Ephraïm Kishon, William Henley, Edgar Lee Masters, Theobald Hock, Andrei Pleşu, Aleksander Grin

De Hongaars/Israëlische schrijver Ephraïm Kishon werd op 23 augustus 1924 in Boedapest geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 augustus 2010 en ook alle tags voor Ephraïm Kishon op dit blog.

Uit:The Silver Frenzy

“I reconnoitered the flat and silver-painted two worn-down door handles, a dripping kitchen tap, and three aluminum saucepans (after the treatment they looked like new), plus the cactus pot and the cactus spines, a few trifles like a shoehorn, an ash tray, two footstools, and the kitchen table.
By then I really wanted to stop, because I felt I was falling from one extreme to the other, but when I saw the paint flaking off my faithful old motorcycle, the least I could do was drag it out onto the porch and highlight its streamlined form. But my tackling the rear chain as well points to a certain deterioration of my mental balance, no doubt brought about by the inhu­man weather. By then I had completely lost control over myself, and as the floor tiles had anyway become covered with a pattern of silver polka dots, it occurred’ to me to relieve the monotony of the floor with a checkerboard effect.
After the checkerboard I said, “Now, enough!” But down on my knees in front of the stove, I gave it another coat. Then it occurred to me that it was in bad’ taste to paint only two door handles silver, therefore I silver-plated all door and window handles, then devoted a few minutes to the picture frames and made a few changes in the reproduction of the Mona Lisa, dressing her in a silver lame evening gown, which fitted her imbecile smirk much better.
But while painting the sides of the radio set, I realized that my shoes had become covered with silver freckles, which I made disappear under an even layer. The shoes were literally shining, and I am really surprised that nobody has yet thought of making aluminum shoes, especially for wear with dark suits. After silvering the covers of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, I really decided to stop after rejuvenating the lamps, which I did while standing on a ladder. (Funny ladder: I could have sworn it was aluminum, though I knew it was wood!) I painted the light bulbs as well, and as I stood there on top of the. ladder, some paint spilled on the Persian rug, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the rug had an amazing ability for absorbing silver paint, which proves what gratifying progress kibbutz industry has made”.

Ephraïm Kishon (23 augustus 1924 – 29 januari 2005)


De Engelse dichter en schrijver William Ernest Henley werd geboren op 23 augustus 1849 in Gloucester. Zie ook alle tags voor William Henley op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 23 augustus 2009.

A Love By The Sea

Out of the starless night that covers me,
(O tribulation of the wind that rolls!)
Black as the cloud of some tremendous spell,
The susurration of the sighing sea
Sounds like the sobbing whisper of two souls
That tremble in a passion of farewell.

To the desires that trebled life in me,
(O melancholy of the wind that rolls!)
The dreams that seemed the future to foretell,
The hopes that mounted herward like the sea,
To all the sweet things sent on happy souls,
I cannot choose but bid a mute farewell.

And to the girl who was so much to me
(O lamentation of this wind that rolls!)
Since I may not the life of her compel,
Out of the night, beside the sounding sea,
Full of the love that might have blent our souls,
A sad, a last, a long, supreme farewell.


Between the dusk of a summer night

Between the dusk of a summer night
And the dawn of a summer day,
We caught at a mood as it passed in flight,
And we bade it stoop and stay.
And what with the dawn of night began
With the dusk of day was done;
For that is the way of woman and man,
When a hazard has made them one.
Arc upon arc, from shade to shine,
The World went thundering free;
And what was his errand but hers and mine —
The lords of him, I and she?
O, it’s die we must, but it’s live we can,
And the marvel of earth and sun
Is all for the joy of woman and man
And the longing that makes them one.



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Henley (23 augustus 1849 – 11 juli 1903)
Borstbeeld door Auguste Rodin, 1886


]De Amerikaanse dichter Edgar Lee Masters werd geboren op 23 augustus 1868 in Garnett, Kansas. Zie ook alle tags voor Edgar Lee Masters op dit blog enook mijn blog van 23 augustus 2009.

George Gray

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me —
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire —
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

Edgar Lee Masters (23 augustus 1868 – 5 maart 1950)


De Duitse dichter Theobald Hock werd geboren op 23 augustus 1573 in Limbach/Pfalz-Zweibrücken. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 augustus 2010 en ook mijn blog van 23 augustus 2007.

Von Art der Deutschen Poeterey (fragment)

Drumb ist es vil ein schwerer Kunst recht dichten
Die Deutsche Reim alls eben Lateinisch schlichten
Wir mögen neue Reim erdencken
Und auch dran hencken
Die Reim zu lencken.

Niembt sich auch billich ein Poeten nennet
Wer d’Griechisch und Lateinisch Sprach nit kennet
Noch d’Singkunst recht thut riehen
Vil Wort von Griechen
Ins Deutsch her kriechen.

