The beginning poems in Canadian literature included topographical narratives or hymns or patriotic songs

The beginning poems in Canadian literature included topographical narratives or hymns or patriotic songs. Oliver Goldsmiths The Rising Village(1825), celebrates the beginning life and the growth of Nova Scotia and its optimistic tones are sharp distinction to themelancholic poem,The Deserted Village(1770). Immigrants who came with great dreams encountered a harsh climate, unfamiliar wildlife, unpredictable natives and had a sense of physical and cultural deprivation. This dilemma was recounted in the prose of the Strickland sisters – Susanna Strickland Moodie andCatherine Parr Strickland Trail. Moodies Roughing It in the Bush(1852) discourages impending emigrants but TraillsBackwoods of Canada(1836) depicts a more encouraging image of the New World. The Dominion of Canada was created in 1867 by a union of Upper and Lower Canada (Quebec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, augmenting a collection of literary activities. Confederation Poetsturned to landscapes in the search of their native verses. They neither described nor demoralized nature like their predecessors, but attempted to depict them as Archibald Lampman says, harmony between the soul of the poet and the spirit and mystery of nature. Isabella Valancy Crawfords Malcolms Katie, Old Spookses Pass, and Other Poemswere published in 1884, where she drew images with mythopoetic verses on mythology, native people, pioneer life, and a symbolic animated nature.(Canadian Encyclopaedia, 102) Fiction became a popular form in historical romances and examples include The Nun of Canadaby Julia Catherine, 1824 and The Golden Dogby William Kirby, 1877. After the British conquest in 1759 Rosanna Eprohon rendered Life in Quebec. John Richardson, 1832, in his Wacousta or, The Prophecy, depicted Fort Detroitis uprising by Ottawa Indians. Early 20th century Canadian poets depicted French Canadian customs and dialects, Mohawk tribe rituals and the romance and freedom of North Canada.John McCraesIn Flanders Fields (1915), accounting World War I, is still Canadas best poem. The response against sentiments, patriotism was gradual but was derivatives of Victorian verses.Newfoundland Verse (1923), The Titanic(1935),Brebeuf and His Brethren(1940) andTowards the Last Spike(1952) by E. J. Pratt, broke this style to create a distinguished flair. Earle Birney, influenced by Pratt was an innovative and experimental poet. He anthologized his frequently published tragic narratives in David (1942). He was a pioneer for bold and technically varying poems which probed into the troubling nature of humanity. Trial of a City and Other Verse(1952), Rag Bone Shop(1971) andGhost in the Wheels(1977) were his other notable works. The advent and emergence of Modernism can be accounted to TorontosCanadian Forum, 1920 and MontrealsMcGill Fortnightly Review(192527). It was the outlet for new poetry.A. J. M. Smith,F. R. Scott, andA. M. Kleinstarted their extensive literary careers in this anthology. Their works emphasized on concrete images, free verse and open language. These poets felt poetry had to name, identify and take possession of the land.(26). Portrait of the Poet as Landscape (1948) by Klein emphasized the Adam taking a green inventory / in a world but scarcely uttered, naming, praising.(Canadian Encyclopaedia, 154). At a snails pace, colonial mindsets began to fall off and Canadian poems took other subjects into the forefront. The 1930-40s was a reaction to Great Depression, Fascism andWorld War II in poets and poetry. Dorothy Livesay in Signpost (1932), spoke about sexual love while condemning worker exploitations in Day and Night(1944). Poets like Raymond Souster, Irving Layton and Louis Dudek,advocated to focus on realism.By the start of the 19th century, novels about historical romances had a local flavour. Anne of Green Gables(1908) by Lucy Maud Montgomery used Prince Edward Island as its backdrop. Ontariotowns garrison mentality was set in The imperialist(Sara Jeannette Duncan -1904), The Man from Glengarry (Alph Connor -1901), Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town(Stephen Leacock-1912), and Jalna series (Mazo de la Roche 1927 to 60). The narrow mindedness like Social Realism of small farmingcommunities was documented in emerging novels. Settlers of the Marsh(Frederick Philip Grove-1925), Wild Geese (Martha Ostenso-1925), Fruits of Earth(1933) are testimonies of the farmers fights. Klee Wyck (1941) by Emily Carrrecounted stories on her childhood visits toBritish Columbia. Novels from 1940 to 50s took many subjects and forms. Nova Scotia Annapolis valley settings include As for Me and My House(Sinclair Ross -1941),Who Has Seen the Wind(W. O. Mitchell -1947) andThe Mountain and the Valley(Ernest Buckler -1952). These novels stayed away from conventional narrations and shifted from social realism towards lyricism.Religious, social and moral conflicts in Quebec against World Wars was captured in Hugh MacLennans Two Solitudes(1945) andThe Watch That Ends the Night(1959). Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept(Elizabeth Smart-1945) was a frank account of obsessive love in the backdrop of interior of British Columbia. Journey quests were documented in The Double Hook(Sheila Watson -1959) and Swamp Angel(Ethel Wilson -1954). The year 1950 saw a dissipation of apprehensions in Canadian novels and extended to other subjects. One trilogy (Fifth Business, 1970The Manticore, 1972World of Wonders, 1975) from Robertson Davies was a sign of growth of protagonists into a Jungianparadigm. The Rebel Angels, 1981Whats Bred in the Bone, 1985The Lyre of Orpheus, 1988 andMurther Walking Spirits(1991) from the same author explored Canadian art and identities. Lawrences novels (The Stone Angel, 1964A Jest of God, 1966The Diviners, 1974) and Alice Munroes Lives of Girls and Women(1971) used their female characters to depict a revolution against birthright. Munros short stories illustrated the marital lives and relationships of women in Toronto, Ontario, and British Columbia in a subtle style.Beautiful Losers(Leonard Cohen-1966) probed relationships between eroticism, sainthood, artistic creativity and violence. Mavis Gallants Across the Bridge(1993), discriminated the line between good and evil through the lives of ordinary people. The Edible Woman(1969),Lady Oracle(1976), andThe Robber Bride(1993).Bodily Harm(1981),The Handmaids Tale(1985), written by Margaret Atwoodportrayed urban life and sexual politics, while Oryx and Crake(2003), cautioned on political violence anddystopia. In Alias Grace(1996) andThe Blind Assassin(2000), ambiguity of truth and secretive world of women was exposed.Mordecai Richler satirized modern society hypocrisy using black humour in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz(1959),St. Urbains Horseman(1971),Joshua Then and Now(1980),Solomon Gursky Was Here(1989), andBarneys Version(1997). During the 1960s and 70s, many writers took a different path from the established conventions of fiction and shifted from realistic tosurrealistic writings. The writings followed feminist, self-reflexive or parodic modes. During the 1980s and 90s, writers reinforced about the nation, self and sense loss and belonging while breaking boundaries of sexual characteristics andgenre. Journey quests became the most important theme for Robert Kroetsch in the trilogyThe Words of My Roaring(1966),The Studhorse Man(1969), andGone Indian(1973). The Temptations of Big Bear (1973), The Scorched-Wood People (1977), and A Discovery of Strangers (1994) by Rudy Wiebe, highlighted insecure relationships of the European settlers. Timothy FindleysFamous Last Words(1981) andNot Wanted on the Voyage(1984) are historical fictions that pointed towards dangerous fascistic tendencies of the then modern state. 18thcentury explorerGeorge Vancouver figured in Burning Water(1980) by George Bowering. Canadian literature endured a significant transformation in the second half of the 20th century. Canadian fiction a spirit of self-confidence broke free from imitations. Earlier trends in writing gradually changed and during this period, fictional forms and modes multiplied rapidly where writers made every effort to gain contemporary relevance by negotiating common experiences of life. The writings broke away from the rigorous rules of conventional composition as they hoped to attain the infinite heights by transcending literature rigid boundaries. Many believe that these characteristics helped project Canadian writings to global appreciations. The Invention of the World(1977) by Jack Hodgins depicted asurrealisland, while colourful history ofVancouver Island was recounted in The Macken Charm(1995). Stories of 19th century Canadians using the symbol of whirlpool was woven by Jane Urquhart inThe Whirlpool(1986). Away(1993) depicted emigrant women lives of 1840s who migrated from Ireland to Canada. A Map of Glass(2005) recounted a reclusive womans probing mystery of her lovers disappearance. Daphne Marlettradically revised sexuality, family and colonial history through Ana Historic(1988) andTaken(1996).Even though the intervention of history exercised influence on all forms of Canadian writing, regional fiction maintained its traditional significance. Cape Breton family accounts were narrated in Ann Marie MacDonaldsFall on Your Knees(1996) andAlistair MacLeodsNo Great Mischief(1999). Richard B. Wright in Clara Callan (2001) recounted the quietness in Ontario life. Michael Crummey detailed on the extinction of Indigenouspeople from Newfoundland. St. Johns Literature of the 1980s and 90s was illustrated by Lisa Moore in Alligator (2005), where plural anddiversified voices across the country got attention. There was an emergence of First Nations amongst Mettis, and Inuit writers resisted concepts of Western history, society, land and nation. They narrated and explored their cultural practices, myths and oral traditions. Predominant themes were an individuals painful trajectory in negotiating combats, cultures and racialprejudices. They coped with shattered families or kinship groups and wrote on their concerns in a playful or parodic mode, as protest literature, or asalternativesto frenetic urban consumer cultures.