A. M. Homes, Mazarine Pingeot, Viktor Rydberg, Thomas Strittmatter, Miles Marshall Lewis, Saki


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Amy Michael Homes werd geboren op 16 december 1961 in Washington DC. Zie ook alle tags voor A. M. Homes op dit blog.

Uit:This Book Will Save Your Life

“Did you notice the hole?” Richard asks Cecelia, the housekeeper, as he is eating breakfast.
“What hole?”
“Look out the window, there’s a big dent like the kind of place a UFO might have landed if you believe in that kind of thing.”
“The only things I believe in are God and a clean house. Are you going to put your headphones on or do I have to talk to you all day.” Cecelia takes her can of Endust to the window and looks out. “Not only is there a hole,” Cecelia says. “There’s a horse in the hole.”
He stops eating and goes to the glass.
There is a horse in the center of the hole, eating grass. Again, he thinks of the signs on the telephone poles at the bottom of the hill. “UFO? You Are Not Alone.”
“Don’t just stare at it,” Cecelia says.
Richard goes outside, stands with his feet on the edge of the hole—it is definitely deeper than it was two hours ago. The horse looks up.
“Are you stuck?” Richard asks the horse. “Can you climb out? Come out, while it’s not so deep.”
The horse doesn’t move. Richard goes back into the house “He doesn’t want to come out,” Richard says to Cecelia.
“A horse in a hole is like a salt shaker in a coffee cup,” Cecelia says. “It makes no sense.”
“The horse got into the hole, he must know how to get out of the hole.” Richard goes to the window. Now there’s a coyote standing at the edge of the hole, or at least he thinks it’s a coyote. It’s standing at the edge of the hole menacing the horse, and the horse is frightened.
Richard looks around for Cecelia—she’s vacuuming in the living room. He picks up his noise-canceling headphones, takes two metal pot lids from the kitchen and goes back outside, banging the lids together like cymbals, yelling, “Scram. Go away and be gone.” The coyote runs.
The horse sighs, flares his lips, blinks at Richard.”


A. M. Homes (Washington DC,16 december 1961)


De Franse schrijfster Mazarine Pingeot werd geboren in Avignon op 18 december 1974. Zie ook alle tags voor Mazarine Pingeot op dit blog.

Uit: Bouche cousue

« La mort de papa, nous nous y attendions tous….
Je le voyais tous les jours malade, mais à aucun moment je ne me suis véritablement dit qu’il allait mourir. Ce sursis pouvait durer éternellement; je le voyais souffrir, et se désespérer de souffrir, devenant irritable, plus lointain. La maladie lui était une humiliation. Il n’a jamais réussi à l’accepter. Pour la première fois, il affrontait plus fort que lui. »

« Dès que mon père aimait un pays, il voulait en posséder une parcelle.
Dans les Cévennes, il a acheté quelques arpents de terre, inutilisables, une petite colline, des cailloux, quelque part, un acte de propriété. Son nom sur un registre. Perdu ? Il achète un bout de terre comme on achète un bout de lune. Un lieu de pierres, dont même les chèvres ne voudraient pas. »

« On est jamais trop vieille pour sortir de l’enfance. Se plaindre du destin est une inconséquence, sinon un caprice. J’ai aimé être une enfant capricieuse. Pour d’autres, c’est la guerre, la violence, qui brisent l’immatérialité de la jeunesse.
Illégitime jusque dans le droit de me plaindre.”


Mazarine Pingeot (Avignon, 18 december 1974)



De Zweedse dichter en schrijver Viktor Rydberg werd geboren op 18 december 1828 in Jönköping, Zweden. Zie ook alle tags voor Viktor Rydberg op dit blog.


Tomten (Fragment)

Står där så grå vid ladgårdsdörr,
grå mot den vita driva,
tittar, som många vintrar förr,
upp emot månens skiva,
tittar mot skogen, där gran och fur
drar kring gården sin dunkla mur,
grubblar, fast ej det lär båta,
över en underlig gåta.


 Illustratie bij Tomten door Jenny Nyström


Gray, he stands by the low barn door,
Gray by the drifted snow,
Gazing, as many winters he’s gazed,
Up at the moon’s chill glow,
Then at the forest where fir and pine
Circle the farm in a dusky line,
Mulling relentlessly
A riddle that has no key.


Viktor Rydberg (18 december 1828 – 21 september 1895)



De Duitse schrijver Thomas Strittmatter werd geboren op 18 december 1961 in St. Georgen in het Zwarte Woud. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Strittmatter op dit blog.

