Jacques de Lacretelle, Natalia Ginzburg, Gavrila Derzjavin, Arthur Laurents, Irving Stone, Owen Wister

De Franse schrijver en letterkundige Jacques de Lacretelle werd geboren in Cormatin (Saône-et-Loire) op  14 juli 1888. Lacretelles vader was consul en de jonge Lacretelle reisde daardoor meer door de wereld dan zijn leeftijdgenoten: op zijn achtste bijvoorbeeld verhuisde het gezin naar Alexandrië. Vader overleed in 1898. Jacques de Lacretelle was een ziekelijk kind en groeide op tot een a-typische Fransman; hij had een meer dan gemiddelde lengte en een afkeer van het christendom. Van zijn moeder erfde hij zijn belangstelling voor de natuur. Het gezin verkeerde in literaire kringen (nazaten van Victor Hugo). Hij werd opgeleid voor een financiële carrière, maar reisde liever wat door Europa. Na een ontmoeting met Marcel Proust begon hij te werken aan zijn eerste roman.
De Lacretelle debuteerde in 1920 met La vie inquiète de Jean Hermelin en in 1922 won hij de Prix Femina met de roman over een joodse intellectueel: Silbermann. In 1936 werd hij lid van de Académie française.
Zijn succes als schrijver tussen de twee wereldoorlogen was te danken aan zijn psychologische romans, waarvan door Albert Thibaudet is gezegd dat ze lijken op het werk van Proust en Gide, maar dan door Flaubert herschreven. Een voorbeeld is de cyclus Les hauts ponts (1932-1935) over een vrouw die het voorvaderlijk huis probeert terug te krijgen, wat haar uiteindelijk lukt, zij het voor zeer korte tijd, aangezien het verkocht moet worden om de schulden van haar zoon te kunnen afbetalen.

Uit: Silbermann (1922)

 

A Houlgate, pendant le mois d’août, poursuivit-il à voix moins haute, j’ai fait beaucoup de tennis. Mais, là-bas, c’était moins agréable parce que – il fit une moue – il y avait trop de Juifs… Sur la plage, au casino, partout, on ne rencontrait que ça. Mon oncle Marc n’a pas voulu y rester trois jours. Tiens, celui-là y était. Il s’appele Silbermann.
En disant ces mots, il m’avait désigné un garçon qui se tenait à la porte de la classe, en tête des rangs, et que je ne me rappelais pas avoir aperçu division de quatrième. Il était petit et d’extérieur chétif.
Sa figure, que je vis bien car il se retournait et parlait à ses voisins, était très formée, mais assez laide, avec des pommettes saillantes et un menton aigu. Le teint était pâle, tirant sur
le jaune; les yeux et les sourcils étaient noirs, les lèvres charnues et d’une couleur fraîche.
Ses gestes étaient très vifs et captivaient l’attention. Lorsque, avec une mimique que l’on ne pouvait s’empêcher de suivre, il s’adressait à ses voisins, ses pupilles semblaient sauter sur l’un et puis sur l’autre. L’ensemble éveillait l’idée d’une précocité étrange; il me fit songer aux petis prodiges qui exécutent des tours dans les cirques. J’eus peine à détacher de lui
mon regard ».

 

 

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Jacques de Lacretelle (14 juli 1888 – 2 januari 1985)

 

De Italiaanse schrijfster Natalia Ginzburg werd geboren op 14 juli 1916 in Palermo. Zie ook mijn blog van 14 juli 2006

Uit:  A Place to Live and Other Selected Essays

‘In October of 1944 I came to Rome to find work. My husband had died the previous winter. In Rome there was a publishing house where he had worked for years. The publisher was away in Switzerland at the time, but the firm had resumed business right after the liberation of Rome, and I thought that if I asked, they would give me a job. The prospect of asking was burdensome, however, because I thought they would be hiring me out of pity, as I was a wid
ow with children to support. I would have liked someone to give me a job without knowing me, on the basis of my skills. The trouble was that I had no skills.

