Yes, it was my birthday. It is also true that I had no reserved seats for the Ondaatje reading last night. And yet. And yet. A generous litblogger kindly offered me his own reserved seating (thank you, thank you, thank you) for the evening and I had no choice but to attend the reading and enjoy myself thoroughly. Wow.
It was a late, late night tasting wine and cheese and soppressata at Vertical and I must now dash out for a few early morning meetings (never a brilliant idea after a wine-filled evening) before I can return to give you a proper rundown of the reading.
I will, however, leave you with a few Ondaatje nuggets before I head out:
- "After two to three years of writing, I've got a first draft."
- "I don't have a horse named Territorial, but if I did have a horse, that's what I'd name it."
- Despite the jump-cuts in Divisadero that have been much discussed, Ondaatje feels that it is his most chronological, most straight-forwardly plotted book to date.
- It is quite, quite clear that Ondaatje was first a poet, then novelist. Every word he reads is music. I could listen to him read his work endlessly. A true, true delight and privilege.