Country of My Skull: The Personal insights of Krog and Their Impact on the Story She Tells

In the journalist’s approach to telling a story of the truth commission post-South Africa apartheid, we not only get the story of those affected via perpetrators and victims, but we also get an inside look into how these stories effected spectators as well. Krog provides accounts of both victims and perpetrators and provides her own account of how their stories affect her. With this, we get a perspective of someone who is not directly involved with crimes committed in a dark time for South Africans. Even Krog, an outsider to the apartheid, is heavily effected by the heinous ongoing of crimes that happened to so many innocent citizens. Krog writes,” No poetry should come forth from this. May my hand fall off if I write this. So I sit around. Naturally and unnaturally without words. Stunned by the knowledge of the price people have paid for their words. If I write this, I exploit and betray. If I don’t, I die,” (p.66). These lines give the reader a sense of what it was like for Krog to have been able to put these stories into a novel. It shows struggle within the mind of not knowing what to do with information that is not necessarily the business of Krog, but such a series of horrid injustices, that she wants the whole world to know about it. This internal struggle comes from how much Krog has involved herself with these stories and truly listened and felt sympathy for the citizens who have suffered so much loss. As a reader, one reads these stories that Krog tells of other people’s misfortunes and cannot help but to feel as if they have been punched in the gut. This novel is a telling of grievances written by someone who is doing their own grieving over the situation at a distance. Krog worries by writing what she does that she will exploit the pain of all of these people. By admitting this to the reader it is so clear that that is not at all the message she is giving when she writes of her own sorrows from listening to these people’s countless stories. Krog brings an emotional empathy for these people grieving. She writes, “It is not so much the deaths, and the names of the dead, but the web of infinite sorrow woven around them,” (p.45).

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