Mazarine Pingeot, A. M. Homes, Viktor Rydberg, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff

De Franse schrijfster Mazarine Pingeot werd geboren in Avignon op 18 december 1974. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 18 december 2010.


Uit: Pour Mémoire

Mes parents ont été arrêtés devant mes yeux. Je m’étais éloigné de la route, avec mon frère, sur le chemin de la Croix-aux-filles, pour ramasser des fraises sauvages. Une voiture a vrombi, au loin, de plus en plus proche, puis elle a ralenti. Nous nous sommes tus. J’ai entendu mes parents crier. Je n’ai pas compris leurs mots, mais ils étaient à notre intention, une intention secrète.

Ces derniers mois nous avions élaboré des messages codés (« éloignez-vous », « nous sommes pris », se traduisaient par « Attention mon chapeau » et « Doucement, vous me faîtes mal » ou n’importe quelle variante qui se serait ajustée à la situation). On avait jugé inutile ou irréaliste d’ajouter « J’ai perdu ma chaussure » pour « Je vous aime mes enfants chéris, pensez à moi, ne vous inquiétez, pas notre amour survivra », et toutes ces phrases tristes que je me répétais d’avance dans mes nuits de silence en tenant la main de ma mère. Elle, elle gardait sa peur pour elle, mais ses lèvres se mettaient à trembler dès que des pas résonnaient dans la cage d’escalier et nous tachions de ne pas bouger. Nous attendions, nous attendions que les choses changent, ou peut-être nous attendions notre arrestation.

Ma mère a crié et je n’ai pas saisi ses mots, ce que j’ai saisi c’est : « Restez là où vous êtes, cachés derrière les arbres. » Peut-être y avait-il aussi un adieu dans ses cris, « Je vous aime, pensez à moi lorsque vous serez grands », mais ses cris ont été recouverts par ceux de mon père : « Ne touchez pas à ma femme, laissez-la, elle n’est pas vraiment juive. » C’est la dernière parole que j’ai entendue. Pas vraiment juive. Toujours ce souci d’exactitude chez lui.“


Mazarine Pingeot (Avignon, 18 december 1974)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Mazarine Pingeot, A. M. Homes, Viktor Rydberg, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff”

Miles Marshall Lewis, Christopher Fry, Thomas Strittmatter

De Amerikaanse schrijver Miles Marshall Lewis werd geboren op 18 december 1970 in The Bronx, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Miles Marshall Lewis op dit blog.


Uit: Bronx Noir

„The all-night Baychester Diner harbored the same two wisecracking women in kempt hairweaves found at the counter every weekend past midnight. Each sported something slightly outré signaling her street profession. One wore a bright Wonder Woman bodice with deep cleavage on display, the other scarlet, fishnets with a spiked leather dominatrix collar. Both brandished five-inch stilettos. At the far corner banquette a young couple argued in Creole patois.

“Si ou pa vlé bébé-an, ale vous an,” hissed the pregnant teen in the pink Von Dutch cap.

Kingston and Lacey found an isolated booth and ordered breakfast from a homely waitress. Rain broke the August humidity, slicking the asphalt of Boston Road, while Kingston explained all about the Hernández brothers pushing their numbers turf further down Washington Heights into Harlem, their violent efforts to force him out, and his contingency fl ight plan to New Orleans.

“King. You gonna up and leave just like that?” Lacey asked. She craved a Newport.

“They ain’t runnin’ me out,” he bluffed. “I done made plenty these past fi fteen years. I don’t mind it. Business ain’t like it used to be nohow. Playin’ the numbers is old school, kiddo. More white folks is movin’ into Harlem now and they don’t know nothin’ about me. They play Lotto.”

Lacey laughed.

“You never talked about retiring to New Orleans before.”

Not to me, she thought.

“I done told you ’bout the house. We ain’t never been together, but it’s down there. Since 2000. My cousin look after it, she over in Baton Rouge.”

“When are you talking about going?”

“I ain’t right decided yet. Could be two weeks.”

“Two weeks? That’s enough time for you to wrap up everything?”

“We gon’ see.”


Miles Marshall Lewis (New York, 18 december 1970)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Miles Marshall Lewis, Christopher Fry, Thomas Strittmatter”

Saki, Gatien Lapointe, Heinrich Smidt

De Birmees – Britse schrijver Saki (pseudoniem van Hector Hugh Munro, een naam gekozen uit de Rubaiyat van Omar Khayyam) werd geboren op 18 december 1870 in Akyab, Birma. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 18 december 2010.


