Ford Madox Ford, Jules de Goncourt, Penelope Fitzgerald, Alphonse Boudard


De Engelse dichter, schrijver en publicist Ford Madox Ford werd geboren op 17 december 1873 in Merton, Surrey. Zie ook alle tags voor Ford Madox Ford op dit blog.


Uit:The Inheritors (Samen met Joseph Conrad)


Ideas,” she said. ” Oh, as for ideas –”

“Well?” I hazarded, “as for ideas?”

We went through the old gateway and I cast a glance over my shoulder. The noon sun was shining over the masonry, over the little saints’ effigies, over the little fretted canopies, the grime and the white streaks of bird-dropping.

“There,” I said, pointing toward it, “doesn’t that suggest something to you?”

She made a motion with her head-half negative, half contemptuous.

“But,” I stuttered, ” the associations — the ideas — the historical ideas “

She said nothing.

“You Americans,” I began, but her smile stopped me. It was as if she were amused at the utterances of an old lady shocked by the habits of the daughters of the day. It was the smile of a person who is confident of superseding one fatally.

In conversations of any length one of the parties assumes the superiority — superiority of rank, intellectual or social. In this conversation she, if she did not attain to tacitly acknowledged temperamental superiority, seemed at least to claim it, to have no doubt as to its ultimate according. I was unused to this. I was a talker, proud of my conversational powers.

I had looked at her before; now I cast a side-V ways, critical glance at her. I came out of my moodiness to wonder what type this was. She had good hair, good eyes, and some charm. Yes. And something besides — a something — a something that was not an attribute of her beauty. The modelling of her face was so perfect and so delicate as to produce an effect of transparency, yet there was no suggestion of frailness; her glance had an extraordinary strength of life. Her hair was fair and gleaming, her cheeks coloured as if a warm light had fallen on them from somewhere. She was familiar till it occurred to you that she was strange.

“Which way are you going?” she asked.

“I am going to walk to Dover,” I answered.

“And I may come with you?”

I looked at her — intent on divining her in that one glance. It was of course impossible. ” There will be time for analysis,” I thought.

“The roads are free to all,” I said. “You are not an American?”

She shook her head. No. She was not an Australian either, she came from none of the British colonies.“



Ford Madox Ford (17 december 1873 – 26 juni 1939)

V.l.n.r. James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford en John Quinn

De Franse schrijver Jules de Goncourt werd geboren op 17 december 1830 in Parijs. Zie ook alle tags voor Jules de Goncourt op dit blog.


Uit: Edmond en Jules de Goncourt: Dagboek (Vertaald door Edu Borger)


Een land waar alles in orde, samenhangend, onontkoombaar en logisch is.
De mannen en vrouwen zijn er lelijk, niet op een menselijke manier, maar als vissen, met visseogen en vissekoppen, een gelaatskleur van gedroogde vis, en ze hebben iets van zeerobben en kikkers’ ze lijken ook wel op die grof geschetste figuren, die ruzie stann te maken op de achtergrond van een schilderij van Ostade.
Een land dat uit het water tevoorschijn is gekomen, dat
echt gebouwd is, een land dat voor anker ligt; een waterige lucht, zonlicht dat gefilterd lijkt door een met zout water gevulde karaf; huizen die eruitzien als schepen, daken die lijken op de achterstevens van oude galeien; trappen die eigenlijk ladders zijn, wagons die aan kajuiten doen denken, danszalen als tussendekken.
Een bleek en koud ras, mensen met een karakter geduldig als het water, levens vlak als kanalen; het vlees is er waterig.
Holland lijkt wel het paradijs zoals het is teruggevonden door de bevers uit de ark van Noach. Een land dat voor anker ligt, bevers in een kaas, – dat is Holland.“



Jules de Goncourt (17 december 1830 – 20 juni 1870)

Jules de Goncourt in zijn salon, door Edmond de Goncourt





De Engelse dichteres, schrijfster en essayiste Penelope Fitzgerald werd geboren op 17 december 1916 in Lincoln. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 17 december 2010.


Uit: Worlds Apart


Hester told her daughter that she ought to try and make Mr. Bergen feel more at home.

“He’s not at home,” said Tilly. “He’s in our house.”

At two years old, Tilly had been sympathetic to the whole world, a perpetual angel of mercy, keeping the whole house hushed in case her poor sick teddy bear should be disturbed. Now that she was six years old, where had this calm severity come from?

“He’s only in one room,” Hester persisted. “The things he has there are probably all he has in the world. I only meant you ought to make him think he’s at home.”

“That would be deceitful,” said Tilly.

Hester knew what the other mothers (all of them neighbours and her good friends, but still the other mothers) thought, and probably said: that Tilly had become hardened since her father left them. Hester, however, knew that Tilly never mentioned Rod, that he hadn’t left them but simply stayed away by agreement, that all was well and safely over, and about such things it was impossible to be mistaken. Probably it was a natural process. Probably time hardened women between the ages of two and six, just as it certainly did between twenty-five and thirty; that’s to say, during those years you get much harder on yourself.

Mr. Bergen was no trouble. Indeed, having made her point quite clear, Tilly added, as she sorted out her school case, “He’s no trouble.” The room was no trouble either. It was quite separate, having been built on, long before they came, over the little kitchen, which was itself built out into the back garden.

Tilly took some faded wild flowers out of the case.

“You can put some of these in his room, if you like. You know, you have to paste them on to pieces of brown paper, and write the proper name clearly under each one.”

“I don’t go into his room while he’s out,” said Hester indignantly.“



Penelope Fitzgerald (17 december 1916 – 28 april 2000)





De Franse schrijver Alphonse Boudard werd geboren op 17 december 1925 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 17 december 2010.


Uit:Saint Frédo


Au Ciel il manquait un saint. Un patron pour les filous, les traîne-lattes, les petites putes et leurs maquereaux… toute l’engeance malfrate qui a bien le droit, elle aussi, à la miséricorde divine. La plupart, ils ont déjà fait sur terre leur purgatoire dans les prisons. Voilà. C’est fait… Ils ont saint Frédo à présent, ils vont pouvoir prier quelqu’un. Cet ouvrage, c’est la biographie de saint Frédo. Je me suis appliqué à cette tâche tout à fait pieuse. Ça m’a été facilité du fait que je l’ai bien connu, Frédo. Je fus un témoin privilégié, j’ai suivi toutes les phases de son existence mouvementée… dans les taules, les bagnes, à la relégation. Comment il s’est peu à peu rénové, comment il est revenu dans le droit chemin, comment il a fini par se consacrer à la rédemption de ses petits camarades de casier judiciaire. Je vous raconte ça par le menu, en m’efforçant de ne rien omettre. Les saints succombent parfois aux bonnes fortunes de la table et du lit. On ne s’ennuie pas trop dans la vie exemplaire de saint Frédo, il a le sens de la rigolade et il jacte le plus bel argot. Au dernier moment tout s’arrange. Il est cloué bon larron sur la Croix. Ça vaut son pesant de sainteté.



Alphonse Boudard (17 december 1925 – 14 januari 2000)