes booziness happen, hmmmmmm.There are times that I am loath to tell people where I'm from, not because I don't like it, I do!! Canada is a truly lovely place to live and I have been blessed with a life of much happiness here, it's because when I say I'm from Canada I always get that loo [...]

    24. I hate to be the guy who ruins the joke, but it's impossible to seriously judge Canadian literature without acknowledging that Canada is not a real place. It's a funny little conceit, but it's stretching plausibility a bit far to pretend that there's some enormous country right on top of the United States where gay marriage is legal* and we totally never invade it at all. It's not a country, okay? It's just some dude in Minnesota with a big back yard.Glad we got that out of the way.Anyway, but t [...]

    25. Η Ελέην Ρίνσλευ επιστρέφει στο Τορόντο για την ρετροσπεκτίβα που έχει διοργανωθεί για χάρη της, ουσα μια εκκεντρική και δημοφιλής ζωγράφος. Και ξεκινάει μια οδυνηρή και αγωνιώδης καταβύθιση στο παρελθόν της ηρωίδας. Μη σας ξεγελάει το απόμακρο ύφος της Άτγουντ, η ειρωνεία [...]

    26. The cruelty of young girls. Short segments (a page or three long each) plaited together. Ranges from what's happening now to what happened then, back and forth. Memory is faulty but the cuts carry on. Knowing too much about other people puts you in their power, they have a claim on you, you are forced to understand their reasons for doing things and then you are weakened. I disagree. But I see how it can become someone's truth.

    27. Upon rereading in 2011: I have little to add, except to say that it was even more astonishing on the second-go-round.---I have no words (well, in a manner of speaking) to describe my love for this book. I finished it really, really late the other night after a night out with some friends and was completely overwhelmed. It's taken me a few days to review it, just because of how emotionally devastating the book is.Cat's Eye (from the almost-always-fabulous Atwood) is less a narrative than a glimps [...]

    28. Oh, the little games girls play on each other. They scheme, they gossip and they either ostracise or bully those whom they feel don't belong to their little circle, inflicting untold damage with their whisperings and indirectness. That, in a nutshell, is the subject of Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye, as memorable an account of childhood angst and cruelty as any I've read.Cat's Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a middle-aged artist who returns to the city where she grew up, Toronto, for a retrospec [...]

    29. SpoilersTook a while to get into this. I didn't really like the back and forth narration between the past and present (it didn't flow very well), also the main character (Elaine) irked me quite a lot. I hated the 'present-day' Elaine, I was only really invested in Elaine's character when she was a child/teen, those chapters were great. Young Elaine's personality, surroundings and relationships were fascinating to read about, especially the parts which focused on her complicated friendships with [...]

    30. Este livro explora a juventude de uma pintora, Elaine, através de flashbacks, as suas relações- particularmente com a sua melhor amiga, Cordelia - e o impacto das mesmas na pessoa que a narradora se torna.Margaret Atwood explora a adolescência feminina de forma cruel e realista, incidindo particularmente nos temas da amizade, ódio e vingança e da ténue linha que os separa. (A narradora tem uma relação complexa com Cordelia e, por mais que a despreze, não consegue deixar de se recordar [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *