Автор «Рассказа служанки» о России как Гилеаде, продолжении сериала и попытке украсть новую книгу
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Автор «Рассказа служанки» о России как Гилеаде, продолжении сериала и попытке украсть новую книгу


it’s not riots in Moscow it’s not brexit dare I say it is actually about Trump and has generally unhelpful attitude towards women don’t know whether you’ve been following them riots in Moscow or they multiple arrests and it’s quote legal the time left available to me to write long books that time is getting shorter by the minute it’s 34 years since The Handmaid’s Tale why write the sequel now well for years and years people were saying will there be a sequel please write a sequel tell us what happened and I always said I can’t do that because I thought they meant and they did mean could you continue the story of off read and what happened to her and I couldn’t recreate that voice it would have been falling to attempt it but then a couple of things happened number one instead of going away from Gilead as we thought had been happening possibly in the 90s we started going back towards Gilead and a number of places in the world but including the United States and number two I thought well she is not the only narrative voice that could tell what happens further on in the future and I got quite interested in Lydia the Thomas Cromwell of her of her day so I’m just been reading about him it was very similar so then I thought well then I can tell it I can tell what happened fifteen or sixteen years into the future pick up the threads through three narrators one of them Lydia and two of them the young women who have grown up one of them within Gilead and one of them outside Gilead but with a very special connection to it you think the world is moving you know perhaps the world and how much did the election of President Trump prompt you to write the Testaments I was already conceptualizing and I find in my notes a letter to the publishers of February 2017 saying what I was doing so I was already doing it but I wasn’t necessarily hadn’t solidified certain plot elements of shall we say everyone in the show which had started filming in early September everyone in the show woke up on November 9th and said were in a different show not that the show changed it didn’t but the frame around the show changed and we knew at that moment that it would be viewed differently which it was so instead of fantasy haha this will never happen it got a lot closer to reality well because because of the kinds of people backing Trump that would be the religious right of the SIRT of the red states and because of his generally unhelpful attitude towards women but you must have conceded his appeal oh yes yeah absolutely he has a very good television presence he’s an experienced television person yeah so you know if he were selling no she apologize something he would really clean up anything he can put it across and the other there are several other kinds of Appeals and sectors of the population that felt neglected nobody was paying any attention to them there are now other sectors that feel that way only they feel neglected by him people that voted for him before so the farmers are not happy for one because of the tariffs cutting off their markets etc I was in the book way you wrote they’d been a downward spiral for years the people became angry angry the search for someone to blame that always happens if you go back through history when there when when times are bad there’s always a search for someone to blame so during the great mortality otherwise known as the Black Death the following people were blamed in succession lepers going from place to place doing things to the wels lepers Jews always available in medieval Europe and witches witches were third yeah so that was the order of people got blamed you mentioned the world moving towards Gilead since you wrote The Handmaid’s Tale and you’ve mentioned the United States did you have anywhere else in the world specifically in mind there’s a there’s a large assortment of of countries where laws have either not been changed in unequal laws having to do with with women or they’ve been brought back and there are some other places in the world where things moved in the other direction and that would be Ireland most specifically Argentina almost so there is there’s movement both both ways I just want to ask you about brexit I’m sorry yes did you think I know something other people don’t know I suppose my question was did what’s happening in the UK with brexit feed into your thinking when you were writing the Testaments at all I think my thinking fed into it I was there first yeah but when things feel squeezie when people feel squeezed there is always a tendency to to to feel other people somewhere else are controlling everything and we we have to get we have to wrench control back that would be the on-the-ground feeling but my question is who’s going to benefit from this here’s actually going to benefit his is the money backing this what do they hope to make out of it and it I haven’t had an answer to that question but does this get back to what we were saying about where there’s been a downward stop spiral people need someone or something like that they need something to blame it’s it’s a well-known human characteristic it must be the witches Salem happened at a time when things were not going well for