Christopher Isherwood, Guillaume Apollinaire, Jules Romains, Julio Cortázar

De Brits-Amerikaanse schrijver Christopher Isherwood werd geboren op 26 augustus 1904 in Disley in het graafschap Cheshire in Engeland. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Christopher Isherwood op dit blog.


Uit: Goodbye to Berlin

„To-morrow I am going to England. In a few weeks I shall return, but only to pick up my things, before leaving Berlin altogether.

Poor Frl. Schroeder is inconsolable: “I shall never find another gentleman like you, Herr Issyvoo—always so punctual with the rent…. I’m sure I don’t know what makes you want to leave Berlin, all of a sudden, like this….”

It’s no use trying to explain to her, or talking politics. Already she is adapting herself, as she will adapt herself to every new régime. This morning I even heard her talking reverently about “Der Führer” to the porter’s wife. If anybody were to remind her that, at the elections last November, she voted communist, she would probably deny it hotly, and in perfect good faith. She is merely acclimatizing herself, in accordance with a natural law, like an animal which changes its coat for the winter. Thousands of people like Frl. Schroeder are acclimatizing themselves. After all, whatever government is in power, they are doomed to live in this town.

* * *

To-day the sun is brilliantly shining; it is quite mild and warm. I go out for my last morning walk, without an overcoat or hat. The sun shines, and Hitler is master of this city. The sun shines, and dozens of my friends—my pupils at the Workers’ School, the men and women I met at the I.A.H. [Internationale Arbeiter-Hilfe]—are in prison, possibly dead. But it isn’t of them that I am thinking—the clear-headed ones, the purposeful, the heroic; they recognized and accepted the risks. I am thinking of poor Rudi, in his absurd Russian blouse. Rudi’s make-believe, story-book game has become earnest; the Nazis will play it with him. The Nazis won’t laugh at him; they’ll take him on trust for what he pretended to be. Perhaps at this very moment Rudi is being tortured to death.

I catch sight of my face in the mirror of a shop, and am horrified to see that I am smiling. You can’t help smiling, in such beautiful weather. The trams are going up and down the Kleiststrasse, just as usual. They, and the people on the pavement, and the teacosy dome of the Nollendorfplatz station have an air of curious familiarity, of striking resemblance to something one remembers as normal and pleasant in the past—like a very good photograph.

No. Even now I can’t altogether believe that any of this has really happened…. „


Christopher Isherwood (26 augustus 1904 – 4 januari 1986)

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