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Tsotsi, English edition (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 2. März 2006

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"Tsotsi is a real find, by one of the most affecting and moving writers of our time" FINANCIAL TIMES "One of the best novels in contemporary South African fiction... [Tsotsi] illustrates the cardinal Fugard principle - that no matter how brutal the system which has destroyed families, broken bodies and reduced homes to rubble, it cannot turn out every light." TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT "In lean yet lyrical prose... [Athol Fugard] uncannily insinuates himself into the skins of the oppressed majority and articulates its rage and misery and hope." NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW"


This work is reissued to coincide with a major feature film adaptation. The film adaptation of "Tsotsi" is the official selection of South Africa for Best Foreign Film (Academy Awards 2005) and was awarded Best British Film and the Audience Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival 2005. This is a deeply affecting novel by one of South Africa's greatest contemporary writers. Set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto, where survival is the primary objective, "Tsotsi" traces six days in the life of a ruthless young gang leader. Tsotsi has repressed his past and forgotten his true name; he exists only to stage and execute vicious crimes. After beating one of his own gang almost to death in an argument, Tsotsi attempts to rape a woman in a grove of bluegum trees. She manages to escape but not before thrusting a parcel into his hands. It contains a baby with 'a face that was small and black and older than anything he had ever seen in his life', a child that will mark the first stage of his long, reluctant path to redemption. Confronted with memories of his own painful childhood, this angry young man begins to rediscover his own humanity, dignity and capacity to love.

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23 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Pas, Kaffir! 13. Mai 2006
Von Luc REYNAERT - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In a razzia by the South-African police looking for illegal immigrants, the main character of this book, a 10 year old, looses 'the big, gentle, warm, protective mother behind whom he had hidden and escaped from the whole world of a child's fear.'

From now on, he stays defenseless in a strange labyrinth of laws, 'loneliness, being the only person in the world ... He learnt the lesson of hunger ... He learnt to watch for the weakness of sympathy or compassion for others weaker than yourself, like discovering how never to feel the pain you inflicted. He had no use for memories ... There was only the present, that continuous moment carrying him forward without question of regret.'

He becomes a tsotsi, a wild, brutally killing animal, always looking around for easy targets (the painted and the cripple): 'There was no conflict. It wasn't a question of should I, or shouldn't I. He was resigned to the inevitable, watching it unfold as doctors would the last stages of a disease in a patient who is beyond help.'

But one day, his wild mind is shaken when he meets a woman with a child. He is confronted with the moral problem of 'decency' as one of his gang members said.

Athol Fugard draws a profoundly moving and dramatic picture of a child gang in a dark and life threatening city. The treatment of the variations on the theme of absence - mother, father, friends, moral conscience, life - is not less than masterful.

This book is a real masterpiece.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How Much Shame Can You Feel ... 3. März 2010
Von Giordano Bruno - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
... about your share of the vileness of racism? About the decades of apartheid in South Africa, and the decades of Jim Crow laws and lynchings in America? That sort of shame will necessarily suffuse any white man's reading of Athol Fugard's only novel. Fugard is a white South African, born in 1932, now internationally acclaimed as a playwright. The characters in his plays - the two that I've seen anyway - and in this novel are all black South Africans, victims of white racism and abject poverty, but Fugard has claimed them, wrapped them in himself as the Rabbi Jesus once claimed the poor who were to inherit his kingdom. The people of Fugard's writings are his People, color notwithstanding. His is an amazing empathy, deeper than Mother Theresa's. I'm in awe of him as a human. This novel, Tsotsi, which Fugard never actually finished or submitted for publication on its merits, is sadly flawed as a piece of literature. Despite its agonizingly realistic depiction of the horrors of apartheid, it is riddled with inconsistencies and impossibilities, and the ending is unacceptable. Botched. A brief sermon and a perfunctory dismissal of a future that might have been even more a test than the present. But I ask, considering the sheer power of the subject and the emotional investment of the author, how could I carp at issues of literary craft, or give the book less than five stars?

Fugard wrote "Tsotsi" in ragged drafts and notes in the early 1960s. He wasn't satisfied with it, but like most writers he couldn't simply throw it away. One of the drafts survived in a suitcase of papers which turned up in a museum archive in the late '70s. A researcher named Stephen Gray found the draft, got permission to 'edit' it, prune it, and shape it, and it was published in 1980. I mention this because the history of the novel shows through in its flaws. It is a 'first novel' and an editor's creation, and Fugard persists in regarding it as unworthy of much attention. But now it is perhaps his best known work, as a result of the box-office success of the film based on it. Fugard's play are on a different level of artistic craft; I recently saw a production of his newest - Going Home - and I was profoundly stirred by it.

The novel Tsotsi tells of a three-day crisis in the life of a black teenage thug - a 'tsotsi', a word meaning a criminal gang member - who has suppressed all hopes and memories, who feels no attachment or empathy for any human, whose fiercest anger is directed at anyone who tries to crack his isolation or touch his humanity. He is, if one wants to rationalize his state of mind, an extreme case of post-traumatic stress - amnesiac, apathetic, hyper-sensitive to any shock that might trigger a flash-back. He is a killer who finds a thrill of identity in killing. His basic rule of life is to follow his urges and never to relent. Then something happens that totally disrupts his sociopathic but functional anomie. I'm sure other reviewers will already have revealed what, so I won't.

I have no idea whether Fugard had read William Faulkner, but both the prose style and the structure of Tsotsi are remarkably Faulknerian: extended sentences accumulating toward rhapsody, a narrative point of view that unhesitatingly reveals the minds of his characters in images and poetic phrases beyond the capacity of those characters for expression in their own words. Both writers confide in their ability to perceive the depths inside of stupid things, the spirit inside of dead things, the complexity inside the banality of simple acts. Both writers are motivated by something moral, some need to write the truth about the world they find themselves in, about viciousness, suffering, and endurance... and in the case of Fugard, about redemption through religion.

Now I'll have to see the movie ...
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A profoundly moving and achingly beautiful masterpiece 23. April 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Upon finishing this book I could not help but wonder if there has ever been a work of literature which could transcend the beauty and depth of perception and compassion conveyed in Fugard's "Tsotsi." If anyone reading this knows of such a work, please do feel free to e-mail me so that I can experience what will be the height of greatness.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fantastic 9. Januar 2007
Von BOOKS, BoOkS, books - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Gripping and contemporary (despite when it was penned) plot. Meticulous yet poetic writing. If there were a rating higher than "five," this novel would have it.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
a surprisingly fulfilling read 3. April 2010
Von lisa shea - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
i picked this up in the airport because i accidentally left my book at home. unfortunately, i already owned every other book in the store that i was remotely interested in reading, so i was stuck with this one. lucky for me, it turned out to be pretty good. its about a boy, or maybe a man (you never really find out), that is the leader of a small local gang. he has no recollection of his past, where he came from, what his name is, how old he is. an infant is dropped into his arms, abandoned and alone, and he somehow finds memory of his childhood in the baby. its a great story of youth and individual transformation. however, if graphic violence bothers you, this book has a few moments that are american psycho-ish.

this one has also been made into a movie and has won tons of awards in the film circle as a more independent syle film (not mainstream i guess). the movie was also pretty good, though i preferred the book to the movie.
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