MEMORY OF FIRE: GENESIS
“Five centuries ago Europe decreed that in America memory and dignity were crimes. The new owners of these lands banned the remembrance and making of history. All we have been permitted to do so since is to accept it.”
SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Why the title Memory of Fire? What does that title have to do with the themes of the book?
How would you begin to characterize this book?
How would you describe Galeano’s historical method? What are the strengths and weaknesses of his method?
How would you characterize Galeano’s use of source material?
How effectively does Galeano give voice to the voiceless?
How would you depict the relationship between South America, Central America and North America as portrayed in Galeano’s account?
How would you characterize Galeano’s depiction of religion and the role it played in the colonizing process?
What view does Galeano have of indigenous culture and history? How would you respond to those critics who argue that he stereotypes aboriginals as “noble savages?” Why do you think Galeano opens the book with his section of creation myths?
How would you begin to assess the gender politics of this work?
What did you learn about slavery from Genesis?
Who is Eduardo Galeano and what are the pertinent details of his biography for understanding the book?
What were some particular individuals or vignettes that made a particular impact upon you? Why?