De Zuidafrikaanse schrijfster Nadine Gordimer werd geboren op 20 november 1923 in Springs. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2007 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2009.
Uit: Beethoven was One-Sixteenth Black
Anyone who is a reader knows that what you have read has inﬂuenced your life. By ‘reader’ I mean one from the time you began to pick out the printed words, for yourself, in the bedtime story. (Another presumption: you became literate in some era before the bedtime story was replaced by the half-hour before the Box.) Adolescence is the crucial period when the poet and the ﬁction writer intervene in formation of the sense of self in sexual relation to others, suggesting – excitingly, sometimes scarily – that what adult authority has told or implied is the order of such relations, is not all. Back in the Forties, I was given to understand: ﬁrst, you will meet a man, both will fall in love, and you will marry; there is an order of emotions that goes with this packaged process. That is what love is.
For me, who came along ﬁrst was Marcel Proust. The strange but ineluctable disorder of Charles Swann’s agonising love for a woman who wasn’t his type (and this really no fault of her own, he fell in love with her as what she was, eh?); the jealousy of the Narrator tormentedly following a trail of Albertine’s evasions.
Swept away was the confetti. I now had different expectations of what experience might have to take on. My apprenticeship to sexual love changed; for life. Like it or not, this is what love is. Terrible. Glorious.
But what happens if something from a ﬁction is not interiorised, but materialises? Takes on independent existence?
It has just happened to me. Every year I re-read some of the books I don’t want to die without having read again. This year one of these is Kafka’s Diaries, and I am about halfway through. It’s night-time reading of a wonderfully harrowing sort.
A few mornings ago when I sat down at this typewriter as I do now, not waiting for Lorca’s duende but getting to work, I saw under the narrow strip of window which displays words electronically as I convey them, a roach. A smallish roach about the size and roach-shape of the nail of my third ﬁnger – medium-sized hand. To tell that I couldn’t believe it is understatement. But my immediate thought was practical: it was undoubtedly there, how did it get in. I tapped the glass at the place beneath which it appeared. It conﬁrmed its existence, not by moving the body but wavering this way and that two whiskers, antennae so thin and pale I had not discerned them.”
Nadine Gordimer (Springs. 20 november 1923)