From the New York Times interview with Margaret Atwood, Back to the Scary Future and the Best-Seller List:
Ms. Atwood, writing in longhand, creates a tree of characters and charts that pinpoint their birthdays, and even casts their horoscopes. She sees in astrology a device to get people to talk about themselves. “You wouldn’t want your character to have the wrong horoscope any more than you would want them to have the wrong name,” Ms. Atwood said mischievously.
I have cast my characters’ horoscopes in the past (using Astrodienst). I think I need to do that now, for the book I am writing. The characters are too undefined yet. I’m still exploring them, but I think Atwood is right, that astrology is a good tool for opening up a dialogue with them.
Photo by Damon Winter for The New York Times: this is one of my favorite portraits of Margaret Atwood. I love the gloomy rock background, the sense that her concrete worlds are hefted into place by her weightless imagination.
So interesting about Margaret Mitchell! Thank you.
Hi Sandra – Very – Very – interesting post. Thank you.
Several years ago (and I didn't record sources so please don't quote me!!) I read an article about Margaret Mitchell and Gone with the Wind that stated that Ms M had relied heavily on astrology for characterisation. Scarlett got her name because she had a very heavy Mars influence in her birth chart. Also – the sequel – Scarlett – did not do as well as the original because this vital astrological ingredient was allegedly missing.
Worth a thought or two?
Yes, Ms. Lucy — I'm going back to using it. Could be interesting!
What an interesting notion…I can totally see how it could certainly help in bringing in elements of personality and character in this way. Actually, when I research or look up historical figures and notice their date of birth, I usually do think about their horoscope sign and somehow it gives me an idea of what they might be like!-Thanks:)