Michael Ondaatje | Critical Review by Michael O'Neill

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of Michael Ondaatje.
This section contains 738 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Chelva Kanaganayakam

Critical Review by Michael O'Neill

SOURCE: O'Neill, Michael. “Gazes in the Mirror-World.” Times Literary Supplement, no. 5001 (5 February 1999): 33.

In the following review, O'Neill assesses the technique, language, and themes of Handwriting.

When Hana plays the piano in Michael Ondaatje's novel The English Patient, she is described as “just chording sound, reducing melody to a skeleton”. It is a description that might be applied to Ondaatje's latest volume of poems. By contrast with his fiction, and its lust for a kinetic sensuousness, these poems seem less to flesh out than to suggest. Floating and juxtaposing phrases in the manner of Pound's Cantos or Gary Snyder's Zen-like notations, they often possess the wiry lightness of a sketch. And yet the poems in Handwriting reveal, in their return to Sri Lanka, the poet's birthplace, the sixth-sense awareness of danger...

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This section contains 738 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Chelva Kanaganayakam