The Lure of Silence

It is interesting that we either fictionalise or become tongue-tied when it comes to personal matters. We may have good reason to hide from ourselves (at least to hide certain aspects-which amounts to the same). But even if there is little hope of an eventual self-acquittal, it would be enough to withstand the lure of silence, even concealment.

Christa Wolf
Patterns of Childhood

A dozen pages in to Patterns of Childhood and I am willing time to pause, so I can remain within Christa Wolf’s narrative for as long as possible. So early but at the moment I have yet to read anything better on the theme of remembering and fictionalising our pasts, particularly those holy days of childhood.

4 thoughts on “The Lure of Silence

  1. her last book, city of angels continues that theme and is even better. your quote summarizes very well this main interest of wolf, this problem of remembering and fictionalising and also forgetting pasts… i can’t think of a writer who tackled those complexity with more depth and sympathy.


    • My reading of Patterns of Childhood was unusual. Though I was drawn to the narrative, it glanced off me. I was held off and allured in almost equal measure, but in the end the former won over and I lay it aside after 200 pages.

      I obtained an earlier edition of Cassandra, which contain four very fine essays/lectures by Wolf on the theme of Cassandra.


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