Uit: The Resurrection of Mozart (Vertaald door Marian Schwarz)
“Yes, it was exactly a year ago today that Nevelsky dies. He knew a lot of this was coming. He predicted so much of it.”
“Well, he couldn’t have picked a better time to die. At least he doesn’t have to see what we see. If he were resurrected he’d either spit in disgust or break down and cry.”
Facing the hostess, at the opposite end of the table, sat a Frenchman brought along by Chabarov but whom no one else really knew. Simply, and without any fussy apology, he asked them to translate what they were all saying.
“Monsieur Daunou, we were talking about the dead, and what they would say if they were resurrected and saw what’s going on now,” replied Maria Leonidovna Sushkova.
Daunou took his black pipe out of his mouth, furrowed his brow, and smiled.
“Is it worth waking the dead?” he said, looking his hostess straight in the eye. “I suppose I might well invite Napoleon to come and have a look at our times, but I’d certainly spare my parents the pleasure.”
Nina Berberova (8 augustus 1901 – 26 september 1993)
Uit: The Yearling
“There’ll come a little old drizzly rain before night-fall,” he thought.
The down grade tempted him to a lope. He reached the thick-bedded sand of the Silver Glen road. The tar-flower was in bloom, and fetter-bush and sparkleberry. He slowed to a walk, so that he might pass the changing vegetation tree by tree, bush by bush, each one unique and familiar. He reached the magnolia tree where he had carved the wildcat’s face. The growth was a sign that there was water nearby. It seemed a strange thing to him, when earth was earth and rain was rain, that scrawny pines should grow in the scrub, while by every branch and lake and river there grew magnolias. Dogs were the same everywhere, and oxen and mules and horses. But trees were different in different places.
“Reckon it’s because they can’t move none,” he decided. They took what food was in the soil under them.
The east bank of the road shelved suddenly. It dropped below him twenty feet to a spring. The bank was dense with magnolia and loblolly bay, sweet gum and gray-barked ash. He went down to the spring in the cool darkness of their shadows. A sharp pleasure came over him. This was a secret and a lovely place.
A spring as clear as well water bubbled up from nowhere in the sand. It was as though the banks cupped green leafy hands to hold it. There was a whirlpool where the water rose from the earth. Grains of sand boiled in it. Beyond the bank, the parent spring bubbled up at a higher level, cut itself a channel through white limestone and began to run rapidly down-hill to make a creek. The creek joined Lake George, Lake George was a part of the St. John’s River, the great river flowed northward and into the sea. It excited Jody to watch the beginning of the ocean. There were other beginnings, true, but this one was his own. He liked to think that no one came here but himself and the wild animals and the thirsty birds.”
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (8 augustus 1896 – 14 december 1953)
„Confronted with such suffering, quick death seems to be an answer. The executioners have foreseen it. All the drugstores in the ghetto have been closed, to avoid supplying with a poison. There are no guns. The only solution is to jump down out of the window to the street. Therefore a lot of convicts choose to “escape” their executioners in this way.
The same that is happening in the Warsaw Ghetto, has been happening for half a year in hundreds of smaller or larger Polish towns and cities. The total number of murdered has already exceeded one million and the number grows each day. All perish. Poor and rich, old, women, men, youngsters, infants, Catholics dying with the name of Jesus and Mary together with Jews. Their only guilt is that they were born to the Jewish nation condemned to extermination by Hitler.
The world is looking at these atrocities, the most horrible throughout the whole history of mankind, and is silent. Slaughter of the millions of people is happening in ominous silence.”
Zofia Kossak-Szczucka (8 augustus 1890 – 9 april 1968)
Uit: Snakes and Earrings
“My thing until now has been earrings. And to describe my earrings, I guess I should begin by telling you how they’re measured. The thickness of body jewelry is generally measured in gauges; the lower the number, the larger the hole. Starter earrings are usually either 16g or 14g, which is about 1.5mm wide. After 0g comes 00g, which is about 9.5mm wide. Anything over a centimeter wide is measured in fractions of gauges. But to be honest, once you go over 00 you look like a member of some kind of tribe and it’s no longer really a question of looking good or not. As for me, I have two 0g earrings in my right ear, and my left ear is lined with 0g, 2g, and 4g earrings from the bottom up. As you can imagine, it was painful enough stretching the holes in my ears; I couldn’t begin to imagine how much it would hurt to do the same to my tongue.
