Jules Deelder 70 jaar, Thomas Kohnstamm, Einar Kárason, Ahmadou Kourouma, Wen Yiduo, Laurence Sterne


70 Jaar Jules Deelder

De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Jules Deelder werd geboren op 24 november 1944 te Rotterdam, in de wijk Overschie. Jules Deelder viert vandaag zijn 70e verjaardag. Zie ook alle tags voor Jules Deelder op dit blog.



Tegenwoordigheid van geest
en realisme in ’t kwadraat
vieren onverstoorbaar feest
in een opgebroken straat
Hoog en spijkerhard de hemel
met een blikkerende zon of
zwart en laag in wilde wemel
langs skeletten van beton
Doorheen geloken luxaflexen
tórenhoog de wooncomplexen
stapelen den einder dicht
Posthistorisch vergezicht-
Rotterdam gehakt uit marmer
kant’lend in het tegenlicht




Bij het pompstation
bleken acht van de negen
pompen super te leveren
en maar één normaal

Op m’n vraag of het geen
tijd werd de bordjes te ver-
hangen keek de pompbediende
mij niet begrijpend aan

Toen ik later in een
etalage op een bord las
dat men bij aanschaf van
vijf batterijen één

staaflantaarn cadeau gaf
begreep ik dat ik
in de omgekeerde wereld
was beland.



Quo Vadis?

Op de A20 staat
een man met baard

Ik stop en vraag
waarheen hij vaart?

Ten hemel luidt
daarop zijn antwoord

Ik ga niet verder
dan Rotterdam

O prima dan pak ik
daar de metro…


Jules Deelder (Rotterdam, 24 november 1944)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Kohnstamm werd geboren in Seattle, Washington op 24 november 1975. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Kohnstamm op dit blog.

Uit: Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?

“The phone rings in the conference room. It is the blipping staccato ring of all office phones. I am jolted back to the reality that I have hours of work ahead of me. The digital clock on the phone reads 9:42 p.m.
Tucking the pint bottle of rum into the waist of my pants, I answer with a cautious “Hello.”
“Thomas? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, DAMMIT. I knew I could find you there. You and I need to have a talk,” my boss snarls. “I am coming by your cube in fifteen minutes. You’d better be there, with the WorldCom spreadsheet ready for me to look at.”
I tiptoe back into my cubicle, successfully avoiding anyone in the hallways. I hold my head in my hands, shirt sleeves rolled up, with cold sweat dripping down my sides. My tacky palms are crisscrossed with hairs from my suddenly receding hairline. After the final sip of a metallic-sweet Red Bull, I chew a handful of gum and look across the tops of the cubicles, scanning for other workers. The office appears empty, except for the faint tapping of keyboards somewhere down the hall.
Welcome to life on Wall Street. With such a character-defining foothold in the career world, I no longer have to make excuses for the life I lead. No longer do I have to explain my directionless postcollegiate life to incredulous eyes and repetitive questions, like: “What are you doing next year?” “Don’t you want to do something with your life?” and my favorite, “When are you going to get a real job?”
I am no longer just Thomas, the supposed slacker, backpacker bum, or permanent student. I am Thomas, the employee of       ,         ,      &      LLP, and I am going places.
I make more money than I reasonably should, putting papers into chronological order (chroning, in office-speak). My skill set also includes entering numbers into Excel spreadsheets and working the copier and fax machine. Between those projects, I search for old high school friends’ names on Google; play online Jeopardy against my office trivia nemesis, Jerry; and generally while away the hours of my life. Jerry thinks that he is better at Jeopardy than me, but really he’s just faster with the mouse.”


Thomas Kohnstamm (Seattle, 24 november 1975)



De IJslandse schrijver Einar Kárason werd op 24 november 1955 geboren in Reykjavík. Zie ook alle tags voor Einar Kárason op dit blog.

Uit: Versöhnung und Groll (Vertaald door Kristof Magnusson)

„Im ersten Jahr, in dem ich sozusagen Winterschlaf hielt, was später noch oft genug passieren sollte, dachte ich viel darüber nach, in welche Lage das Schicksal mich gebracht hatte. Ich gestand mir ein, dass ich niemals als wichtiger Anführer in den Kämpfen gelten würde, die hierzulande tobten, so oft ich auch davon träumte. Und dass die Familie der Sturlungen mich nie für voll nehmen würde, obwohl ich inzwischen einer von ihnen war. Ich war eben nicht in die Familie hineingeboren, noch nicht einmal entfernt mit ihnen verwandt, ich war da hineingeraten, weil ich nun mal meine Frau geheiratet hatte. Vielleicht war das von Anfang an lächerlich und absurd gewesen. Ich wuchs im Vatnsdalur auf, wo die meisten Leute sich gegen die Sturlungen verbündet hatten. Mein Vater hatte sogar Seite an Seite mit Gissur Þorvaldsson in der großen Schlacht von Örlygsstaðir gegen sie gekämpft – wer hätte da gedacht, dass ausgerechnet ich später die Tochter des Sturlungen-Oberhaupts Sturla Sighvatsson heiraten würde, der in dieser Schlacht zusammen mit seinem Vater und einigen seiner Brüder ums Leben kam?
Und den Bruder dieses gefallenen Oberhaupts, Þórður Kakali, sah ich bezeichnenderweise zum ersten Mal, als er mit einer Gruppe kampferprobter Männer auf einem Rachefeldzug in mein Heimattal ritt, um den Bruder meines Vaters zu erschlagen, ein Jahr vor der Seeschlacht in der Húnaflói-Bucht. Zu dieser Zeit hatten die Leute vor diesem blutrünstigen Sturlungen-Pack nicht weniger Angst als vor lebenslänglicher Verbannung. Die Sturlungen waren gefürchtet wie die Hölle und der Teufel.“


Einar Kárason (Reykjavík, 24 november 1955)



De Ivoriaanse schrijver Ahmadou Kourouma werd geboren op 24 november 1927 in Togobala. Zie ook alle tags voor Ahmadou Kourouma op dit blog.

