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Ondaatje, Michael

( Canadian writer and poet)

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Biography Ondaatje, Michael
Ondaatje, MICHAEL (Ondaatje, Michael) (p. 1943), Canadian writer and poet. His poetry and prose distinguished musicianship, rich, experimental language, they are interwoven mythology, history, jazz motifs, personal memories. Ondaatje began writing poetry before prose, and prose in his creative approaches to poetry, their boundaries blurred. 'Turning from the imaginary landscape to portrait, to a documentary narrative, anecdote, or legend, Ondaatje creates simultaneously to the ear and eye' - Diana Vakovski wrote in the journal 'Kontemporari Poets'.
. Philip Michael Ondaatje was born September 12, 1943 in Colombo at about
. Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Dissatisfied with the British system of higher education, he immigrated to Canada in 1962. In 1965 he graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in English, and in 1967 received a master's degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He taught English at the University of Western Ontario from 1967 to 1971, and since 1971 at the University of York in Toronto.

Ondaatje became the first publication of the poetry collection "Fine monster" (The Dainty Monsters, 1967), the name has been given word from a poem by Charles Baudelaire. In the first of his much praised fantastic beasts and other otherworldly beings, for example, Manticore (human head, the body of a lion, tail of the dragon), inhabiting, as stated in one of the poems, in the sewers Toronto. The second part, "Troy" (Troy Town), consists of several interrelated poems on ancient stories. "Fine monster", the first book of an unknown poet, published a small print run was immediately noticed and made Ondaatje prominent figure in the new generation of young Canadian poets. The book is in demand and is regularly reprinted.

Passion Ondaatje culture of the American West is reflected in his famous stylized "Selected Works Wee Billy: Poems written by the left heel" (The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left Handed Poems, 1970). This work, in which the author recreates the legendary image of the Wild West, bordered with prose, retaining, however, a strong poetic intonation. He is often called the parable of the writer outside the law, it combines elements of the narrative, history, myth, here also includes photographs, interviews, and even comic strips. All artistic media (graphics, poetry and prose) are aimed at forcing the reader to reflect on the nature of heroism and cruelty. For this book, Ondaatje was awarded one of the highest awards in the field of Canadian poetry - Governor General Award for 1971.

His prototype was a first novel and Ondaatje - "Coming in the middle of the massacre" (Coming Through Slaughter, 1976). It tells of a jazz musician from New Orleans Buddy Boldene, who is considered the creator of the style Dixieland jazz, subsequently became insane. Since records Bolden did not leave, and about him, little is known, Ondaatje in 1973 went to New Orleans to work on a book. Story in it is not in chronological order, description of events punctuated by internal monologues. 'Ondaatje manage to convey to the reader boldenovskuyu style game, . - Roy wrote MakSkimming - The very fabric of his text has the same full-fledged, . exciting, . improvisational nature, . enriched with additional features, . which gives literature, . namely, the beauty of language and depiction of complex human nature ',

Next significant work Ondaatje - "I am learning to wield a knife. Poems 1963-1978 "(There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do: Poems 1963-1978). The collection was published in 1979 and in 1980 earned him second prize at the Governor General.

In his memoirs, "Towards the family" (Running in the Family, 1983), written after a visit to Sri Lanka to their relatives, Ondaatje is trying to trace the history of his family connected with the past of the island, the former ruled by the British Crown. In the same period, the marriage breaks up Ondaatje, and in his 'Canadian' family is changing. Poems book "Eternal Love" (Secular Love, 1984) reflect these changes, noting how slowly growing alienation, nullifies the years of living together. Once again poetry Ondaatje has won praise from literary elite.

Ondaatje again appeals to the novelistic form, and in 1987 published his new work, "In the Skin of a lion" (In the Skin of Lion). For history based on who lives in Toronto, a young man, whose maturing accounted for 20-30 years., Ondaatje takes a real case of the time - the mysterious disappearance of a famous millionaire. Novel, no less than the search for the missing mogul, is dedicated to immigrant communities and their role in the construction of Toronto. In the novel was written a play, set in the same year. Critic of the literary supplement of the Times' Michael Hulse, compared the picture of a growing city, created Ondaatje, with panoramic views of the Irish capital in "Dubliners" by James Joyce.

However, the universal popularity Ondaatje brought filming of his novel 1992 "The English Patient" (The English Patient). Ondaatje took eight years to finish this novel, which was set in Italy during World War II. It begins with a story about a Canadian nurse named Hana (later the reader learns that she is the daughter of the protagonist of the novel "In the Skin of a lion"), abandoned in a bombed the monastery, where there was a military hospital. Khan stayed there because of the seriously injured patient's dying. His plane crashed in the desert of North Africa, he barely escaped, and now no one knows his name, believed only that he was an Englishman. Hannah reads aloud to him, give him morphine to treat burns. Ondaatje's novel introduces two more characters. One of them maimed thief, the other - a Hindu-Sikh, serving sapper. The novel can be traced as the fate of the four characters intersect, telling about his past. In 1992 "The English Patient" received the Booker Prize and has collected numerous rave reviews. The script for the film version of the novel was written by movie director Anthony Minghella. The film won Oscar for best picture in 1996.

Among other collections of verse Ondaatje: "The knife for cleaning cinnamon" (The Cinnamon Peeler, 1989) and "Handwriting" (Handwriting, 1998). They also wrote the book "Leonard Cohen" (Leonard Cohen, 1970), a study on the creation of the Canadian poet and singer, who had a great influence on Ondaatje.

Roman "Spirit Enila" (Anil's Ghost, 2000) was a Canadian Giller Prize 2000.

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