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Collected Works of Billy the Kid

Not a story about me through their eyes then. Find the beginning, the slight silver key to unlock it, to dig it out. Here then is a maze to begin, be in. (p. 20)Funny yet horrifying, improvisational yet highly distilled, unflinchingly violent yet tender and elegiac, Michael Ondaatjes ground-breaking book The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is a highly polished and self-aware lens focused on the era of one of the most mythologized anti-heroes of the American West. Les mer

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Not a story about me through their eyes then. Find the beginning, the slight silver key to unlock it, to dig it out. Here then is a maze to begin, be in. (p. 20)Funny yet horrifying, improvisational yet highly distilled, unflinchingly violent yet tender and elegiac, Michael Ondaatjes ground-breaking book The Collected Works of Billy the Kid is a highly polished and self-aware lens focused on the era of one of the most mythologized anti-heroes of the American West. This revolutionary collage of poetry and prose, layered with photos, illustrations and clippings, astounded Canada and the world when it was first published in 1969. It earned then-little-known Ondaatje his first of several Governor Generals Awards and brazenly challenged the worlds notions of history and literature. Ondaatjes Billy the Kid (aka William H. Bonney / Henry McCarty / Henry Antrim) is not the clichd dimestore comicbook gunslinger later parodied within the pages of this book. Instead, he is a beautiful and dangerous chimera with a voice: driven and kinetic, he also yearns for blankness and rest. A poet and lover, possessing intelligence and sensory discernment far beyond his lifes 21 year allotment, he is also a resolute killer. His friend and nemesis is Sheriff Pat Garrett, who will go on to his own fame (or infamy) for Billys execution. Himself a web of contradictions, Ondaatjes Garrett is a sane assassin sane assassin sane assassin sane assassin sane assassin sane (p. 29) who has taught himself a language hell never use and has trained himself to be immune to intoxication. As the hero and anti-hero engage in the counterpoint that will lead to Billys predetermined death, they are joined by figures both real and imagined, including the homesteaders John and Sallie Chisum, Billys lover Angela D, and a passel of outlaws and lawmakers. The voices and images meld, joined by Ondaatjes own, in a magnificent polyphonic dream of what it means to feel and think and freely act, knowing this breath is your last and you are about to be trapped by history.I am here with the range for everythingcorpuscle muscle hairhands that need the rub of metalthose senses thatthat want to crash things with an axethat listen to deep buried veins in our palmsthose who move in dreams over your women nightnear you, every paw, the invisible hoovesthe minds invisible blackout the intricate neverthe bodys waiting rut.(p. 72)From the Trade Paperback edition.

Detaljer

Forlag
Knopf Canada
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
112
ISBN
9780307370808

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