Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson, writer and lecturer

Memory and forgetting are recurring themes throughout fiction, playing a vital role in texts as varied as Dickens’s David Copperfield, Murakami’s Norwegian Wood and Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton. Kundera's Book of Laughter and Forgetting pays special attention to the nature of forgetting, which, as Richard Holmes argues, is the twin sister of memory. Beside appealing as themes, memory and forgetting also serve as important compositional tools, allowing for the creation of unreliable narrators, and enabling Joyce in his novella ‘The Dead’ to lead the story to its moving climax through the memories of its protagonists, Gabriel and Gretta. The author’s own memories often lie behind those of the characters. This link between life and literature is particularly revealing in David Copperfield, where Dickens works through his own traumatic experiences in the story of a child left to fend for himself but overcoming early setbacks to become a successful writer.



1.David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

2. ‘The Dead’ (from Dubliners) by James Joyce

3. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

4. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

5. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout



Date: 14–18 January 
Time: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full: R550,00  Staff and Students R275,00
Venue: LT3 Kramer Law Building UCT