June 26, 2011
One of the main characters in my book Adventures in Solitude is a Toronto businessman turned Desolation Sound Hermit named Russell Letawsky. He was a student of philosophy. While he was in Toronto, he specifically became fixated with one of Nietzsche’s favourite phrases, Amor fati: Latin for “love of fate,” or more specifically, “love your fate.” In Nietzsche’s 1882 book The Gay Science, he writes:
I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.
The passage was one of the catalysts for Russell to leave Toronto’s rat race and wind up in Desolation Sound, and its a credo that he’s stuck with all of his life, and has subsequently played into mine as well. Imagine my surprise when I received a Tweet from sweet Rebecca Gladney of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, who picked up the book at her local Chapters. She was moved enough by the philosophic poetry of Amor fati to get it tattooed on her inner forearm!
I was able to meet Rebecca at the North By Northeast Music Festival and was delighted to see the tattoo in person.