Uit:Two More Pints
“Wha’ d’yeh think of the poll?
He’s alrigh’. He pulls a reasonable pint.
I meant, the election poll.
Ah, fuck the-. Go on.
Michael D.’s leadin’.
Followed by Mitchell.
No. The Dragons’ Den fella.
Fuckin’ hell. How did tha’ happen?
Well, he’s scutterin’ on abou’ community an’ disability an’ tha’. But, really, he’s an 01’ Fianna Fail hack. Up to his entrepreneurial bollix in it. Annyway, my theory.
People still love Fianna Fail.
But they’d hammer them if they had a candidate.
Exactly. But they can vote for this prick without havin’ to admit it.
But I think Michael D. will get there.
He was goin’ on abou’ the President not bein’ a handmaiden to the government.
What’s a handmaiden?
I’m not sure. But if I was lookin’ for one in the Golden Pages, I wouldn’t be stoppin’ at the Michaels.
Annyway, he suddenly stops, an’ says he broke his kneecap when he fell durin’ a fact-findin’ mission in Colombia.
Wha’ does tha’ tell yeh?
He was ou’ of his head.
Exactly. Fact-findin’ mission me hole. He’s lettin’ us know – he’s one o’ the lads.
Well, that’s me decided.
Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)
Uit: The Crying of Lot 49
“Mucho, baby,” she cried, in an access of helplessness.
Mucho Maas, home, bounded through the screen door. “Today was another defeat,” he began.
“Let me tell you,” she also began. But let Mucho go first.
He was a disk jockey who worked further along the Peninsula and suffered regular crises of conscience out his profession. “I don’t believe in any of it, Ode,” he could usually get out. “I try,
I truly can’t,” way down there, further down perhaps than she could reach, so that such times often brought her near panic. It might have been the sight of her so about to lose control that seemed to bring him back up.
“You’re too sensitive.” Yeah, there was so much else she ought to be saying also, but this was what came out. It was true, anyway. For a couple years he’d been a used car salesman and so hyperaware of what that profession had come to mean that working hours were Exquisite torture to him. Mucho shaved his upper lip every morning three times with, three times against the grain to remove any remotest breath of a moustache, new blades he drew blood invariably but kept at it; bought all natural-shoulder suits, then went to a tailor to have the lapels made yet more abnormally narrow, on his hair used only water, combing it like Jack Lemmon to throw them further off. The sight of sawdust, even pencil shavings, made him wince, his own kind being known to use it for hushing sick transmissions, and though he dieted he could still not as Oedipa did use honey to sweeten his coffee for like all things viscous it distressed him, recalling too poignantly what is often mixed with motor oil to ooze dishonest into gaps between piston and cylinder wall. He walked out of a party one night because somebody used the word “creampuff,” it seemed maliciously, in his hearing. The man was a refugee Hungarian pastry cook talking shop, but there was your Mucho: thin-skinned.“
Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)
Uit: Toby’s Room
« Tonks ushered her into a large room that contained a desk, two chairs, and a filing cabinet. There was a screened-off recess to her right. The part of the room she could see resembled a doctor’s surgery, except that at the far end, underneath the tall windows, there was an easel and a table covered with drawing pads, pens and ink, and pastels.
Directly underneath the window was a stool, presumably for the patient since it had been placed where the full, shadowless glare of northern light would fall directly on the face.
“I’ll see about the tea. Have a seat.”
He went out; she could hear his voice in the room across the corridor requesting a pot of tea and two slices of that rather nice fruitcake, do you think we could manage that? A woman’s voice replied; and then a man’s voice—not Tonks’s—and, finally, a rumble of conversation. Clearly, Tonks had got embroiled in hospital business.
Elinor went across to the table and looked at a pen-and-ink drawing of a patient with a gaping hole in his cheek. Presumably, Tonks’s medical drawings would be done in pen and ink—ironical, really, since he’d never made any secret of how much he hated the medium. In fact, he’d described it to her once as the least forgiving medium an artist could work in, calculated to expose every flaw in draftsmanship. Yet she’d have recognized this as Tonks’s work from the purity of the line alone.
She wondered what lay behind the screen; probably a washbasin, something like that. But when she looked behind it she saw, instead, a whole wall full of portraits of men with hideously disfigured faces. One of them, the man with no jaw, she recognized from the corridor. Individually, each portrait would have been remarkable; displayed together like this, row upon row, they were overwhelming. She took her time, pausing in front of first one portrait, then another.”
Pat Barker (Thornaby-on-Tees, 8 mei 1943)
As For Poets
As for poets
The Earth Poets
Who write small poems,
Need help from no man.
The Air Poets
Play out the swiftest gales
And sometimes loll in the eddies.
Poem after poem,
Curling back on the same thrust.
At fifty below
Fuel oil won’t flow
And propane stays in the tank.
Burn at absolute zero
Fossil love pumped backup
Stayed down six years.
He was covered with seaweed.
The life in his poem
Left millions of tiny
Criss-crossing through the mud.
With the Sun and Moon
In his belly,
The Space Poet
No end to the sky-
But his poems,
Like wild geese,
Fly off the edge.
Stays in the house.
The house is empty
And it has no walls.