the New England colony so when things are going well people get more tolerant as a rule when things aren’t going well they get more defensive as a rule so there’s a moment of climate change long ago and Ireland when things got colder and damper and that’s when they started building fortified enclosures so then you knew alright people are attacking other people to get their stuff so there’s a kind of a bell curve with with these things on the other hand of a country gets very very prosperous in relation to its neighbors there’s a tendency to try to take over the neighbors because you can I just think we’re talking on a day where we might see the suspension of Parliament last week we saw the explosion this isn’t this is a this is a rerun history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme and that’s what’s praying to to mine so somebody is a30 asserting some sort of absolute monarchy old power in opposition to Parliament what will happen next what will happen I would really like to know yeah and people shorting the pound would probably also like to know you wrote a handmade tale back in the 1980s it feels to me and you’ve hinted it this that the book is almost more relevant now it would you agree yeah it is much more relevant now when I wrote it I thought all right I was I was drawing on what people were already saying they would like to do if they got the power and then what happened in 1989 the Iron Curtain the crumbled in 89 90 and for about ten years everybody said end of history problem solved let’s all go shopping and I thought okay Handmaid’s Tale they’re just going to go shopping instead of pestering women but that but then Along Came 911 and then things took a shift there was a little little interlude of Obama ISM and but but meanwhile there had already been george w bush and then along came the surprise election of donald trump who was busily his administration is busily changing judges to more to judges more sympathetic to his ways now you may ask why does the evangelical faction in the united states why are they backing this person who was quite clearly not a virtuous in their terms type of person and there’s lots of biblical justification for that and that would be instrument of God’s will although an unholy person and their number of those they’re generally Assyrians or no buchen Nezzer and people like that hmm so so not one of us but but doing stuff we like the book is clearly chiming and resonating particularly with young women more so I think than it did in the 1980s is that your sense as well I think you’d have to go back and now some women who are young in the 1980s book clearly does chime with young women today yes why do you think that is because they see what’s happening in the legal sphere oh they see in certain states in the United States they see Roe vs. Wade being all but overturned by pushing the reproductive rights to the point at which it’s essentially meaningless so they see all of that happening and fear the ones in places like California you’re going to consume be coming to a state near them so the big effort of the Trump administration administration in that area will be to try and get rid of Roe versus Wade which is the innovation this is the freedom to choose legislation yeah so I wouldn’t ever probably have called it freedom to choose that would probably have called it an anti forced pregnancy and child birth measure so anti forced to child birth and forced childbirth has been a feature of many dictatorial regimes so why do you think women’s reproductive rights all being people don’t like it or let us say when there’s a change in a power structure there will always be an attempt to change it back because those who benefited from the thing that has been changed want the thing that benefits them put back in place I mean it’s human nature or to to put it another very simple way if you put the ants in charge of the picnic they will always rearrange the picnic in favor of the ants so the ants were in charge of the picnic there wouldn’t be any people but there would be a lot more cookies and cheese sandwiches what do you see is the greatest threats or menaces then that we face in the world well I would I would say are we going I’d say what kind of society do you want to live in do you want to live in a society in which the state has control over your your entire life and your body do you want to live in that place do you want to live in a place in which we still think there’s something called the individual do you want to have a job yeah young women of reproductive age are always in the minority in any society and therefore they’re never allowed to vote as a group on measures that concerned them those measures are always being made by other people maybe including them but they are minority within that large demographic block so these two people making the decisions are going to be men and they’re going to be women who are not of reproductive age people I mean all do this older men say you know I just saw a woman oh you know a baby in her 70s and that’s amazing yes one one did so so therefore of course they’re concerned because they feel that they’re they’re on the verge of having decisions made about them and about their entire future and fate and body and health and all the rest of it that they have not been able to decide the handmaids uniform of the red cloak and the white bonnet has been adopted by activists