(16). Examples of such works include writings from Jeannette Armstrong (Slash, 1985, rev. ed. 1988Whispering in Shadows, 2000).Beatrice Culleton (In Search of April Raintree, 1983), Tomson Highway (Kiss of the Fur Queen, 1998),Thomas King(Medicine River, 1990Green Grass, Running Water, 1993), and Eden Robinson (Monkey Beach, 1999Blood Sports, 2006). The same concerns are recounted in the autobiography and memoirs of Maria Campbell (Half-Breed (1973)) andLee Maracle (Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel(1975, rev. ed. 1990)).The same concerns again reflected in the biography, bio fiction, letters, and diaries of writers. OndaatjesRunning in the Family(1982),John GlasscosMemoirs of Montparnasse(1970), Aritha van HerksPlaces Far from Ellesmere(1990),Wayson ChoysPaper Shadows A Chinatown Childhood(1999), Dionne BrandsA Map to the Door of No Return(2001), and Wiebe and Yvonne JohnsonsStolen Life The Journey of a Cree Woman(1998) are notable examples. Settlers negotiated their meanings of home and belonging, their feelings of cultural estrangement, and their intergenerational struggles.Many authors highlighted their dilemmas. Nino Ricci recounted the long journey from Italy to Canada in his trilogyLives of the Saints(1990),In a Glass House(1993), andWhere She Has Gone (1997). Nancy Huston, in her novelsPlainsong(1993),The Mark of the Angel(1999), andProdigy(2000) negotiated dislocation and exile.Yann Martel depicting the voyage of 16-year-old Pi from India to Canada in Life of Pi (2001), won a Booker Prize. Asian Canadian writing also emerged as a dominant and pioneering force.Japanese Canadian imprisonments of World War II figured in Joy KogawasObasan(1981) Hiromi Gotos Chorus of Mushrooms(1994), probed into the relationships between three generations of women in ruralAlberta. ChoysThe Jade Peony (1995) depicted Chinese Canadian perspectives based on Chinatown in Vancouver. Parsi community lives was portrayed by Rohinton Mistry in Tales from Firozsha Baag(1987),Such a Long Journey(1991), A Fine Balance(1995) andFamily Matters(2001). Anita Rau Badami wrote on the subject of cross-cultural effects on Indian families of India and Canada in her Tamarind Mem(1996) andThe Heros Walk(2000). Many writers including George Eliott Clarke, Shani Mootoo and Makeda Silvera explored the mess in African and Caribbean slave immigrant lives. 1960s was a productive period in the history of Canadian Literature. Many remarkable writers like Margaret Atwood, George Bowering, and Timothy Findley including Alice Munro published their works. Ondaatje entered the arena of Canadian literature during this period to establish himself as a writer. He is an immigrant writer. A Sri Lanka born writer, Philip Michael Ondaatje, the son of Philip Mervyn Ondaatje and Enid Gratiaen Ondaatje, was born on September 12, 1943 He grew up in his affluent grandfathers tea estate in Kegalle, with his family. In 1952, four years after his parents divorced, he migrated to England with his mother and sister. There Ondaatje attended Dulwich College, a public school with a long literary tradition. Ondaatje followed his brother, Christopher, to Montreal when he was 19 years and then moved in to Lennoxville, eastern Quebec. He graduated in English from theUniversity of Torontoin 1965 and continued his post graduation at Queens Universityin 1967. At Bishops University, he had to mingle with people from diverse cultures and his works display his affiliation to several countries including England, Sri Lanka and Canada. He is known for his unification of genres and lyrical prose. His works have been translated into various languages including Italian, French, Portuguese, Turkish, Spanish and Catalan. He has received numerous awards and honours. HisThe Dainty Monsters(1967) was a collection of poetry that juxtaposedeveryday life with mythology. It was acknowledged for its unique mix of primitive and domestic imagery. As a poet Ondaatjes Dainty Monsters brought him international fame. This poetry collection has themes that are more complex and mature in nature for a young poet. The Dainty Monsters exhibited the growing spirit of the poet. This early poetry collection moved away from the traditional literary sources. George Bowering observes that These early poems belong in the tradition of closed verse rather than that of open form, but because they are, by the time …reader gets to them, over with there is no mystery left, no labour for the reader, just puzzle or rue. (Bowering, 1640). Critics on his poetical skills noted that he was consistent in presenting a musically conscious language and .Dainty Monsters represented Ondaatjes restless imagination and direction of his future writings in poetry. About the growth and development of Ondaatjes poetry, George Bowering comments The development of Ondaatjes poetry, from his early years in Canada to the present, resembles the development of the main currents of Canadian verse over a period perhaps twice as long. Unlike the Vancouver poets with their advocation of open-ended, process form, Ondaatje emerged from the school that believes the poem to be an artefact, something well-made and thus rescued from the contemporary world and mind. If the Vancouver poets might loosely be said to descend from Duncan, and Victor Coleman from Zukofsky, Ondaatje might be said to descend from Yeats and Stevens. (Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol 51, 315). Ondaatje was attracted towards the American West and created,The Collected Works of Billy the Kid Left-Handed Poems in 1970. It contained prose, photographs, interviews, comic book excerpts with poetry. This combined meditation on the nature of heroism and violence was celebrated and was considered the most significant volume of Ondaatjes poetry even today. Employing prose, verse, photographs, and drawings, Ondaatje portrays a fictionalized biography to probe the psyche of notorious American outlaw William Bonney. Theres a Trick with a Knife Im Learning to Do(1979), selections fromThe Dainty Monsters andRat Jelly with nineteen new poems won the Governor Generals Award. It centred on topics like friendship and family history.Sequences of confessional lyrics based on paternal love, redemptive qualities of love and his traumatic divorce were explored in Secular Love. If observed, Ondaatje could be found both as a character and a moulder of skill into art. Ondaatjes,The Cinnamon Peeler(1989) andHandwriting(1999) were on Sri Lankas culture and history. Ondaatjes poetry acquired popular and critical acclaims, after the publication of The Dainty Monsters. Douglas Barbour found Ondaatjes early works jungle-lush, noting Ondaatjes rhythmic control over his language.(125). Ondaatjes The man with seven toes has been dramatically read, while The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, was adapted for the stage. Poetry of Michael Ondaatje are filled with rich imagery and often seen in some violent relation to humanity, as George Bowering points out In his twenties he explored and exploited the violence implied in the confrontation between people and animals, … and was interested in the experimental philosophy developing a paradox pronounced early in his versethat nature breeds the unnatural (Bowering, 167). Though a few critics expressed disapproval of Ondaatjes works for lyrical excesses, many scholars concurred that his poetry was highly original, linguistically skilled, and approved his manoeuvring established and his own myths. Ondaatje is one of the most imperative poets of his generation. He was a receiver of many awards Ralph Gustafson (1965), Epstein (1996), E.J. Pratt Medal (1966), Presidents Medal (University of Ontario 1967), Canada Council grant (1968,77), Canada First Novel (1977), Governor-Generals Award for Poetry (1979), Toronto Book (1988), Literary Lion (1993), Giller Prize (Canada 2000), Prix Medicis (2000), Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize (2000), Scotiabank Giller Prize (2007), Commonwealth Writers Prize (2008). In addition, Ondaatje was the recipient of the Canadian Governor-General Award for Fiction in 1971, 1980, 1992 and 2000. His The English Patient was awarded Canada-Australia prize in 1980 and 1992. In 1992, he got Booker McConnell Prize for his novel. In 2018, he received theGolden Man Booker Prize. His Handwriting Poems(1998) is a symbol of selfhood, literally and metaphorically. In Last Ink, he mirrored himself in ink, the indelible darker self (73). Memories inked onto stone hold the vista of a life (72) a womans story is caught in jade (74). To catch, to hold, and to remember are recognizable Ondaatje strains. Motifs from Handwriting turned into burial/unearthing symbols in stone/mud, culture marked on leaves/scrolls/seals, the arts of stonecutting, divination, mapmaking, storytelling, and the wild cursive scripts (4) of the calligraphers pen. Introductory dirge to Ondaatjes father, Letters and Other Worlds, ascribes figuratively his fathers fears, which ironically separate the speaker from his parent for whom he longs and phrased as a room he seldom lived in a room his body scared (Trick 44). Inscribed is the uncontainable fear inherent in the chaos, Ondaatjes typical recurrent symbol for the omnipresent, the dislocated self, exile, prodigal, profusion/confusion of boundaries. It is the classic story of a child sent away from his country of birth who returns home as an adult to excavate the past. In an attempt to foreground self, questions arise as to what is left behind. W. M. Verhoeven remarks on his prose But I would argue that the same is true of his poetry Again and again persons (or their identities) get lost in Ondaatjes stories lost in legend, lost in the bush, lost in the past, lost in history, lost in memory, lost in myth and in each case people go after them in order to recover them, to remember them, or to recreate them (22). The thrust behind loss and recovery can be found in both the characters who search, uncover and recover themselves and the author, who imagines these characters. Letters and Other Worlds speaks on the control of the hand that immortalizes loss due to inherent fear. Ondaatjes canon is a chronological treat of an evolving poet life. Ondaatjes identity is subtly hidden behind domesticity in The Dainty Monsters. Rat Jelly (1973), plays its role as creator of self, of art, and of self in art. If, Left Handed Poems of Ondaatje were The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, the opposite hands of Ondaatje in Rat Jelly indicates his relentless search for a dynamic form embodying conscious and unconscious or the chaotic and ordered. The duplicates show endless possibilities for Michael Ondaatje. Peter formes violent beauty carved death made fragments of people (90) In The Dainty Monsters, alien landscape that