This is a story... - In the Skin of a Lion
 
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I gather on the bus during the early hours of the morning. I stay awake to keep the words company.

Michael Ondaatje`s effortless transformation of language into imagery is exquisite; I find his writing to be stunningly poetic, like listening to a score of music with the harmony perfectly entwined within its melody. I find the plot of this novel to be vague and unfocused, in stark contrast with the sharp crispness of the arrangement of his words. I do enjoy this level of uncertainty and freedom his story presents for his readers, permitting us to go along our own tangents of thought, mental paths given rise by our own unique collection of stories we have gathered since birth.

Stories are told through language. No language has the capacity to be translated completely into another one, however similar the two are due to geography and culture. Stories are hence only pure and "right" when they are told in the language it was born within. Canada is home to more languages than I can count, and in turn to more stories than one person can tell. 

...he walked everywhere not hearing any language he knew, deliriously anonymous. [In the Skin of a Lion p.112] Language, to an extent, is the culture that gave rise to it.

Four women and a couple of men then circled him trying desperately to leap over the code of languages between them. [In the Skin of a Lion p.113] Immigrants arrive in waves to Canada in the 1930s, foreigners willing to call this land home, willing to learn its language so they can listen its story. 

Paul
11/6/2010 16:13:42

I almost fell asleep listening to him read his own words: such a smooth voice.

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Jade
11/14/2010 12:58:57

"Never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one." - John Berger (In the Skin of a Lion, p. 3)

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