Uit: Devil’s Island (Vertaald door David MacDuff en Magnus Magnusson)
„As for Baddi, he gave meaning to all the struggles of this world: that clever and handsome lad of promise, that blessed scion of the family, the granny’s boy of the prayers which the queen of the Old House repeated to herself aloud as she did the dishes at the sink or in silence as she brooded over the cards and the future of strangers – the boy with the bright eyes and the smile, always helpful and generous to everything which drew breath.
Now he was expected home.
The Americans were lucky to have enjoyed his presence all these years, thought Karolína, that steely woman who had not allowed her feelings free rein for decades. Nowadays she talked of her Baddi with such tearful longing that even Tommi was moved and began to imagine that everything would be bright and beautiful when the angel came home. But Tommi had always been much more attached to Danni; they had so much in common, he and the younger brother whom few missed and whose memory meant no more to the family than a raven landing on a gable-head and cawing.
Tommi came to think, when he looked back, that Baddi had not been such a bad lot after all – that was just exaggeration and a lack of understanding of young people. Boys would be boys, wouldn’t they? Before Baddi left he had become a bit of a burden to Tommi to be sure, because of the fines and damages he had had to pa; for all kinds of minor mischief Baddi had got involved in, but youngsters grew out of that sort of thing. Tommi was far more worried about the boys when they began to tinker with brennivín and steal bottles and get drunk and go into sheds and shacks with girls who screamed and bawled and came rushing out with fire and frenzy in their eyes, but who always allowed themselves to be lured into the sheds again. But why should Tommi worry about that? They were young and enjoying themselves.”
Einar Kárason (Reykjavík, 24 november 1955)
Uit:Allah Is Not Obliged (Vertaald door Frank Wynne)
“Number three . . . I’m disrespectful, I’m rude as a goat’s beard and I swear like a bastard. I don’t swear like the civilised Black Nigger African Natives in their nice suits, I don’t say fuck! shit! bitch! I use Malinke swear words like faforo! (my father’s cock – or your father’s or somebody’s father’s), gnamokode! (bastard), walahe! (I swear by Allah). Malinke is the name of the tribe I belong to. They’re Black Nigger African Savages and there’s a lot of us in the north of C(tm)te d’lvoire and in Guinea, and there’s even Malinkes in other corrupt fucked-up banana republics like Gambia, Sierra Leone and up in Senegal.Number four . . . I suppose I should apologise for talking right at you like this, on account of how I’m only a kid. I’m maybe ten, maybe twelve (two years ago, grandmother said I was eight, maman said I was ten) and I talk too much. Polite kids are supposed to listen, they don’t sit under that talking-tree and they don’t chatter like a mynah bird in a fig tree. Talking is for old men with big white beards. There’s a proverb that says,’For as long as there’s a head on your shoulders, you don’t put your headdress on your knee.’ That’s village customs for you. But I don’t give two fucks about village customs any more, ‘cos I’ve been in Liberia and killed lots of guys with an AK-47 (we called it a ‘kalash’) and got fucked-up on kanif and lots of hard drugs.Number five . . . To make sure I tell you the life story of my fucked-up life in proper French, I’ve got four different dictionaries so I don’t get confused with big words. First off, I’ve got the Larousse and the Petit Robert, then, second off, I’ve got the Glossary of French Lexical Particularities in Black Africa, and, third off, I’ve got the Harrap’s. The dictionaries are for looking up big words and checking big words and particularly for explaining big words. I need to be able to explain stuff because I want all sorts of different people to read my bullshit: colonial toubabs,Black Nigger African Natives and anyone that can understand French.The Larousse and the Petit Robert are for looking up and checking and explaining French words so I can explain them to Black Nigger African Natives. The Glossary of French Lexical Particularities in Black Africa is for explaining African words to the French toubabs from France. The Harrap’s is for explaining pidgin words to French people who don’t know shit about pidgin.How did I get the dictionaries? That’s a long story that I don’t feel like going into right now. Because I haven’t got time ‘cos I don’t want to get tied up in bullshit. That’s why. Faforo!Number six . . .”
Ahmadou Kourouma (24 november 1927 – 11 december 2003)
Song of the Seven Sons
We are the string of pearls offered by the East Sea.
Ryukyu is my little brother, I am Tai Wan
The spirit of the Zheng family is still warming my heart
The blood of the patriot has been my heritage
Mother, the scorching sun is burning me up
With your order, I shall draw my last fight
Mother! I want to come home, Mother!
Let me guard this oldest sea of China again
For ashore lies the tomb of our sage
Mother, do not forget I am the sea’s warrior
I have the Liu Gong island as my shield
Reach out for me quick, for now is the time.
The remain of the sage is on my back
Mother! I want to come home, Mother!
Wen Yiduo (24 november 1899 – 15 juli 1946)
Brede gedichten kan ik niet tegen
Meestal zijn ze strontvervelend
Hun dichters blijven onbegrepen
En mogen elkaar dan prijzen geven
Jules Deelder (Rotterdam, 24 november 1944)
Uit: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
“It was attended but with one misfortune, which, in a great measure, fell upon myself, and the effects of which I fear I shall carry with me to my grave; namely, that, from an unhappy association of ideas which have no connection in nature, it so fell out at length, that my poor mother could never hear the said clock wound up,-but the thoughts of some other things unavoidably popp’d into her head,-& vice versâ:-which strange combination of ideas, the sagacious Locke, who certainly understood the nature of these things better than most men, affirms to have produced more wry actions than all other sources of prejudice whatsoever.
But this by the bye.
Now it appears, by a memorandum in my father’s pocket-book, which now lies upon the table, “That on Lady-Day, which was on the 25th of the same month in which I date my geniture,-my father set out upon his journey to London with my eldest brother Bobby, to fix him at Westminster school;” and, as it appears from the same authority, “That he did not get down to his wife and family till the second week in May following,”-it brings the thing almost to a certainty. However, what follows in the beginning of the next chapter puts it beyond all possibility of doubt.
—But pray, Sir, What was your father doing all December,-January, and February?–Why, Madam,-he was all that time afflicted with a Sciatica.”
Laurence Sterne (24 november 1713 – 18 maart 1768)
Illustratie uit Tristram Shandy: Oom Toby in zijn wachthuisje
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 24e november ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.