Between the threat of forgetting on the one hand and the reprobation to remember on the other, three aspects of knowledge about the past are investigated in Karel Schoeman’s Hierdie lewe (This life) with references to the other two novels in his “voices” trilogy. Firstly, the inaccessibility of the past, repeatedly described as “another country” or a “dark country” is described in Hierdie lewe. This past can only be remembered by an unreliable memory, supported by fallible evidence. Secondly, the use of language (in the form of narrative) in the reconstruction of the past is also described. While the original past event is forever beyond reach in “another country”, the mimetic function of language to represent this event is problematised in Hierdie lewe, as elsewhere in Schoeman’s oeuvre. Against this background the emphasis in the third part of this article falls on the question of the purpose of attempts to represent the past. The easy answer apparently provided by Hierdie lewe at a first glance, that the old women needs to remember in order to die peacefully, is problematised. The purpose of memory and the meaning of listening to the voices from the past and importance of writing down these voices are closely related to death in Hierdie lewe. References to death, to graves and graveyards abound in Hierdie lewe. Therefore the meaning of remembering is approached from a contemplation of graves. For this part of the essay I rely on Ricoeur’s idea of “the act of sepulcher”, as discussed in Memory, History, Forgetting (2004).