desecrates and shapes individual lives in The Man with Seven Toes and dividing the self in The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. The poem, Were at the Graveyard, in Rat Jelly, signals the move towards community, while in the same collection, Ondaatje names his father in Letters and Other Worlds. Theres a Trick with a Knife Im Learning to Do (1979) interrogates community and probes friendship in Walking to Bellrock. Ondaatje in Light, turns towards his past, but moves into a larger world with travel poems. Running in the Family, 1982, is the extracted poetic career spanning twenty years. It is an ontological conjuring trick of appearing and disappearing, of facing and defacing the self 25, according to Verhoeven. It also might have paved the way for self-confessions in Secular Love (1984). Ambiguous distorted syntactical fragments and interwoven subplots intensify emotional landscape creating the chiaroscuro effect of the Claude glass in the epigraph. This fragmentary nature of his poems prefigure in Handwriting and The Man with Seven Toes. The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, show Ondaatjes interest in sequence poems, which surface in many poems of Handwriting. The Cinnamon Peeler (1992) reordering reinforces significance in Ondaatjes art of life. The last poem in Trick, became the first poem in his next new collection, indicating a sense of continuance, and future possibility. Escarpment was the penultimate poem in the Secular Love. Birch Bark, was dedicated to his friend and mentor, George Whalley, where friendship is celebrated as an old song we break into / not needing all the words (Cinnamon192). In The Cinnamon Peeler, Breeze, an elegy to friend and fellow poet B P Nichol, Ondaatje writes, We sit down to clean and sharpen / the others most personal lines, and vowed From now on / no more solos (193-94). Later after nine years, in Handwriting he marks a similar connection in The Great Tree, where a poet calligrapher celebrates his friends painting by inscribing a colophon on its surface, each sweep and gesture echoing the others art (58). These gestures of Ondaatjes led many to believe in another transformation. The arc of accumulating self-exposure culminated in the fragmented poetics of Handwriting where the self is defaced in a different way, which was unusual. Ondaatjes first new poem after fourteen years had positive reception in Sam Soleckis review in Books in Canada, in which he referred to the astonishing economy of a lyrical and multi-layered mosaic (7) Jay Ruzeskys appreciation in The Malahat Review of the levels of thought and expression (119) and Sudeep Sens unequivocal admiration in World Literature Today Michael Ondaatjes Handwriting is elliptical and careful, raw and perfectly pitched, but always beautifully conceived and delicately etched in wild cursive scripts with the stylized slant of a fine and practiced hand (339). Globe and Mails, Fraser Sutherland noted dense poetic texture and gorgeous images, characterized in Ondaatjes book is like a train journey in which the traveller sees wondrous sights and miraculous events flash by at the window without any easy assurance that theres a destination, an engineer or even a train (D16). It lacked emotional range according to Kenneth Sherman in Arc All characters and movements carry the same weight (68). Henry Taylor in Poetry described the language as precise yet remote, like a thoughtful and troubled voiceover (108). It is an intangible hand that writes on waves, / on leaves, the scripts of smoke (Handwriting, 6). Ondaatje toyed with this idea even before In Walking to Bellrock, his river journey with a friend Stan Dragland, had images of heads decapitated and frames truncated at the stomach (Trick 81-82). In one of the poems emerging from his travel across the Indian subcontinent to Sri Lanka in 1978, The Hour of Cowdust, he wrote Everything is reducing itself to shape there is no longer / depth of perception (86-87). The same collections Uswetakei-yawa, the trickster dog takes on outrageous transformations, and may be the something that slips into the canal, losing its shape in the night (89-91). In Handwriting, No human image remains. / what is eternal is brick, stone, / a black lake where water disappears / below mud and rises again. By suppressing the authoritative voice, the tyranny of system is transgressed and the very nature of selfhood interrogated. Reduced to essentials, the voice that speaks rehearses the alternative narrative, retells its story in a way that is complicated, less sequential than the established version. Ondaatjes, Edward Saids personal history is about displacement, advocating the dispossessed, Said writes, With no acceptable narrative to rely on, with no sustained permission to narrate, you feel crowded out and silenced (325). The authorial voice is sublimated for inclusive pluralism in Handwriting, community breaks the silence. Handwriting is an antiphony of many self-voices and their responses echo across pages. In these voices, contradictory nature of the split self resides, the self has to cross over boundaries and speak back. I contradict myself / I am large I contain multitudes (Whitman 87). To read the collection, is to come away with a sense of the past turning over on itself, mixing with the present, where the past and present inform and reform one another. His collective memorials can be unearthed from these poems. Said argues that historical influences of empire, geography, culture, create a texture of shared memory that past is not lodged irrevocably, with stretches across time for the present. In Culture and Imperialism, the writer is connected inextricably to the tradition of which he or she is a part. To quote Eliot from Tradition and the Individual Talent The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastiness of the past, but of its presence the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order (Qtd. in Said 4). Ondaatjes sense of history and violent beauty generates a complex mix that is provocative and non-sequential. His narrations offer counter-narratives that have manifold positions in one resisting authoritative voice or concealed in a variety of voices. In the language of Roland Barthes, text of bliss the text that imposes a state of loss, the text that discomforts , unsettles the readers historical, cultural, psychological assumptions, the consistency of his tastes, values, memories, brings to a crisis his relation with language (14). It is a split of the self in text that reads and writes for pleasure, a text rooted in the culture producing it. Reading his text has interstices of its discourse, broken with the culture, and text that is fragmented, disjunctive and jarring. Critics attempting a commentary on the text face a similar challenge With the writer of bliss (and his reader) begins the untenable text, the impossible text. It is beyond pleasure or criticism, unless it is reached through another text of bliss you cannot speak on such a text, you can only speak in it, in its fashion (22). A Gentleman Compares His Virtue to a Piece of Jade, the opening poem of Handwriting, presents people, country, country history in poetic fragments and all qualified by a ubiquitous sense of we, who stand apart from their place and culture, but all together belong to it. Fragments resemble a miniature tableau, with pauses until the final two verse paragraphs. Narrative voice is restrained without a sure argument or direction, while the emotional shading is cleverly shown. Images in his novels are arranged like pieces of tile on a smooth surface. Though the reader is sensuously fulfilled, they stilt-walk looking for a firm footing. A generator shut down by insurgents / stood there /swaying in the darkness (5). In addition, in that darkness, there is silence, in that silence, an invitation. Michael Ondaatje Bangles from Polonnaruwa. A nine-chambered box from Gampola. The archaeology of cattle bells. (4) Listen and receive. Dispel all former beliefs. Desire nothing. We began with myths, the narrative voice reports, and later included actual events (3). Information may not be immediately forthcoming and a glossary of the language or knowledge on Sri Lanka will be insignificant in deciphering information. The poems in Handwriting are simplified music where recurring patterns gradually lengthen, incorporating changes as it proceeds. Images in A Gentleman Compares His Virtue to a Piece of Jade like bells, Buddha, bangles, tightrope walker, water, moon, can be traced in each poem text with its journey, exposed and re-exposed in various contexts. It alters its form while accumulating meaning and is a never-ending process, until the writer reconfigures form and content. Thus, there is no ultimate meaning, solution, or finality. A reader or listener experiences a sense of wholeness, an ephemerality that satisfies modern experiences. In Handwriting, Ondaatje invites us to enter an imaginative spirit of place and imaginative interpretations. A reader might read for a sequence of poems or a quality shared by a sequence of phrases or names a feeling for that quality. In his postscript to Handwriting, Ondaatje refers to rasas as flavours (78), where Rasa is a Sanskrit word for emotional state derived from an artistic experience. If one were to attempt to attribute a flavour to A Gentleman Compares His Virtue to a Piece of Jade, nostalgia seems correct. The proper diction of the title suggests that the narrator is a member of the educated elite. A Portuguese descent Burgher might feature the same as saudade, which loosely means nostalgia and implies a bittersweet melancholy. A piece of jade, may be contemplated as a green islands concurrent pleasures and sufferings that are simultaneously translucent and diffused. Again, in Last Ink, a womans story could have been lost in unfocused reproductions, until caught in jade, whose gamut holds the black greens. A Gentleman Compares His Virtue to a Piece of Jade is a map to a country where poetic conventions or epistemological expectations may be unreliable guides. Points of departure are images that occur in it and each will repeat in succeeding poems registering their meaning, but in a larger context. Handwriting is a mans effort to break through the surface, where each succeeding poem incorporates in totality. We are ultimately left with a mans portrait of place, an imaginative map. In a country of hundred beliefs, only the traveller is the authority (Handwriting 11). Yet these same hundred beliefs are inscribed in a collective