April 25th, 2004

beach bum

Michael Ondaatje – Op weg naar stilte. Het leven van Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden (04-020)

Michael Ondaatje – Op weg naar stilte. Het leven van Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden (04-020)

Number: 04-020
Title: Op weg naar stilte. Het leven van Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden
Author: Michael Ondaatje
Language: Dutch (Orig. title: Coming through slaughter)
Year: 1989
# Pages: 158 (4069)
Category: Biography
ISBN: 90-351-0243-6

Ondaatje tells the story of a not very well know musician, around the turn of the century in New Orleans. Buddy Bolden apparently was one of the first improvisers in those days. Apart from musician, he made a living through a barber shop. From 1907 onwards he lived in a hospital for the mentally ill, until he died in 1931. There he never showed any interest in music.

Ondaatje, famous author of “The English patient”, tells this story through fragments. Quotes from friends and relatives, thoughts by Bolden himself, reports from police, doctors and newspapers, all together they should give a view of the man. Unfortunately the fragmentation makes the book very difficult to follow. At times I didn’t have a clue where the perspective was at the moment I was reading. It hurt the story, the view of the times. This is a shame, as at times one gets drawn in and captured by the life of the star in New Orleans.
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Survey (for the first time in ages)

Abortion?:Personal choice
Death Penalty?:Always wrong
Prostitution?:If by choice, just another profession
Alcohol?:Took me to get used to it..
Marijuana?:Feel free to try, I won't
Other drugs?:See previous, just have a good think first
Gay marriage?:Isn't any marriage gay?
Illegal immigrants?:The law is wrong if it is illegal to migrate
Smoking?:Good source for tax income for states
Drunk driving?:Murder
Cloning?:Haven't made my mind up yet
Premarital sex?:Why not?
Religion?:Source of many problems
The war in Iraq?:One of abovementioned problems
Bush?:It says a lot about a country if you voted him into power
Downloading music?:Good way to find new artists
The legal drinking age?:Anyone above 50 should be forbidden to drink
Porn?:Soon boring
Suicide?:The last thing I'd do

What is your stand on.....
Fokke en Sukke


I do write a few series here on LJ, on a completely irregular basis.

Football heroes
My students
Concert memories
Book reports:

It was suggested to me that I should write a bit more about politics. In my Dutch LJ (gerbie7) I have started a series on politicians I'd like to abolish. Now I am considering a series in this LJ as well. Two ideas spring to mind. Firstly, Dutch politics for outsiders. I wrote an article two years ago on Fortuyn, to explain him and his murder to non Dutch people:

Read back

I could continue explaining a few other things as well.

Otherwise I could just translate the Dutch series or write an international version of the politicians I think you should be abolished.

What do you think?
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