you’ve demonstrated against Trump and pro-choice what’s your reaction to that it’s a it’s a brilliant demonstration stratagem because they can get into legislatures and there’s it started in Texas when a number of the men into the Texas Legislature where man group men and suits just then you would think it was a shot from the series Rubin men in suits were making laws about women’s bodies so though they were and you can’t kick them out because they’re not saying anything they’re sitting very modestly and you can’t kick them out because they’re dressed improperly they’re all covered up but everybody look at looking at them knows what they mean so therefore it’s it’s in the age of TV with radio it wouldn’t work try age of TV they’re very visible and very clearly signifying the high age of bonnets and in England was mid Victorian yes and in those days it was thought you had to wear this bonnet so that men couldn’t leer at you if they had if they’re going to leer at you and they had to get around the bonnet there in like not so ankles became very important yes absolutely I wanted to ask you about the environment because in The Handmaid’s Tale give me a DS established partly in response to an environmental catastrophe absolutely and you have been in environments vena for years and we’re writing about these issues perhaps before many others were and yet I was struck climate change the environment barely figures in the testament because it’s already happened right okay so the there’s one thing about Gilead they’re quite purist about their their chemical surroundings anyway yeah so it does figure in the lead-up to the coup in Handmaid’s Tale one but but environmental crisis is joined at the hip with everything else because you cannot change the weather condemned without changing politics here is why if you have a change in climate conditions you’re going to have a change in growing conditions yes and the situation that we’re in right now so it’s getting warmer when it’s warmer more water evaporates and winds get stronger and some places dry out another place it’s flood where they weren’t used to flooding crop yields go down food shortages are created food shortage create social unrest social unrest quite frequently leads to wards there’s going to be water wars watch for it they’re probably already are and and that always has a bad effect on on women and creates the conditions for for instance uh Napoleon or a Stalin so so when things are chaotic when there’s a essentially a state of anarchy and disruption and people are starving and mass migrations are taking place it’s always an opportunity for a an iron handed leader of some kind and people have traced back the wars in Syria to those very factors the French Revolution happened when that was a particularly hot summer taxation had been had been increased because they needed money because they put too much of it into the American Revolution and and then the price of bread went up who wouldn’t revolt the testament seemed to me to be ultimately a hopeful look bad things do happen to some narratives and I wondered whether you were ultimately more optimistic about the future I was optimistic before because in The Handmaid’s Tale there is there is the historical notes in which Gilead is over just as with Orwell’s 1984 there’s an an essay on news bacon standard English in the past tense which means that 1984 is over so we know it ended and in Handmaid’s Tale we just don’t know how so I was interested in how being a World War two child which in which totalitarianism did end I have this idea that they do eventually end because they either implode upon themselves or people sort of interpret each other they get attacked from without they get or they are generational succession happens in which we decide we no longer have to cut off a lot of people’s heads I’m reading Thomas Cromwell his history right now it was very much I mean Henry in the egg was monstrous in the last years of his reign and it was an absolute dictatorship if he said you die then then you died I mean they didn’t trumped-up charges don’t know whether you’ve been following the riots in Moscow or they multiple arrests and it’s it’s quote legal its quotes legal but it’s obviously a massive violation of human rights so do these things come to an end do they do they burn themselves out and what happens then so it is hopeful in that I show something again I didn’t put anything in that hasn’t happened I do show people making it out of gilead I do show the beginning of the end keeping in mind to Churchill who famously said it is not the end it is not even the beginning of the end but it is perhaps the end of the beginning TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale has brought the book to a whole new audience do you watch it I read on the script and I watch some of it and I will watch all of it when I have a little more time the first series cleaved very faithfully to the book clearly the second and third series have taken your world and build you know built it out what do you think of what they’ve done with it everybody in the show is very dedicated to it and for them it’s not just another show it’s not just an acting part so they get very involved and they’ve brought a lot of roundness and depth to characters who were fairly marginal in the book because the book is a single narrator is there anything about it you don’t like because I find it the second