The Free Diary of Albie Sachs, by Albie Sachs
The Free Diary of Albie Sachs is a well-crafted work that confirms Sachs’s status as a seasoned author who can brilliantly narrate aspects of life, calamity and joy alike.
Point of Departure. Cape Town, June 2001: Departing is such sweet happiness and so confusing. Vanessa, who is walking at my side as I am wheeled uncomfortably through the airport lounge, is even more ebullient than usual. She gets a special radiant energy from the exhaustion and excitement of being up all night packing, sorting and cleaning; she cannot leave our home, she tells me, unless it is sparkling and lovely. Her brightness and eager enjoyment of life captivate me now as they did when first we met half a dozen years ago through the wife of a friend of a friend - she loves telling people, curious about what must seem an improbable union, that she was going to wait a week before phoning me, but I got in touch within three days. I am also animated, but I wish I was not being pushed through the departure lounge with a bandaged and stockinged leg raised in the air for all the world to stare at. I want to shout that I am not really sick, this has nothing to do with the bomb that took off my arm thirteen years ago, it's just an infection of the kind anyone can get, it came from being exhausted after a heavy term at court. I feel confused, almost delirious, at the thought of my ungainly transport from one continental space to another. In the days after prison when I believed that almost every illness was psychosomatic, I would have said that my leg was throbbing because the collegia! judicial body, of which I am an integral member and which I love so much, appears quite unusually to be about to split, and I just cant stand the notion of this happening (I still revel in Freud's gravely witty puns). My problem, leading to visceral discomfort, is that the Constitutional Court appears to be divided right down the middle. I am haunted by the dreadlocked figure of a young and talented Rastafarian lawyer, who is being kept out of practice because he insists on smoking marijuana as part of his religious observance. I have a heavy sense of foreboding, as though something terribly sad is about to happen. There is a quality about this scorned, lonely and brave young lawyer battling for his right to believe - where I as a child fought for my right not to believe? - that reaches deep into my consciousness. My doctor friends, who care for me now with the same affection and tenderness they showed when I was in and out of jail, insist that the redness of my swollen limb comes simply from some banal athlete's foot infection that crept into a scratch. They shouldn't let me travel, they say, but since I have an 'important interview' scheduled with the BBC they will let me go, provided I keep my leg in a tight stocking, hold it horizontal whenever possible, and get a penicillin boost in a few days' time. Invitations to three different conferences make it possible for us to travel together to Europe. We will have the chance to tell people how South Africa, though torn and scarred by its history, and plagued by unemployment, HIV/Aids and crime, is slowly, surely and on the foundations of community bonding and subtle human concern, helping to turn our spiritually rich yet socially tormented continent around. And I will keep a diary. Every day or so I will record my impressions, and then write them up later. A publisher has told me that an interesting book will result. I am not so sure. All my previous books have dealt with disaster. Solitary confinement produced my Jail Diary. Then a second detention and sleep deprivation resulted in Stephanie on Trial. More recently, the car bomb led to The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter. I am not convinced that I can write well about happiness. What a challenge, to depict not calamity survived, but joy experienced! [...]
This is an excerpt from the book: The Free Diary of Albie Sachs, by Albie Sachs.
Title: The Free Diary of Albie Sachs
Author: Albie Sachs
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2000
ISBN 9780958446853 / ISBN 978-0-9584468-5-3
Softcover, 16x22 cm, 232 page
Sachs, Albie im Namibiana-Buchangebot
The Free Diary of Albie Sachs describes the years of a South African in European exile.
In a Different Time tells the story of four young South Africans (Delmas Four) who kill for political reasons.
Birth, The Conspiracy to Stop the '94 Election is about a vulnerable moment. It is about a nation staring into the abyss as it steps out to determine its future.
Stones against the Mirror is a brave and moving memoir which is both a family history and a story of friendship and betrayal in South Africa.
’n Affair om te vergeet is nie ’n boek wat beskuldig of oordeel nie, maar ’n opregte poging om uit te vind waarom mense diegene wat hulle liefhet, seermaak.