Is seen from all sides,
Gary Snyder (San Francisco, 8 mei 1930)
Uit: Maria Theresia
„Leider sollten die Kuriere nicht mehr viele Briefe zwischen den Schwestern hin und her zu spedieren haben. Zehn Monate nach ihrer Hochzeit erwartete Marianne ihre Niederkunft.
Mit Bangen, aber auch in zärtlicher Hoffnung fieberte Maria Theresia diesem Ereignis entgegen. “In diesen Tagen”, schrieb sie, “wagte ich kaum mehr zu atmen.” Seltsam bei dieser Frau, die fast jedes Jahr wohlgemut das Kreißbett bestieg, die sich kaum je über Beschwerden der Schwangerschaft, über die Schmerzen der Geburt beklagte! Um die Schwester zitterte sie. “Denn ich weiß, was eine Niederkunft bedeutet – und denke nur mit Schrecken daran.” Gingen böse Ahnungen in ihr um?
Am 2. Oktober traten bei Marianne verfrüht die Wehen ein. Vier Tage quälte sie sich vergeblich. Am 5. Oktober empfing sie die Sterbesakramente, am 6. gebar sie ein totes Kind. Immerhin hofften die Ärzte, das Leben der jungen Mutter erhalten zu können.
Wieder stürzte Maria Theresia an den Schreibtisch, um die jüngere Schwester mit Zärtlichkeiten zu überschütten. So bitter die Totgeburt: Hauptsache ist und bleibt Mariannes Genesung. “Denken wir jetzt nur an Ihre Wiederherstellung und versenken wir uns nicht in traurige Betrachtungen. Gewiß wird uns Gott helfen…” Und im Nachsatz die Warnung: “Nehmen Sie sich kein Beispiel an mir, denn ich war immer nur zu glücklich bei meinen Entbindungen, mehr als ich es verdient habe.”
Gertrud Fussenegger (8 mei 1912 – 19 maart 2009)
Uit: Oo, Those Awful Orcs! (A review of Tolkiens The Fellowship of the Ring)
“The most distinguished of Tolkien’s admirers and the most conspicuous of his defenders has been Mr. W. H. Auden. That Auden is a master of English verse and a well-equipped critic of verse, no one, as they say, will dispute. It is significant, then, that he comments on the badness of Tolkien’s verse – there is a great deal of poetry in The Lord of the Rings. Mr. Auden is apparently quite insensitive – through lack of interest in the other department.- to the fact that Tolkien’s prose is just as bad. Prose and verse are on the same level of professorial amateurishness. What I believe has misled Mr. Auden is his own special preoccupation with the legendary theme of the Quest. He has written a book about the literature of the Quest; he has experimented with the theme himself in a remarkable sequence of sonnets; and it is to be hoped that he will do something with it on an even larger scale. In the meantime – as sometimes happens with works that fall in with one’s interests – he no doubt so overrates The Lord of the Rings because he reads into it something that he means to write himself. It is indeed the tale of a Quest, but, to the reviewer, an extremely unrewarding one. The hero has no serious temptations; is lured by no insidious enchantments, perplexed by few problems. What we get is a simple confrontation – in more or less the traditional terms of British melodrama – of the Forces of Evil with the Forces of Good, the remote and alien villain with the plucky little home-grown hero. There are streaks of imagination: the ancient tree-spirits, the Ents, with their deep eyes, twiggy beards, rumbly voices; the Elves, whose nobility and beauty is elusive and not quite human. But even these are rather clumsily handled. There is never much development in the episodes; you simply go on getting more of the same thing. Dr. Tolkien has little skill at narrative and no instinct for literary form. The characters talk a story-book language that might have come out of Howard Pyle, and as personalities they do not impose themselves. At the end of this long romance, I had still no conception of the wizard Gandalph, who is a cardinal figure, had never been able to visualize him at all. For the most part such characterizations as Dr. Tolkien is able to contrive are perfectly stereotyped: Frodo the good little Englishman, Samwise, his dog-like servant, who talks lower-class and respectful, and never deserts his master.”
Edmund Wilson (8 mei 1895 – 14 juni 1972)
Scene uit de film “The Fellowship of the Ring” uit 2001
Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:
Uit: Wat een leven
“Marzipan kon de harige tenen in zijn bootschoenen voelen krommen. De blinde ezel balkte enthousiast voordat hij, in vloeiend Surinaams, Marzipan voor rotte vis uitmaakte. Marzipan verstond alles, hij had per slot van rekening twee jaar in Suriname gewoond. Alwaar hij schaafijs uitvond. ‘Een Surinaamse ezel? Leuk zo’n zwart balkje.’ giechelde onze zwaarlijvige vedette. ‘Ai!’ zei de ezel. ‘Mijn naam is Don Qui, Don voor intimi. En ja ik ben blind. En ja ik stoot mezelf dus in het gemeen tyfus vaak aan dezelfde steen.’ Marzipan was gelijk onder de indruk van Don en viel, niet veel later, als een blok voor hem. Het was liefde op het eerste gezicht, net als in de film, en wat volgde was een vrijpartij van jewelste. Ezelprikken, het was in die tijd heel normaal. Net als tandems. Een ezel van achteren pakken, in de volksmond ook wel een ezelsbruggetje genoemd, was zeg maar het nordic walken van de jaren 50.”
James Worthy (Amsterdam. 1980)
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e mei ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.