Thursday, February 21, 2008


Last night, I finished reading Michael Ondaatje: The English Patient (Bloomsbury, London, 1992). It left me feeling unresolved, the narrative having dispersed into a morphine haze with none of the usual strings tied up neatly. I felt my firm hold on reality dissolving. I guess that is partly the intent of the author.

The film corrects a lot of that and rounds things out, so it was strange to read the novel after seeing the film. It was as if the film's resolutions were undone and left hanging about in untidy heaps.

I found the novel's opening pages intriguing and so I wandered into Ondaatje's world but in the end I was tired of the novel and wanted it to finish. At the last page, I was relieved but bemused.

In sum, I was finally left unconvinced, unsure even of what I should have been convinced of.



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