De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2009.en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2010.
Uit: The Understudy
„Stephen C McQueen had two C.Vs.
Alongside the real-life resumé of all the things he had actually achieved, there was the Nearly CV. This was the good-luck version of his life, the one where the close-shaves and the near-misses and the second-choices had all worked-out; the version where he hadn’t been knocked off his bike on the way to that audition, or come down with shingles during the first week of rehearsal; the one where they hadn’t decided to give the role to that bastard off the telly.
This extraordinary phantom career began with Stephen almost-but-not-quite winning huge praise for his show-stealing Malcolm in Macbeth in Sheffield, then consequently very nearly giving his heart-breaking Biff in Death of a Salesman on a nationwide tour. Soon afterwards, the hypothetical reviews that he would probably have received for his might-have-been King Richard II had to be read to be believed. Diversifying into television, he had come oh-so-close to winning the nations hearts’ as cheeky, unorthodox lawyer Todd Francis in hit TV series Justice For All, and a number of successful film roles, both here and abroad, had quite conceivably followed.
Unfortunately, all these great triumphs had taken place in other, imaginary worlds, and there were strict professional rules about submitting your parallel-universe resumé. This unwillingness to take into account what had taken place in other space-time dimensions meant that Stephen was left with his real-life C.V, a document that reflected both his agent’s unwillingness to say no, and Stephen’s extraordinary capacity, his gift almost, for bad luck. It was this real-life version of events that brought him here, to London’s glittering West End.
At the age of eight, visiting London for the first time with his Mum and Dad, Piccadilly Circus had seemed like the centre of the Universe, an impossibly glamorous, alien landscape, the kind of place where, in an old British Sixties musical, a dance-routine might break-out at any moment. That was twenty-four years ago. It had since become his place-of-work, and coming up from the hot, soupy air of the tube station into the damp November evening, all Stephen saw was a particularly garish and treacherous roundabout. Nearby an adenoidal busker was doggedly working his way through the Radiohead song-book, and the chances of a dance-routine breaking out seemed very slight indeed. Stephen barely even noticed Eros these days, surely the most underwhelming landmark in the world. If he bothered to look up at all, it was only to check the digital clock under the Coca-Cola sign, to see if he was late.“
David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)
De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en essayist Lee Klein werd geboren op 30 november 1965 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2010.
THE SHOPPPINGTOWN DOWN UNDER (Fragment)
The medical center at Shoppingtown
Either by walk-in or appointment
It’s pistachio lobby
Opened onto the street
From the outface of the Shoppingtown
With floral print chairs and couches
And the receptionists behind
A large polished wood front-piece
And overhead canvasses in reproduction
Of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings of irises
Here the diminutive female Chinese doctor
Measures my breathing
Prescribes dosages of steroids
And puts me on sessions with the nebulizer
I make an appearance after being directed here
By Joseph and Wilhemena
The property managing duo
Who seem like a suspect and villain?
Or suspect and suspect
On an episode of “Hart to Hart”
Or Shopping Mall Poem She Wrote.
Accompanied by my father to this Shoppingtown
But at the medical office alone
Which I now leave to go back into the interior of the mall
To purchase my medicines and a disposable camera from a pharmacy
The disposable camera in hopes of taking pictures of myself with Cuban athletes
Some of whom I have just spotted shopping, in order to recreate
The William Jefferson Clinton and Fidel Castro handshake
A few days prior at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art
Now during Pax Shoporama-
We were looking so forward
To peace in the Middle East
So we could visit the Gaza Strip Mall
And speak these epic-ending words
“The Greatest Peace in Western History
was known as the Pax Romana
should this one last any longer
it might be known as the Pax Shoporama”
Lee Klein (New York, 30 november 1965)
Uit: Falling Leaves
“We were both Edgar’s victims, though perhaps James suffered more because for many years he shared a room with our two eldest brothers. He hated to make waves. When pushed around, he endured the blows passively or hid from his tormentor. Seeing me being beaten by Edgar he would skulk quickly away in blinkered silence. Afterwards, when Edgar was gone, he would creep back and try to console me, often muttering his favorite phrase ‘Suan le!’ (Let it be!) . . .
Of Niang’s two children, she openly favoured Franklin. In physical appearance he was the spitting image of Niang: a handsome boy with round eyes and a pert upturned nose. Susan at this stage was still a baby. But they were already special. I don’t recall either Edgar or Lydia ever laying a finger on them. James and I were the ones singled out to do everyone’s bidding. If we were not fast enough there was often a slap or a shove, especially from Edgar.
I always felt more comfortable with my friends at school than at home, where I was considered inferior and insignificant, partly because of the bad luck I had brought about by causing the death of my mother. I remember watching my older sister and brothers playing tag or skipping rope and longing to be included in their games. Although James and I were very close, he went along with the others and became ‘one of the boys’ when they wished to preclude me.”
Adeline Yen Mah (Tianjin, 30 november 1937)
Aan de getergde muze
daar zit je dan: blijf van mijn lijf
en denkt ik kom je straks vermoorden
maar wist je niet dat dichterswoorden
– althans dan wat er overblijft
aan geluid het al dan niet sonore
geroezemoes van klinkers enzovoort –
slechts klanken zijn die ik bewoon
uit liefde voor de waarde
dat wat zich uitleeft wordt tot aarde?
Van eenzaamheid en dan de dood
voor dhr. Christoffel van Assen
Ik ken u goed maar heb u nooit ontmoet
bij leven en bij welzijn. Ik hoorde van
uw eenzaamheid, als kind al eenling
in het hoge noorden, een streng geloof
dé opstap naar verlegenheid
en alle appels werden u ontnomen.
Dan Rotjeknor, waar je in massa’s
kunt ontkomen en niemand je echt ziet.
U nam er dienst achter het stuur,
vervoerde allerhande dromen
van hen die wel betaalden maar ook niet.
De oude dag bracht Hengelo
om nog een jaar of wat te schaken.
Dat snap ik niet: er was geen vrouw
die u hier trok, geen verleden dat lonkte,
geen vriend met wat wijn.
Ik ken u goed maar heb u nooit ontmoet
dan in dit innig eenzaam zijn.
Nu is het radicaal te laat. Geen hemel voor
wat nagepraat, geen wolkje dat ons samenvoegt.
U bent zo in en in verwoest, dat mij niets rest dan
deze groet, al is mij ooit in ongeloof ontschoten
wie hier de laatste zending doet.
Reinier de Rooie (Hengelo, 30 november 1961)