Dolce far niente, Alfred Tomlinson, Lucebert, Jan Slauerhoff, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Agatha Christie, Orhan Kemal, Gunnar Ekelöf

 

Dolce far niente

 

 
Gustavo Silva Nuñez poseert voor een door hem geschilderde zwemmer, 2015.

 

Swimming Chenango Lake

Winter will bar the swimmer soon.
He reads the water’s autumnal hestitations
A wealth of ways: it is jarred,
It is astir already despite its steadiness,
Where the first leaves at the first
Tremor of the morning air have dropped
Anticipating him, launching their imprints
Outwards in eccentric, overlapping circles.
There is a geometry of water, for this
Squares off the clouds’ redundances
And sets them floating in a nether atmosphere
All angles and elongations: every tree
Appears a cypress as it stretches there
And every bush that shows the season,
A shaft of fire. It is a geometry and not
A fantasia of distorting forms, but each
Liquid variation answerable to the theme
It makes away from, plays before:
It is a consistency, the grain of the pulsating flow.
But he has looked long enough, and now
Body must recall the eye to its dependence
As he scissors the waterscape apart
And sways it to tatters. Its coldness
Holding him to itself, he grants the grasp,
For to swim is also to take hold
On water’s meaning, to move in its embrace
And to be, between grasp and grasping, free.
He reaches in-and-through to that space
The body is heir to, making a where
In water, a possession to be relinquished
Willingly at each stroke. The image he has torn
Flows-to behind him, healing itself,
Lifting and lengthening, splayed like the feathers
Down an immense wing whose darkening spread
Shadows his solitariness: alone, he is unnamed
By this baptism, where only Chenango bears a name
In a lost language he begins to construe —
A speech of densities and derisions, of half-
Replies to the questions his body must frame
Frogwise across the all but penetrable element.
Human, he fronts it and, human, he draws back
From the interior cold, the mercilessness
That yet shows a kind of mercy sustaining him.
The last sun of the year is drying his skin
Above a surface a mere mosaic of tiny shatterings,
Where a wind is unscaping all images in the flowing obsidian,
The going-elsewhere of ripples incessantly shaping.

 

 
Alfred Tomlinson (8 januari 1927 – 22 augustus 2015)
Stoke-on-Trent, Old Town Hall. Alfred Tomlinson werd geboren in Stoke-on-Trent.

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Dolce far niente, Alfred Tomlinson, Lucebert, Jan Slauerhoff, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Agatha Christie, Orhan Kemal, Gunnar Ekelöf”

James Fenimore Cooper

De Amerikaanse schrijver James Fenimore Cooper werd geboren in Burlington, New Jersey op 15 september 1789 als zoon van een Congreslid van de Verenigde Staten. Nog voor zijn eerste verjaardag verhuisde het gezin naar Westchester County, New York. Reeds op veertienjarige leeftijd vatte hij zijn studies aan op Yale, maar behaalde daar uiteindelijk geen universitaire graad. Hij werd matroos op de koopvaardij en ging op negentienjarige leeftijd bij de marine. Daar behaalde hij de graad van adelborst nog voor zijn vertrek in 1811. Toen hij 22 was huwde hij met Susan DeLancey. Samen hadden ze 7 kinderen. Zijn eerste boek “Precaution” (1820) publiceerde hij anoniem, daarop verschenen er verschillende andere van zijn hand. In 1823 publiceerde hij “The Pioneers”, de eerste uit de Leatherstocking-reeks met de woudloper Natty Bumppo (deze figuur is gebaseerd op het leven en de avonturen van Daniel Boone) in de hoofdrol, waarin hij deze volgt in zijn vriendschap met de Delaware indianen en opperhoofd Chingachgook. Coopers beroemdste roman zou echter “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826) worden, een van de meest gelezen boeken uit de 19e eeuw. In 1826 verhuisde Cooper met zijn gezin naar Europa, om daar als vertegenwoordiger van de regering van de Verenigde Staten te gaan werken. Tijdens zijn verblijf daar schreef hij het in Parijs gepubliceerde “The Red Rover”, “The Waterwitch—one” en andere zeeverhalen. Hij raakte ook erg betrokken in politieke discussies over de Verenigde Staten en publiceerde daarover onder meer in Le National. In zijn drie volgende romans “The Bravo” (1831), “The Heidenmauer” (1832) en “The Headsman: or the Abbaye of Vigneron” (1833) verwerkte hij ook zijn republikeinse overtuigingen. In 1833 keerde hij terug naar Amerika, waar hij onmiddellijk “A Letter to My Countrymen” publiceerde, waarin hij scherp uithaalde naar de betrokkenheid van de Verenigde Staten in een aantal controversiële zaken waar hij in Europa mee te maken had gekregen.

