Hundert Tage (One Hundred Days), a novel by Lukas Bärfuss: A literary attempt of critical discussion of the Swiss postcolonial past
This article analyses the literary representation of the Rwandan genocide in the novel Hundert Tage (One Hundred Days) by Lukas Bärfuss, a Swiss author. It focuses on the literature as a form of cultural memory and the question of its function in the history formation, i.e. in a self-reflexive confrontation with the Swiss post-colonial past. Through the problematisation of shared responsibility for genocide the author attempts to critically evaluate the role and guilt-
question of the international community, especially of Switzerland. David, the novel’s main protagonist, narrator and commentator, constantly questions his individual and collective guilt; therefore he symbolically reflects the attitude and the approach of the international community. Thus Bärfuss delivers his sharpest critique at the meta-level narration, where the excessive reproduction of the post-colonial discourse in the novel represents a stark contrast to the protagonist itself and offers an ironised, critically-reflexive assessment of the development policy as a policy for and not against genocide. The question of collective responsibility for the genocide remains unresolved and is merely compensated by the representation of resignation, apathy and helplessness of the international community in the presence of the largest humanitarian crisis after the Second World War.
Keywords: Africa, question of guilt, genocide in Rwanda, post-colonialism, development policy
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Journal for Foreign Languages by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the publisher right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.