Like many of his real-life contemporaries, he struggles to resolve the contradictions and scars of his upbringing into a cohesive identity. The singular eponymous storyteller fragments into three distinct characters as Samir, the protagonist and narrator, searches for his beloved father, who disappeared when Samir was a child. As in the iconic Nights , storytelling is not just a form of entertainment, but a solution to a problem, a form of appeasement that holds at bay powerful and dangerous forces. The most successful element of the novel is exactly this lack of a truly satisfying resolution. Though Samir finds answers to many of his questions, those answers leave Samir personally, and his generation generally, with even more questions and a lot of work still to be done.
Announcing our April Book Club Selection: The Storyteller by Pierre Jarawan - Asymptote Blog
Some day we shall have a science of education comparable to the science of medicine; but even when that day arrives the art of education will still remain the inspiration and the guide of all wise teachers. The laws that regulate our physical and mental development will be reduced to order; but the impulses which lead each new generation to play its way into possession of all that is best in life will still have to be interpreted for us by the artists who, with the wisdom of years, have not lost the direct vision of children. Some years ago I heard Miss Shedlock tell stories in England. Her fine sense of literary and dramatic values, her power in sympathetic interpretation, always restrained within the limits of the art she was using, and her understanding of educational values, based on a wide experience of teaching, all marked her as an artist in story-telling. She was equally at home in interpreting the subtle blending of wit and wisdom in Daudet, the folk lore philosophy of Grimm, or the deeper world philosophy and poignant human appeal of Hans Christian Andersen. Then she came to America and for two or three years she taught us the difference between the nightingale that sings in the tree tops and the artificial bird that goes with a spring.
The following is from an interview in which Geraldine talks about her life including her involvement in Story Teller. The interview was conducted in for the Good Reading magazine. Okay — this is all going to be very rambling because I shall work my way through your questions as if you were sitting there saying them — rather than trying to organise my thoughts into a coherent flow. My brother Neil 3 years older than me was the best kind of genius — full of good ideas and eccentric projects.