memory. Handwriting occurred on waves, on leaves, the scripts of smoke, a sign on a bridge along the River. Writing is also a way to memorialize and preserve cultures. A country where conflicts are written into its history, people leave signs. In Handwriting, Ondaatje steps on the history of Sri Lanka in the first section. He unearths the conflicts and bears witness to people who attempt to defend a way of life and remember it. To be buried in times of war for safety, and to bury giving up the sacred carrying the faith of a temple (7), and then to unearth and to be unearthed these are the acts of insubordination when above ground all is massacre and race (8). Men carrying recumbent Buddhas are those who defy the enemy burying them in earth and stone, In Buried. They also carry mortars / burn the enemy, disappear into pits and girls wear poisoned necklaces to save themselves from torture (12). An ethos of people buried and exhumed in stone reincarnations. In the final section of the poem, the narrator draws personal experience of death and rebirth. He looks at the lake that has buried a village and feels water in my bones as he struggles with an unbearable fever like someone who is buried/ in the darkness of a room or in a black lake / that reappears and disappears(11). The consequences of burial and revival, drowning and recovering, life and violent death beg the question, But if I had to perish twice (13) Michael Ondaatje (79). However, it is not clear whether the stolen Buddha statue will be preserved in The Brother Thief, the stonecutters art endures. Buddhas eyes restless /from firelight invoke emotion and insight, a sense of dark peace, / like a cave of water (16). On the road To Anuradhapura the poet contemplates the flutter and drift (18) of humanity when he comes across many faces of God Hindu shrines to Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed god who links the worldly and the spiritual a family of stilt-walkers, men practising god like feats twenty feet high / walking over fields (17) and Anuradhapura, an ancient Sinhalese city and home to the sacred Bodhi tree grown from a sapling of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment in 528 B.C. Pilgrims circle a dagoba with relics of Buddha in this city of faith, as in this country, the ancient and the modern merge and drift in the tow of this river (18),and God is everywhere. The leitmotif of preservation through burial recurs in Buried 2.An incantatory narrative voice gives an account of the rescue of the tooth relic from the hot loam of the Buddhas funeral pyre in which it was buried, only to be buried in hair and buried again / within the rapids of a river as it was smuggled from temple to temple for five hundred years (21). Libraries are buried under trees harbours drown invaders ships. Dark forests hide poets they are revealed as if a torch were held above the night sea / exposing the bodies of fish and when killed are only made more famous (23). Stories, legends, and traditions shape a mythology of a people, and so mark their place. What we lost are the signs that mark a significant cultural identity and in Buried 2 raise questions about the value of preservation poems that inscribe, the deeper levels of the self /landscapes of daily life (24), rules of courtesy, the art of drumming and of eye-painting, certain gestures and patterns, knowledge handed down through generations hidden in clouds, / in rivers, in unbroken rock (25). The loss is enumerated in a metrical pulse of arrest and motion, striving and stillness Nine finger and eye gestures to signal key emotions, the small boats of solitude. Lyrics that rose from love back into the ai naked with guile and praise. Our works and days. (24-25) In a diction that echoes the vocabulary of Buddhism (the Ten Precepts, the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path Gombrich 67-94) the metrical pulse halts in the final, startling recognition All this we burned or traded for power and wealth from the eight compass points of vengeance from the two levels of envy. (25). The consequences of losing those things, which were bartered for, are addressed in the following sections of the poem, where the forests which were the raw material of visionaries in part ii now signify boundaries In the south most violence began / over the ownership of trees (26). What is being unearthed currently are the disappeared / bodies of schoolchildren(27), and sometimes nothing is preserved Those whose bodies / could not be found (28). Ondaatje poem questions this burial and loss of a cultures whether it is the desire to define separateness or gratification of ambition. The answer to this question can be found in an ironic understatement of the last poems title, All those poets famous as kings, recalls the earlier reference to those famous poets who were killed and made more famous (23). The title and formal presentation of the poem in part viii suggests the work of ancient poets who wrote their stories on rock and leaf, to record simple exquisite moments A woman who journeys to a tryst having no jewels, darkness in her hair, the sky lovely with its stars (29). Sound and form patterns persist in subtle metaphors throughout Handwriting incorporating the whole. Poems comprise the investigation and exposure of the cultural and political history of Sri Lanka as a prominent thematic concern Narration is distanced and identified impersonally as collective in we. In the main poem sequence The Nine Sentiments, Ondaatje bridges personalized lyrics of the third section and political concerns of the first section. His compressed, fragmentary style and the repetition of suggestive images from preceding poems sustain the collections minimalist aesthetics. The poetic fragments that comprise the eleven poems in the sequence revel in some of what we lost from Buried 2The interior love poem The art of eye-painting Gestures between lovers Lyrics that rose / from love / back into the air / naked with guile and praise (24-25). His phrase the interior love poem recalls the akam genre of the Tamil literary tradition, which addresses the inner or private life through the drama of cross-gender relations. The references to womens painted eyes (34, 37), sidelong coquetry (35), and three folds on their stomachs / considered a sign of beauty (39) recall the attributes typified by women in classical Indian works girls and women shoot well-directed, wounding looks from the corners of their eyes. They have moon or lotus faces, graceful liana arms, lotus feet, narrow waists with three folds of skin round the navel as a sign of beauty (Lienhard, 33). The lovers tryst and the monsoon season are favourite themes in/ classical Indian poetry in Ondaatjes poem x the lover is walking through rainstorms to a tryst (Handwriting 42). The speaker of poem xi who laments Where is there a room / without the damn god of love (43) echoes lines from a poem by Bhartrihari, a 15th century philosopher-poet who wrote, Damn her, damn him, the god of love, / the other woman, and myself (Miller, 3). Swedish scholar Siegfried Lienhard, in his study of classical Sanskrit poetry, describes practices of both Sanskrit and Tamil with fixed literary conventions were highly developed theoretical systems. A poets artistry lay in individual poetic brilliances of juxtaposing standard elements in imaginative expression of familiar themes, phrases, and associations. Short lyrics were the base for classical Indian poetry, where compression of message was dominant. Conventional language was subtly manipulated with skill and readers were delighted with formulaic verses. For an expert of classical Indian poetry, camatkara (Aesthetic astonishment resulting in a feeling of bliss caused by the accumulative comprehension of a literary text), was the essence of poetic enjoyment. Connotative words and images created a poetic resonance through dhvani (suggestion) and rasa (awakening of the aesthetic response) in the reader, not the direct naming of an emotional tone, but a slow and undeniable creation, imperceptibly, of a climate of feeling (Merwin 19). Handwriting according to Sudeep Sen, darkroom experience, developing a negative to a positive slow, gentle, translucent, and evocative (338). He writes in a formal and stylistic minimalism that language is reduced to the precision of a razors micron edge, there is fine-tuned movement that incorporates as its primary tool suggestiveness and all that falls in that subtle space. In classical Indian poetics view, the set pieces of Indian love poetry comprising The Nine Sentiments to which an early reviewer of Handwriting referred disparagingly as exoticism, affectation (Sherman 70). Ondaatje, as a writer, balanced intersection of cultures, mediated Western poetics in an Eastern tradition by balancing them. By footnoting some of the traditions and marginalia of classical Sanskrit poetry and Tamil love poetry in the postscript to Handwriting, Ondaatje invites a casual and unsophisticated suggestion that we avoid reading these poems as literary theory but instead note and take pleasure from the interplay of selected images. Instead of nine poems, each one for a sentiment, Ondaatje gives eleven poems for understanding the sequence, leading to a narrative link in The Nine Sentiments which is accretive and subtle. Poetic miniatures stand as individual elements in a series, but comprise an accumulating whole emotional tone, evoked from related images. In The Wars (Trick 92), hundreds of unseen bats sing the language of archaic Tamil in the Bo tree. The poems in Handwriting are polyphonic, multi-voiced, inclusive, and, in the spirit of Saids words, represent a pull away from separatist nationalism toward a more integrative view of human community and human liberation (216). A reader has to uncover the whole sense from text joins in the poems in an imaginative re-creation, breathing life into an entity in which the poet first breathed life, much like the reader of classical Indian poetry,. Ondaatjes collection of verses, The Broken Ark, (1971), was edited, revised and published as A Book of Beasts in 1979. Short-fiction anthologies Personal Fictions Stories by Munro, Wiebe, Thomas, and Blaise (1977) and From Ink Lake (1990), The Faber Book of Contemporary Canadian Short Stories (1990) were also edited. The editorial work of poetry includes The Long Poem Anthology (1979) and An H in the Heart (1994). Ondaatje has edited a book on film editing (The Conversation Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film (2002)). Ondaatje