“Sometimes, the risk is the emergency. But you have to take it to make it real.”
“First with your head and then with your heart”
“Sometimes the slightest things change the direction of our lives, the merest breath of circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a passing remark. Hoppie Groenwald was to prove to be a passing mentor who would set the next seventeen years of my life on an irrevocable course. He would do so in a little more than a day and night.”Peekay
“In teaching me independence of thought, they had given me the greatest gift an adult can give to a child besides love, and they had given me that also.”Peekay
“History will tell of how the election of the Nationalist party headed by Dr. Daniel Francois Malan was the turning point when the Afrikaner once again became the dominant force in the country. History is bound to treat this event with great pontification, showing how the struggle between the two white tribes of Africa reached its climax.”This quotation, which opens Chapter Twenty-One, marks a break away from Peekay's conventional first person narrative. Instead, history is the subject of both of the sentences above.
“"The music of Africa is too wild, too free, too accustomed to death for romance. Africa is too crude a stage for the small scratching of the violin, too majestic for the piano. Africa is only right for drums. The drum carries its rhythm but does not steal its music. Timpani is the background, the music of Africa is in the voices of the people. They are its instruments, more subtle, more beautiful, infinitely more noble than the scratching, thumping, banging, and blowing of brass and vellum, strings and keyboard."”This quotation is a monologue given by Doc on the night before they discover the crystal cave of Africa. Doc's speech underscores the pervasiveness of music metaphors in The Power of One and outlines the difference between "Africa" and "Europe" by means of their distinct forms of music.
“I had become an expert at camouflage. My precocity allowed me, chameleonlike, to be to each what they required me to be.”Peekay frequently needs to camouflage himself in various ways in order to survive the system.
“I was a child of Africa, a white child to be sure, but nevertheless Africa's child. The black breasts that had suckled me and the dark hands that had bathed and rocked me had left me with a burden of obligation to resist the white power that would be the ultimate gift from those who now trained me.”In the quotation above, from Chapter Sixteen, Peekay reflects on his training as a "spiritual terrorist" in the brutal context of apartheid South Africa.
“As is so often the case with a legend, every incident has two possible interpretations, the plausible and the one that is molded to suit the making of the myth. 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.”Peekay makes this observation at the end of Chapter Sixteen.
“You either disappear into a plebian background or move forward to where most others fear to follow”
Followed by Tandia.
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