Reclaiming the Past: Michael Ondaatje and the Body of History

  title={Reclaiming the Past: Michael Ondaatje and the Body of History},
  author={Christopher McVey},
  journal={Journal of Modern Literature},
  pages={141 - 160}
  • C. McVey
  • Published 10 April 2014
  • Art
  • Journal of Modern Literature
This essay examines the connection between body, history, and nation in Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient (1993). The novel dramatizes and responds to questions concerning national belonging and community, while at the same time it longs to escape or transcend nation and history. The dialectical push and pull of this desire to escape and return is animated through the way that The English Patient imagines the body as a contested and contesting space, a conduit into the past and the means… 

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