chapter  5
28 Pages

Deleuzian Folds: Michael Ondaatje’s and Anthony Minghella’s Caravaggio

This chapter focuses on two novels by Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion and The English Patient, and the 1996 filmic adaptation of the latter by Anthony Minghella. It argues that both Ondaatje and Minghella do more than simply quote Caravaggio. They actually perform his artistic lesson and, they engage with some key aspects of the Baroque. In order to appreciate fully Caravaggio's appeal in a postcolonial context, the Deleuzian concept of fold will provide a useful theoretical framework to author’s argument. The chapter considers Judith Beheading Holophernes, St Jerome, and Narcissus. It concentrates on the most obvious feature these works have in common, the presence of a character called David Caravaggio. By naming one of the characters David Caravaggio, Ondaatje suggests a two-tier intertextuality by referring to the painter and his legacy on a more general level and, more specifically, to one of his most famous and controversial pictures, David with the Head of Goliath.