Uit: Raabe Baikal

„Manchmal erzählte er, oder er log. Nun lachte Raabe über sich selbst, wie er schwankend durch die Halle ging. Der Steinmetz sah ihm lächelnd zu und begann plötzlich laut russische Trinklieder zu singen, die er wohl aus seiner Militärzeit kannte. Er sang, hustete, trank den Husten nieder. Raabe sah, daß seine Augen fiebrig glänzten. Daß Schweiß den Staub auf seiner Stirn verklebte. Nasdarowje! rief der Steinmetz, sang, schlug mit Hammer und Meißel einen mörderischen schnellen Rhythmus und begann dann, durch den Raum zu tanzen wie ein betrunkener Bär. Er warf das Werkzeug weg, packte Raabe und tanzte mit ihm, laut singend. Raabe mußte lachen wie lange Zeit nicht mehr. Dann verlangte der Steinmetz nach einem Stuhl. Seine Stirn war heiß. Raabe holte ihm einen Lappen und kaltes Wasser. Das viele Husten nahm ihm die Luft. Er schickte Raabe weg. Raabe ging nicht, wagte aber auch nicht, in der Nähe zu bleiben. So setzte er sich am anderen Ende der Halle und sah zu, wie aus dem Alten ein alter Mann wurde. Wie die Adern am Hals, auf der Stirn, an den Händen noch stärker hervortraten.“


Thomas Strittmatter (18 december 1961 – 29 augustus 1995)



De Amerikaanse schrijver Miles Marshall Lewis werd geboren op 18 december 1970 in The Bronx, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Miles Marshall Lewis op dit blog.

Uit: Paris Noir

“The first time I wrote an essay about relocating from Harlem to Paris, I’d been living in France for all of 10 months. My newbie reflections concerning the City of Lights were based on less than a year’s life experience in my adopted city. May 2010 will mark six years since I uprooted my hip-hop-media-centric lifestyle in New York City to the French capital and welcomed the wholly different trappings of fatherhood and marriage. Time tells the tale: My familiarity with African-American expatriates and French racial politics has grown far more nuanced as the ’10s begin.
For a cosmopolitan city that tried to strike a post-racial stance before the term even existed, Paris still has plenty of black touchstones. My transcontinental trail was already famously blazed in the 1950s by some of my old literary idols, Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Chester Himes among them. Négritude, the 1930s literary arts movement, took its cue from the Harlem Renaissance, and the presence of black Americans in Montmartre, the so-called “Harlem of Paris.” Nina Simone, Langston Hughes and Melvin Van Peebles also spent significant amounts of time soaking up la vie Parisienne in decades gone by. What I moved here wanting to know was, how does the modern-day hip-hop aesthetic influence the black French identity?
Local rap music couldn’t teach me anything until I learned the language (a two-year process, eventually). Beyond appreciating their beats and lyrical flows, MCs like Abd al Malik, Sefyu and Diam’s were indecipherable to me for a long time. Before measuring hip-hop’s impact on France, I needed help getting the lay of the land. Chance encounters with several African Americans in Paris soon proved the vibrancy of the black ex-pat experience going into the 21st century. MC Mike Ladd, author Jake Lamar and soirée hostess Patricia Laplante-Collins gave me plenty of insight to satisfy my vision quest.”


Miles Marshall Lewis (New York, 18 december 1970)



De Birmees – Britse schrijver Saki (pseudoniem van Hector Hugh Munro, een naam gekozen uit de Rubaiyat van Omar Khayyam) werd geboren op 18 december 1870 in Akyab, Birma. Zie ook alle tags voor Saki op dit blog.

Uit: The toys of peace

“In an awful silence he disinterred a little lead figure of a man in black clothes.
“That,” he said, “is a distinguished civilian, John Stuart Mill. He was an authority on political economy.”
“Why?” asked Bertie.
“Well, he wanted to be; he thought it was a useful thing to be.”
Bertie gave an expressive grunt, which conveyed his opinion that there was no accounting for tastes.
Another square building came out, this time with windows and chimneys.
“A model of the Manchester branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association,” said Harvey.
“Are there any lions?” asked Eric hopefully. He had been reading Roman history and thought that where you found Christians you might reasonably expect to find a few lions.
“There are no lions,” said Harvey. “Here is another civilian, Robert Raikes, the founder of Sunday schools, and here is a model of a municipal wash-house. These little round things are loaves baked in a sanitary bakehouse. That lead figure is a sanitary inspector, this one is a district councillor, and this one is an official of the Local Government Board.”


Saki (18 december 1870 – 14 november 1916)



Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 18e december ook mijn blog van 18 december 2011 deel 2 en eveneens deel 3.