Uit:My Left Foot
“I was born in the Rotunda Hospital, on June 5th, 1932. There were nine children before me and twelve after me, so I myself belong to the middle group. Out of this total of twenty-two, seventeen lived, but four died in infancy, leaving thirteen still to hold the family fort.
Mine was a difficult birth, I am told. Both mother and son almost died. A whole army of relations queued up outside the hospital until the small hours of the morning, waiting for news and praying furiously that it would be good.
After my birth Mother was sent to recuperate for some weeks and I was kept in the hospital while she was away. I remained there for some time, without name, for I wasn’t baptized until my mother was well enough to bring me to church.
It was Mother who first saw that there was something wrong with me. I was about four months old at the time. She noticed that my head had a habit of falling backward whenever she tried to feed me. She attempted to correct this by placing her hand on the back of my neck to keep it steady. But when she took it away, back it would drop again. That was the first warning sign. Then she became aware of other defects as I got older. She saw that my hands were clenched nearly all of the time and were inclined to twine behind my back; my mouth couldn’t grasp the teat of the bottle because even at that early age my jaws would either lock together tightly, so that it was impossible for her to open them, or they would suddenly become limp and fall loose, dragging my whole mouth to one side. At six months I could not sit up without having a mountain of pillows around me. At twelve months it was the same.”
Christy Brown (5 juni 1932 – 6 september 1981)
Daniel Day-Lewis als Christy in de film “My Left Foot” uit 1989
Uit: Wall: A Monologue
« Except, of course, they don’t call it a wall. They call it a fence.
It’s one of those things, there seem to be so many, don’t there?—I’m thinking of abortion, or armed revolt—where the words you use—pro-life/pro-choice, terrorist/freedom fighter—tell the world which way you think. Words become flags, they announce which side you’re on. In this case, literally. The Israelis call it the gader ha’harfrada, which in Hebrew means “separation fence.” The Palestinians don’t call it that. Not at all. They call it jidar al-fasl al-‘unsuri, which in Arabic means “racial segregation wall.”
OK, let’s go coolly into this, shall we? If I use one word or the other, forgive me, it does not imply I am partisan. I have acquaintances on both sides of the fence and on both sides of the wall. “I hate the wall,” say my Israeli friends. “I regret it.” “I’m ashamed of the wall.” “I drive for miles so that I don’t have to see it. But it works. 80 percent of terrorist attacks against Israel have stopped. Have been stopped. Am I not meant to be pleased about that?”
Very well. I shall seek to describe the history of the wall.”
David Hare (Sussex, 5 juni 1947)
Uit: Another Evening at the Club
“In a state of tension. she awaited the return of her husband. At a loss to predict what would happen between them, she moved herself back and forth in the rocking chair on the wide wooden verandah that ran along the bank and occupied part of the river itself. its supports being fixed in the river bed. while around it grew grasses and reeds. As though to banish her apprehension, she passed her fingers across her hair. The spectres of the eucalyptus trees ranged along the garden fence rocked before her gaze. with white egrets slumbering on their high branches like huge white flowers among the thin leaves.
The crescent moon rose from behind the eastern mountains and the peaks of the gently stirring waves glistened in its feeble rays, intermingled with threads of light leaking from the houses of Manfalout scattered along the opposite bank. The coloured bulbs fixed to the trees in the garden of the club at the far end of the town stood out against the surrounding darkness. Somewhere over there her husband now sat, most likely engrossed in agame of chess.
It was only a few years ago that she had first laid eyes on him at her father‘s house, meeting his gaze that weighed up her beauty and priced it before offering the dowry. She had noted his eyes ranging over her as she presented him with the coffee in the Japanese cups that were kept safely locked away in the cupboard for important guests.”
Alifa Rifaat (5 juni 1930 – 4 januari 1996)
Cover (geen portret beschikbaar)
Uit: Herr Tourel
“Den Kopf kann ich auf meine Tasche legen; hinter mir, mit der Hand von hier aus eben noch zu erreichen, die Eingangstür. Da oben die Dachpappe über den angefaulten Balken, darüber, soviel ich gestern noch feststellen konnte, noch immer die aufgeschlitzten, flachgetrampelten und festgenagelten Teerfässer, verbeulte Blechstücke, schwarzrot. So waren sie schon damals, als wir da drüben am linken Aareufer noch badeten, vor, nun, fünfundzwanzig Jahre mögens her sein. Da hört mich niemand. Aber also mit einem Wort: ich bin zurückgekommen, zufällig, ich bin gestern zufällig wieder in die Gegend gekommen. Vielleicht muß ich kurz vorausschicken: ich habe hier in Jammers meine frühe Kindheit verbracht, wie man so sagt. Oben in der Stadt, in einem der alten Ringmauerhäuser. Mit elf Jahren kam ich fort, zunächst in die Klosterschule der Zisterzienser nach Sankt Leonhard, später habe ich bei Zoller & Co. in Fahris drüben während vier Jahren Photographie gelernt. Für ein Jahr war ich danach als Volontär und mit der Absicht, Französisch zu lernen, bei Auquier, Photogeschäft, in Aubonne, nordwestlich von Lausanne. Anschließend verbrachte ich ein halbes Jahr in dem, was wir hierzulande als Rekrutenschule bezeichnen.
Schon nach drei Monaten führte ich eine Gruppe. Tourel, pflegte unser Leutnant zu mir zu sagen, Sie sollten unbedingt Offizier werden. Aber ich lehnte ab. Ich kehrte als Angestellter zu meinem ehemaligen Chef nach Fahris zurück. Dort bin ich zwölf Jahre lang geblieben, und ich darf sagen, zunächst als zweiter, dann als erster Angestellter habe ich mir eine weithin geachtete Position erarbeitet. Herr Zoller senior ist jederzeit bereit, das zu bestätigen. Er hat mir ein entsprechend hervorragendes Zeugnis mitgegeben, und ich kann nur erneut erklären, daß es sich bei den meinen Wegzug von Fahris betreffenden Gerüchten um eigentliche Verleumdungen handelt.“
Otto F. Walter (5 juni 1928 – 24 september 1994)
Uit: A House and Its Head
“Duncan stood in the hall, with hat and book, in an attitude of being on the point of leaving the house. The young people stood about, still and silent, until Grant and Nance met each other’s eyes and broke into laughter.
Duncan breathed more audibly and maintained his position, but as the laughter increased, he dropped his book, and signed sharply to Grant to retrieve it. Grant took a moment to follow, and Sibyl was before him; and Duncan idly dropped it again, and motioned his nephew to obedience.
Ellen came hurrying down the stairs, her avoidable haste acting in its normal way upon her husband. He remained as he was, until she came up, and then without turning his eyes upon her, walked from the house.”
Ivy Compton-Burnett (5 juni 1884 – 27 augustus 1969)