William Styron, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Sophie van der Stap, Ben Jonson, Athol Fugard, Yasunari Kawabata

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

 

Uit: Sophie’s Choice

„Sometime during my thirties the nickname and I mysteriously parted company, Stingo merely evaporating like a wan ghost out of my existence, leaving me indifferent to the loss. But Stingo I still was during this time about which I write. If, however, it is perplexing that the name is absent from the earlier part of this narrative, it may be understood that I am describing a morbid and solitary period in my life when, like the crazy hermit in the cave on the hill, I was rarely called by any name at all.

I was glad to be shut of my job–the first and only salaried position, excluding the military, of my life–even though its loss seriously undermined my already modest solvency. Also, I now think it was constructive to learn so early in life that I would never fit in as an office worker, anytime, anywhere. In fact, considering how I had so coveted the job in the first place, I was rather surprised at the relief, indeed the alacrity, with which I accepted my dismissal only five months later. In 1947 jobs were scarce, especially jobs in publishing, but a stroke of luck had landed me employment with one of the largest publishers of books, where I was made “junior editor”–a euphemism for manuscript reader. That the employer called the tune, in those days when the dollar was much more valuable tender than it is now, may be seen in the stark terms of my salary–forty dollars a week. After withholding taxes this meant that the anemic blue check placed on my desk each Friday by the hunchbacked little woman who managed the payroll represented emolument in the nature of a little over ninety cents an hour. But I had not been in the least dismayed by the fact that these coolie wages were dispensed by one of the most powerful and wealthy publishers in the world; young and resilient, I approached my job–at least at the very beginning–with a sense of lofty purpose; and besides, in compensation, the work bore intimations of glamour: lunch at “21,” dinner with John O’Hara, poised and brilliant but carnal-minded lady writers melting at my editorial acumen, and so on.“

 

William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)

 

De Britse dichteres en schrijfster Renée Vivien (eig. Pauline Mary Tarn) werd geboren op 11 juni 1877 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Renée Vivien op dit blog.

 

Your Strange Hair

Your strange hair, cold light,
Has pale glows and blond dullness;
Your gaze has the blue of ether and waves;
Your gown has the chill of the breeze and the woods.

I burn the whiteness of your fingers with kisses.
The night air spreads the dust from many worlds.
Still I don’t know anymore, in the heart of those deep nights,
How to see you with the passion of yesterday.

The moon grazed you with a slanted glow …
It was terrible, like prophetic lightning
Revealing the hideous below your beauty.

I saw-as one sees a flower fade-
On your mouth, like summer auroras,
The withered smile of an old whore.


JAPANESE REVERIE

I know not why this recollection forces the frequently closed door of my memory.
It was night-time, in a Japanese tea-house.
In a subdued ascension, the monotonous rhythm, the almost eternal rhythm of three cords were struck with regularity. Three notes, no more… A rhythm in the night…

But the moon was so large, so magnificently powerful, that prodigious stalks of bamboo were seen rising beyond a pool, – which, beneath the moon, took on all the mystery of the sacred pools in the enclosure of a temple. And the immense moon gave to these prodigious stalks the appearance of a dream.

For some time, a melancholy old woman, who was beautiful and a professional musician, played tirelessly… I cannot render this feeling of eternity, of the Eternity which, formerly, seemed terrible to me, incomprehensible and deadly… This strange intuition glided in my veins, with the rhythm of three notes repeated indefinitely, with the Japanese night, with the visage of the melancholy old musician… And little by little, … and little by little, my soul was appeased until there was a divine annihilation of death in the night…

 

Renée Vivien (11 juni 1877 – 10 november 1909)

Hier met vriendin Natalie Clifford Barney (rechts)

 

De Franse schrijver Jean-Pierre Chabrol werd geboren op 11 juni 1925 in Chamborigaud. Zie ook alle tags voor Jean-Pierre Chabrol op dit blog.