Uit: The toys of peace

“There is primitive instinct to be taken into consideration, you know,” said Henry doubtfully, “and hereditary tendencies as well. One of their great-uncles fought in the most intolerant fashion at Inkerman — he was specially mentioned in dispatches, I believe — and their great-grandfather smashed all his Whig neighbours’ hot houses when the great Reform Bill was passed. Still, as you say, they are at an impressionable age. I will do my best.”

On Easter Saturday Harvey Bope unpacked a large, promising-looking red cardboard box under the expectant eyes of his nephews. “Your uncle has brought you the newest thing in toys,” Eleanor had said impressively, and youthful anticipation had been anxiously divided between Albanian soldiery and a Somali camel-corps. Eric was hotly in favour of the latter contingency. “There would be Arabs on horseback,” he whispered; “the Albanians have got jolly uniforms, and they fight all day long, and all night, too, when there’s a moon, but the country’s rocky, so they’ve got no cavalry.”

A quantity of crinkly paper shavings was the first thing that met the view when the lid was removed; the most exiting toys always began like that. Harvey pushed back the top layer and drew forth a square, rather featureless building.

“It’s a fort!” exclaimed Bertie.

“It isn’t, it’s the palace of the Mpret of Albania,” said Eric, immensely proud of his knowledge of the exotic title; “it’s got no windows, you see, so that passers-by can’t fire in at the Royal Family.”

“It’s a municipal dust-bin,” said Harvey hurriedly; “you see all the refuse and litter of a town is collected there, instead of lying about and injuring the health of the citizens.”


Saki (18 december 1870 – 14 november 1916)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Saki, Gatien Lapointe, Heinrich Smidt”

In Memoriam Vaclav Havel

In Memoriam Vaclav Havel


De Tsjechische schrijver, politicus en voormalige president van Tsjechië Vaclav Havel is overleden aan complicaties bij zijn langdurige ziekbed. Hij is 75 jaar geworden. Havel was van oorsprong (toneel)schrijver. Tijdens het communistische regime in Tsjecho-Slowakije was hij een van de belangrijkste dissidenten. Zie ook alle tags voor Václav Havel op dit blog.


Uit: To the Castle and Back (Vertaald door Paul Wilson)

„The days I spent there were important in my life. The hippie movement was at its height. There were be-ins in Central Park. People were festooned with beads. It was the time of the musical Hair. (Joe had presented it in the Public Theater before my play opened, and because it was so successful it moved to Broadway, where I saw the premiere.) It was the time when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, a period of huge antiwar demonstrations whose inner ethos–powerful but in no way fanatical–I admired; it was also the heyday of psychedelic art. I brought many posters home, and to this day they are hanging in Hradecek. And I brought home the first record of Lou Reed with the Velvet Underground.
My stay in the United States influenced me considerably. After I returned, my friends and I experienced a very joyful, albeit a somewhat nervous, summer, which could not have ended well; on August 21, the Soviet troops arrived. And then, seeing long-haired, bead-festooned young people waving the Czechoslovak flag in front of the Soviet tanks and singing a song that was a favorite among the hippies at the time, “Massachusetts,” I had a truly strange sensation. In those circumstances it sounded a bit different from how it had sounded in Central Park, though it had essentially the same ethos: the longing for a free and colorful and poetic world without violence.
The second time I visited America–after a long and gloomy twenty-two years–I was president of my country. The former hippies were now no doubt respected senators or bosses of multinational corporations. Since then I’ve been here at least ten times; I’ve become close to three American presidents and to many American politicians (a special role among them was played by my compatriot the marvelous Madeleine Albright), as well as to important people and to many famous stars. These working or state or official visits, however, were brief and the program was always full, so that I only saw America from a speeding limousine. I sometimes found time to go for a walk or visit a rock club, but it was never easy. And so now, here I am on my second long visit almost forty years after the first one. In the meantime, I’ve lived through quite a bit, and perhaps precisely for that reason–paradoxically–I long for the freedom of movement I once enjoyed here when I was in my thirties.“


Václav Havel (5 oktober 1936 – 18 december 2011)