Abstract As well known, Michael Ondaatje, who was born in Sri Lanka (the old Colombo), moved to London in his prime and, then, to Toronto, becoming a Canadian citizen. In Ondaatje’s literary works there is a constant interweaving of voices: from colonial and postcolonial motifs to the use of geography, space, art and music, in order to subtlety suggest the underlining and pervasive theme of identity: in almost all his writings references to both the loss of identity in the colonial period and the atrocity of the civil war in Sri Lanka lead to a sort of image of the international bastard, as Ondaatje himself says in The English Patient. My paper, which is dealing with Ondaatje’s autobiography, Running in the Family, and the novels The English Patient and Anil’s Ghost, refers to other works by M. Ondaatje as well. If Running in the Family is imbued with the idea of a split identity, with recurring references to Canada and Sri Lanka, both The English Patient and Anil’s Ghost have an international setting: Italy, Africa (the desert, Cairo and Egypt), England, India and Canada in The English Patient, Sri Lanka (but several other places in Usa and in Europe, evoked by memory) in Anil’s Ghost, thus suggesting the idea of the “International bastard”. In the two novels, art, music, voices and new technologies interweave with the theme of identity being metaphorically or allusively presented.

Voicing the Alternative in Michael Ondaatje's Fiction

COMELLINI, CARLA
2012

Abstract

Abstract As well known, Michael Ondaatje, who was born in Sri Lanka (the old Colombo), moved to London in his prime and, then, to Toronto, becoming a Canadian citizen. In Ondaatje’s literary works there is a constant interweaving of voices: from colonial and postcolonial motifs to the use of geography, space, art and music, in order to subtlety suggest the underlining and pervasive theme of identity: in almost all his writings references to both the loss of identity in the colonial period and the atrocity of the civil war in Sri Lanka lead to a sort of image of the international bastard, as Ondaatje himself says in The English Patient. My paper, which is dealing with Ondaatje’s autobiography, Running in the Family, and the novels The English Patient and Anil’s Ghost, refers to other works by M. Ondaatje as well. If Running in the Family is imbued with the idea of a split identity, with recurring references to Canada and Sri Lanka, both The English Patient and Anil’s Ghost have an international setting: Italy, Africa (the desert, Cairo and Egypt), England, India and Canada in The English Patient, Sri Lanka (but several other places in Usa and in Europe, evoked by memory) in Anil’s Ghost, thus suggesting the idea of the “International bastard”. In the two novels, art, music, voices and new technologies interweave with the theme of identity being metaphorically or allusively presented.
Voicing the Alternative: Essays in Language and Literary Studies
165
174
C.Comellini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/144933
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