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The difference between being a "thing" and being "distinguished" in Canada. The difference between being a writer and being a "thing." Ms. Atwood describes her own background, especially literary, and notoriety and its consequences. "… a literature that a society creates and the society itself are not separable." Comments and reactions to her book "Survival." A wry discussion of various "isms," especially a variety of "nationalisms" pertinent to Canada; also hysteria and paranoia and anti-"isms." Ends with the paradoxical comment that "nationalism right now is an international movement."