Louis de Bernières, Bill Bryson, Mary Gordon, Delmore Schwartz

De Britse schrijver Louis de Bernières werd geboren in Londen op 8 december 1954. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 december 2009. 

  

Uit: Corelli’s Mandolin

 

„Dr Iannis had enjoyed a satisfactory day in which none of his patients had died or got any worse. He had attended a surprisingly easy calving, lanced one abscess, extracted a molar, dosed one lady of easy virtue with Salvarsan, performed an unpleasant but spectacularly fruitful enema, and had produced a miracle by a feat of medical prestidigitation.
He chuckled to himself, for no doubt this miracle was already being touted as worthy of St Gerasimos himself. He had gone to old man Stamatis’ house, having been summoned to deal with an earache, and had found himself gazing down into an aural orifice more dank, be-lichened, and stalagmitic even than the Drogarati cave. He had set about cleaning the lichen away with the aid of a little cotton, soaked in alcohol, and wrapped about the end of a long matchstick. He was aware that old man Stamatis had been deaf in that ear since childhood, and that it had been a constant source of pain, but was nonetheless surprised when, deep in that hairy recess, the tip of his matchstick seemed to encounter something hard and unyielding; something, that is to say, which had no physiological or anatomical excuse for its presence. He took the old man over to the window, threw open the shutters, and an explosion of midday heat and light instantaneously threw the room into an effulgent dazzle, as though some importunate and unduly luminous angel had misguidedly picked that place for an epiphany. Old Stamatis’ wife tutted; it was simply bad housekeeping to allow that much light into the house at such an hour. She was sure that it stirred up the dust; she could clearly see the motes rising up from the surfaces.

Dr Iannis tilted the old man’s head and peered into the ear. With his long matchstick he pressed aside the undergrowth of stiff grey hairs embellished with flakes of exfoliated scurf. There was something spherical within. He scraped its surface to remove the hard brown cankerous coating of wax, and beheld a pea. It was undoubtedly a pea; it was light green, its surface was slightly wrinkled, and there could not be any doubt in the matter. ‘Have you ever stuck anything down your ear?’ he demanded.”

 


Louis de Bernières (Londen, 8 december 1954)

 

 

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James Thurber, Hervey Allen, Georges Feydeau, Horatius

De Amerikaanse schrijver James Thurber werd geboren op 8 december 1894 in Columbus, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 8 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 december 2009.

 

Uit: The Last Clock

 

„In a country the other side of tomorrow, an ogre who had eaten a clock and had fallen into the habit of eating clocks was eating a clock in the clockroom of his castle when his ogress and their ilk knocked down the locked door and shook their hairy heads at him.

“Wulsa malla?” gurgled the ogre, for too much clock oil had turned all his “t”s to “l”s.

“Just look at this room!” exclaimed the ogress, and they all looked at the room, the ogre with eyes as fogged as the headlights of an ancient limousine. The stone floor of the room was littered with fragments of dials, oily coils and springs, broken clock hands, and pieces of pendulums. “I’ve brought a doctor to look at you,” the ogress said.

The doctor wore a black beard, carried a black bag, and gave the ogre a black look. “This case is clearly not in my area,” he said.

The ogre struck three, and the doctor flushed.

“This is a case for a clockman,” the doctor said, “for the problem is not what clocks have done to the ogre but what the ogre has done to clocks.”

“Wulsa malla?” the ogre gurgled again.

“Eating clocks has turned all his ‘t’s to ‘l’s,” the ogress said. “That what clocks have done to him.”

“Then your clockman may have to call in consultation a semanticist or a dictionist or an etymologist or a syntaxman,” the non-clock doctor said, and he bowed stiffly and left the room.

The next morning, the ogress brought into the clockroom a beardless man with a box of tools under his arm. “I’ve brought a clockman to see you,” she told the ogre.

“No, no, no,” said the beardless man with a box of tools under his arm. “I’m not a clockman. I thought you said clogman. I’m a clogman. I cannot ethically depart from my area, which is clogged drains and gutters. I get mice out of pipes, and bugs out of tubes, and moles out of tiles, and there my area ends.” The clogman bowed and went away.“

 

 

James Thurber (8 december 1894 – 2 november 1961)

 

 

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Carmen Martín Gaite, Nikos Gatsos, Jura Soyfer, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, Joel Chandler Harris

De Spaanse schrijfster, vertaalster en journaliste  Carmen Martín Gaite werd geboren op 8 december 1925 in Salamanca. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 december 2008.

 

Uit: Rotkäppchen in Manhattan (Vertaald door Anne Sorg-Schumacher)  

 

„Sarah bückte sich und tastete ihr Söckchen ab. Sie fingerte nervös zwischen dem weißen Gewebe und ihrem Knöchel, bis sie an ihre Fußsohle kam. Dahin war die magische Münze gerutscht. Ein Stein fiel ihr vom Herzen. Miranfu! Nicht auszudenken, wenn sie die Münze verloren hätte.
Plötzlich musste sie lächeln. Sie hatte eine wunderbare Idee. Sie hatte ihre Entscheidung getroffen.

Sie steckte den Schlüssel ins Türschloss und öffnete sie ganz langsam. Die Kälte draußen machte sie hellwach. Sie strotzte vor Tatendrang. Jetzt ging es darum, Peter nicht in die Hände zu fallen, der für ihr Vorhaben nur ein Hindernis war, wie sich ja bereits gezeigt hatte.
Sie duckte sich und schlich hinter den Fahrzeugen vorbei, die auf ihrer Straßenseite standen, manchmal auch hinter den Mülltonnen, und erreichte über ausgehobene Erdhaufen und Seitenstraßen den Abhang vom Morningside Park, der an die Südfassade von Saint-John-Divine grenzte. Sie dachte flüchtig daran, dass es in dieser Gegend, vielleicht nicht weit von hier, einst eine Buchhandlung gab, die sie nie kennengelernt hatte: das Königreich der Bücher.“

 

 

Carmen Martín Gaite (8 december 1925 – 22 juli 2000)  

 

 

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