Uit: The Remains of the Day
“But what is the sense in forever speculating what might have happened had such and such a moment turned out differently? One could presumably drive oneself to distraction in this way. In any case, while it is all very well to talk of ‘turning points’, one can surely only recognize such moments in retrospect. Naturally, when one looks back to such instances today, they may indeed take the appearance of being crucial, precious moments in one’s life; but of course, at the time, this was not the impression one had. Rather, it was as though one had available a never-ending number of days, months, years in which to sort out the vagaries of one’s relationship with Miss Kenton; an infinite number of further opportunities in which to remedy the effect of this or that misunderstanding. There was surely nothing to indicate at the time that such evidently small incidents would render whole dreams forever irredeemable.”
“It is sometimes said that butlers only truly exist in England. Other countries, whatever title is actually used, have only manservants. I tend to believe this is true. Continentals are unable to be butlers because they are as a breed incapable of the emotional restraint which only the English race are capable of. Continentals – and by and large the Celts, as you will no doubt agree – are as a rule unable to control themselves in moments of a strong emotion, and are thus unable to maintain a professional demeanour other than in the least
> challenging of situations. If I may return to my earlier metaphor – you will excuse my putting it so coarsely – they are like a man who will, at the slightest provocation, tear off his suit and his shirt and run about screaming. IN a word, “dignity” is beyond such persons. We English have an important advantage over foreigners in this respect and it is for this reason that when you think of a great butler, he is bound, almost by definition, to be an Englishman.”
Kazuo Ishiguro (Nagasaki, 8 november 1954)
Uit: Then We Came to the End
“We recalled looking at Frank and thinking he had six months, tops. Old Brizz, we called him. He smoked like a fiend. He stood outside the building in the most inclement weather, absorbing Old Golds in nothing but a sweater vest. Then and only then, he looked indomitable.When he returned inside, nicotine stink preceded him as he walked down the hall, where it lingered long after he entered his office. He began to cough, and from our own offices we heard the working-up of solidified lung sediment. Some people put him on their Celebrity Death Watch every year because of the coughing, even though he wasn’t an official celebrity. He knew it, too, he knew he was on death watch, and that certain wagering individuals would profit from his death. He knew it because he was one of us, and we knew everything.
We didn’t know who was stealing things from other people’s workstations. Always small items – postcards, framed photographs. We had our suspicions but no proof. We believed it was probably not for the loot so much as the excitement – the shoplifter’s addictive kick, or maybe it was a pathological cry for help. Hank Neary, one of the agency’s only black writers, asked, “Come on, now- who would want my travel toothbrush?”
We didn’t know who was responsible for putting the sushi roll behind Joe Pope’s bookshelf. The first couple of days Joe had no clue about the sushi. Then he started taking furtive sniffs at his pits, and holding the wall of his palm to his mouth to get blowback from his breath. By the end of the week, he was certain it wasn’t him.We smelled it, too. Persistent, high in the nostrils, it became worse than a dying animal. Joe’s gorge rose every time he entered his office. The following week the smell was so atrocious the building people got involved, hunting the office for what turned out to be a sunshine roll- tuna, whitefish, salmon, and sprouts. Mike Boroshansky, the chief of security, kept bringing his tie up to his nose, as if he were a real cop at the scene of a murder.”
Joshua Ferris (Danville, 8 november 1974)
auf dass der schatten eine firma gründet
damit nur dort investiert wird, wo auch etwas herausspringt
und geschenke des himmels unbehelligt bleiben
so will ich also sein: ablagefläche für ein haar von dir
im wege stehen, wenn du niemanden etwas angehst
dranbleiben, wenn du dich ausziehst
dass du die meine bleibst, das hoffe ich
der grund dafür, einen lauten schrei für mich zu behalten
damit ich irgendwann sagen kann, jeder liebt ein regengedicht
weil wir obenauf sind, trocken hinter den ohren
und wissen, was es heisst zu zweit zu sein
ganz ohne den schatten eines allerletzten tages
Herbert Hindringer (Passau, 8 november 1974)
De Duitse schrijfster Elfriede Brüning werd geboren op 8 november 1910 in Berlijn. Zij viert vandaag haar 103e verjaardag! Zie ook mijn blog van 8 november 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Elfriede Brüning op dit blog.
