Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

A Political Aesthetic: Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion as "Covert Pastoral"

A Political Aesthetic: Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion as "Covert Pastoral" R O B E R T D AV I D S TA C E Y How I hate the builder who seeks to raise his house as high as the peak of Mount Oromedon there, and the Muses' cuckoos, with their eye on the bard of Chios! In vain they labour . . . ! But let us begin the singing, Simichidas. Theocritus, "Idyll VII" The Argument In "Art over History," his scathing critique of Michael Ondaatje's 1987 novel In the Skin of a Lion, Frank Davey poses the following question: "How can one use a widely published novelist's powerful position to `represent' both artistically and politically those who are excluded from power, without appearing both to be in a custodial or paternal relation to these and to be making `use' of the unempowered to create bourgeois art?" (146). The question, Davey insists, must be foremost in our minds as we come to terms with "a novel that claims to call into question the large numbers of people-- women, workers, immigrants--who are silenced by the `official histories' of Canadian culture" (144­45). Indeed, Davey's contention that In the Skin of a Lion, which is largely concerned with the lives http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

A Political Aesthetic: Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion as "Covert Pastoral"

Contemporary Literature , Volume 49 (3) – Jan 10, 2008

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-wisconsin-press/a-political-aesthetic-michael-ondaatje-s-in-the-skin-of-a-lion-as-zrzzjW7uSu
Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1548-9949
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

R O B E R T D AV I D S TA C E Y How I hate the builder who seeks to raise his house as high as the peak of Mount Oromedon there, and the Muses' cuckoos, with their eye on the bard of Chios! In vain they labour . . . ! But let us begin the singing, Simichidas. Theocritus, "Idyll VII" The Argument In "Art over History," his scathing critique of Michael Ondaatje's 1987 novel In the Skin of a Lion, Frank Davey poses the following question: "How can one use a widely published novelist's powerful position to `represent' both artistically and politically those who are excluded from power, without appearing both to be in a custodial or paternal relation to these and to be making `use' of the unempowered to create bourgeois art?" (146). The question, Davey insists, must be foremost in our minds as we come to terms with "a novel that claims to call into question the large numbers of people-- women, workers, immigrants--who are silenced by the `official histories' of Canadian culture" (144­45). Indeed, Davey's contention that In the Skin of a Lion, which is largely concerned with the lives

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Jan 10, 2008

There are no references for this article.