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Selected Writings of Michael Ondaatje



Please understand that this syllabus is provisional and may need to be compressed/shortened for reasons of time (= short, second block).

Week 1

General Introduction: Ondaatje and the Postcolonial Diaspora

Week 2 The Cat’s Table—Fictionalizing the Evolution of a Writer

Michael Ondaatje, The Cat’s Table (2011)

Week 3

Putting the J into the Postcolonial—Jazz and the Improvisations of Style
Coming Through Slaughter (1976)

Week 4–5

Mapping, Homelessness, and the Aftershocks of Empire
The English Patient (1992)

Week 6–7

Sri Lanka, the Body of History, and the Divided Self
Anil’s Ghost (2000)

Should you have time for additional readings, beyond the limits of our course, let me please suggest the following: (a) In the Skin of a Lion (1987); (b) The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film (2002); (c) selected poetry. I will try to integrate these texts and selections into our discussion, as appropriate.

Below are additional links to useful websites on Michael Ondaatje's work.  Please stay tuned! :)

Concluding Note


The only dumb question is the one you don't ask. My door is always open, and if it is not open, please knock; I will answer if I am there. Please don't hesitate to stop by.

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mwutz@weber.eduPhone  801-626-7011
Skype  michaelwutz007

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Weber – The Contemporary West
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Michael Wutz, Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor
Editor, Weber - The Contemporary West
Department of English, 1404 University Circle
Weber State University
Ogden, UT 84404-1404 USA