Noch dürffen sich vil Teutsche Poeten rühmen
Sich also schreiben die besser zügen am Riemen
Schmiden ein so hinckets Carmen,
Ohn Fuss und Armen
Das zuerbarmen.


Theobald Hock (23 augustus 1573 – † na 1624)
Elisabeth-Kirche Limbach


De Roemeense essayist, filosoof, kunsthistoricus en politicus Andrei Gabriel Pleşu werd geboren op 23 augustus 1948 in Boekarest. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 augustus 2010 en ook mijn blog van 23 augustus 2007.

Uit: Das Schweigen der Engel (Vertaald door Georg Aesct)

„Ein zweiter Vorteil, den ich mir zunutze zu machen gedenke, besteht darin, daß ich die Exotik des Themas mit der Exotik meiner Herkunft zu ergänzen vermag: Ich komme aus einem osteuropäischen Land, von dem man im allgemein genausowenig weiß wie von den Engeln. Ein protestantischer Theologe des 19. Jahrhunderts – als die Abkehr von den Mythen schon spektakuläre Formen annahm – meinte, die Engel seien nichts als »metaphysische Fledermäuse«. (Nebenbei bemerkt, der Theologe hieß Hase, in diesem Zusammenhang ein sprechender Name.) Nun, das bestätigt nur meine Zuständigkeit. Ich komme aus Rumänien, gemeinhin bekannt als Land Draculas, also der blutsaugenden Fledermäuse. Ich darf also diese geflügelte Wesen um ein wenig Metaphysik bereichern.
Freilich werden wir die Metaphysik nicht so weit treiben, daß wir gleich zu Anfang vor schwierigen Fragen wie denen nach Zahl und Geschlecht der Engel kapitulieren müssen. Ebensowenig werden wir uns an der von den Kirchenvätern ausgelösten Debatte über die Erschaffung der Engel beteiligen, die in der Genesis an keiner Stelle explizit erwähnt wird. Wir lassen allerdings gelten, daß die Engel, weil sie dem Schöpfer am nächsten stehen, als erste geschaffen worden sein müssen. Auf sie bezieht sich wahrscheinlich der erste Vers der Schöpfungsgeschichte, wo vom »Himmel« (»Am Anfang schuf Gott Himmel und Erde«), oder der dritte Vers, wo vom »Licht« die Rede ist (»Es werde Licht«). Hier geht es eindeutig nicht um das gewöhnliche Licht, das Gott erst am vierten Tage mit der Erschaffung von Sonne und Mond einführen wird. Es geht um ein vorkosmisches Licht, schlicht um den Widerschein des göttlichen Lichts. Oft werden die Engel sowohl in den heiligen Texten als auch in den Kommentaren als »Lichter und Spiegel« des Schöpfers bezeichnet.“

Andrei Pleşu (Boekarest, 23 augustus 1948)


De Russische schrijver Aleksander Grin (eig. Aleksandr Stepanovitsj Grinevski) werd geboren in Vjatka op 23 augustus 1880. Zie ook alle tags voor Aleksander Grin op dit blog en eveneens mijn blog van 23 augustus 2009.

Uit: A Trip (Vertaald door Barry Scherr)

“We,” retorted Tonar without turning around, “we businessmen look at things differently. Loafers like you, corrupted by travels and a romantic outlook, admire anyone who plays at being a Harun al-Rashid. To be sure, instead of harassing the speculators who finagle us on the stock market, it is much easier to don a false beard, hang around various dens, and booze it up with petty thieves.”
“But if somebody’s an interesting person,” said Ammon, “then I appreciate him for that alone. You have to appreciate truly interesting people. I’ve known a lot of them. One, a hermaphrodite, was wed to a man and then, after getting divorced, married a woman.
A second, who was once a priest, invented a machine that sang bass; he grew rich, killed a circus snake with his teeth on a bet, kept a harem in Cairo, and now is a cheese merchant. A third is remarkable for being a true phenomenon. He possessed a startling ability to concentrate the attention of all those around him exclusively on himself; everyone was silent in his presence, and only he spoke-a little more intelligence, and he could have done whatever he pleased. A fourth blinded himself of his own volition, so as not to see people. A fifth was a sincere, forty-year-old fool; when people asked him what he was, he answered that he was a fool and laughed. Interestingly, he was neither a madman nor an idiot, but simply a classical fool. A sixth … the sixth … is myself.”
“Yes?” Tonar asked ironically.
“Yes. I’m against false humility. I have seen a lot during the forty-five years of my life; I have experienced a lot, and I have participated a lot in others’ lives.”

Aleksander Grin (23 augustus 1880 – 8 juli 1932)
Vjatka, tegenwoordig  Kirov (oblast Kirov)