Uit: Allah Is Not Obliged (Vertaald door Frank Wynne)

“Before I was a street kid, I went at school. Before that, I was a bilakoro back in the village of Togobala (according to the Glossary,a bilakoro is an uncircumcised boy). I ran through the streams and down to the fields and I hunted mice and birds in the scrubland. I was a proper Black Nigger African Native Savage. Before that, I was a baby in maman’s hut. I used to scamper between maman’s hut and grandmother’s hut. Before that, I crawled around in maman’s hut. Before I was crawling around on all fours, I was in maman’s belly. And before that, I could have been the wind, or maybe a snake, or maybe water.You’re always something like a snake or a tree or an animal or a person before you get born. It’s called life before life. I lived life before life. Gnamokode!The first thing inside me . . . In proper French, you don’t say ‘inside me’, you say ‘in my mind’. Well, the first thing inside me or in my mind when I think about maman’s hut is the fire, the glow of the embers, the flicker of flame. I don’t know how many months old I was when I grilled my arm. Maman hadn’t been counting my age, she hadn’t got time on account of how she spent all the time suffering and crying.I forgot to tell you something major, something really extremely important. Maman walked round on her arse. Walahe! On the two cheeks of her arse. She propped herself up on her hands and her left leg. Her left leg was as withered as a shepherd’s crook and her right leg – the one she called her crushed serpent’s head – was amputated and crippled by the ulcer. (According to my Larousse, an ‘ulcer’ is ‘an inflammatory and often suppurating lesion on the skin or an internal mucous surface resulting in necrosis of tissue’). It’s like a blister that never gets better and ends up killing you. Maman’s ulcer was swathed in leaves wrapped up in an old pagne (a loin-cloth). Her right leg was permanently sticking up in the air. Maman moved on her arse like a caterpillar in fits and starts (‘fits and starts’ means ‘stopping suddenly then starting again’). I was still crawling back then. I could tell you what happened, I can remember. But I don’t like to tell everyone about it. Because it’s a secret, because when I tell the story I tremble from the pain like I’m terrified on account of the fire searing in my skin.”


Ahmadou Kourouma (24 november 1927 – 11 december 2003)



De Chinese dichter en schrijver Wen Yiduo werd geboren op 24 november 1899 in Xishui, Hubei. Zie ook alle tags voor Wen Yiduo op dit blog.



Night has scattered countless fury flowers from heaven,
Woven them into a big feathery cloak,
And gently wrapped the weary world
From head to toe,
Adding a shroud on the corpse.

She buries the fish-scaled roofs,
But not the thin threads of blue smoke rising from atop.
Ah! The twisting threads of blue smoke!
As a poet’s ascending soul,
After filtering through its own body,
Goes straight toward heaven.

The strutting wind and frost batter the earth;
In the forest the shivering masses, after long battles,
At last see her white feathery cloak,
And yell together with glee:
“Peace has come; our struggle has succeeded!
Isn’t this the white flag of night’s surrender?”


Vertaald door Gloria Rogers


Wen Yiduo (24 november 1899 – 15 juli 1946)
Standbeeld in Shanghai



De Engels-Ierse schrijver Laurence Sterne werd geboren op 24 november 1713 in Clonmel, Tipperary, Ierland. Zie ook alle tags voor Laurence Sterne op dit blog.

Uit: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

“In the beginning of the last chapter, I inform’d you exactly when I was born;—but I did not inform you, how. No; that particular was reserved entirely for a chapter by itself;—besides, Sir, as you and I are in a manner perfect stran∣gers to each other, it would not have been proper to have let you into too many circumstances relating to myself all at once.—You must have a little patience. I have undertaken, you see, to write not only my life, but my opinions also; ho∣ping and expecting that your knowledge of my character, and of what kind of a mortal I am, by the one, would give you a better relish for the other: As you proceed further with me, the slight ac∣quaintance which is now beginning be∣twixt us, will grow into familiarity; and that, unless one of us is in fault, will terminate in friendship.—O diem prae∣clarum!—then nothing which has touched me will be thought trifling in its nature, or tedious in its telling. Therefore, my dear friend and compa∣nion, if you should think me somewhat sparing of my narrative on my first setting out,—bear with me,—and let me go on, and tell my story my own way:—or if I should seem now and then to trifle upon the road,—or should sometimes put on a fool’s cap with a bell to it, for a moment or two as we pass along,—don’t fly off,—but rather courteously give me credit for a little more wisdom than ap∣pears upon my outside;—and as we jogg on, either laugh with me, or at me, or in short, do any thing,—only keep your temper.”


Laurence Sterne (24 november 1713 – 18 maart 1768)
Steve Coogan en Rob Brydon in Tristram Shandy: A cock and bull story, een film uit 2006


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 24e november ook mijn blog van 24 november 2013 deel 2.