For the sake of silence

Michael Green

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Named after the Holy Fool and Gaper, Father Joseph Cupertino tells an extraordinary tale ranging from Austria to Bosnia, Natal to East Griqualand during the 19th and early 20th Century. It chronicles the journey of a monk, Franz Pfanner, through the obscure labyrinths of the Trappist order, avowed to a life of silent contemplation, to where he establishes the monastery at Marianhill in South Africa. Hardworking and devoted, Pfanner leaves in his wake a trail of controversy that reaches its apex at Marianhill which, through his missionery zeal, grows into one of the largest monasteries in the world. His success at spreading the Word of God, however, comes at a terrible price, for it requires his surrender to the world of words, through which faith, contemplation and grace become intermingled with demonic possession, madness, even murder. After Pfanner’s death in exile the Gaper buries the heart of his Abbot and, for the sake of silence, violates his very commitment to silence in writing this chronicle. This provocative second work of fiction by Michael Cawood Green uses the multiple aspects of silence to interrogate the lost stories it recovers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRoggebaai
Number of pages557
ISBN (Print)9781415200452
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


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