Varieties of Darkness: The World of The English Patient (Hardback)Don Meredith (author)
Hardback 240 Pages / Published: 26/11/2011
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From Venice to Vietnam, from the Welsh coast to Cairo, Don Meredith has traveled in the wake of twentieth-century writers, using their novels and poems as guides, as another wayfarer might turn to Fodor's or the Guide Bleu. He has gone in search of the back streets, basilicas, cafes, piazzas, and countrysides that figured so powerfully in the works of authors who are especially attuned to a sense of place. Part travelogue, part literary study, Varieties of Darkness is Meredith's account of his exploration of Michael Ondaatje's fascinating literary masterpiece The English Patient. Meredith mines the places, the real-life counterparts of the characters, and the curious creative mind of Ondaatje. Varieties of Darkness offers fresh insights into the novel and Ondaatje's prodigious use of scholarly detail.
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 517 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 22 mm
...Meredith is no ordinary travel writer. He digs into the backgrounds of poetry, novels and their authors with the skill and care of an archaeologist uncovering the Holy Grail. His main purpose in excavating the The English Patient is not only to lay bare the real identities behind Ondaatje's characters, as might be supposed. Nor is it to expose the many departures from historical fact the literary masterpiece, based on reality, contains. Critics have already pointed them out. In following the master's trail Meredith reveals the profundity of Ondaatje's own knowledge and research to show how he weaves it into his tale. The mystery Meredith sets out to solve is where fact stops and fiction begins. He primarily concerns himself with hunting down and reviewing the evidence, both forensic, and that based on contemporary witness accounts, where they exist. He is not in the business of reaching a verdict, for Ondaatje's genius is not on trial - of that Meredith is already convinced. His purpose is to tread the footsteps of both the fictional and real characters Ondaatje employs. He wants to see, and he wants us to see, the seams where reality and fantasy meet, and where they part. ....Meredith's scholarly work not only entertains, but serves as valuable guide to literature and art for we armchair adventurers who would rather others did our traveling to potentially hazardous environs for us. (For the full review, please see: http://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/varieties-of-darkness-the-world-of-the-english-patient/) -- Bryan Hemming, http://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/
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