Thomas Pynchon, Roddy Doyle, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, James Worthy

De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Pynchon op dit blog.

Uit: Bleeding Edge

„It’s the first day of spring 2001, and Maxine Tarnow, though some still have her in their system as Loeffler, is walking her boys to school. Maybe they’re past the age where they need an escort, maybe Maxine doesn’t want to let go just yet. It’s only a couple blocks, it’s on her way to work, she enjoys it, so?
This morning, all up and down the streets, what looks like every Callery Pear tree on the Upper West Side has popped overnight into identical white clouds of pear blossoms. As Maxine watches, sunlight finds its way past rooflines and water tanks to the end of the block and into one particular tree, which all at once is filled with light.
“Mom?” Ziggy in the usual hurry. “Yo.”
“Guys, check it out, that tree?”
Otis takes a minute to look. “Awesome, Mom.”
“Doesn’t suck,” Zig agrees. The boys keep going, Maxine enjoys the tree half a minute more before catching up. At the corner by long-implanted reflex she drifts into a pick so as to stay between them and any driver whose idea of sport is to come around the corner and run you over.
Sunlight reflected from apartment windows has begun to show up in blurry patterns on the fronts of the buildings across the street. Two-part buses, new on the routes, creep the crosstown blocks like giant insects. Steel shutters are being rolled up, early trucks are double-parking, guys are out with hoses cleaning off their piece of sidewalk. Unhoused people sleep in doorways, scavengers with huge plastic sacks full of empty beer and soda cans head for the markets to cash them in, work crews wait in front of buildings for the super to show up. Runners are bouncing up and down at the curb waiting for the lights to change. Cops are in coffee shops dealing with bagel deficiencies. Kids, parents, and nannies wheeled and afoot are heading in all different directions for schools in the neighborhood. Half the kids seem to be on new Razor scooters, so to the list of things to keep alert for, add ambush by rolling aluminum.”

Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)


De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Roddy Doyle op dit blog.

Uit: The Commitments

“We‟ll ask Jimmy, said Outspan. –
Jimmy‟ll know.
Jimmy Rabbitte knew his music. He knew his stuff alright. You‟d never see Jimmy coming home from town without a new album or a 12-inch or at least a 7-inch single. Jimmy ate Melody Maker and the NME every week and Hot Press every two weeks. He listened to Dave Fanning and John Peel. He even read his sisters‟ Jackie when there was no one looking. So Jimmy knew his stuff.
The last time Outspan had flicked through Jimmy‟s records he‟d seen names like Microdisney, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Otis Redding, The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Scraping Foetus off the Wheel ( – Foetus, said Outspan. – That‟s the little young fella inside the woman, isn‟t it?
–  Yeah, said Jimmy.
–  Aah, that‟s fuckin‟ horrible, tha‟ is.);
groups Outspan had never heard of, never mind heard. Jimmy even had albums by Frank Sinatra and The Monkees. –
So when Outspan and Derek decided, while Ray was out in the jacks, that their group needed a new direction they both thought of Jimmy. Jimmy knew what was what. Jimmy knew what was new, what was new but wouldn‟t be for long and what Hollywood and he‟d started slagging them months before anyone realized that they where no goog. Jimmy knew his stuff.“

Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)


De Engelse schrijfster Pat Barker werd geboren in Thornaby-on-Tees op 8 mei 1943. Zie ook alle tags voor Pat Barker op dit blog.

Uit: Border Crossing

“Tom kept his eyes down, hearing Lauren’s voice go on and on, as soft and insistent as the tides that, slapping against crumbling stone and rotting wood, worked bits of Newcastle loose. Keep talking, he said to clients who came to him for help in saving their marriages, or—rather more often—for permission to give up on them altogether. Now, faced with the breakdown of his own, he thought, Shut up, Lauren. Please, please, please shut up.
Bits of blue plastic, half-bricks, a seagull’s torn-off wing. Tom’s gaze was restricted to a few feet of pocked and pitted ground into which his feet intruded rhythmically. All other boundaries were gone. Though he did not raise his head to search for them, he was aware of their absence: the bridge, the opposite bank, the warehouses with the peeled and blistered names of those who had once owned them. All gone.
A gull, bigger and darker than the rest, flew over, and he raised his eyes to follow it. Perhaps this focus on the bird’s flight explained why, in later years, when he looked back on that day, he remembered what he couldn’t possibly have seen: a gull’s-eye view of the path. A man and a woman struggling along; the man striding ahead, eager to escape, hands thrust deep into the pockets of a black coat; the woman, fair-haired, wearing a beige coat that faded into the gravel, and talking, always talking. Though the red bps move, no sound comes out. He denies her his attention in memory, as he did in life. The perspective lengthens to include the whole scene, right up to the mist-shrouded warehouses that rise above them like cliffs, and now a third figure appears, coming out from between the derelict buildings.“

Pat Barker (Thornaby-on-Tees, op 8 mei 1943)


De Amerikaanse dichter Gary Snyder werd geboren op 8 mei 1930 in San Francisco. Zie ook alle tags voor Gary Snyder op dit blog.

