Thursday, September 11, 2008

the power of one... ja, absoloodle

One of the best blery books I've read. Takes place 1935 ish to 1952ish. Story of a young boy born English in a Boer South Africa. He is a child of Africa. He can speak English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Fanagalo, Shangaan. I've listed my favorite passages and tidbits in sequential order from the book...

"In the matter of white man's punishment, the black people already understand that the body can be broken by a sjambok but never the spirit. We are the earth, that is why we are the color of the earth. In the end it is the earth who will win, every African knows this."

"... in each of us there burns a flame of independence that must never be allowed to go out. That as long as it exists within us we cannot be destroyed."

"First with the head and then with the heart."

"Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it."

"It is better to be wrong than simply to follow convention. If you are wrong, no matter, you have learned something and you will grow stronger. If you are right, you have taken another step toward a fulfilling life."

(the funniest bit) "...wouldn't be worth a cardboard boot..."

"When a man knows somebody cares, he keeps some small place, a corner maybe of his soul, clean and lit."

"According to Miss Bornstein..."

"Man is a romantic at heart and will always put aside dull, plodding reason for the excitement of an enigma. As Doc had pointed out, mystery, not logic, is what gives us hope and keeps us believing in a force greater than our own insignificance."

the People

"The power of one was based on the courage to remain separate, to think through to the truth, and not to be beguiled by convention or the plausible arguments of those who expect to maintain power."

Mayibuye Afrika

Thanks to Bryce Courtenay and his boetie Peekay.

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