Uit: The Last of the Mohicans

“It was a feature peculiar to the colonial wars of North America, that the toils and dangers of the wilderness were to be encountered before the adverse hosts could meet. A wide and apparently an impervious boundary of forests severed the possessions of the hostile provinces of France and England. The hardy colonist, and the trained European who fought at his side, frequently expended months in struggling against the rapids of the streams, or in effecting the rugged passes of the mountains, in quest of an opportunity to exhibit their courage in a more martial conflict. But, emulating the patience and self-denial of the practiced native warriors, they learned to overcome every difficulty; and it would seem that, in time, there was no recess of the woods so dark, nor any secret place so lovely, that it might claim exemption from the inroads of those who had pledged their blood to satiate their vengeance, or to uphold the cold and selfish policy of the distant monarchs of Europe.
Perhaps no district throughout the wide extent of the intermediate frontiers can furnish a livelier picture of the cruelty and fierceness of the savage warfare of those periods than the country which lies between the head waters of the Hudson and the adjacent lakes.
The facilities which nature had there offered to the march of the combatants were too obvious to be neglected. The lengthened sheet of the Champlain stretched from the frontiers of Canada, deep within the borders of the neighboring province of New York, forming a natural passage across half the distance that the French were compelled to master in order to strike their enemies. Near its southern termination, it received the contributions of another lake, whose waters were so limpid as to have been exclusively selected by the Jesuit missionaries to perform the typical purification of baptism, and to obtain for it the title of lake “du Saint Sacrement.” The less zealous English thought they conferred a sufficient honor on its unsullied fountains, when they bestowed the name of their reigning prince, the second of the house of Hanover. The two united to rob the untutored possessors of its wooded scenery of their native right to perpetuate its original appellation of “Horican.”
Winding its way among countless islands, and imbedded in mountains, the “holy lake” extended a dozen leagues still further to the south. With the high plain that there interposed itself to the further passage of the water, commenced a portage of as many miles, which conducted the adventurer to the banks of the Hudson, at a point where, with the usual obstructions of the rapids, or rifts, as they were then termed in the language of the country, the river became navigable to the tide.”

 

 
James Fenimore Cooper (15 september 1789 – 14 september 1851)
Portret door John Wesley Jarvis, 1822

Sergio Esteban Vélez Peláez

De Colombiaanse dichter, schrijver, hoogleraar en journalist Sergio Esteban Vélez Peláez werd geboren op 15 september 1983 in Medellín. Hij publiceerde zijn eerste gedichtenbundel, “Destellos nocturnos” in 1996, toen hij 12 jaar oud was. Vélez studeerde rechten en politieke wetenschappen aan de Bolivariaanse Pontificale Universiteit en studeerde moderne talen aan Sherbrooke University, Hij is wekelijkse columnist voor de krant El Mundo. Hij was de oprichter van de Academia Antioqueña de Letras, samen met Octavio Arizmendi Posada, voormalig minister van Onderwijs van Colombia. In 2002 werd Vélez aangesteld als cultuurdirecteur van de Colegio Altos Estudios de Quirama. Hij won de Premio Nacional de Periodismo Simón Bolívar 2010 (de nationale journalistiekprijs Simon Bolivar), de Premio Internacional de Periodismo José María Heredia 2010 (Internationale prijs voor journalistiek Jose Maria Heredia 2010).) en de Premio Cipa a La Excelencia Periodística 2012. De dichter Olga Elena Mattei zegt dat Vélez het Andes-aspect van de huidige Colombiaanse poëzie vertegenwoordigt. Vélez werkt aan de Universiteit van Antioquia, Colombia.

Interior Orbit

In the center of the sacred enclosure,
the genius,
imprisoned in the orbit of himself,
was lost in the night of time
and insisted on seeking the theory
of the liquid abysses
immense
in the confusing layers
of the intimate nature
of his ego

 

Theology Of Man

Image and likeness
of God
say
the Scriptures
that we were made.
And I wonder
if we have,
the radiance of the divinity,
the universal rhythm
of balance,
the existential transparency,
the perfect metaphysical calligraphy,
the rational power,
the dimensional knowledge,
in the theological
measure
of God

 
Sergio Esteban Vélez (Medellín, 15 september 1983)