December at Yase

You said, that October,
In the tall dry grass by the orchard
When you chose to be free,
“Again someday, maybe ten years.”

After college I saw you
One time. You were strange.
And I was obsessed with a plan.

Now ten years and more have
Gone by: I’ve always known
where you were–
I might have gone to you
Hoping to win your love back.
You still are single.

I didn’t.
I thought I must make it alone. I
Have done that.

Only in dream, like this dawn,
Does the grave, awed intensity
Of our young love
Return to my mind, to my flesh.

We had what the others
All crave and seek for;
We left it behind at nineteen.

I feel ancient, as though I had
Lived many lives.
And may never now know
If I am a fool
Or have done what my
karma demands.

Gary Snyder (San Francisco, 8 mei 1930)
In 1975


De Oostenrijkse schrijfster Gertrud Fussenegger werd geboren op 8 mei 1912 in Pilsen. Zie ook alle tags voor Gertrud Fussenegger op dit blog.

Uit: Bourdanins Kinder

„Im ersten Augenblick war ihm, als hörte er jemanden atmen. Doch es war nur das Rasen des eigenen Herzschlags, das ihn täuschte. Jetzt galt es das Kühnste: Licht zu schlagen. Irgendwie.
Wie von Geisterhänden geleitet, fand er eine Schachtel Zünder. Zischend fuhr die erste Flamme aus dem Phosphorkopf. Sie blendete nur; erst die zweite und dritte ließ was erkennen: Das zerrüttetet Bett, davor die Reitstiefel, kreuz und quer durcheinandergeworfen. Auf dem Tisch eine halbgeleerte Flasche, Uniformstücke da und dort: Unordnung überall. Aber wo war die Waffe? Balthasar stürzte auf den offenen Schrank zu, streckte die Arme in die Liegefächer, wühlte hier, wühlte dort: Nichts. Er riß die Lade des Nachttischs auf: Nichts. Er riß die Schiebefächer der Kommode auf: Nichts. In einem Koffer lag schmutzige Wäsche. Von einem Bord kippten Bücher. Auch hinter ihnen: Nichts. Balthasar suchte immer verzweifelter. Anfangs hatte ihm jedes Geräusch wie Donnergepolter in den Ohren gedröhnt, jetzt gab er nicht mehr acht, Zündholz nach Zündholz flammte zwischen seinen Fingern auf, die verflackerten warf er zu Boden.
Schließlich das letzte Hölzchen ließ ihn innehalten: Über dem Waschtisch hing, mit einem Reißnagel an den Spiegelrahmen gespießt, das Bild einer Frau. Hätte Balthasar es genauer ansehen können, er hätte erkennen müssen, es war nichts als ein Buntdruck, aus einer Zeitschrift geschnitten; aber das Flackerlicht zeigte ihm nur einen weibliche Gestalt, die mit entblößtem Busen in roten Kissen lehnte, schwelgerisch ausgestreckt.“

Gertrud Fussenegger (8 mei 1912 – 19 maart 2009)


Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:

De Nederlandse schrijver James Worthy werd geboren in Amsterdamin 1980. Zie ook alle tags voor James Worthy op dit blog.

Uit: James Worthy

“James, ik wil met je praten, mag ik naar huis komen?’
‘Hoe bedoel je huis?’
‘Dat ding waar wij twee fantastische jaren in hebben beleefd.’
‘O, mijn huis. Ja, kom maar langs, Polly. Natuurlijk.’
Misschien wil ze me terug, waarom niet, ik heb immers een nieuwe broek én nieuwe schoenen. Die heb ik vorige week speciaal voor Polly gekocht. Donkerblauwe bordeelsluipers en een kaki corduroy broek. Ze vond mijn kledingstijl vroeger, over het algemeen genomen, infantiel. Nu ga ik haar dus proberen te overdonderen met klasse en raffinement. Jezus, wie hou ik nou voor de gek? Alsof een paar klompen van suède en de ribfluwelen broek van een boswachter haar onbuigzame aversie jegens mij kan doen knakken. Polly heeft niets tegen mijn garderobe, ze heeft iets tegen onze relatie, wat blijkbaar, ik weet het niet, een demonisch kankergezwel van een relatie was.
‘James, we zijn perfect voor elkaar, maar niet voor onszelf,’ zei ze glunderend in ons laatste tête-à-tête. Haar dumpspeech. Alsof ze blij was met die ene zin, zeg maar bijzonder trots op zo’n tegeltjestekst.
‘Is zweverig taalgebruik belangrijker dan de reden waarom ik vanavond alleen slaap? Wat is jouw motief? Waarom steek je een nagenoeg foutloze relatie in de rug? Neuk ik je verkeerd? Ben ik niet succesvol genoeg? Vertrouw je me niet? Zeg iets, godverdomme, daar heb ik recht op.’
Polly ontweek oogcontact en kwam met de volgende shakespeariaanse woorden op de proppen: ‘Het ligt niet aan jou, James. Het ligt aan mij. De fout ligt bij mij.’

James Worthy (Amsterdam. 1980)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e mei ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2012 deel 2 en ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2011 deel 2 en eveneens deel 3.