Uit: Clerguemort – Les Rebelles

Le village suivait trois lignes parallèles qui épousaient étroitement le S étiré de la rivière, sur la rive gauche ; la première ligne était une rangée de maisons dont les murs extérieurs trempaient dans l’eau, la deuxième était la rue, chemin vicinal et grand-rue tout à la fois, qu’il fallait connaître pour la deviner, d’ici, à son tracé noir qui séparait la première ligne des maisons de la deuxième, c’était une rue étroite, profonde, fraîche et sonore.
À l’entrée de Clerguemort, le vieux pont bossu, fait de gros galets ronds, avec, de part et d’autre du sommet, les deux saillies aiguës dans lesquelles on pouvait s’abriter quand se lançait au galop sur les galets de sa pente un coche ou l’attelage de la poste, le bon vieux pont jetait d’un élan l’arche unique et bien ronde sur le grand gouffre dont on ne pouvait même pas deviner le fond.
À ce bout de Clerguemort, la filature, à l’autre bout, le temple et le moulin, c’était le vrai village protestant de la Cévenne.
La filature, avec ses quatre étages, ses quatre verrières en demi-cercle, toute en longueur, massive, était, de loin, la construction la plus imposante de Clerguemort, la seule aussi qui s’élevait sur la rive droite, à l’entrée du pont, avec, bien sûr, quelques baraquettes qui servaient de dépendances et, surtout, la demeure du maître, belle bâtisse bien carrée sur trois étages, qu’on voyait d’abord car elle était la seule crépie en blanc, où filait ses derniers jours le filateur, M. Huguet qu’on appelait lù richo, ou, plus souvent, lù moussu, le monsieur.“

 

Jean-Pierre Chabrol (11 juni 1925 – 1 december 2001)

 

 

De Nederlandse schrijfster Sophie van der Stap werd geboren in Amsterdam op 11 juni 1983. Zie ook alle tags voor Sophie van der Stap op dit blog.

Uit: Heute bin ich blond (Vertaald door Barbara Heller)

“Sorry«, sage ich, als ich die Haare hinter mir auf dem Parkett sehe. »Das geht auf einmal so schnell.«
Die Frau sieht mich im Spiegel an. Ich habe Fotos von mir mitgebracht, um ihr zu zeigen, wie ich die Haare am liebsten trage. Es sind die Fotos, die Martin vor drei Wochen gemacht hat, als ich noch meine eigenen Haare hatte. Seit meine Haarzellen den Kampf gegen die Chemo verlieren, sehe ich dem Mädchen auf den Bildern immer weniger ähnlich. Sie liegen auf dem Tisch, zwischen einem Perückenprospekt und einem gelbblonden Haarschopf, den die Frau mir eben gebracht hat. Vielleicht etwas in der Art? Ganz bestimmt nicht. Alle diese Frisuren machen mich zu einem Transvestiten, und als die Frau zu einer Perücke aus langen, dunklen Haaren greift, muss ich an den Gitarristen von Guns N’ Roses denken, nur dass die Mähne auf meinem eigenen Kopf sitzt. Grauenhaft.
Der Perückenladen liegt in der Eingangshalle des AMC, des Akademisch Medisch Centrum in Amsterdam; im ersten Stock ist eine Kabine zum Anprobieren. Schön bequem für die Onkologiepatienten, die können nach der Infusion direkt dorthin. Neben mir sitzen meine Mutter, meine Schwester und Annabel, meine beste Freundin. Wir fühlen uns unbehaglich und sind alle ziemlich still, doch dann probiert Annabel eine der Perücken auf, und die Spannung löst sich. Sie sieht unmöglich aus. Wir müssen laut lachen. Ich betrachte meine Schwester mit ihrer dunklen Hochfrisur. Toll sieht sie aus. Wie ich trägt sie ihr Haar am liebsten hinten hochgesteckt, mit einer leichten Welle vorn. Ich betrachte Annabels dichte schwarze Haare und dann wieder das glänzende Haar meiner Schwester, die Kurzhaarfrisur meiner Mutter und schließlich die Bü schel, die bei mir noch übrig sind. Die letzten drei Wochen ziehen im Schnelldurchlauf an mir vorüber, und ich begreife immer noch nicht, was ich hier soll. Was ich hier soll. Ich will weg, mich verstecken in der Geborgenheit meiner vier Wände. Nicht nur vor meiner Krankheit, sondern auch vor den Reaktionen der anderen, die nur bestätigen, was ich vergessen will. Nachbarn, die mich mitleidig ansehen.”

 


Sophie van der Stap (Amsterdam, 11 juni 1983)

 

De Engelse dichter en schrijverBen Jonson werd geboren rond 11 juni 1572 in Westminster, Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Ben Jonson op dit blog.

