The Pain of Change: The Montage Framework of "The Collected Works of Billy The Kid"
In 1975, Michael Ondaatje said that in The Collected Works of Billy the Kid he was “trying to make the film [he] couldn’t afford to shoot, in the form of a book” (Solecki 20). How literally can we take this claim? If Ondaatje is making a film, what kind of film is it, and how does he adapt film form into literature? Analyzing the construction of prose, paragraph, and structure in The Collected Works as an adaptation of the montage technique exposes how the distinct and often contradicting points of view and forms of media contrast to destabilize each other’s authority as well as the authority of the author. Because of this structural instability, the reader is encouraged to engage viscerally with Billy’s representation as a dissipated, unstable cinematic blur.