Uit: Lob der Langsamkeit
„Schon als Kind musste ich schnell sein. wenn die Mutter um halb zwölf feststellte, dass das Salz ausgegangen war.
«Aber ditfig!»‚ mahnte sie.
Die Modelleisenbahn sollte möglichst schnell über die Gleise rattern, sonsr mache es keinen Spass. meinten meine Spielkameraden.
Mit dem Dreirad oder dem Trottinett wollte ich unbedingt mit den älteren Kollegen mithalten, obwohl sie bereits ein kleines Fahrrad hatten.
In der Schule lernte ich, dass bei Prüfungsaufgaben die Zeit unerbittlich schrumpft.
An meinem ersten Arbeitsplatz wiihrend der Semesterferien war die Stempeluhr das Mass der Zeit und Pünktlichkeit.
Jede Verspätung wurde registriert, da gab es keine Ausrede.
Die Strassenbahn durfte ja keine Verspätung haben.
Meine Hoffnung: die letzte Tür des Anhängers noch zu erreichen.
An der Universität blieb nur eine knappe Viertelstunde nach der Vorlesung, um vom Kollegiengebäude am Petersplatz zum Seminar am Stapfelberg zu gelangen.
Nichts und niemand durfte mich aufhalnen. Der Professor war gnadenlos.
Als Journalist musste ich stets auf dem Sprung sein.
Der Redaktor: «In einer halben Stunde beginnt die Pressekonferenz des Regiemngsrats. Ihr Kollege ist ausgefallen. Der Bericht sollte am frühen Abend auf mei nem Tisch liegen.”
René Regenass (Basel, 15 mei 1935)
Uit: The Undertaker’s Gone Bananas
“Some of the cars did start to swerve and Lauri thought it might be a little bit dangerous but in the end she really did think the police made much too much fuss about the whole event. After all, there was no law against walking across a bridge with ape masks on.
“There’s no such specific law on the books,” Bobby had said. And the cops just sort of scratched their heads and drdove them off the bridge.
“You two just like to get everybody’s goat, don’t you?” Patrolman Petrie had observed.
Of course the worst thing Bobby and Lauri ever did they never really got caught at and that was throwing balloons filled with water off Bobby’s terrace. They did that almost all of April and it was a lot of fun watching the big rubber balls tumble twenty-four floors and then splash near Rucci sitting at the garage cage. One exploded right in front, splashing the glass in front of him. One time they threw a water balloon too far to the right and ti landed right in the middle of some people who were on their way home from a wedding. That was the same evening Bobby and Lauri had their very profound discussion about how Lauri thought that Bobby was really a reincarnation of Jack in “Jack and the Beanstalk”. And Bobby had decided after a lot of thought that he thought Lauri was the Sleeping Beauty. They both had no trouble finding out this information because all they had to do was ask each other what their favorite childhood story was. Bobby always thought of himself as Jack, the devilish kid who would trade the family cow any day for a pack of magical beans and when the vine grew he knew he’d be the first to climb it, especially knowing there was a giant waiting to do battle when he reached the top. The only thing was that Bobby didn’t plan on beiong knocked off; he figured he would knock off the giant.”
Paul Zindel (15 mei 1936 – 27 maart 2003)
Uit: The Master and Margarita (Vertaald door Michael Glenny)
„Berlioz’s life was so arranged that he was not accustomed to seeing unusual phenomena. Paling even more, he stared and thought in consternation: “It can’t be!”
But alas it was, and the tall, transparent gentleman was swaying from left to right in front of him without touching the ground.
Berlioz was so overcome with horror that he shut his eyes. When he opened them he saw that it was all over, the mirage had dissolved, the chequered figure had vanished and the blunt needle had simultaneously removed itself from his heart.
“The devil!” exclaimed the editor. “Do you know, Ivan, the heat nearly gave me a stroke just then! I even saw something like a hallucination…” He tried to smile but his eyes were still blinking with fear and his hands trembled. However he gradually calmed down, flapped his handkerchief and with a brave enough “Well, now…” carried on the conversation that had been interrupted by their drink of apricot juice.
They had been talking, it seemed, about Jesus Christ. The fact was that the editor had commissioned the poet to write a long anti-religious poem for one of the regular issues of his magazine. Ivan Nikolayich had written this poem in record time, but unfortunately the editor did not care for it at all. Bezdomny had drawn the chief figure in his poem, Jesus, in very black colors, yet in the editor’s opinion the whole poem had to be written again. And now he was reading Bezdomny a lecture on Jesus in order to stress the poet’s fundamental error.
It was hard to say exactly what had made Bezdomny write as he had — whether it was his great talent for graphic description or complete ignorance of the subject he was writing on, but his Jesus had come out, well, completely alive, a Jesus who had really existed, although admittedly a Jesus who had every possible fault.”
Mikhail Bulgakov (15 mei 1891 – 10 mei 1940)
Uit: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
“Then a strange thing happened.
The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon.
The north and south winds met where the house stood, and made it the exact center of the cyclone. In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher, until it was at the very top of the cyclone; and there it remained and was carried miles and miles away as easily as you could carry a feather.
It was very dark, and the wind howled horribly around her, but Dorothy found she was riding quite easily. After the first few whirls around, and one other time when the house tipped badly, she felt as if she were being rocked gently, like a baby in a cradle.
Toto did not like it. He ran about the room, now here, now there, barking loudly; but Dorothy sat quite still on the floor and waited to see what would happen.
Once Toto got too near the open trap door, and fell in; and at first the little girl thought she had lost him. But soon she saw one of his ears sticking up through the hole, for the strong pressure of the air was keeping him up so that he could not fall. She crept to the hole, caught Toto by the ear, and dragged him into the room again, afterward closing the trap door so that no more accidents could happen.”
Lyman Frank Baum (15 mei 1856 – 6 mei 1919)
Scene uit de film „ The Wizard of Oz” uit 1939
Uit: Portrait: Old South
“There was a white lace tablecloth reaching to the floor all around, over white satin. The wedding cake was tall as the flower girl and of astonishing circumference, festooned all over with white sugar roses and green leaves, actual live rose leaves. The room, she wrote, was a perfect bower of southern smilax and white dogwood. And there was butter. This is a bizarre note, but there was an enormous silver butter dish, with feet [italics mine], containing at least ten pounds of butter. The dish had cupids and some sort of fruit around the rim, and the butter was molded or carved, to resemble a set-piece of roses and lilies, every petal and leaf standing out sharply, natural as life. The flower girl, after the lapse of nearly a century, remembered no more than this, but ,I think it does well for a glimpse. That butter. She couldn’t get over it, and neither can I.
It seems as late-Roman and decadent as anything ever thought up in Hollywood. Her memory came back with a rush when she thought of the food. All the children had their own table in a small parlour, and ate just what the grownups had: Kentucky ham, roast turkey, partridges in wine jelly, fried chicken, dove pie, half a dozen sweet and hot sauces, peach pickle, watermelon pickle and spiced mangoes. A dozen different fruits, four kinds of cake and at last a chilled custard in tall glasses with whipped cream capped by a brandied cherry.
The wedding may well have been a lavish affair for the young couple as well, as the Skaggses had some means. The census of 1850 shows Asbury Porter as having land at the value of $1,000 and the slave census shows him owning one seventeen-year-old female slave and a middle-aged male. The female slave was a wedding gift from Catherine’s brother, Harrison Skaggs, a New Orleans businessman who included among his transactions the buying and selling of slaves.”
Katherine Anne Porter (15 mei 1890 – 18 september 1980)