Ondaatje: where you're from, how it affects your identity --> not about culture but actual land and space, and how this affects your
"On my brother's wall in Toronto are the false maps. Old portaits of Ceylon. The results of sightings, glances from trading vessels, the
theories of sextant. The shapes differ so much they seem to be translations--by Ptolemy, Mercator, Francois Valentyn, Mortier, and
Heydt"--growing from mythic shapes into eventual accuracy. "
"False accuracy": incorrect + "opposite of true" --> being careful about what' s" true" versus "accurate"
Maps as portraits of Ceylon
"Translation": what we understand what the land is --> going from an idea to "accurate" (the difference between what is "accurate" and
"Growing" = Evolution: of island itself + of ppl's understanding of it--> "Amoeba, then stout rectangle, and then the island as we know
it now, a pendant off the ear of India"
Our conception of the island versus actual knowledge of it
Old maps: adds imagination
"Around it, a blue-combed ocean busy with dolphin and sea-horse, cherub and compass. Ceylon floats on the Indian Ocean and holds
its naive mountains, drawings of cassowary and boar who leap without perspective across imagined 'desertum' and plain."
Zooming in at old maps: attempts at topography-- not precise, but drawing pictures
Imagining maps at couple dimensions at once--down on land, across land, imagining land
"Imagined 'desertum' "--did anyone actually go there to see what was there OR did we fill in blank spaces with imagination? --> really
actually empty, or did it just not get recorded? (i.e. Jane Austen's letters)
Wind in the Willows: the "mystical bridging of the symbolic and the real..." --> Fun Home
Old maps: bridging of what's symbolic versus real
e.g. "New Iron Bridge" --> name itself different from drawinga picture of it --> names are labels and can be shifted around and adjusted
in the mind, but when draws it out, links the symbolic text with the "Real" (e.g. Effort of graphic artist)
"At the edge of the maps the scrolled mantling depicts ferocious slipper-footed elephants, a white queen offering a necklace to
natives who carry tusks and a conch, a Moorish king who stands amidst the power of books and armour. On the south -west corner of
some charts are satyrs, hoof deep in foam, listening to the sound of the island, their tails writhing in the waves."
Elephants: book not post-colonial enough; post-modern
"At the edge": who you are is not just about what you look like/how exactly and accurately you replicate yourself, but what you
associate with *margin of evidence you're associated with
"a white queen offering a necklace to natives who carry tusks and a conch": Idea of where you came from, here suggesting colonialism
(intersection of native and white imperialists) *margin of your own history
"On the south-west corner of some charts are satyrs, hoof deep in foam, listening to the sound of the island, their tails writhing in the
waves": Island has suggestion of total make-belief, mythical
Book: post-modern but not post-colonial enough (country after colonialism)
Shows you what the land is, but also what it can offer--> bridging between imagination and the real
throughout Arab and Chinese and medieval records. The island seduced all of Europe. The Portuguese. The Dutch. The English."
"Seduced all of Europe": versus post-colo --> "Europe raped the land"
The island was made the ACTOR /seducer
"And so its name changed, as well as its shape v^v]UZv]~^]ov}(Pu_Ud}vUo}vU]ovU^ÇoovU]o}vU
and Ceylon vthe wife of many marriages, courted by invaders who stepped ashore and claimed everything with the power of their
sword or bible or language."
In its seduction: name changed --> land as representation of SELF: what is the identity of the land, how does it depend on the name?
"Wife": land as being feminine
"language": "The Americans were able to put a man on the moon because they knew English. The Sinhalese and Tamils whose
knowledge of English was poor, thought that the earth was flat" --> Language: problem of power --> expression is power
Colonial concern: if you're mandated to learn English, do you truly have power if you're forced to express yourself in a cert ain way?
The pendant, once its shape stood still, became a mirror.It pretended to reflect each European power till newer ships arrived and
spilled their nationalities, some of whom stayed and intermarried"
"became a mirror": Fun House mirror --> relationship between self and other in life writing --> Shonagon: did she really like those things
or was she just reflecting on those around her who liked those things?
"pretended to reflect": What's the diff between TRUE reflection and one that has been "falsified/pretended"?
with land, a foreign wife, and a new name which was a Dutch spelling of his own. Ondaatje. A parody of the ruling language."
If language is power, & the ability to ACT in that language is power, then here--> his own ancestor, taking the language forced upon the
island and carrying it, shaping it and using it for his own ends
Naming yourself (Douglass does, Kingston refuses to do): very power both when you do it and by its absence
"And when his Dutch wife died, marrying a Sinhalese woman, having nine children, and remaining. Here. At the centre of the rumour.
At this pointon the map."
Map isn't just a physical representation, but also TIME --> Space also means time
Map becomes four-dimensional: a map isn't just where you're going, but also, HOW to GET THERE (a type of narrative, + indication of
Lecture 12: Mapping the Self