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).
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)
Putting the J into the Postcolonial—Jazz and the Improvisations of Style
Mapping, Homelessness, and the Aftershocks of Empire
Sri Lanka, the Body of History, and the Divided Self
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! :)
- "In The Skin of a Lion: Critical Study of Text (Year 12)" -- useful in itself, plus useful sites at the very end
- Wojciek Kallas, "The Cost of Civilization: Constructing the City in Michael Ondaatje's Lion" - a "Polish" perspective on labor, class division, and the ardor and aesthetic and artistry of labor
- Gordon Gamlin, "Lion and Oral Narrative" - esp. detailed on the novel's connections to the epic of Gilgamesh
- Rochelle Vigurs, "On Rock and Book and Leaf - On Reading Ondatjee's Handwriting," Handwriting II
- Cat's Table: The Fourth Feathers (1939), Jacques Henri Lartigue
- Alice van Wart, Spider Blues: Solecki's Ondaatje
- Visvis, Vikki. "Traumatic Representation: The Power and Limitations of Storytelling as “Talking Cure” in Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion and The English Patient," Ariel 40.4, 2009: 89-108.
- Baker, Abu and M.S. Ahmad. "Maps in Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient." NEBULA: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship. 2008: 98-109.
- Warlight (2018) I, Warlight II
- By the Book, Michael Ondaatje (June 2018)