An Elegy

THOUGH beauty be the mark of praise,
And yours of whom I sing be such
As not the world can praise too much,
Yet ‘tis your Virtue now I raise.

A virtue, like allay so gone
Throughout your form as, though that move
And draw and conquer all men’s love,
This subjects you to love of one.

Wherein you triumph yet-because
‘Tis of your flesh, and that you use
The noblest freedom, not to choose
Against or faith or honour’s laws.

But who should less expect from you?
In whom alone Love lives again:
By whom he is restored to men,
And kept and bred and brought up true.

His falling temples you have rear’d,
The wither’d garlands ta’en away;
His altars kept from that decay
That envy wish’d, and nature fear’d:

And on them burn so chaste a flame,
With so much loyalty’s expense,
As Love to acquit such excellence
Is gone himself into your name.

And you are he-the deity
To whom all lovers are design’d
That would their better objects find;
Among which faithful troop am I-

Who as an off’ring at your shrine
Have sung this hymn, and here entreat
One spark of your diviner heat
To light upon a love of mine.

Which if it kindle not, but scant
Appear, and that to shortest view;
Yet give me leave to adore in you
What I in her am grieved to want!

Ben Jonson (ca. 11 juni 1572 – 6 augustus 1637)

 

De Zuidafrikaanse schrijver Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard werd geboren op 11 juni 1932 in Middelburg, Kaapprovincie. Zie ook alle tags voor Athol Fugardop dit blog.

 

Uit: Notebooks

“Tonight, after two weeks of pain, of sleepless nights, of crying and whining in the dark, of vainly imploring Jeeesus and God, Dad broke down and sobbed like a child. Tears and flat spit bubbled his lips. We searched around for pills, for nerve pain specific, and dosed him with the lot. He pulled himself together for a few minutes then, just before I left, he called to me, ‘Come here, my boy’ — started to say something, then floundered and drowned in another flood of tears. Eventually, he

managed to say what he wanted: ‘Don’t let them do anything to my leg.

Don’t let them take it off!’

“Behind the bland withdrawn expression what terrors moved! Behind the midnight agony … That a cripple might lose his remaining leg — his final vestige of independence, or manhood, would go. …

“The lies and half-truths that I have spread about Dad — alcoholic, fought in the war, etc. The truth — humility, resignation to suffering. A character who deliberately propagates and establishes a public

image compounded of cowardice, weakness, dependence of another man who was the exact opposite. But done, not out of hate, but in submission to the inevitability of his (the other man’s — Dad’s) fate — and, finally, love.“

 

Athol Fugard (Middelburg (ZA), 11 juni 1932)

 

De Japanse schrijver Yasunari Kawabata werd geboren op 11 juni 1899 in Osaka. Zie ook alle tags voor Yasunari Kawabata op dit blog.

 

Uit: First Snow on Fuji (Vertaald door Michael Emmerich)

„Gazing at the photograph, Takako tried to imagine the princess as she would have looked hoisting a stone onto the mound with the group captain, but the image that came was simply an image. Takako felt no connection to it. Her reading of the articles in the previous day’s paper had left her feeling sorry for the princess, who had after all been forced by church law and by certain customs of the English royal family to abandon her love, but that feeling was now gone. In some ways yesterday’s empathy itself seemed like a foreign story.

Takako was unable to read one of the other stories in “This Country, That Country” with so much detachment, however. The story described two actual cases of “spouse swapping.”

The first incident had occurred in Sweden. Two married couples, the Polsens and the Petersons, lived in adjacent apartments in a single building in Egresund, a town near Stockholm. Mr. Polsen and Mr. Peterson were friends of long standing, and they and their wives had grown so close that they lived essentially as a single family. Then, on the twenty-ninth (the article ran on November second, so it must have been October twenty-ninth), the two husbands swapped wives—or to look at it from the other point of view, the wives swapped husbands. In short, the couples were divorced and remarried simultaneously. Neither the Petersons nor the Polsens are at all worried about the shock they’ve given the world, and all four of them are getting along as well as ever, it was reported.“

 

Yasunari Kawabata (11 juni 1899 — 16 april 1972)
In 1917

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 11e juni ook mijn blog van 11 juni 2011 deel 2.