achieved a good deal in poetry and manifested a marked position in fiction writing. Although he was accorded recognition for his poetry initially, he is renowned for his novels. His novels include Coming Through Slaughter, 1976 Running in the Family, 1982 In the Skin of a Lion, 1987 The English Patient, 1992 Anils Ghost, 2000 Divisadero, 2007, The Cats Table, 2011 and War light, 2018. Ondaatjes novels have international acclaim on being a social commentator with diversified themes and techniques. He has utilised historical events and facts for his writing. The creative genius, imagination and mastery over the art of storytelling through his multi-voiced narratives, mastery over different art forms and flow of his language drew critics towards him. Linda Hutcheon observes In his longer works, Ondaatje not only joins the Pound tradition, but also becomes a specifically Postmodern writer. Although the terms Postmodern and Postmodernism may seem too vague, they are consistently used and too ubiquitous to be displaced. (Quoted in Douglas Barbour, 06) Ondaatjes novels are constantly based on historical events, whether the building of Toronto in the 1920s, the dropping of atomic bombs at the end of World War II, or the civil war in Sri Lanka in the 1980s. Ondaatje depicts all these events from a postcolonial perspective, a voice of protest that reveals resistance to colonial oppression. He reinterpreted the status of historical truth in Canada, the New History, challenging, at the same time, traditional equations and confusions of past historical events with the present events. He implies that history has been rewritten in each age based on the vision of the historian, where the historian might be a victor or be vanquished. Ondaatje always deals with history from a fictional perspective to account for observers point of view. Ondaatje, as a writer, performs an essential task that of re-evaluating official history dominated by colonialism views, by providing a voice for the colonized left out of official history books. Ondaatje specifically studies the ideological forces that work on the colonized to adopt colonialist culture, a merger colonized resist. He examines the double mindedness of the colonized and the internal conflicts between the indigenous and colonial cultures. He persistently returns to his main theme, search for identity. The settings of Ondaatjes novels are not restricted by geography. The novels have depicted the life and cultural practices of people living in different parts of the world including New Orleans, Sri Lanka, Italy, Africa, Canada, United States, France and England. He illustrated the dreadful events followed by the destructive World Wars, Civil Wars, and Gulf Wars in his novels like The English Patient, Anils Ghost, and Divisadero. He has highlighted the economic and cultural clashes that arise owing to race and class disparity in his novels such as Coming Through Slaughter, Running in the Family, In the Skin of a Lion and The Cats Table. Ondaatje probes the psychology of the characters who strive hard against the idiosyncrasies of life and endeavour to establish an identity of their own. He has introduced an array of such characters including Hana, Caravaggio, Kip, and Almasy in The English Patient Patrick and Nicholas in, In the Skin of a Lion Anil in Anils Ghost Anna, Claire and Coop in Divisadero and Michael in the novel, The Cats Table. His characters were embodiment of people from different walks of life immigrants, political agitators, outlaws, saboteurs, researchers, spies and thieves. Fragmentation forms the major narrative of Ondaatje. Ondaatje has broken the syntax of the narrative that his stories appear disordered series. He has also made use of biographical and autobiographical characters in Coming Through Slaughter and Running in the Family. The earlier one deals with the biographical account of African American musician Bolden and the latter is an autobiographical record of Ondaatjes family ancestry. Christopher Reid comments that Running in the Family turns out to be an intelligent and responsible piece of work, full of good stories and colourful evocations of a world that will be foreign to most of its readers (Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol, 29, 343). Ondaatjes novels are not packed with characters except The Cats Table and he bestows comparable importance both to his male characters as well as to his women characters. (Characters like Nora, Hana, Katherine, Alice, Claire, Anna and his own mother and grandmother are best instances). Ondaatjes novels emphasize the issues related to the confrontation of people who are affected by the obligation of a dominant power upon them. Characters like Hana, Caravaggio, Kip and Anil are constrained by external factors. Though they withdraw themselves from the chaos of the world, they remain practical to operate within the community to improve the situation of the people around them. The novels of Ondaatje have projected the issues of the immigrants including cultural dislodgment, loss of language, disempowerment, loss of a sense of identity, memories of past, marginalisation and reversal of voice. Ondaatje also advocates the prospect of recovery from these issues. Instead of representing the nostalgia of the immigrants for home places, Ondaatje proposes the immigrants the means of creating a sense of place for them in the new environment. Ondaatje describes how these immigrants gather strength and gain insight by adjusting themselves to new locations and by establishing new communities that embrace ideals from different cultures. The immigrants redefine themselves and their place in the world by recognising and accepting their own differences. Ondaatje though offers suggestions for leading a contended life through his novels, leaves his novels open-ended so that the reader would assume the future course of events. For instance, Anils Ghost, ends with the belief that the social mayhems in Sri Lanka will be ended with the submission of Anils report to the International authorities in Geneva. Instead of focusing on the events following the revelation, Ondaatje anticipates the reader to relate the novel with the current state of the country. Due to his distinct writing style, Ondaatjes novels remain unique. In his works, Ondaatje challenges the established genre conventions and distinctions between fact and fiction prose and poetry real and the imaginary. The novels of Ondaatje are full of remarkable imagery presenting romantic exoticism. They are also notable for their cinematic qualities – montage techniques and fewer dramatic dialogues. Ondaatjes novels have been explored from post-colonial context, ethnic issues, and the treatment of women characters and so on. Several critics have been attracted towards Ondaatjes narrative strategy, use of maps, myth and legend in his works, symbolism, sub textual richness, poetic weaving of the past and the present, blending of memory and silence and his treatment of history. The thematic and technical richness of his works have been widely discussed by several critics. In analysing the novels of Michael Ondaatje, it is observable that his protagonists have a great zeal for self-development. Notwithstanding this, the immigrant voice of Gender Race (commonly known as Racism) and Class function are visible fictional matrix of Michael Ondaatje. This research work examines these aspects in the novels of Ondaatje. A short review of the novels of Michael Ondaatje gives us the glimpse of his fictional matrix. Coming Through Slaughteraccounts the life of Buddy Bolden, one of the founders of Dixieland jazz. Little factual material is known about Bolden, who lived in poverty and played cornet in the Storyville district of New Orleans during the 1890s. From the information got from his research, Ondaatje presents Bolden as a man driven by the demands of his art, as well as by his human attachment to his family and friends. Marina Jones introspects Coming Through Slaughter is, it seems to me, a novel that takes the popular form seriously indeed, suggesting how provocative a theoretical model detective fiction can be for the activity of reading and writing the life/text. (Quoted in CLC, Vol, 180, 189). Tension mounts in Bolden until he feels forced to disappear. He reappears briefly and returns to his music, but the stress is too much for him, and he is precipitated into madness. Bolden was born in 1876 in 1907, he was admitted to an insane asylum, where he died in 1931. His study articulates transcultural constructions of individual and identity. He has written several books on poetry. Ondaatje can be seen beginning his career of narrative art withComing Through Slaughterin 1976 and In the Skin of a Lion in 1987. OndaatjesComing Through Slaughteris explicitly about Boldens identity expressed in his music, but it is implicitly about his identity as a black man whose musical insistence on freedom is thwarted by worsening racism in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century. Ondaatje portrays Bolden, an American of African ancestry as a heartbreaking artist, a man whose musical genius isolates him from friends and family, eventually leading to his insanity. The black-white racial conflict however is not the focus of the novel. Rather structured like jazz music, the novel presents a fragmented, multi-voiced, episodic narrative that draws attention towards identity crisis leading to destruction of life. The novel covers the last months of Boldens normal period in 1907 when his music becomes more radical and his behaviour more unpredictable. Ondaatjes concern however is not as much with the actual life story of Bolden as with the world of the time, where, as he says, There was no recorded history a History was slow (2, 3). The novel portrays Buddy Bolden in such a way that his actual life is drawn on, but as Cynthia F. Wong concisely points out, Ondaatje blurs the generic distinctions between poetry and prose, factual verisimilitude and fictional reconstruction (289) to explore the novels central theme. The novel comprises of a series of events strung together as snap shots demanding readers to imagine and retrieve the self of Bolden from them. Ondaatje creatively narrates the tale of the protagonist Buddy Boldens descent into his own hell. A despair musician, Bolden was unsurpassed in his time as his work influenced the music of several later generations. However, in his time he struggled to transcend lifes miseries even as he frequently lapsed into despair, loneliness, and subsequently, madness. Ondaatje, in this novel, touches the issue of unfaithfulness with transparent perfection and adds new dimensions and understanding to it. He raises pathos to such poetic heights that his genius matches with that of the great Greeks and does not falter when compared with greatest Bard of Elizabethan era- Shakespeare. There are no kings, no queens and no princes. There is nothing halo about the mega character. There are no gods or ghosts to direct the hero. However, there is wisdom of the blood feeling on the hair tips and a wild passion that guides. The setting depicted in the novel is rude and lascivious. As he writes, By the end of Nineteenth century, the Storyville district of New Orleans had some 2000 prostitutes, 70 professional gamblers, and 30 piano players.