and third series quite bleak there’s a little torture there is a lot of torture in these kinds of regimes I apologize for that I didn’t do it but you didn’t write it I liked that I didn’t write it I imply it in in Handmaid’s Tale the novel but it takes place off stage like sex and Victorian novels you know it’s there we just don’t but television is very literal television vision and film are very literal and because it’s a TV show they’re very dramatic so I just wondered if there was any part of you that felt this is my world these are my characters and the Testaments was important answer to say actually this is what happens I think you’re implying that I’m more vengeful and weird than I actually am not not that I’m not vengeful and weird [Laughter] no I work with Bruce Miller the showrunner we have conversations there was a certain amount of you can’t kill that person but he I don’t think he was intending to kill that person anyway and there was also hands off that baby but that baby is mine yes I’m leaving that baby there’s so much pipe fanfare associated with the Testaments I wondered if you felt nervous perhaps disappointing your readers so you do have to point out it the fact that it’s a book you know it is a book it’s not regime change it’s not it’s it’s not something that is going to physically impact the lives of many people it’s not riots in Moscow it’s not brexit dare I say so it is it is actually a book and the readers have been a large part of that because it was partly in response to readers that I that I took the plunge so so they have been they have been very involved in it there there even people who who were writing histories of the gilliardi and Wars you know military historians are making up the military history of it which I leave them to and the field is as open it’s been also tremendous secrecy yes book yeah and here is why people were trying to steal it really they were trying to steal it we’d had to use a lot of code words and passwords and all of this and they were writing fake emails to to people trying to get a manuscript out of them what would they have done with that had they succeeded and who was trying to steal it persons unknown through fake emails but probably as as what is called in the world of the internet a phishing exercise pH they might have said we’ve got the manuscript we’re putting it up online game by share credit card details or they might have read this excerpt and download it and if you downloaded it a virus would have stolen your information so they have done that before these persons unknown they use of websites that that make it pretty impossible for you to actually pinpoint who it is but it was a commercial venture of a robbery kind gosh gosh yeah well might you say gosh I mean think about terrible we all would have felt had that happened yes but of course there was always secrecy and then by mistake Amazon in the United States sends out some copies last week yes oh no and this is angered independents no kidding booksellers who say that Amazon they should be punished as they might be if they right no I think I do you think they should be punished well I think anybody putting an embargo in place in the future should attach a dollar amount they should say if you violate the embargo this is what it will cost you and that money will go to independent bookstores or something of that nature so they didn’t do it on purpose they have apologized I don’t think these were copies that would have been bought through independent bookstores because they were pre-orders can you envisage a time when you might return to guinea odd for a third time never say never but never try to predict what you may or may not write because if you do predict it and then do something else you will endlessly have to answer the question but you said you were going to do that and then you did why did you do that but it’s not I never rule things out completely although come to think of it I did rule out writing a sequel and now I’ve gone and done it so you see what I mean we don’t know but but let us say that the time left available to me to write long the books that time is getting shorter by the minute does it get more difficult to write as you get older I wondered how you compared the process of writing her maids tale in the Testaments there was a wonderful drama series a long time ago in Canada in which a city person missed at the country and he says to the country old country guy have you lived here all your life and the old guy says not yet my answer to you is not yet

12 Comments

  • BBC News - Русская служба

    Интервью опубликовано на английском языке, поэтому не забудьте включить субтитры.

  • Асем

    нет! это не только путинская россия, тоже самое отношение к женщине и в средней азии. А самое жестокое отношение это в исламе!

  • Irina Bran

    Этим сериалом можно пытать заключенных, настолько он бесчеловечен. 
    Я не смогла продолжить его смотреть, но сделано всё на отлично.

  • Асем

    всея хрень происходящая в сериале – это то что происходит в исламе! тетька лидия типичная бесхребетная баба которая бросит детей ради мужчины, как и в исламе

  • Les Joni

    Мега крутой сериал, очень атмосферный и показывает насколько человек может пать и оставаться в то же время собой.

  • По Хемингуэю

    У них в Лондоне полно вахабитов со всего мира. Вот и перевоспитывайте их.

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