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By Matthew Zajac

The Tailor of Inverness is a narrative of trips, of the way a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine) got here to be a tailor in Inverness. His existence spanned lots of the twentieth century. His tale isn't really effortless. He used to be taken prisoner via the Soviets in 1939 and compelled to paintings east of the Urals, then freed in an amnesty after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. He then joined the hundreds of thousands of Poles who travelled to Tehran, then Egypt, to be built-in into the British military, combating in North Africa and Italy. He was once then resettled in Britain in 1948, becoming a member of his brother in Glasgow. this is often the tale he instructed.

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The Tailor of Inverness

The Tailor of Inverness is a narrative of trips, of ways a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine) got here to be a tailor in Inverness. His lifestyles spanned many of the twentieth century. His tale isn't really common. He was once taken prisoner through the Soviets in 1939 and compelled to paintings east of the Urals, then freed in an amnesty after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

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Modernism’s simultaneous emphasis on exile and dispossession and on the imaginative transcendence of differences can also be seen to operate alongside a (romantic and modernist) primitivism that seeks in cultures perceived to be less developed the authenticity lost by a dehumanizing modernity, but I would suggest that the novel can also be interpreted as a postcolonial reply to modernist responses to the primitive: in the wilderness of Australia, Richard Somers, the protagonist of D. H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo (1923), understood now that the Romans had preferred death to exile.

Lawrence’s Kangaroo (1923), understood now that the Romans had preferred death to exile. He could sympathize now with Ovid on the Danube, hungering for Rome and blind to the land around him, blind to the savages. So Somers felt blind to Australia, and blind to the uncouth Australians. To him they were barbarians [ . . ] He surveyed them from an immense distance, with a kind of horror. (Lawrence 1950, 26) Whether intentionally or coincidentally,18 Malouf’s novel “writes back” to Lawrence’s, or, more broadly, to a metropolitan vision of Australia by making 30 Autobiographies of Others the exiled Latin poet undergo a transformation that reveals the “raw life” of the “savages” around him to be closer to the “unity of things”, allowing Ovid to see the world “differently”, feeling himself “loosen and flow again” (IL 65).

To him they were barbarians [ . . ] He surveyed them from an immense distance, with a kind of horror. (Lawrence 1950, 26) Whether intentionally or coincidentally,18 Malouf’s novel “writes back” to Lawrence’s, or, more broadly, to a metropolitan vision of Australia by making 30 Autobiographies of Others the exiled Latin poet undergo a transformation that reveals the “raw life” of the “savages” around him to be closer to the “unity of things”, allowing Ovid to see the world “differently”, feeling himself “loosen and flow again” (IL 65).

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