Presentation on theme: "The English Patient (3) Archiving and Embodying Trauma."— Presentation transcript:
The English Patient (3) Archiving and Embodying Trauma
Outline The English Patient Review, Plot Summary and Questions Archive as Communal Books Passion vs. Communication Readings and Writings Cross-Cultural Communication? Kip’s Changes;Kip’s Changes Hana’s Homecoming.Hana’s Homecoming
Review: Personal and Political Causes for Traumas Almasy: Katherine’s death Hana: Patrick’s death – experience as a nurse at the War Caravaggio: loss of his fingers and his nerves Kip: loss of Lord Suffolk, experience as a sapper at the war.
Archive With historical documents and personal memories, real or fabricated, suggesting presence (order of things) as well as absence (ghosts and silences)
Archive of Trauma layers supplementary to official history multiple kinds of documents discontinuous stories/fragments revision and re-vision [Ondaatje’s] – embodied and anti- colonial/war
Against Colonial Expansion (141) The ends of the earth are never the points on a map that colonists push against, enlarging their sphere of influence. On one side servants and slaves and tides of power and correspondence with the Geographical Society. On the other the first step by a white man across a great river, the first sight (by a white eye) of a mountain that has been there forever.
Political Centers: Nation and War EP: "I came to hate nations," says the English patient. "We are deformed by nation-states" [p. 138]. Madox 240- Hana: The war destroys almost everything; they are forced back on themselves. 40; e.g. Hana and the other nurses 41 Kip -- Race: "they would never have dropped such a bomb on a white nation" [p. 286]
Fragmentary Histories Re-visited first meeting between Hana and Kip: 64-65; 75 Hardy’s death “It’s alright. It wasn’t a mine.” (in chap 3) The murder-suicide, 1942 p. 119 “Who was she?” p. 171; -- pp. 256-261
Examples of Plural History Memory Work: There are stories the man [EP] recites quietly into the room which slip from level to level like a hawk. …(4) The Histories :‘This history of mine,’ Herodotus says, ‘has from the beginning sought out the supplementary to the main argument.’ What you find in him are cul-de- sacs within the sweep of history—how people betray each other for the sake of nations, how people fall in love” (119)
Plot Summary Chap 3 –Sometime a Fire (the four of them connected one way or another: reading, care, silent communication). Chap 4 – South Cairo 1930-1938 EP’s reminiscence of desert expedition; Clifton and his wife join them in 1936; falling in love (voice dance “gave you my life”*); Chap 5 – Katherine nightmare; their relationship (calmness violence) her first ride with him; (hates his assumption) what each of them hates; Almasy's wounds and being disassembled - wall pp. 155-56
Plot Summary: Memory Work Chap 6: the Buried Plane ★ EP’s story continued –Cairo evenings 1937; Caravaggio's intrusion p. 163 –on Almasy ★ EP tells his story to C 1942 walks to the well and then the cave; Hana’s question; Story resumed “he” “I” carry her with a tank of petrol; 1939 C’s suicide-murder the ending of 1942 told the first time: The cave the separation the cave 1942 buried plane “he” Hana observes Kip with EP – about K’s past
Plot Summary ★ Kip’s Chap 7: In Situ (meaning: in the natural or original position or place 1940) -- Kip’s story of being trained as a sapper; Kip vs. his brother; Erith, where Lord Suffolk die Chap 8: The Holy Forest: Kip’s experience of immunizing a fuze in a pit; Kip and Hana (217 - ).
Plot Summary ★ Chap 9: The Cave of Swimmers -- EP’s story of love re-told to Caravaggio (with two endings/interpretations of the ending) Chap 10: August --the endings: birthday party; Hana and Kip’s communication (270-); Kip’s experience of defusing bombs in Naples, Kip’s sudden departure, ★ Hana’s homecoming.
Questions How are the EP’s views of his love for Katherine and the latter’s death changed over time? How does he “heal” himself? What roles do reading and remembering play in the characters’ self-healing? What do you think about Kip’s radical response to the nuclear bomb? How is Hana’s homecoming different from Kip’s? Are there connections among the three remaining characters?
