Ivan MitricDr. AndersonFYW-1159January 23, 2017HakawatiReaction Paper Inthe book ” The Hakawati” by Rabih Alameddine, the author writes about a manthat must visit his father after he receives the news that he is ill.
The bookis based through storytelling, as the topics transition from Beirut in itsmodern setting, to what occurred in Lebanon during World War I. As the bookstates, “A hakawati is a teller of tales, myths, and fables” The author focuseson retelling stories to capture the reader’s attention by making sure toconfront them with many different topics that are explained in a humorous andamusing way. Moreover, the book starts off by saying, “Listen. Allow me to beyour God. Let me take you on a journey beyond imagining. Let me tell you astory” The word “listen” makes it seem as if the story is being told in personand thus helps connect and reach out to the reader. Secondly, I believe that Alameddineuses so many characters in this fiction story because it allows imagination toflow through our minds, and the goal is to have us relate thesecharacters/stories to our own lives and use to use it a guideline.
Furthermore,in today’s world, modernity is constantly being expanded through politics,technology, social change, and economics, but the hakawati sticks to its originaltraditional ways, which still finds ways to grab people’s attention in the mosteffective way. In my opinion, many valuable thoughts about the Middle East canbe learned through the stories told. For example, the author tells the story ofJawad and Khayal, and how Khayal must seduce him. To me, this story expresseshow homosexuality is not fully accepted all around the world even in our modernday yet, but it is slowly starting to be acknowledged and conveyed.
The authorgoes on to express several other concerns relating to the Middle East as he goesfrom story to story going back and forth from the emir’s life to Osama’s. Overall,as Alameddine changes from the ancient world to the modern in the storytelling,I believe the main reason this is done is because he wants to prove thatnothing has really changed even after all these years.