“Perhaps all one can really hope for, all I am entitled to, is no more than this: to write it down. To report what I know. So that it will not be possible for any man ever to say again: I knew nothing about it.”
– From Andre Brink’s A Dry White Season
Through a tribute by Andre Brink’s long-time friend and colleague, Godfrey Meintjes, Think!Fest audience members were able to follow the trajectory of Brink’s work and how he used his writing to report what he knew, particularly on South African socio-political issues.
The late Andre Brink, renowned South African writer, scholar and political activist penned many stories in both English and Afrikaans. Despite his book Kennis van die Aand (Looking on Darkness) being the first Afrikaans book to be banned by the apartheid government, his work had a wide reach and was translated into roughly 33 different languages.
Meintjes’ tribute, entitled “A chain of voices: The prose oeuvre of Andre Brink”, covered the English works of Brink, which ranged from modernist texts in the 60s to post-apartheid writing in the years before his passing. Meintjes spoke about Brink as the author, focusing on the work of Brink rather than his personal life. Speaking about the passing of Brink earlier this year, Meintjes concluded by saying that South Africa and the world has been deprived of Andre Brink at a time when his critical voice is still much needed and it is a loss that cannot be described in words.
The full text of A Chain of Voices