Tydskrif vir letterkunde

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Giving Voice: Narrating silence, history and memory in André Brink\'s The Other Side of Silence and Before I Forget

Sue Kossew


This essay examines André Brink's two most recent novels, The Other Side of Silence (2002) and Before I Forget (2004), in terms of their voicing of silence and the rewriting of history and memory. Each has a theme familiar to Brink's readers – an historical story of colonial violence and violation avenged; and the recounting by an older writer of his “last love”, respectively – and each is mediated by a male narrator. Both narrators, though, draw attention to the problems associated with this reconstructive and potentially appropriative storytelling. These texts thereby enact, in a more complex way than many of Brink's previous novels, the intersections of narrative, history and memory.
Key Words: André Brink, The Other Side of Silence, Before I Forget, silence, history memory.
Tydskrif vir Letterkunde Vol. 42(1) 2005: 134-146
AJOL African Journals Online