I had brooded over all this during the months of the German occupation, which I spent in the country, in Tuscany, with my children. The war had passed through there, followed by the usual silent aftermath, until finally, in the quiet countryside and the villages thrown into turmoil, the Americans arrived. We moved to Florence, where I left the children with my parents and went on to Rome.

I wanted to work because I had no money. True, if I had remained with my parents I could have managed. But the idea of being supported by my parents was also very burdensome, and besides, I wanted to make a home for myself and my children again. We hadn’t had a place of our own for a long time.

During those last months of the war, we lived with relatives and friends, or in convents and hotels.

Driving to Rome in a car that stalled every halfhour, I dallied with fantasies of adventurous jobs, such as being a governess or covering crime for a newspaper. The major obstacle to my career plans was the fact that I didn’t know how to do anything.”

 

 

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Natalia Ginzburg  (14 juli 1916 – 7 oktober 1991)

 

De Russische dichter Gavrila Romanovitsj Derzjavin werd geboren in Kazan op 14 juli 1743. Hij wordt algemeen beschouwd als de grootste Russische dichter uit de periode voor Aleksandr Poesjkin. Derzjavin was van eenvoudige komaf, maar wist met zijn gedichten de gunst te winnen van Catharina de Grote. In 1784 werd hij benoemd tot gouverneur van Olonets en in 1785 werd hij gouverneur van Tambov. Hij werd persoonlijk secretaris van Catharina in 1791, president van de Handelskamer in 1794 en minister van Justitie in 1802. In 1803 ging hij met pensioen en bracht hij de rest van zijn leven door op zijn landgoed in Tsvanka bij Novgorod, waar hij zich volledig aan het schrijven van verzen wijdde.

 

 

To my heart

 

Why, poor heart, so ceaseless languish?

  Why with such distresses smart?

Nought alleviates thy anguish,

  What afflicts thee so, poor heart?

 

Heart, I comprehend not wrongly,

  Thou a captive art confest,

Near Eliza thou beat’st strongly

  As thou’dst leap into her breast.

 

Since ‘tis so then, little throbber,

  You and I, alas! must part,

I’d not be thy comfort’s robber;

  To her I’ll resign thee, heart.

 

Yet the maid in compensation

  Must her own bestow on me,

And with such remuneration

  Never shall I grieve for thee.

 

But should she, thy sorrows spu
rning,

  This exchange, poor heart, deny,

Then I’ll bear thee, heart, though mourning,

  From her far and hasty fly.

 

But, alas! no pain assuaging,

  That would but increase thy grief;

If kind Death still not its raging,

  Granting thee a kind relief.

 

Vertaald door William D. Lewi

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-attribuut; de bestandsnaam is derzjavin.jpg
Gavrila Derzjavin (14 juli 1743 – 20 juli 1816)

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver, scenarioschrijver en regisseur Arthur Laurents is geboren in New York op 14 Juli 1918. Zijn eerste internationale succes was Home of the Brave (1945), dat bijna in ieder land opgevoerd werd en waarvan ook een film gemaakt is. West Side Story (1957) was zijn eerste musical, maar er zouden er nog verschillende volgen waarvoor hij het scenario schreef en/of de regie voerde: Gypsy (1959) Invitation to a March (1960), I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962) In 2000 verschenen zijn memoires Original Story By.

 

Uit: Original Story By

 

“It’s the stuff of dreams. The audience is on its feet calling “Author! Author!” my

mother is calling “Arthur! Arthur!” my father’s eyes are wet and a handsome young

actor has flown in from the Coast to share the night with me. My father wouldn’t want

me to see the tears any more than I’d want him to see the actor.

The producer, all smiles, is Humpty-Dumpty in a brown suit. By now, I know it’s

his good suit. He motions me forward to the stage. My feet tell me I am walking

down the aisle; I feel a fireman boost me up on the stage. I can see the actors

behind me applauding but can’t hear them. I’m unsure whether the moon is out or

not but I know it has to be. I turn from the actors and look out front. I don’t see

anyone. Not my father, not my mother, not my actor. I hear no cheering, I see no

audience, just a big black hole of silence. I turn to the wings and say to the stage

manager, “Bring in the curtain, Jimmy.”

