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the music of chance, obsessive writing, intertextuality, conversation -- oh yeah, and some "real" life...

16 November 2011

Michael Ondaatje The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table takes place on the ocean liner the Oronsay with the title referring to the table the narrator, Michael, is assigned to to eat dinner with the other lowest class travelers enroute to England. I am only about a third of the way into this novel and reading this account of the narrator, who befriends Cassius and Ramadhin, their discoveries during the voyage of 21 days which include meeting several idiosyncratic adults such as the botanist, Mr. Daniels; the performer The Hyderabad Mind who is part of the Jankla Troupe; and the musician, Mr. Mazappa. This 21 day voyage, a time of leave taking from Colombo and sailing towards an unspecified new life in England is a time of unprecedented freedom for the boy who, unfettered, grows.

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