ERIC Number: EJ824023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
Writing before the Letter: Reading Michael Ondaatje's "Handwriting"
Festino, Cielo G.
Language and Intercultural Communication, v6 n2 p136-147 May 2006
The purpose of this paper is to offer a reading of "Handwriting", the book of poems by the Canadian-Sri Lankan author, Michael Ondaatje, in which he recovers the recent and ancient cultural history of the island through his reading of different types of scripts and languages. The texts that Ondaatje rewrites in his poems are visual, written, oral and performative. By putting them side by side in his text, in a Derridean fashion, he deconstructs the concept of logocentrism, as, in his own text, the written word will have no pre-eminence among the other types of writing. In turn, their juxtaposition makes them function as "multimodal texts", i.e. "texts in which the verbal and visual modes closely interact" (Menezes de Souza, 2003: 40) and that, in turn, result in a "multimodal perspective" on Sri Lankan culture. Ondaatje's rewriting of these texts stands as an act of cultural translation. (Contains 9 notes.)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sri Lanka