The English Patient Essay

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Fernando is a writer and editor living in Seattle, Washington. In this essay, Fernando examines how the narrative structure of The English Patient serves as a criticism of traditional historiography.

In The English Patient, the title character is a nameless, severely burned man cared for by a young nurse at the end of World War II. His only possession is a copy of The Histories by Herodotus, into which he has pasted his own writings as well as clippings from other books, creating a collage of knowledge, observations, and unrelated events.

As the patient discusses his love of The Histories with Hana, his nurse, he says of Herodotus:

I see him more as one of those spare men of the desert who travel from oasis to oasis, trading legends as if it is the exchange of seeds, consuming everything without suspicion, piecing together a mirage. “This history of...

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This section contains 1,947 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The English Patient Study Guide
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