It was Jimmy Gelb who told me about the moon the day of our first preview and

he was a Marxist like the producer, the director and half the cast. Stop worrying

whether my play was good enough to be a hit, he commanded. Success in the

theatre had little to do with merit; what it really depended on was the moon. If the

moon was out, we were in; if it wasn’t, we weren’t.”

 

 

Laurents
Arthur Laurents (New York, 14 Juli 1918)

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Irving Stone werd geboren op 14 juli 1903 in San Francisco. Hij is vooral bekend geworden door zijn biografische romans over beroemde personen. Zijn bekendste werk is wellicht Lust for Life over Vincent van Gogh uit 1934, in 1956 verfilmd met Kirk Douglas.. Adversary in the House gaat over de vakbondsman en politicus Eugene V. Debs.

 

Uit: Adversary in the House

 

“That night when he left the tent he saw a man trail him back to town.  When he

went into the restaurant for supper, the man waited outside.  When he went up to

his hotel the man kept a few steps behind him, his hand in his coat pocket.  Gene

closed the door of his room and locked it behind him, but he could feel the

presence immediately outside.  He flung the door open and cried:
“Why do you follow me?  Surely I have never done you any harm.”
The gunman released his hold of the revolver and stood staring at Gene with

his mouth open.
“Oh, Mr. Debs, I am no thug.  I heard the company’s private police say they

were going to shoot you, so I appointed myself your bodyguard.  No one is going

to shoot you while I’m around.”
The climax to the years of civil war cam when former Governor Steunenberg

of Idaho, who had been charged with anti-labor violence during his

administration, was murdered by the explosion of a bomb attached to the gate

of his house.  The man who had set the bomb, Harry Orchard, was a lifelong

criminal; he was arrested, held incommunicado in jail, and then placed in the

hands of the Pinkerton Agency, which provided strikebreakers and mine police. 

As a result of Orchard’s deal with the Pinkertons, Charles Moyer, William Haywood

and George Pettibone, officers of the Western Federation of Miners, were arrested

in Denver, kidnapped by the police of Idaho without extradition papers, locked in

murderers’ row in the state penitentiary in Boise, and charged with conspiracy to

murder ex-Governor Steunenberg.

The news reached Gene while he was in his office in Terre Haute.  He had long

been specially attached to the Western Federation of Miners because it had bolted

from the conservative American Federation of Labor and formed the first industrial

union since his own American Railway Union had been destoyed.”

 

 

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Irving Stone (14 juli 1903 – 26 augustus 1989)

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Owen Wister werd geboren op 14 juli 1860 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Zijn beroemdste roman is The Virginian, die beschouwd word als de eerste Amerikaanse western.

 

Uit: The Virginian

 

“Some notable sight was drawing the passengers, both men and women, to the

window; and therefore I rose and crossed the car to see what it was. I saw near the

track an enclosure, and round it some laughing men, and inside it some whirling

dust, and amid the dust some horses, plunging, huddling, and dodging. They were

cow ponies in a corral, and one of them would not be caught, no matter who threw

the rope. We had plenty of time to watch this sport, for our train had stopped that

the engine might take water at the tank before it pulled us up beside the station

platform of Medicine Bow. We were also six hours late, and starving for

entertainment. The pony in the corral was wise, and rapid of limb. Have you seen

a skilful boxer watch his antagonist with a quiet, incessant eye? Such an eye as

this did the pony keep upon whatever man took the rope. The man might pretend

to look at the weather, which was fine; or he might affect earnest conversation with

a bystander: it was bootless. The pony saw through it. No feint hoodwinked him.

This animal was thoroughly a man of the world.  His undistracted eye stayed fixed

upon the dissembling foe, and the gravity of his horse-expression made the matter

one of high comedy. Then the rope would sail out at him, but he was already

elsewhere; and if horses laugh, gayety must have abounded in that corral.”

 

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Owen Wister (14 juli 1860 – 21 juli 1938