The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness by Wole SoyinkaThe Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness by Wole Soyinka

The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness

byWole Soyinka

Paperback | December 15, 1999

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Nobel Laureate in Literature Wole Soyinka considers all of Africa--indeed, all the world--as he poses this question: once repression stops, is reconciliation between oppressor and victim possible? In the face of centuries-long devastation wrought on the African continent and her Diaspora byslavery, colonialism, Apartheid, and the manifold faces of racism, what form of recompense could possibly suffice? In a voice as eloquent and humane as it is forceful, Soyinka boldly challenges in these pages the notions of simple forgiveness, confession, and absolution as strategies for socialhealing. Ultimately, he turns to art--poetry, music, painting, etc.--as the one source that can nourish the seed of reconciliation: art is the generous vessel that can hold together the burden of memory and the hope of forgiveness. Based on Soyinka's Stewart-McMillan lectures delivered at the DuBois Institute at Harvard, The Burden of Memory speaks not only to those concerned specifically with African politics, but also to anyone seeking the path to social justice through some of history's most inhospitable terrain.

About The Author

Wole Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. He is Woodruff Professor of the Arts at Emory University, in Atlanta, a Fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard, and was recently named the first Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence by New York University's Africana Studies Program and the Institute of African-American Af...
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Details & Specs

Title:The Burden of Memory, the Muse of ForgivenessFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.91 × 5.31 × 0.51 inPublished:December 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195134281

ISBN - 13:9780195134285

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When a person comes from generations who have suffered brutal physical and emotional beatings as a result of systemic racism, how does he or she forgive the instigators? Furthermore, how can generations of oppressors make up for the damage they have already done? In The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness, Wole Soyinka -- a Nobel Prize winner and one of South Africa's most gifted writers -- examines how the human ability to store thoughts and images in memory is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to Apartheid.

Editorial Reviews

"Inspiring and original....Soyinka's analysis of the 20th century problem of memory and forgiveness in the African world is both timely and important. Soyinka's analysis of the problem is an initial volley in what will surely become a 21st-century debate." --Caryl Phillips, New York Times BookReview