I used to wear 16g earrings until I met a girl two years older than me named Eri at a club one night and I fell in love with her 00g earrings. When I told her how cool her earrings looked, she gave me dozens of her old ones, ranging from 12g to 0g, saying, ‘Once you go this far, you can’t wear smaller ones anymore.’ Going from 16 to 6 was easy, but going from 4 to 2 and then 2 to 0 was a real stretch. Blood oozed from the hole and my earlobes became swollen and red. The constant, thumping pain lasted for two or three days. I also inherited Eri’s philosophy of not using expanders, so it took me three months to get down to a 0g. I was just thinking of moving on to 00g the night I met the guy with the forked tongue. I was addicted to stretching, and I guess that fueled my interest in his talk of tongue splitting. I noticed that he seemed to be enjoying himself too.”
Hitomi Kanehara (Tokyo, 8 augustus 1983)
Uit: The Prophecy of the Stones
“Fourteen years have passed much too quickly,” murmured the duke in weary resignation. Then he left the room.
The old man stared at the flames blazing in the hearth. The Prophecy would he fulfilled. Now it was only a matter of days. He had waited for this moment, had longed for it impatiently. Soon all his questions would be answered. He shivered. It was foolish of him to have become attached to the child; he shouldn’t have done that. The Prophecy had taken on another meaning: in those obscure pages where he had tried so hard to read the future and to understand the upheaval that was to come, he no longer saw anything except the fate of a girl named Jade.
That same girl was lying sprawled across her bed. She was feeling much too restless to read the book in her hands, and there was a faraway look in her eyes. Roused from her reverie by a sudden knock at the door, she leaped to her feet, calling, “Come in!”
A servant opened the door a crack, and said, “Your father wishes to speak to you. Will you receive him now?”
Surprised that her father was not busy at that hour, Jade gave her consent, and the servant retired.
Jade smoothed down her long black hair, then tossed it over her shoulders. She looked in the mirror and approved of what she saw. True, her smile revealed teeth with slight gaps between them; her eyelashes were perhaps a bit too thick; and she was constantly brushing back a few rebellious stray locks. Whenever she became irritated (which happened often), her cheeks grew red and she lost the self-conscious expression she usually wore. However, she knew she was tall, slender, and beautiful, and she always dressed with care. She was sure of herself. She knew that whatever she wanted, she could get.”
Flavia Bujor (Roemenië, 8 augustus 1988)
„Auf dem Weg zum Dodge beklagte Moro die Trockenheit seiner Kehle. Er schob das Zeug zum Dodgeeingang und sagte: Eigentlich müsste ich dich ins Bett verfrachten, aber ich muss meinen Schlund unbedingt anfeuchten, sonst wird mir die Nacht zur Hölle. Und wenn ich ehrlich bin, mag ich auch nicht alleine in der Osteria sitzen. Ja, Dario, ich vermisse meine Freunde. Schaffst du es noch, kurz mit mir in die Osteria zu gehen? Oder soll ich dich ins Bett begleiten und gehe alleine fort? Ich will mitgehen!
Ich sehe, du schaffst es nicht, aber doch, gehe mit! Es war ein erfolgreicher Abend, heute! Wir haben so viel einkassiert wie drei Tage Piantachiodi! Schade nur, dass der Platzverwalter einer Beschwerde nachgehen musste! Dario blickte Babbo verständnislos an. Babbo fuhr fort. Du weißt ja, wie das mit den Karten ist. Mit den Dreihütchen
ist es auch so. Hasardspiele sind nicht erlaubt, und das mit dem Würfelspiel ist ein Grenzfall, das geht nur mit Sondergenehmigung. Weißt du, wir haben Glück gehabt, jemand von den Carabinieri hat uns gesehen und ist zum Platzverwalter gerannt, der Carabinieri hat Mitleid mit dem Kind gehabt, das die Würfel so leidenschaftlich geschüttelt hat, und wollte die Sondergenehmigung sehen. Der Verwalter wusste von der Sondergenehmigung nichts, daraufhin hat der Carabiniere mit der Hand abgewinkt und ist gegangen.
Erzählend betraten Vater und Sohn die Osteria. Als der Mezzolitro für Moro und die Limonade für seinen Sohn an den Tisch gebracht wurden, schlief Dario längst, das Gesicht auf die Tischplatte gelegt.“
Franco Biondi (Forli, 8 augustus 1947)
„Wer im Geld schwimmt, hält einen Rettungsring für eine Zumutung.“
’’ Wir hoffen immer auf den nächsten Tag, wahrscheinlich erhofft sich der nächste Tag einiges von uns.“
„Die kalte Schnauze eines Hundes ist erfreulich warm gegen die Kaltschnäuzigkeit mancher Mitmenschen.“
Reinhold Hauschka (8 augustus 1926 – 29 mei 2012)