(3) But it had only one man who played the cornet like Buddy Bolden – he who cut hair by day at N. Josephs Shaving Parlour, and at night played jazz, unleashing an unforgettable wildness and passion in crowded rooms. The novel is unmistakably about Boldens identity as expressed in his music, but totally, it is about his identity as a black man whose musical insistence on freedom is thwarted by worsening racism in New Orleans at the beginning of the twentieth century. Yet as Ondaatje observes, many interpreted Boldens subsequent crack-up as a morality tale of a talent that debauched itself. But his life at this time had a fine and precise balance to it (7). Ondaatje portrays Bolden, an American of African lineage as a tragic artist, a man whose musical genius isolates him from friends and family and eventually leads to his insanity. The black-white racial clash however does not become the focus of the novel. Rather structured like jazz music, the novel presents a fragmented, multi-voiced, episodic narrative that draws even an unwilling reader into its passion. In this ordinary world, Ondaatje takes up the issue of infidelity. There are no accusations, no cold revenge, no plotting, no cursing, no murdering but silent suffering- an ache in the soul-a sublimation and pouring out of the heart in the art i.e. music. Ondaatje portrays the cruelties of external world that pervade the personal one too. Shakespeares Hamlet could rightly assert, Frailty- thy name is woman. But here both men and women are frail. Why so Not an easy question to answer. In an unjust world where the primary struggle is that of survival, pure bonds of love are impossible to forge. Infidelity has remained curse of all ages, civilizations and tribes. Wounds and woes of infidelity lead to unbearable pain that becomes difficult to express. Why one falls in bondage, why seeks solace in this bondage, one does not realize. Why man and woman wish to break this bondage Perhaps no one can ever describe. Buddy has learned that Tom Pickett is having an affair with his common-law wife, Nora Bass. Pickett is an extremely handsome pimp in the city of New Orleans. Boldens wife, Nora, was formally part of Picketts business endeavours. After Pickett boasts about his relationship with Nora, Bolden doubts the stability of his construction of Nora, If Nora had been with Pickett. Had really been with Pickett as he said. Had jumped off Boldens cock and sat for half an hour later on Tom Picketts mouth on Canal Street. Then the certainties he loathed and needed were liquid at the root (75). What emerges in the novel thus is the gloomy world at the very rag and bone shop of society where alcohol and sex make up for pain and love, and music exudes ineffably from the fabric of blasted lives. Boldens musical progress is differentiated from that of his contemporaries and followers as clear and even transcendental, particularly at the point where he becomes irretrievably insane. The question here is why such a talented and pure spirited man should linger on in the mental asylum for all his life and die unidentified. Herein lays the true ache of novel and its genuine pathos. Buddy is neither killed or murdered nor crucified but is slaughtered on the altar of infidelity. In the meeting of Bolden with Robin Brewitt, Ondaatje observes that he nearly fainted (27) he lost control of his senses and his heart. The early stages of Boldens relationship with Robin are marked clearly by an ongoing loss of control or, more accurately, by the loss of the balance that characterized his life with Nora. Robin seems to represent an alternate other for Bolden – a second chance, as it was, for his constructing a kind of truth for himself. It is stated repeatedly that even though Bolden has numerous women throwing themselves at him, he truly loves Nora. However, after Bolden runs from New Orleans, he finds himself without Nora. As Ondaatje portrays, Bolden does not really love Robin. Robin is his outlet. She blurs into Nora- and Nora is not his. He is completely alienated and devastated- devoid of all – including his kith and kin. Only a slow and anonymous death is his destiny- a destiny of every modern man driven away by infidelity. The story is told in many fragments and many voices Actual accounts of Boldens life and performances, oral history, lists of songs, biographical facts, narrative, dialogue, interior monologues, psychiatric reports, bits of poetry and lyrics, the authors own voice through which Ondaatje weaves a series of brilliantly improvised sets. There are blues, there are the hymns, there is rhythm, there is free jazz, there is melody, soul, mood, wild aggression with notes flung out in pain and hurt and it all creates an atmosphere, an environment. New Orleans whores, pimps, drugs, booze, clarinets and cornets, jazz and jazzmen, ship builders, photographers, love, and lunacy. Buddy also breaks the boundaries of love he sacrifices his wife and children in order to pursue something more with Robin. In the Parade on fifth morning, Buddy gives his last performance. In the Liberty-Iberville concert, during the performance, a dancing girl who follows the rhythms and dances to his tunes intoxicatingly fascinates Bolden. Boldens self is completely immersed into music, so much that he even forgets the audience. The mounting tension between Bolden and the girl is reflected in the prose of the passage as run-on sentences break into fragments and then continue to the climactic point of Boldens complete immersion into music In fact, the following passage reads much like a metaphor for the act of sex. Boldens love life is revealed when he describes the beautiful dancer as a culmination of his lovers. Then with the gorgeous dancer at the parade who pushes him to further limits leading to his destruction All my body moves to my throat and I speed again and she speeds tired again, a river of sweat to her what her head and hair back bending back to me, all the desire in me is cramp and hard, cocaine on my cock, external, for my heart is at my throat hitting slow pure notes into the shimmy dance of victory . . . feel the blood that is real move up bringing fresh energy in its suitcase, it comes up flooding past my heart in a mad parade, it is coming through my teeth, it is into the cornet, god cant stop god cant stop it cant stop the air the red force coming up cant remove it from my mouth, no intake gasp, so deep blooming it up god I cant choke it the music still pouring in a roughness Ive never hit, watch it listen it listen it, cant see I CANT SEE. Air floating through the blood to the girl red hitting the blind spot I can feel others turning, the silence of the crowd, cant see (131-32). Thus, the instrument and the player become one. Diffusing himself, rather melting himself, blowing out himself through the cornet, his body, nerves, veins, sperms and aches of the soul find release. The whole scene is so built the pitch of the music is raised to such sublimity that everybody is purged of his or her sin. The pathos of the jazz turns lyrics into hymns. The dancing girl appears to be a nymph and Buddy becomes the mystic piper. The appearance of a dancing woman who reminds him of both Nora and Robin releases his latent insanity, which is manifested in a stroke that he suffers while playing his cornet. Bolden spends the rest of his life in an asylum in nearby Jackson, returning to New Orleans only for burial in 1931. It is devastating to watch him confined, suffer abuse and gradually slip into madness. The liberties Ondaatje takes in Coming Through Slaughter with his subject to achieve this re-presentation and the ownership of the portrait that results, exposes this type of authorial activity as a problematic appropriation. As a collector, Ondaatje becomes the owner and an essential part of this transformed and personalized image of Bolden. Further, Saklofske rightly argues that Ondaatje preserves Boldens presence, actively confronts historical exclusivity, and interrupts his own authority over his subject. Although his interaction with actual historical figures decreases with successive novels, Ondaatjes personal encounter with the impersonal machine of history continues, asserting itself repeatedly as a successful strategy against destructiveness or authoritative exclusion. Ondaatje tells of Buddy Boldens descent into his own hell, unwittingly or self-created, we do not know, but in the process generating, a level of art and beauty unsurpassed in the postmodern era. It is a story of despair, madness, loneliness, of the viciousness of life affecting high art, of art struggling to transcend lifes miseries, not always successfully, but ultimately a tale of aching lyricism. Ondaatjes language is innovative and appropriate and his strong theme is rich with universal implications. Ondaatje uses technique of Repetition about the title. Twice in the book, Ondaatje includes references to a town north of Baton Rouge called Slaughter, through which Buddy passes twice. The most concrete theme is the idea of the setting as slaughter. The acceptance of promiscuity is a major cause of conflict and downfall. Ondaatje includes a description of the mattress whores who have been kicked out of Storyville for showing evidence of having sexually transmitted diseases. They are literally rotten. Promiscuity also seems to rot Bolden. By the time he has had his gratuitous fun in Storyville, married Nora, abandoned Nora, and had an affair with another woman, Bolden has lost his passion for jazz and is obsessed with sex. I desire every woman I remember (99), he says while he is isolated outside New Orleans. Ondaatje thus explores the connection between creative talent and self-destruction. He does not try to answer any questions for