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Une saison blanche et sèche de…
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Une saison blanche et sèche (1979 original; edició 1982)

de André Brink, André Brink (Auteur)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6942324,177 (3.95)115
As startling and powerful as when first published more than two decades ago, Andre Brink's classic novel, "A Dry White Season," is an unflinching and unforgettable look at racial intolerance, the human condition, and the heavy price of morality. Ben Du Toit is a white schoolteacher in suburban Johannesburg in a dark time of intolerance and state-sanctioned apartheid. A simple, apolitical man, he believes in the essential fairness of the South African government and its policies until the sudden arrest and subsequent "suicide" of a black janitor from Du Toit's school. Haunted by new questions and desperate to believe that the man's death was a tragic accident, Du Toit undertakes an investigation into the terrible affair a quest for the truth that will have devastating consequences for the teacher and his family, as it draws him into a lethal morass of lies, corruption, and murder.… (més)
Membre:quilon
Títol:Une saison blanche et sèche
Autors:André Brink
Altres autors:André Brink (Auteur)
Informació:LGF - Livre de Poche (1982), Poche, 404 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Llegit, però no el tinc, Preferits
Valoració:*****
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

A Dry White Season de André Brink (1979)

  1. 20
    Asking for Trouble: The Autobiography of a Banned Journalist de Donald Woods (Tinwara)
    Tinwara: Whereas Brink's book is a work of fiction (with a high dose of reality) Donald Woods really lived through an experience similar as Brink's protagonist. As a journalist he got in touch with Steve Biko and tried to tell Biko's story to the world.
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Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
“What can I do but what I have done? I cannot choose not to intervene: that would be a denial and a mockery not only of everything I believe in, but of the hope that compassion may survive among men.”

Ben is a white South African school teacher who believes in the essential fairness of his government, until circumstances and the moral choices he must make upend his life. Gordon, the black janitor at the school where Ben teaches, approaches Ben for help when his teenage son Jonathan disappears during the Soweto riots. Ben agrees to help Gordon, and through witnesses they trace Jonathan to the custody of the Special Branch. Within days, however, Jonathan is dead, and the Special Branch denies ever having had him in custody.

Gordon feels compelled to investigate the circumstances of his son’s death, and Ben agrees to continue to help him. Very shortly, however, Gordon is arrested by the Special Branch, and after a short time in custody, Gordon is also dead, an alleged suicide. Now, Ben carries on the investigation, and other deaths ensue, including, as we learn in the opening pages of this novel, Ben’s own.

This book was written at the height of apartheid, just a few short years after the Soweto uprisings. The horrors of apartheid permeate the book in full force. The complicity and willingness of the vast majority of white people to believe the lies their government was telling (I.e. the Soweto uprisings were caused by Communist infiltrators) from a distance of the more than 40 years since this book was written seem almost unbelievable. Yet so many looked away from the government-sponsored murders, and accepted the arrests, harassment, the spying and beatings and torture and even the deaths of anyone questioning the regime.

While this is an important book (on the 1001 list), and is very well written, it does not totally transcend its time. I found that most of the female characters did not ring true. They are the most willing to accept the status quo and believe the government’s lies. The one female character who has some political awareness and courage, Melanie, seems mostly to be there as a love/sex interest for Ben (and there are a few torrid sex scenes I could have done without). Nevertheless, this is a book I recommend.

Parenthetically, the following quote, written in 1979, is one of the earliest mentions of white privilege I am aware of:

“Whether I like it or not, whether I feel like cursing my own condition or not...I am white. This is the small, final, terrifying truth of my broken world. I am white. And because I’m white I am born into a state of privilege. Even if I fight the system that has reduced us to this I remain white, and favored by the very circumstances I abhor. Even if I’m hated, and ostracized, and persecuted, and in the end destroyed, nothing can make me black.”

4 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Jan 18, 2021 |
‘There are only two types of madness we should guard against. One is the belief that we can do everything. The other is the belief that we can do nothing.’


A Dry White Season is a sad, depressing look at racial prejudices in apartheid South Africa through the story of a white man trying to bring justice to the memory of a black man. Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher whose life changes when he becomes involved with the family of the school caretaker Gordon Ngubene. Set around the Soweto Riots the book deals with the futile endeavours of an individual to overcome injustice by the state. This book was banned in South Africa. It was made into a film in 1989.

