The Storyteller

1. First, share your IMPRESSIONS of the novel in 125 words. What surprised, intrigued, puzzled, resonated with you in the novel? What was different about the novel in its content and | or form than other narratives you have read, watched or engaged with? In your response, make sure that you provide SPECIFIC, CONCRETE details in the text to make visible your impressions, and provide them with texture and depth. 2. Using DETAILED EVIDENCE from the text, explore ONE of the following questions in 125 words: a. Over the course of the novel, the writer is engaged in a paired search: for traditional storytellers in the Amazon, and for his old college friend Saul. In your opinion, does he find one or the other or both? And how are his quests intertwined with contemporary debates in Peru and truly, across the globe, on the fate of the Amazon Rainforest? b. Address the choice of Vargas Llosa to structure his novel in chapters of alternating points of view. How does this unconventional structure help to shape the novel’s political and social themes? ​ c. Do a deep dive into the STORIES of the hablador, looking closely at ways in which they take up the historical struggles of the Machiguengas for survival and self-determination. What are some of the strategies of myth, legend and even Western narrative tradition that the hablador uses to interpret and preserve this diasporic community’s past? d. Put Vargas Llosa’s novel The Storyteller in dialogue with Walter Benjamin’s ideas in “The Storyteller.” Do you think that Vargas Llosa’s novel supports the modern author’s ability to narrate the stories of the Other?​ Why or why not? Remember to provide evidence from the text in your response. e. What do you think is the novel’s message on the Amazon’s relationship to Peru? Does it incline towards Saul, or the narrator’s (Vargas Llosa’s) point of view? That is, does modern Peru have the responsibility to let the Amazon maintain its independence of the modern world, or does it have the responsibility to protect it?

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