Love and Betrayals P. 97 [July 1936.] There are betrayals in war that are childlike compared with our human betrayals during peace. The new lover enters the habits of the other. Things are smashed, revealed in new light. This is done with nervous or tender sentences, although the heart is an organ of fire. A love story is not about those who lose their heart but about those who find that sullen inhabitant who, when it is stumbled upon, means the body can fool no one, can fool nothing—not the wisdom of sleep or the habit of social graces. It is a consuming of oneself and the past. Katherine and Almasy vs. that of the others
Attraction, Obsessive Ownership and Hatred Attraction -- Katherine's reading and “studying“ Almasy: p. 144 her dream -- her attraction to Almasy 150 ownership: the two's dialogue p. 152, A. just wants to be with her 155 his question of Madox;p. 162 Violence and mutual devouring : wounds 152; p. 170 Differences & conflict of will: K’s inner conflicts 154; cannot change each other; pp. 157-58, 172-73
Communication between Hana & EP EP’s recognition of her 95- EP as a despairing saint; “father complex” Mutual dependence p. 5 Reading half of her life, while the EP teaches her how to read pp. 93-95 The only way to communicate: reading 253
Communication between Hana & Caravaggio uncle and an emotional support; Sharing memories of the past (about her father and her childhood) On their experience of the war pp. 82- 85; Caravaggio concerned with Hana and Kip p. 117; 121 “Hide-and-Seek” Among Caravaggio, Hana and Kip 224-225
Communication between Hana & Kip Her need of his support (103); His need of her shoulder (114-15) Intimacy and distance (125 – 27) A formal celibacy between them 225 P. 226 “All through his life, he would realize later, he was drawn outside the family to find such love. The platonic intimacy, or at times the sexual intimacy, of a stranger.”
Their “Inter-Textual” Interrelationships Almasy and Katherine – K’s reading of Histories Kip and Almasy -- Their relationship a reversed version of that in Kim. "I think when I see him at the foot of my bed that Kip is my David" [p. 116]
Reading & Writing Histories EP – his writings on Histories by Herodotus 96 Hana -- reading--like a Crusoe finding a drowned book, her body immersed in others' lives, Her writings in The Last of the Mohigans p. 61; Kim 118-19;
EP’s re-interpretations of their Relationships Chap IX – a lot clearer than the previous account; “Death means you are in the third person”; re-ordering events (247-48) Their relationships: Reasons for their mutual attraction the story of Candaules pp. 232 - conflicts -- e.g. p. 238;
EP’s re-interpretations of Katherine’s death 1. 1939 -- Put paints on her body 248 2. Alternating between self-questioning and broader views of time, desert space and life and death. Self-questioning-- curse pp. 257; demon-lover 260 Every person a gift in life; 257 “jackal” and “historian” 258-57; One’s own body as a communal book 261
Nation vs. International Bastards [Madox – died because of nations 243; EP – “wrong name” 251 Caravaggio and EP – thief as a spy vs. intellectual turned into a vacuum. 253-55; Kip: marked (199) but invisible (196);
EP’s Reading and Revisions Reading David with the Head of Goliath 116 Herodotus – 172; 233; 246
Hana’s Readings and Revisions Her reading--like a Crusoe finding a drowned book, her body immersed in others' lives (12) Her writings in The Last of the Mohigans p. 61; -- There is a man named Caravaggio, a friend of my father’s. I have always loved him. “I’m the Mohican of Danforth Avenue.”225 Reading Kim 111; Kim 118-19 Writing about Kip on a book of poetry p. 209
Cross-Cultural Communication? The Geographic Society 138-39; 141 Japan and Asia 217-18
Kip’s changes Before the news of the nuclear bomb: agile, moves in relation to things 218-19; danger and peace: always concentrated on defusing bombs and admiring the statues and paintings in churches; e.g. 273; 278-79 Mutual support and communication between him and Hana 270
Kip’s changes After the news of the nuclear bombs in Japan: 283 –refusing EP; Brown races vs. Englishman 286; Traveling against the direction of invasion 290; 295
Hana’s Homecoming The letter she writes to Clara her ability to connect and to face her father’s death; her vision of “home” and “mother”: confirms their plainness and independence.
Connections in the Endings Caravaggio – remembers Kip 208; EP – imagines Kip’s presence 298; Kip and Hana –lose contact after he does not respond for a year; Kip – still sees and thinks of Hana 300; Hana – the author still leaves space for her independence; The final connection –or lack of connection?
Next Week Anil’s Ghost -- to “Grove of Ascetics”
General Introduction: Sri Lankan Civil War (1983-2009) Conflicts between Tamils and Sinhalese, escalating till the civil war erupted in 1983. (e.g. Black July [depicted in Funny Boy] started with the killing of 13 Sinhalese, followed by the riot in Colombo against Tamils) War between the government and LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers, a separatist militant organization which fought to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island. Author’s note – + antigovernment insurgents in the south. pp. 17; 42 [later] -- a suicide bomber's assassination of a fictional Sri Lankan president
General Introduction: Central Issues Anil’s Past experience in Sri Lanka Anil’s Relations with Sarath, and with Cullis— both as an outsider (to Sri Lanka and to a marriage) The role of Sri Lankan “teachers” (monk and academic), historical sites and landscape [Later] Sarath’s Brother, Sri Lankan artists Archaeology and Forensic – implied meanings Facts vs. Fiction, Power vs. Law Destruction by the War; Life and Death