The story itself is incredibly gripping. I read it in only a few sittings, but had to stop reading it on the train, instead waiting until I was home, because I was scared of my own emotional reaction.
( )
  Happenence | Oct 2, 2020 |
Ben du Toit thinks of himself as an ordinary Afrikaner with no particular interest in politics, a simple Johannesburg schoolteacher. But he's suddenly forced to confront his illusions about the kind of country he's living in when his black friend Gordon dies in police custody, having been arrested for nothing more than trying to find out what happened to his teenage son, killed in the aftermath of the Soweto school protests. Ben's tentative attempts to get information from the police and then to help Gordon's widow with the inquest soon make him realise that the authorities have something to hide, reinforcing his stubborn wish to find out what really happened and make sure it doesn't happen again. And of course the police are soon making sure that Ben himself understands how much power they have, when nasty things start happening to him and the people around him.

In the end, of course, he can't hope to win, and he also knows only too well that he can't hope to stop being a privileged white person, but as a friend tells him, there are two kinds of madness one should guard against: One is the belief that we can do everything. Another is the belief that we can do nothing. He has to go on and fail so that it will be a little bit easier for the next person to fail less badly. And eventually the system will be overcome.

Brink sticks to a fairly detached, thriller-like type of narrative, obviously wanting this to be read by those who haven't thought about the problems of Apartheid any more than Ben had at the start of the book. And also knowing that not many people in South Africa would get to read it anyway, as long as the National Party remained in charge. But he did write both an Afrikaans and an English version of it, as he did for most of his later books. ( )
  thorold | Apr 22, 2020 |
Le style est quelque peu aride et retient l'émotion. Le livre n'en est pas moins un témoignage cinglant sur l'apartheid. Face aux discriminations raciales, l'idéalisme est à la fois force et faiblesse. Entre Blancs et Noirs, si fragile est l'espoir. Il l'est encore aujourd'hui. ( )
  PaFink | Nov 18, 2019 |
I liked this book but also found it not that compelling at times.

I am old enough to remember apartheid and segregation. I have never visited South Africa. I often wonder what it would be like to visit South Africa. It seems that both the US and South Africa struggled more than other countries in giving up the mistreatment of a person based on their color and that struggle caused serious problems for the countries.

Legacy/Achievement: This is not the only book about apartheid or about South Africa. He is not that celebrated author though did win some well known prizes for his writing. Gordimer born 1923, Brink 1935 and Coetzee 1940. All are award winning writers. Alan Paton's work was probably the first. So really Brink did not offer much as far as Legacy.

Plot: this is a story told by episolary method. Ben sends all his notes and data to his friend who sorts through it and organizes it and we the reader share in this process so we know the ending and we share in the unfolding of the events.

Characterization: I liked Ben but I also thought he might be a fool. It did seem like while he stood for something admiral, he was really spitting in the wind. I can't feel that anything he did really helped or hindered the cause. He was one man, Gordon and Jonathan were just individuals. I did not like Ben's wife. She was not a sympathetic character and her character does make the infidelity understandable. I liked Ben's son. Seemed like a good kid. His daughters really were not so much. I really liked Melanie's father.

Readability: at times it read okay but it wasn't compelling. I had no trouble putting it down and reading something else.

Style: I think I read that Brink was one of the first few authors to challenge the restrictions of writing sexual content. I did not find this a necessary part of the book. I was okay with Ben and Melanie's attraction to each other but not with the details of the actual sex. How did whoever took the picture, know that the spare bedroom would be used. I didn't find this part of the story believable. Ben had not been in the habit of staying at Melanie's home. ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 28, 2019 |
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it is a dry white season -
dark leaves don't last, their brief lives dry out -
and with a broken heart they dive down gently headed -
for the earth -
not even bleeding. -
it is a dry white season brother, -
only the trees know the pain as they still stand erect -
dry like steel, their branches dry like wire, -
indeed, it is a dry white season -
but seasons come to pass. -
- Mongane Wally Serote
Dedicatòria
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For ALTA who sustained me in the dry season
Primeres paraules
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I used to think of him as an ordinary, good-natured, harmless, unremarkable man.
Citacions
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What will happen to us if we ever stop asking questions?
You know, what amazes me is to wonder what sort of world this is, what sort of society, in which it is possible or the state to persecute and try to break a man with a thing like this. How does such a system come into being? Where does it start? And who allows it to have its way?
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Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès

No n'hi ha cap

As startling and powerful as when first published more than two decades ago, Andre Brink's classic novel, "A Dry White Season," is an unflinching and unforgettable look at racial intolerance, the human condition, and the heavy price of morality. Ben Du Toit is a white schoolteacher in suburban Johannesburg in a dark time of intolerance and state-sanctioned apartheid. A simple, apolitical man, he believes in the essential fairness of the South African government and its policies until the sudden arrest and subsequent "suicide" of a black janitor from Du Toit's school. Haunted by new questions and desperate to believe that the man's death was a tragic accident, Du Toit undertakes an investigation into the terrible affair a quest for the truth that will have devastating consequences for the teacher and his family, as it draws him into a lethal morass of lies, corruption, and murder.

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