Saturday, 3 October 2009
Alice had once described a play to him in which several actresses shared the role of the heroine. After half an hour the powerful matriarch removed her large coat from which animal pelts dangled and she passed it, along with her strength, to one of the minor characters. In this way even a silent daughter could put on the cloak and be able to break through her chrysalis into language. Each person had their moment when they assumed the skins of wild animals, when they took responsibility for the story.
-Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion, p.157.
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In the Skin of a Lion has to be one of the best novels I've read in quite a while. It conforms to its epigraph that "never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one" and hands the lion's skin to multiple stories and romances that are powerful because they are fragmentary and random. You have to read this novel, it is poetry in its truest sense: it both condenses and expands language.
And you might also be interested in this sweet little project I've stumbled upon on flickr. I love the idea of somebody recording their experiences with books through both reviews and images. It's sort of like a million little stories in one project. Thank you for letting me feature you Karin.
I'm sorry I've been a bit absent from your blogs lately, I'm currently drowning under workload consisting of writing lectures and marking research essays. But I will emerge soon.
Images from left to right: The Great Gatsby, North and South.