Life of Pi (review)

Life of Pi (review) happiness. That pressure has given way, in the case of the subsequent generation, to American common sense." The perpetual tensions between cultures, between individual minds, between the mind and the world beyond it, run through this empathetic, beautiful novel. (NO) Life of Pi by Yann Martel Harvest/Harcourt, 2003, 336 pp., $14 (paper) The full-frontal way in which Yann Martel addresses religious faith here will put off some readers immediately, charmed though many of those might be by his deft use of language. "To choose doubt as a way of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation," his young hero argues as, in the book's first hundred pages, he embraces three religions: his native Hinduism, Christianity and finally Islam, offering a precocious fourteen-year-old's theological overview of each. But most of the story is about the protagonist's 227-day survival at sea, and Martel's real concern is not religion but the miracle of life itself. The first manifestation of it that he offers is a writer's miracle: in an author's note that begins the blending of literal and fictive truth that becomes the novel's central paradox, Martel tells of the particular writer's despair of having worked hard http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Missouri Review University of Missouri

Life of Pi (review)

The Missouri Review, Volume 27 (1) – Sep 6, 2004

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Publisher
University of Missouri
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by The Curators of the University of Missouri.
ISSN
1548-9930
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

happiness. That pressure has given way, in the case of the subsequent generation, to American common sense." The perpetual tensions between cultures, between individual minds, between the mind and the world beyond it, run through this empathetic, beautiful novel. (NO) Life of Pi by Yann Martel Harvest/Harcourt, 2003, 336 pp., $14 (paper) The full-frontal way in which Yann Martel addresses religious faith here will put off some readers immediately, charmed though many of those might be by his deft use of language. "To choose doubt as a way of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation," his young hero argues as, in the book's first hundred pages, he embraces three religions: his native Hinduism, Christianity and finally Islam, offering a precocious fourteen-year-old's theological overview of each. But most of the story is about the protagonist's 227-day survival at sea, and Martel's real concern is not religion but the miracle of life itself. The first manifestation of it that he offers is a writer's miracle: in an author's note that begins the blending of literal and fictive truth that becomes the novel's central paradox, Martel tells of the particular writer's despair of having worked hard

Journal

The Missouri ReviewUniversity of Missouri

Published: Sep 6, 2004

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