Haunting and harrowing, as beautiful as it is disturbing, The English Patient tells the story of the entanglement of four damaged lives in an Italian monastery as the second world war ends. The exhausted nurse, Hana; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; ...
vaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless, burn victim who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal and rescue illuminate this book like flashes of sheet lightning. In lyrical prose informed by a poetic consciousness, Michael Ondaatje weaves these characters together, pulls them tight, then unravels the threads with unsettling acumen.
A book that binds readers of great literature, The English Patient secured the Booker Prize for author Ondaatje. The poet and novelist has also written In the Skin of a Lion, Coming Through Slaughter and The Collected Works of Billy the Kid; two collections of poems, The Cinnamon Peeler and There's a Trick with a Knife I'm Learning to Do; and a memoir, Running in the Family.
Love makes you understand not intimacy but the difficulty of which. The difficulty of expressing it, of temporarily giving yourself over to someone else, of trusting and of being relied on.And recording the traces of intimacy is a difficult task for
..."t task for writers.Intimate scene is one of the core tricks of make-believe in romantic narratives. This passage from The English Patient shows us how perfectly itimacy can be described in English, in the wildest and most subdued way:
'What is terrible in what I did? Don’t we forgive everything of a lover? We forgive selfishness, desire, guile. As long as we are the motive for it. You can make love to a woman with a broken arm, or a woman with fever. She once sucked blood from a cut on my hand as I had tasted and swallowed her menstrual blood. There are some European words you can never translate properly into another language. Felhomaly. The dusk of graves. With the connotation of intimacy there between the dead and the living. I lifted her into my arms from the shelf of sleep. Clothing like cobweb. I disturbed all that.'
We can find several locales for the intimate moments to happen: the tent & library for Hana and Kip, hotel room for the English and kate, English patien's ward for H&K&Caravaggio.
Near the end of the novel, Kip, now a family man, starts to look back on his days when he was in love with Hana: 'Now there are these urges to talk with her during a meal and return to that stage they were most intimate at in the tent or in the English patient’s room, both of which contained the turbulent river of space between them. Recalling the time, he is just as fascinated at himself there as he is with her—boyish and earnest, his lithe arm moving across the air towards the girl he has fallen in love with. '
p.168'I just want you to know. I don't miss you yet.'His face awful to her, trying to smile. Her head sweeps away from him and hits the side of the gatepost. He sees it hurt her, notices the wince. But they have separated already into themselves
..."y into themselves now, they wall up at her insistence. Her jerk, her pain, is accidental, is intentional. Her hand is near her temple. 'You will,' she says.
p.172 'Madox, what is the name of that hollow at the base of a woman's neck? At the front. Here. What is it, does it have an official name? That hollow about the size of an impress of you thumb?' Madox watches me for a moment through the noon glare. 'Pull yourself together,' he mutters.Continua...Nascondi
"We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves."
'Madox, what is the name of that hollow at the base of a woman's neck? At the front. Here. What is it, does it have an official name? That hollow about the size of an impress of you thumb?'Madox watches me for a moment through the noon glare.'Pull
... glare. 'Pull yourself together,' he mutters.Continua...Nascondi