TPAOL Question #16 ~ The Shaman and The Tungu

by James Meek

Moderator: Liz

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Lady Jill
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Unread postby Lady Jill » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:26 pm

Liz wrote:
Depputante wrote: Albino could be symbolic of the purity and the 'roots' of human beings. He's simple, and honest. Even white, 'without colors' added.


I like that! :cool:

Interesting idea about the Shaman.....and plausible.


Hmmm. White. . .like angels. . .maybe he knew Balahov.

OK Depputante!!! I'll get off my horse! and get on this other. . .'er . .cowboy? Whooppeeee! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
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Linda Lee
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Thu Feb 15, 2007 4:41 pm

:biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh:
I didn't know I would be laughing this much today when I read the original question! What an interesting turn to the discussion. :-O :rotflmao:

BTW - great picture! :thud:
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Parlez
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Unread postby Parlez » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:03 pm

:bounce: Saddle me up and let 'er rip!!
That there pony don't look like no gelding either! :hope:
YeeHaw!!
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:18 pm

Lady Jill, I think Matula just wanted to use the shaman to further his own agenda and learn what he could from him and he didn't really care about him as a person. Maybe he decided that treating him badly was how to get the information out of him.

We'll be talking about those horses this weekend.
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:04 pm

Lady Jill wrote:Liz: It was my understanding that there would be a question regarding the horses and their role in the book. Those horses.

Afterthought. . . Does anyone know the page(s) where we learn the role of the Albino?


Page 262-63. And I was just being silly about the horses, Lady Jill. :grin:
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gemini
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Unread postby gemini » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:54 pm

As you ladies mentioned it is getting harder to really look deeply into this story. Too bad it doesn't really have any light aspects to discuss.

What is the role of the Shaman and the albino Tungu in the story?

Looking at it from the simplest point of view. Both were there as proof that you could live off of the land without resorting to cannibalism. The country was so rough and desolate they were the only people for Samarin to cross paths with before reaching civilization. If not for the Shaman being a threat by revealing Samarin's nature to the townspeople, Samarin would not have had any reason to do anything but pass through.
The Albino is introduced as the only witness who can prove Mutz's suspicions. He must be seen as young, innocent, and believable.

And yes, a bit of horseback riding does seem a nice break from the avakhi. :bounce:
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Unread postby Depputante » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:48 pm

Who mentions the deer? Which page?
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Unread postby suec » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:48 pm

I think the shaman is there to symbolise the passing of the old order, especially as he is killed by a revolutionary: a sign of the times, with religion being stifled and not permitted.

This is someone who would carry enormous respect among his people but what do they do with his body? Take it down to a dank chilly basement and lay it in a nest of junk. It is the death of spirituality. Without that, the place truly is moribund.

He strikes me as being someone who is genuinely in touch with the spiritual side as well. Matula is searching for it, maybe, but has no idea how to respond to it - chain the shaman like a dog in his kennel! - but he fails in his objective. The shaman escapes him: "The keel slides through the mud and floats free". I suppose I am totally contradicting myself here, but perhaps this is positive: that the spiritual can't be confined, trapped, in the end? I kind of think the shaman dying and passing on to another plane, as it were, is the heart of the book for me. The central characters have lost their way, their spiritual way, I mean, and each of them, to a greater or lesser degree, maybe, has their moment of enlightenment, and their chance to move forward.

Edit: Depputante, the albino mentions the deer on p265.
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Unread postby Depputante » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:00 pm

Very nice, suec!
I see your point gemini .
Alas, a few people some real Depp thoughts. :cool:
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Lady Jill
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Unread postby Lady Jill » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:07 pm

Thank you so much, Liz, I just re- read that chapter.
Now I can say, yes, the Albino was there to confirm the mad man, the psychopath Samarin - the cannibal. I must have been half asleep when I read this chapter before!
Now it seems very obvious that Samarin really swung a 190 from when he was a young boy. And I still feel for the poor shaman, chained like a dog.

I have to say it, this is one nutty bunch of people all wrapped up in a book with a most strange title!
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