This thesis, though written in about one year, has a rather long history. I was introduced to André Brink’s A Chain of Voices at the age of seventeen, by Beate N. Schwensen, who later became my wife. She had come across this fascinating book that I just had to read. I read it and I believe this novel gave me one of my strongest reading experiences to this day. Since then I have read all Brink’s novels, but none of them have been able to challenge the very special status A Chain of Voices gained in my view.

The collecting of secondary sources and critical material was not an easy job with this author, simply because there exists very little (which takes a lot of time to find out). Now, this may have its, more or less, obvious advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that the treatment of the novel can be free and new, without having to account for too many other and different critical approaches. The disadvantages are perhaps more serious. There will obviously be a lack of comprehensive critical support of my arguments, thus making my own interpretations stand alone, as it were, almost exclusively dependent on their own reasonableness, logic, and coherence.

I would like to thank my very thorough supervisor, Olav Lausund, who was willing to supervise a thesis on an ‘unknown’ author like Brink. Time and again, Lausund has impressed me with his remarkable ability to see how, by very subtle means, logic and coherence may be gained and improved.

Finally, I would again like to thank my wife for introducing me to a fascinating and extremely engaging author, and for being a patient and helpful support in the writing process. I would also like to thank my little son, Vetle, for being a source of inspiration in times of frustration, and for adding a broader perspective to the view of what is important and what is less important, when all is finally said and done.

Oslo, February 13, 1995
John Erik Bøe Lindgren

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