RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 26588570 LA English T1 Michael Ondaatje A1 Barbour, Douglas,, PB Twayne Publishers ; Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; Maxwell Macmillan International PP New York; Toronto; New York YR 1993 SN 0805782907 9780805782905 AB When Michael Ondaatje came to Canada in the 1960s, his innovative poetry and prose swiftly began to fuel the new Canadian literary renaissance. As his contemporary Margaret Atwood has said, Ondaatje was quietly recognized as "one of the most vital and imaginative of the younger poets." The Dainty Monsters (1967) first established his critical and popular reputation, displaying the emotional energy and creative imagination that would soon characterize his entire oeuvre. Only four years later, Ondaatje won the first of his many awards, Canada's prestigious Governor General's Award, for his extraordinary prose-poem The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1971). In 1992 he became the first Canadian writer to win the Booker Prize for The English Patient. Today, as his richly metaphorical texts enjoy international renown, Ondaatje's fame is especially fascinating, for he has neither followed trends nor played to any crowd, instead fulfilling his wish to "start each new book with a new vocabulary." Unlike fellow writers Robert Kroetsch and George Bowering, Ondaatje dislikes discussing theory - it takes an appreciation as sharp and probing as Douglas Barbour's to enlighten us to the thoughts, intentions, and influences that have shaped Ondaatje's work, his consistent movement into new territory, and his masterful traversal through the modes of late modernism, postmodernism, and postcolonialism. Barbour offers luminous readings of each of Ondaatje's books up to The English Patient (1992), a novel of international scope that is as much about the power of narratives as the power of passion. Barbour illuminates Ondaatje's early alignment with Wallace Stevens and Robert Lowell, as well as his later development in the Pound tradition. He explains the curious genesis of Ondaatje's first novel, Coming through Slaughter (1976), and in the poet's memoir, Running in the Family (1982), uncovers themes from his youth in Sri Lanka while analyzing how memory and invention interact. In a chapter devoted to Secular Love (1984), the most recent poetry collection, Barbour provides insight into Ondaatje's expression of love lost and found. For the 1987 novel In the Skin of A Lion, he explores Ondaatje's blending of fiction and history in a socially conscious story of Toronto written in the style of magical realism. In both the poetry and the prose, Barbour analyzes Ondaatje's brilliant ability to transform documentary storytelling through brilliant postmodern effects - to accomplish his artistic goal of generating in his readers a "movement of mind and language."