The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness

The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness

3.9 (62 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


When Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka's The Open Sore of a Continent appeared in 1996, it received rave reviews in the national media. Now comes Soyinka's powerful sequel to that fearless and passionate book, The Burden of Memory. Where Open Sore offered a critique of African nationhood and a searing indictment of the Nigerian military and its repression of human and civil rights, The Burden of Memory considers all of Africa-indeed, all the world-as it poses the next logical question: Once repression stops, is reconciliation between oppressor and victim possible? In the face of centuries long devastations wrought on the African continent and her Diaspora by slavery, colonialism, Apartheid and the manifold faces of racism what form of recompense could possibly be adequate? In a voice as eloquent and humane as it is forceful, Soyinka examines this fundamental question as he illuminates the principle duty and "near intolerable burden" of memory to bear the record of injustice. In so doing, he challenges notions of simple forgiveness, of confession and absolution, as strategies for social healing. Ultimately, he turns to art-poetry, music, painting-as one source that may nourish the seed of reconciliation, art as 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 Du Bois 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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 136.9 x 203.5 x 11.2mm | 181.44g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195134281
  • 9780195134285
  • 1,043,927

Review quote

"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." --The New York Times Book Review"Robust with extensive allusions to politics, religion, history, and, of course, literature....Soyinka's quest in this book is for true restitution for all the moral and material wrongs done to Africa, whether through slavery or colonialism, whether by the West or the East."--San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle"Powerful."--Kirkusshow more

About Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. He is Woodruff Professor of the Arts at Emory University, in Atlanta, and a Fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at more

Rating details

62 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 27% (17)
4 40% (25)
3 27% (17)
2 5% (3)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X