his readers. He gives the facts, filling in where needed, and lets the reader decide what to think. After Boldens return to New Orleans, he is driven into madness than before until he eventually experiences a climactic breaking point during a parade. Some say it was the result of trying to play the devils music and hymns at the same time. Others say it was from too many general excesses. Whatever the cause, Ondaatje makes it clear that, for Bolden living in New Orleans in the early 20th century, the road to anonymity was much more difficult than the road to fame. To sum up, Ondaatje attempts to retrieve the story of Buddy Bolden, which lies hidden beneath layers of time. He draws as much from history, as from memory, re-mixing facts with fiction, reality with imagination, even reinventing the self of Bolden by mixing him with what he terms in the postscript as personal pieces of friends and fathers. In Coming Through Slaughter, thus, Ondaatje grapples with the intertwined notions of history, memory and identity portraying how memory affects history, to preserve, as also to distort. Identity as such has to be retrieved, reinvented and restructured from the obscure and impersonal discourse of history. The novel however leaves that task to the readers. Michael Ondaatjes autobiographical novelRunning in the Familyis a fictionalized family history. It is a combination of fiction with truth, where the author peeps into understanding his parents and relatives. Ondaatje returns to Sri Lanka for the first time to meet relatives and learn about his family, after his early childhood. The storys progression indicates to the reader that Ondaatje leaves Ceylon to England with his mother in, while his father breathes his last in his absence and at Sri Lanka. Insufficient knowledge about his father is an empty space in Ondaatjes identity and haunts him throughout the novel. Immigrants helped building Toronto city in the early 1900s,HYPERLINK https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Skin_of_a_Lion l cite_note-1 but their contributions go unnoticed in the citys official history.HYPERLINK https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Skin_of_a_Lion l cite_note-0-2 Ondaatje highlights Canadian immigrants plight in The Skin of a Lion, as their investment of labour is not recognized and are treated as outsiders to the Canadian society. The title is taken from a line inThe Epic of Gilgamesh. The English Patientis about four divergent people getting together at a villa duringWorld War II. One is an eponymous patient (Assumed to be English) along with hisCanadian Army nurse, aCanadianthief and aSikhBritish Armysapper. The story occurs during theItalian North African Campaignand revolves around incremental revelations of the patients actions prior to his injuries and its emotional effects on the other characters after of these revelations. This book won the Booker Prize(1992), Golden Man Booker Prize( 2018), and theGovernor Generals Award. Gary Draper reviews The English Patient It might be simplest to describe this as a love story, or perhaps a network of stories of different kinds of love, ranging from friendship through various degrees of passion. The overall structure of the book is circular and allusive, advancing, rounding back on itself, coming to endings that are not necessarily resolutions, and which may be connected to other starting points. The conclusion of the novel is fully realised and satisfying, without being conclusive. (Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol 76. 204). Anils Ghost is narration on Anil Tisseras life. Being a citizenof Sri Lanka, she studies inBritainand then at United Stateswith a scholarship. Tissera returns to her homeland as a part of a UN human rights investigation team in the midst of its merciless civil war. She along witharchaeologist Sarath Diyasena, discovers a murdered mans skeleton in an ancient burial ground from the government-protected land. They both set out to identify the skeleton, nicknamed Sailor, believing the murder to be politically motivated for bringing justice to such nameless victims of the war. In the critics view Anils Ghostis the most plot-driven of Ondaatjes books (he has published two novels, one memoir, 10 books of poetry, and one book,The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, that nobody knows how to classify). The novel takes place in Sri Lanka, an island republic that evokes visions of tea plantations and Indian Ocean shorelines, but which has been torn apart since 1983 by an ethnic war between Buddhists and Hindus. Enter Anil, a Sri Lankan-born, Western-educated forensic anthropologist who has been asked to help identify the bones of war victims. When Anil discovers that one skeleton in an ancient burial site is, in fact, a recent victim, her search for the horrible truth hidden in her homeland begins. (quoted in Douglas Barbour) Ondaatje is adept in weaving past and present stories relating to the plot and stories that do not. In the memoir, Running in the Family, he constructs a quilt by referring to a letter and then includes the letter itself, including a character now and then without any warning, veers into their past before making an abrupt U-turn and heads back towards the story. Further, an omniscient voice peeks into the characters inner thoughts at random, dizzying the reader a bit. ReadingAnils Ghostis like sitting on a barstool, listening to someone who is the most eloquent storyteller imaginable, and only a little bit drunk. Though Ondaatjes stories may not always follow logically, the words are carefully chosen and brilliant. As the characters lives unfolded inAnils Ghost, and I stopped worrying about where the book would lead me, I came to realize, as Ondaatje notes, that The drama of all time is the coming of all men into one fate. Or maybe it was the gin. (HYPERLINK http//www.austinchronicle.comwww.austinchronicle.com) Divisaderorecollects the story of a ranchers adopted daughter and a boy he raises and how their lives are shattered by a momentary unreasonable violence. The central character of the novel, Anna on the division of a family comments Divisaderocontains three separate stories. Although each tale is completely engaging on its own, it is through juxtaposition that their true beauty comes out. First, and most significant, is the story of Anna, Claire, and Coop, a natural daughter, adopted daughter, and foster son who grew up together on a farm in Petaluma, California in the 1970s and 80s but havent seen each other in over twenty years. In the meantime, Coop became a gambler, Anna changed her name and became a French literary historian, and Claire still roams the hills of their fathers farm. The next story starts decades earlier with a family of Roma musicians in France, while the final tale describes the life of French writer and Great War veteran Lucien Segura. Plot-wise, the stories connect Anna becomes sexually involved with Rafael, the son of the Roma family, while she is living in France researching Lucien Segura. Meanwhile, Rafael and his family once travelled with Segura. (www.quarterly conversation.com) The novel in based on common problems of identity or identity searches Divisaderois about many things, but especially about identity and the mysteries of who exactly we are. How many things could you throw your image against Anna asks, recalling the abstract photographs her father had taken of shadows and reflections. IfDivisaderowere the answer to her question, than the response would be, everything. Early on, we are told There is the hidden presence of others in us, even those we have known briefly. We contain them for the rest of our lives, at every border that we cross. The details of the past reappear in the present and the details of others reappear in ourselves. The questions of self-identity loom largest for Anna and Claire who reflected each other, competed with each other. The adoptive sisters were born the same week and are near-twins. They are compared to the panels of a Japanese screen, autonomous, but reflecting different tones when placed together. Thus, it is only by defining Claire that Anna can exist. As Anna acknowledges, In my story, the person I always begin with is Claire. Even more than she knows, her self-identity is grounded in her relation to Claire she is almost-Claire, and not-Claire. (www.quarterlyconversation.com) The Cats Table is narrated by a 11-year-old boy, Michael, who boards a liner inColombo, Oronsay, on its journey to Englandvia theSuez Canaland theMediterranean. Michael is seated at the cats table with other boys for his meals. The book is full of adventures of Michael and the boys on board atOronsay, and Michaels old age perspectives on the voyage by looking back. New York Times review on the book This turns out to be a matter of perspective. It would always be strangers like them, at the various cats tables of my life, who would alter me, Ondaatje writes. The boys quickly realize that their insignificance means they are invisible to officials such as the purser and the head steward, and the captain. Mynah has already been trained into cautiousness in the Ceylonese boarding school he attended with Cassius, where a fear of punishment created a skill in lying, and I learned to withhold small pertinent truths. The boys waste no time bringing these skills into play. For them, the Oronsay is a thrilling capsule world, a microcosm in which they find themselves for the first time by necessity in close quarters with adults. Reckless, daring and mostly unobserved, they range across the ship, hiding in lifeboats to spy on the guests and penetrating the vessels forbidden precincts. They rise before dawn and sneak onto the first-class deck, where they dive like needles into the gold-painted first-class pool with barely a splash, swim in the newly formed half-light and raid the sun deck breakfast table, devouring their stolen feasts in the lifeboats. They befriend the ship dismantler, the pianist and the pigeon lady, and follow the botanist into the Oronsays cavernous hold, where he shows them the treasure trove of vegetation hes transporting across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian and Red Seas, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. There they are bathed in a golden light, Mynah recalls. A field of colours strychnine blossoms, betel leaf and snapdragon, star fruit, pencil trees and black calabash partially lit with grow lights and misted with indoor rain. We had been at sea for days, and the range of colours