Mhambi has been redeployed.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Athol Fugard on ‘Tsotsi’, truth and reconciliation, Camus, Pascal and “courageous pessimism”

An edited interview from an Australian blog The Morning After with South African playwright Athol Fugard (in San Diego) on the publication of his only novel Tsotsi in Australia.

Fugard reveals he is a fan of Camus and his fondness for the concept of courageous pessimism.

Gosh, you must give yourself that treat. I owe so so much to Camus. I do a lot of reading, and I still do, but Camus was a decisive influence. If one’s going to look at influences in terms of my thinking -- whatever little things are stitched together to make a personal philosophy that works for my life and how I live it -- it’s encompassed, unquestionably, in the notebooks.

The concept that comes to mind immediately -- it remains as true for me today as it did for me back then -- what I think he defines at some point in one of his notebooks as “courageous pessimism”. The fact that the condition is ultimately pessimistic -- the one that we face as human beings in a hostile world, in a hostile universe -- but that we need courage. Given courage, there are certain things we can do which gives us dignity.

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