Uit: Kaffeefahrt ins Paradies
“Eine junge Frau tauchte plötzlich neben mir auf, sie wollte das Fahrgeld kassieren. Der Maulfaule neben mir zückte den Geldschein. Ich zögerte noch. Konnte man den Betrag nicht von meinem Gewinn abziehen? Die Frau sah mich an, als hätte ich chinesisch gesprochen. Auch die Umsitzenden, die meine Frage gehört hatten, schienen amüsiert. “Wir haben doch alle gewonnen”, sagte eine Alte, die vor mir saß, und zum Beweis hielt sie mir ihren Voucher hin, der haargenau dem meinen glich. „Haben Sie nicht das Kleingedruckte gelesen?“ fragte sie. „Nur zu verrechnen mit einem MTF, steht da.“ Sie meinte mich nun genügend unterrichtet zu haben und wandte mir wieder den Rücken zu. Ich aber verstand nicht. Was hieß „MTF“? „Frau!“ ließ sich jetzt sogar der Maulfaule vernehmen. „ Sie müssen eine Reise buchen, eine Mehr-Tages-Reise – compris? Von dem Reisepreis wird ihr Gewinn abgezogen?“ Er schien mich für senil zu halten. Doch inzwischen hatte ich begriffen, und- war ungeheuer erleichtert! Nicht auszudenken, schoß es mir durch den Kopf, wenn der Reisveranstalter die Gewinne an alle vierundvierzig Insassen des Busses hätte auszahlen müssen! Das waren ja zehntausend Mark, die der Busfahrer an seinem Leibe hätte mitführen müssen, alle in kleinen Scheinen – eine verlockende Beute für Männer mit Strumpfmasken, die man nur zu gut aus Krimis vom Fernsehen kennt. Und selbst wenn kein Überfall von außen zu befürchten war – Bankräuber und ähnliche rechneten ja mit größeren Summen -, konnte man der Seriosität aller Mitreisenden sicher sein? Wem durfte man heute noch trauen? Nein, ich war den Veranstaltern für ihre Kopplungs-Idee geradezu dankbar und harrte nun beruhigt aller weiteren Überraschungen.“
Elfriede Brüning (Berlijn, 8 november 1910)
Uit: Gone with the wind
“The road down to the river lay red and scorching between the ruined cotton fields. There were no trees to cast a shade and the sun beat down through Mammy’s sunbonnet as if it were made of tarlatan instead of heavy quilted calico, while the dust floating upward sifted into her nose and throat until she felt the membranes would crack if she spoke. Deep ruts and furrows were cut into the road where horses had dragged heavy guns along it and the red gullies on either side were deeply gashed by the wheels. The cotton was mangled and trampled where cavalry and infantry, forced off the narrow road by the artillery, had marched through the green bushes, grinding them into the earth. Here and there in road and fields lay buckles and bits of harness leather, canteens flattened by hooves and caisson wheels, buttons, blue caps, worn socks, bits of bloody rags, all the litter left by a marching army.
Scene uit de film ‘Gone with the wind’ uit 1939
She passed the clump of cedars and the low brick wall which marked the family burying ground, trying not to think of the new grave lying by the three short mounds of her little brothers. Oh, Ellen — She trudged on down the dusty hill, passing the heap of ashes and the stumpy chimney where the Slattery house had stood, and she wished savagely that the whole tribe of them had been part of the ashes. If it hadn’t been for that nasty Emmie, who’d had a bastard brat by their overseer — Ellen wouldn’t have died.
She moaned as a sharp pebble cut into her blistered foot. What was she doing here? Why was Scarlett O’Hara, the belle of the County, the sheltered pride of Tara, tramping down this rough road almost barefoot? Her little feet were made to dance, not to limp, her tiny slippers to peep daringly from under bright silks, not to collect sharp pebbles and dust. She was born to be pampered and waited upon, and here she was, sick and ragged, driven by hunger to hunt for food in the gardens of her neighbors.”
Margaret Mitchell (8 november 1900 – 16 augustus 1949)