Written by Margaret Visser
Publication Date October 23, 2002
In spite of modern ideals and achievements in the area of freedom and choice, people today are often afflicted with a sense that they cannot change things for the better. They feel helpless, constrained, caught -- in a word, fatalistic. Beyond Fate, Margaret Visser's 2002 CBC Massey Lectures, examines why.
This timely and important book investigates what fate means, and where the propensity to believe in it and accept it comes from. Visser takes an ancient metaphor -- ubiquitous, influential, perhaps unavoidable -- where time is "seen" and spoken of as though it were space; she examines how this way of picturing reality can be a useful tool to think with -- or, on the other hand, may lead us into disastrous misunderstandings. There are ways out. But first, by observing how fatalism manifests itself in our daily lives, in everything from table manners and shopping to sport, we understand our profound attachment to fate, so that we can consider its role in our lives and our cultures.
Margaret Visser is the author of the bestselling books: The Geometry of Love, finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize; Much Depends on Dinner, winner of the Glenfiddich Prize for Food Book of the Year; The Rituals of Dinner, winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Literary Food Writing Award and the Jane Grigson Award in the US; The Way We Are, a collection of essays, and Beyond Fate, the 2002 CBC Massey Lectures. She divides her time between Toronto, Barcelona, and southwestern France.