had been limited to white and gray and blue, save for a few sunsets. But now, in this artificially lit garden, the plants exaggerated their greens and blues and extreme yellows, all of them dazzling us. Later, the ragtag bunch from the cats table will dine there under swaying lamps as mist and strains of gramophone music float gently down upon them. The garden felt, the boy explains, as if we dreamt it. (16-10-2011) In The Cats Table, Ondaatje seems to lead the reader on a journey through three deeply submerged weeks in his own memory from the year 1954, when, at age 11, he travelled on the ocean liner Oronsay from Colombo, in what was then Ceylon, to England, a passage that would lead him from his past to his future self. As the novel opens, prominent passengers are granted seats at the captains table, but young Michael (nicknamed Mynah) and the two boys he befriends, Cassius (a troublemaker) and Ramadhin (a contemplative asthmatic), are relegated to a table of dubious characters a mute tailor, a retired ship dismantler, a pianist who has hit the skids, a botanist and a lady who hides pigeons in the pockets of her jacket, and reads thrillers in her deck chair, flinging them overboard when they bore her. Its the pigeon lady who remarks that theirs is the cats table since were in theleast privileged place. The story with fragmented scenes, chronological leaps and fleeting images, unfolds in classic Ondaatje fashion, where re-reading makes more sense. Warlight, set in London during the end of World War II, is the story of 14 year old Nathaniel and Rachel, his older sister. They are left in the care of The Moth after their parents move to Singapore. The caretakers affiliations with eccentric, nefarious and mysterious characters, dominates the childrens early childhood post war experiences. Nathaniel, in his late twenties, begins to piece together early years called a journey through reality, recollection, and imagination,HYPERLINK https//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warlight l cite_note-Goodreads2018-1 and an adult looking back at traumatic childhood events and trying to work out how far they formed (or deformed) him into the person he has become. It is a lyrical journey into the past, illuminating, as its title implies both the traumas and the possibilities of rebuilding a life after war. Our review of the novel The past never remains in the past, muses Nathaniel, the narrator of Ondaatjes eighth novel, as he tries to piece together fragments of his childhood information and memory. We are in familiar Ondaatje territory a sensuous prose, curious characters, missing threads, unstable footings, making us wonder real significant fragments. Do we eventually become what we are originally meant to be ponders the narrator and the reader as each search for meanings. Nathaniels mother reveals a few anecdotes on her own childhood, but whenever her kids recall them, they feel like part of a fairy tale we did not quite understand. And likely so, as with previous Ondaatje narrators including Anil inAnils Ghostand Michael inThe CatsTable, Nathaniel gropes in the half-lit recesses of his own memory, trying to understand what happened to his own sinister fairy tale., much happens. This enticing novel, Warlight begins in 1945, on Nathaniels parents disappearance in the care of two men who may have been criminals. Ostensibly, both parents go to Singapore for a year on their fathers new job. Meanwhile, the two men Walter (tagged the Moth by the children for his shy movements) and the Pimlico Darter (an ex-welterweight boxer) fill the house with bizarre visitors. When Nathaniel reassesses what happened, he reflects, The arrangement appeared strange, but life still was haphazard and confusing during that period after the war. Blackouts, unlit grey buildings, and pools of lamplight this London is a city of secrets. Then the children find their mothers steamer trunk, which they had watched her pack with items needed in Singapore, and they realize she has not really gone. The detection changes everything. Nathaniels adventures continue he abandons school, accompanies the Darter on mysterious canal journeys on a barge, is bewitched by a young waitress with a green ribbon in her hair. But throbbing underneath this narrative for both him and the reader are the insistent questions about his mother, Rose. Gradually, the choices she has made and the mystery she generates overshadow Nathaniels life. Nathaniels relationship with Rachel loosen (she is angry, hurt), and strange personas appear in his life. One is Olive Lawrence, a geographer and ethnographer, whom the teenage boy examines carefully as she waits for the Darter. Only later does the reader comprehend that Olive is scrutinizing him. She takes Rachel and him for a walk on Streatham Common at night. As they listen to crickets, Olive says, Your own story is just one, and perhaps not the important one. The self is not the principal thing(125). This bewildering adolescence ends abruptly halfway through the book, and suddenly Nathaniel is 28 and living in the Suffolk village where his mother grew up. This is light-filled open country, but Nathaniel is now piecing together both his own life and his mothers death. In earlier years, he had tried to recreate the voyages along dark waterways he took with the Darter I felt I too had disappeared. I had lost my youth. The literature review is a search and assessment of the existing literature in a given subject or selected topic. It forms the state of the art regarding the subject or topic is writing about. Every research allots a part for literature review that has four key ideas. It surveys the literature in the preferred area of study, it synthesizes information in the literature into a summary, and it critically analyses information gathered by classifying gaps in current knowledge by enlightening boundaries of theories and points of view and articulating areas for further research and reviewing areas of argument, and it presents the literature in a prepared way. A literature review displays, readers in-depth hold of a subject and apprehends where research fits into and adds to surviving agreed knowledge. It is a way of relating main tasks in proving familiarity with a body of knowledge, credibility of the authors, summarizing earlier research and the projects link to the subject. It mixes known information on a subject, while revealing what is learned from others and thus becomes a starting point for new ideas. Steven Totosy Zepetnek edited Comparative Cultural Studies and Michael Ondaatjes Writing, which contains twelve critical papers on Michael Ondaatjes novels. Avinash Jodha has published a book on Michael Ondaatjes Fiction Poetics of Exile, which concentrates on Ondaatjes negotiations of multiple identities and cross-cultural inheritance and experiences. Victoria Cooks article Exploring Transnational Identities in Ondaatjes Anils Ghost, investigates Ondaatjes treatment of identity issues negotiating cultural and national boundaries and encompassing secondary and main positions. Glen Lowrys article The Representation of Race in Ondaatjes In the Skin of a Lion discusses the complex issue of whiteness, race and cultural politics. Ajay Hebles article, Michael Ondaatje and the Problem of History, observed the authors repeated engagement of incorporating marginal figures into a non-historical genre from historical past. Linda Hutcheon in Running in the Family The postmodernist Challenge observes Ondaatje Of all the Canadian poets who have turned to fiction in the last few decades (Kogawa, Cohen, Musgrave, Atwood and others) Ondaatje is one author who is aware of transgressing generic borders. Other writers have played bordering novels and short stories (Alice Munro, Ray Smith), poetry and fictional prose (Derk Wynand, Leonardo Cohen), but Ondaatje takes it a step further by crossing boundaries of conventional literary genre and into history and biography (Hutcheon, 32). Some of the critics find Ondaatje in weak spot in the context of his south Asian connection. Arun Mukherjee criticizes Ondaatje for his travel memoir Running in the Family for lack of cultural baggage in him when he came to Canada. She also criticizes as Ondaatjes success has been largely through a sacrifice of his regionality, his past and most importantly, his experiences of otherness in Canada. (Mukherjee, 49). Arun Mukherjee, in The Poetry of Michael Ondaatje and Cyril Dabydeen Two Responses for Otherness, condemns Ondaatje for his total forgetfulness of otherness. Winfried Siemerling in Oral History and the Writing of the Other in Ondaatjes In the Skin of Lion, argues that the recreation of oral narratives in the novel imagines histories of immigrant experiences is concealed by historiography. Sandeep Sanghera in her, Touching the language of citizenship in Ondaatjes Anils Ghost, discusses Anils Ghost as a novel about postmodern identity and it examines the question of foreignness. Ajay Heble in the Rumours of the Topography in Cultural Politics of Ondaatjes Running in the Family, emphasizes Ondaatjes achievement and his relationship with Sri Lankan culture. Susan Spearey in Mapping and Masking The Migrant Experience in Michael Ondaatjes In the Skin of Lion observes, by alluding to and re-appropriating received stories, traditions and generic conventions, Ondaatje stakes his claim to a cross cultural inheritance, and pieces together an alternative literary tradition that answers to his most pressing concerns as a migrant writer. Similarly he shapes connections with old worlds and new, situating himself in relation to their various geographies and histories. (Spearey, 48). similarly, Schumacher delineates the relationship between language and subjectivity while examining narrative and community development in Patrick Lewis, the novels pivotal character, in his essay, Patricks Quest Narration and Subjectivity and Michael Ondaatjes In the Skin of a Lion,. In a review of The Dainty Monster, Douglas Barbour, had commented on the authors use of obsessively natural images. (Barbour Douglas, 86). This research work aims to analyze the changing roles of the protagonists of Michael Ondaatje. Michael Ondaatje has portrayed the geographical changes of the characters, which guide the narrative of his fiction. The multiple themes and meanings of the fictional world of Michael Ondaatje are probed in this research work with reference to Gender, Race and Class Function. Y, dXiJ(x(I_TS1EZBmU/xYy5g/GMGeD3Vqq8K)fw9
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