The Palace of Winds (rereading “The English Patient”)

13 thoughts on “The Palace of Winds (rereading “The English Patient”)”

  1. Wow, your writing is brilliant!! I have heard of this book but never read it. I am on a quest on Amazon right now to get it and the sound track. I love to write and sometimes think my writing is pretty good and then I read something like the excerpt of this book you posted and say to my self, crap, I can’t write at all! That was wonderful, thank you for posting. Michelle

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  2. Oh! Those are yummy bits of literature. I know what you mean about having a book that falls into your life at just the right time to make an impact. That happened with me in Conroy’s, The Prince Of Tides.
    “When men talk about the agony of being men, they can never quite get away from the recurrent theme of self-pity. And when women talk about being women, they can never quite get away from the recurrent theme of blaming men.”
    ― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

    “Man wonders but God decides
    When to kill the Prince of Tides.”
    ― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

    “These are the quicksilver moments of my childhood I cannot remember entirely. Irresistible and emblematic, I can recall them only in fragments and shivers of the heart.”
    ― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

    “My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call.”
    ― Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

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  3. I must re-read it. I was thinking about the film and book only the other week when, having recently moved to the Isle of Wight, I was sitting on the front at Ventnor eating a Minghella ice cream and toasting the late director.

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  4. Beautiful prose, so close to poetry. Thank you for reminding me of it. My own most recent poetic prose award goes to Julian Barnes for “The Noise of Time”. A despairing subject but a (sour) pleasure to read.

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  5. “The English Patient” is still among my favorite novels. Unfortunately I am not a fan of the movie. It just doesn’t measure up to the novel. I would also recommend the novels he has written since. They are all very good.

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  6. My wife introduced me to that novel, and later we saw the movie together on a local theatre’s big screen. I’ve been haunted by it ever since, though I’ve never found adequate words to explain this. It has a strong Romantic, almost mystical, quality, in the literary sense of the word. However, I myself felt somewhat embarrassed by the main protagonist’s yearning for a socially “unobtainable”, beautiful woman become suddenly obtainable because of the chaos of war and of her own marriage. Sounds like wish-fulfillment fantasy–many young men get through that phase earlier on–but the bitter-sweetness of the prolonged consequences of his choices redeem both him, and this novel, completely. And the other plotlines, Caravaggio and the nurse, for example, are just as insightful.

    One has to be–like the world-weary nurse–PATIENT with this novel, in order to reap its rewards.

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  7. Thank you. I’d forgotten about this book, or to be more exact, I’d forgotten that I admired the movie version so much. I’ve just bought the ebook version and I’m thrilled to finally read the real thing. 🙂

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  8. Enjoyed both, movie, and book, it made me a fan of Ondaatje, and Anthony Minghella. 🙂

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