Philip Pullman, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Fannie Hurst, Leigh Hunt

De Britse schrijver Philip Pullman werd geboren op 19 oktober 1946 in Norwich als zoon van een luchtmachtofficier. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Philip Pullman op dit blog.

 

Uit: Northern Lights

“After darkness had fallen, and when the stores and equipment had all been safely unloaded and stood in waiting on the quay, Farder Coram and Lyra walked along the waterfront and looked for Einarsson’s Bar. They found it easily enough: a crude concrete shed with a red neon sign flashing irregularly over the door and the sound of loud voices through the condensation-frosted windows.

A pitted alley beside it led to a sheet-metal gate into a rear yard, where a lean-to shed stood crazily over a floor of frozen mud. Dim light through the rear window of the bar showed a vast pale form crouching upright and gnawing at a haunch of meat which it held in both hands. Lyra had an impression of blood-stained muzzle and face, small malevolent black eyes, and an immensity of dirty matted yellowish fur. As it gnawed, hideous growling, crunching, sucking noises came from it.

Farder Coram stood by the gate and called:

“Iorek Bymison!”

The bear stopped eating. As far as they could tell, he was looking at them directly, but it was impossible to read any expression on his face.

“Iorek Byrnison,” said Farder Coram again. “May I speak to you?”

Lyra’s heart was thumping hard, because something in the bear’s presence made her feel close to coldness, danger, brutal power, but a power controlled by intelligence; and not a human intelligence, nothing like a human, because of course bears had no daemons. This strange hulking presence gnawing its meat was like nothing she had ever imagined, and she felt a profound admiration and pity for the lonely creature.
He dropped the reindeer leg in the dirt and slumped on all fours to the gate. Then he reared up massively, ten feet or more high, as if to show how mighty he was, to remind them how useless the gate would be as a barrier, and he spoke to them from that height.

‘Well? Who are you?’

 

Philip Pullman (Norwich, 19 oktober 1946)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Philip Pullman, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Fannie Hurst, Leigh Hunt”

David Vann

De Amerikaanse schrijver.David Vann werd geboren op 19 oktober 1966 op Adak Island,  Alaska. De eerste zes jaar van zijn leven bracht David Vann door in Ketchikan. Na de echtscheiding van zijn ouders leefde hij met zijn moeder en zijn zus in Californië. Toen David Vann dertien jaar oud was, pleegde zijn depressieve vader zelfmoord tijdens een telefoongesprek met Vanns stiefmoeder. De in veel opzichten tragische familiegeschiedenis van de Vanns (een moord, een handvol zelfmoorden, echtscheidingen en overspel) vormt een leidmotief in het werk van David Vann, te beginnen met zijn eerste boek, de semi-autobiografische verhalenbundel “Legend of a suicide.” Het kostte David Vann twaalf jaar om een uitgever te vinden voor Legend of a suicide. In deze periode werkte hij tien jaar als schipper op een zeilschip, een ervaring die hij verwerkte in “A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea.”

David Vann heeft talrijke prijzen gewonnen: o. a. de Prix Medicis Etranger in Frankrijk (2010), de Premi Llibreter in Spanje (2011) en de Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction (2007) in de VS. In 2011 verscheen zijn eerste roman “Caribou Island”, in 2012 opgevolgd door “Dirt” en in 2013 door “Goat Mountain”. Daarnaast publiceerde hij het non-fictie boek “Last Day on Earth. A Portrait of the NIU School Shooter” (2011), over de schietpartij door ex-student Steve Kazmierczak op Northern Illinois University. Vann schrijft ook voor tijdschriften als The Atlantic, Esquire en Outside en is werkzaam als docent creative writing aan de Universiteit van Warwick. Hij is woonachtig in Nieuw Zeeland.

 

Uit: Goat Mountain

 

“Kneeling on a mattress tied over the pickup bed, all the camping gear beneath. Northern California, 1978. Gripping through lurches and bends, the metal hot even in morning. Switchbacks up the mountain. I had a shoebox of rocks, and when we hit straight sections of road I’d grab a rock and huck it at a passing tree. The fling and bend, the stone thrown to the side, a thrumming sound, turning and chopping through thick air but swept forward by momentum. Forced off course, bent into an arc, swept forward beyond intent.

I had a feel already for that arc, prefiguring it, aiming well behind. Pumping a fist into the air whenever stone bit into flesh. The heavy thud over the growl of the engine, perhaps even a glimpse of bark torn free.

The sky coming down closer, the day heating, the air doubling and doubling again, pressing the smell from all things. Metal, exhaust, oil, dust, weeds, pines, and now a long stretch of dry yellow grass, a valley with sugar pines, a valley that meant we had entered a new land, away from the lake. Every fall this hunt, every fall this return.

We stopped at Bartlett Hot Springs. Pulled over into the momentary twilight of our own dust, my father not waiting for the air to clear, opening his door right away, stepping out a shadow tall and thin, shouldering his rifle. My father etched and luminous even in shadow, a thing set off from the rest of the earth, overly present.

From the other side of the cab, my grandfather stepped out carrying the lemons, and then my father’s best friend, Tom, who had been crammed in the middle, always there from my earliest memories, same as family. Wearing glasses that caught a reflection as he looked up, even in this oblivion of dust. We’re here, he said.

I hopped off my father’s side of the pickup. Reached into the cab, behind the seat, for my own rifle, a .30-.30 Winchester lever-action carbine with a peep sight, cold metal, not yet heated by the day. No shoulder strap, so I carried it in my hand as I walked up toward the springs. The way I had been and always would be, I thought, hiking with this rifle low in my right hand, barrel tipped downward. Tilt of a needle, that rifle, tilt of the planet itself, sending me forward.”

 

 

David Vann (Adak Island, 19 oktober 1966)