A boat ticket from Colombo to England 1954 lasted about 21 days and was certainly an impressive, memorable experience for most passengers. Through the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, the trip went. In Port Said, Aden and other exotic ports the ship put on. How overwhelming all the novel-foreign impressions had to be only for three eleven year old boys who were sent without their parents alone
The three differ in many ways: Cassius is arrogant, mocking, bold; every single day, he donates to the other any to transgress prohibitions. The quiet Ramadhin however, suffers from asthma and a heart defect. And Michael • the narrator), nicknamed “Mynah” shares a cramped cabin in third grade with Mr. Hastie, who plays there at night with three other men cards.
Although alone traveling, is Michael still under observation. Two women have an eye on him, had lived Miss Flavia, an acquaintance of his uncle, in which Michael Colombo, inquired after his health, if they – which rarely occurs – from the first class way to him is. Much more often he meets his cousin Emily away. The large record collection, the wildness and untamed spirit of the young lady’s charm Michael, and he feels a first desire, an intimacy that is so never repeat for him.
The bit of control, the boys can relate to the big passenger steamer “Oronsay” escape with ease. Here they are free like the seagulls and irritate their boundlessness of plenty. In the darkness, they hang around everywhere, exploring all decks, corridors, stairways, rooms. hidden in the high hanging lifeboats, they munch comfortably the stolen out of the first class breakfast – and watch some secret rendezvous on deck
A person brings their particular curiosity: a closed chained man who, by guards. accompanied, is brought out for a short time from the dark depths of the ship’s belly. What may well have perpetrated these prisoners?
Almost too far drive them want to look as Cassius and Michael in the eye of a typhoon their adventures. They can be at the railing to tie and missed only by a courageous rescue of the crew just managed to survive. When the captain, she quotes to him, they tell him yet another outrageous tall tale.
You really can not complain, what is on offer to leisure and entertainment on board. The boys have fun in the pool, and in the evening an acrobatic troupe occurs. During meals, the approximately 600 passengers on the decks of their class find. Michael sits far from the center of high society at unattractive “side table”. An illustrious little troop of nine people talking to here in an intimate circle: a botanist, a tailor, a former Schiffsabwracker, a man of letters, an old maid, the boys and the pianist who mostly silly, is obscene jokes for the best
In England is expected to Michael by his mother. he can remember not to them, as they walked away when he was three years old.
Who would not be happy to have one of these boys and have experienced such a fantastic journey? But Michael Ondaatje’s book “children’s table” is no mere adventure novel. On the surface it sounds like a fairy tale, full of wonderful similes and metaphors, but much is there more including; It offers its complexity. Only through this journey Michael becomes the man he is today. Only on the ship he is still “Mynah” • another name for the Beo, the language-talented and easy to taming birds from South East Asia), a Beo Bachter and narrator on this trip, the meaning of it in his today retrospect recognize: She gave his life the initial impetus and direction
Another passenger, the English teacher Mr Fonseka, who is only concerned with his books, Michael opened the world of literature;. later, Michael is a writer himself.
fiction and biographical seem obvious ineinanderzufließen not only here. In his thanksgiving dedicated Michael Ondaatje’s novel “Dennis Fonseka, in memoriam,” along with three verses like a poem: “The ship was fearless from the mist, / and they went on / Everything was new in life should. be so”. But a few pages later emphasized Ondaatje in his “Afterword by the author” emphatically that ” ”s table’ a work of fiction” is -. A puzzling distancing after so much closeness in the novel itself
Ondaatje developed his characters leisurely , No one is as he gives himself to the outside; everyone hides a secret. Some figure has tragedy, others are adorably whimsical, overall a panopticon of social ostracism: The Old Maid Perinetta Lasqueti scrolls in their thrillers, in order to subsequently thrown into the sea. The pigeons that will take them to England, she wears a walk in and under their clothes on deck. A filthy-rich Baron is accompanied by an ayurvedic healer after, no doctor in the world wanted to travel to Colombo to cure him of his rabies – and then he dies on the bite of a dog, which the boys had smuggled in a port on board … Love, seduction, disappointment, murder are just a few of the ingredients that captivate the reader of the action until the novel with a question Michaels ends: “Why was it that we felt all three the urge to protect others who apparently vulnerable were we? “<
A novel full of melancholy, but always bright blue waves flash of joy on. Melanie Walz all this has translated into German.
Michael Ondaatje was born in 1943 in Colombo • Sri Lanka), has Dutch-Tamil-Sinhala roots and now lives in Toronto. For his novel “The English Patient” • 1993) he was awarded the Booker Prize
By the way. On the beautiful cover of Hanser edition we admire by high palm trees through a majestic black-white-red steamers at anchor in front of a sunlit coastal town in the background. This raises wanderlust, and like us, fanned nostalgic exoticism. The flat design in bold colors reminiscent of travel posters from the first half of the 20th century • “Cunard Line”) to Comics • “Tintin”) – a new and startlingly similar Coverdesign by Christian Kracht’s novel “Empire” also published in February 2012 • by Kiepenheuer & amp; Malevich, ten days after the “children’s table”), also in the southern hemisphere and quite a few decades settled earlier. Sign of time? Draws us away from here and now? But that’s another story.