William Shakespeare, Pascal Quignard, Peter Horst Neumann, Andrey Kurkov, Halldór Laxness, Christine Busta, Adelheid Duvanel

De Engelse dichter en schrijver William Shakespeare werd geboren in Stradford-upon-Avon op, vermoedelijk, 23 april 1564. Zie ook alle tags voor William Shakespeare op dit blog.


How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!
What is’t you do?
A deed without a name.
I conjure you, by that which you profess,
Howe’er you come to know it, answer me:
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches though the yesty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up
Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down
Though castles topple on their warders’ heads
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations though the treasure
Of nature’s germens tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken answer me
To what I ask you.
We’ll answer.
Say, if thou’dst rather hear it from our mouths,
Or from our masters?
Call ‘em let me see ‘em.
Pour in sow’s blood, that hath eaten
Her nine farrow grease that’s sweaten
From the murderer’s gibbet throw
Into the flame.
Come, high or low
Thyself and office deftly show!
Thunder. First Apparition: an armed Head
Tell me, thou unknown power,–
He knows thy thought:
Hear his speech, but say thou nought.
First Apparition
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff
Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.
Whate’er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks
Thou hast harp’d my fear aright: but one
word more,–

William Shakespeare (23 april 1564 – 23 april 1616)
“Macbeth en Banquo ontmoeten de drie heksen” door Théodore Chassériau, 1855


De Franse schrijver Pascal Quignard werd geboren op 23 april 1948 in Verneuil-sur-Avre. Zie ook alle tags voor Pascal Quignard op dit blog.

Uit: Mourir de penser

« L’année 699 les Frisons consentirent à se convertir au christianisme. Au mois de mars 700, le premier jour de l’année, le premier d’entre eux, Rachord, roi des Frisons, devant l’ensemble de ses tribus, se prépara à recevoir le baptême. Déjà il était tout nu, il avait mis un pied dans les fonts quand, pris de doute, hésitant à plonger l’autre pied dans l’eau qui était sainte, il demanda, avec inquiétude, au prêtre qui s’apprêtait à l’ondoyer :
— Mais où sont les miens? Pas de réponse.
Alors le roi des Frisons leva les yeux. Il regarda le prêtre chrétien. Ce dernier restait immobile. Il avait commencé à lever sa main. Il s’apprêtait à jeter le sel autour de l’homme qui allait s’immerger pour faire crever les démons.
Le roi répéta sa question :
— Où se trouve la plus grande partie de mes ancêtres?
L’homme de Dieu, toujours silencieux, obstinément silencieux, garda sa main, pleine de sel blanc, levée en l’air au-dessus du cuveau, attendant que le roi des Frisons s’y accroupisse tout entier.
Rachord, courroucé, haussa la voix. Il répéta une troisième fois sa question en la précisant. Où ses aïeux se trouvaient-ils ? Ses aïeux se trouvaient-ils en enfer ? Se trouvaient-ils au paradis?
Le prêtre finit par tourner son visage vers Rachord. Il prononça le mot enfer.
Quand il apprit que tous les rois qui l’avaient pré- cédé et que la plupart des membres de sa parenté se trouvaient en enfer, le roi Rachord retira de la cuve le pied qu’il y avait glissé. Il s’éloigna du prêtre, des moines, de la piscine baptismale. Il alla trouver ses chevaliers qui se tenaient au premier rang de l’assemblée. Il leur dit tout bas :
— C’est chose plus sainte de suivre le plus grand nombre que le plus petit.”

Pascal Quignard (Verneuil-sur-Avre, 23 april 1948)


De Duitse dichter, essayist en literatuurwetenschapper Peter Horst Neumann werd geboren op 23 april 1936 in Neisse. Zie ook alle tags voor Peter Horst Neumann op dit blog.

Uit:Laudatio auf Sarah Kirsch (n.a.v.de Peter-Huchel-Preis 1993)

„Erlkönigs Tochter – der Titel ist zauberhaft, in jeder Bedeutung diese Wortes. Er hat einen Zug ins Dämonisch-Verführerische und verführt auch zum Lesen. Zaubersprüche hieß ein früherer Band, und auch Titel wie Katzenleben oder Erdreich hatten die Aura des nicht ganz Geheueren. Dieser aber ist wie ein Wetterleuchten, hervorgerufen durch zwei zitierte Worte: ein poesiegeschichtlicher Horizont (dänische Volkspoesie, Herder, Goethe) leuchtet auf. Wenn man sie beim Lesen wiederfindet, sind diese zwei Worte so vollkommen ins Gedicht eingegangen, daß zwischen dem eigenen und dem Zitat kein Unterschied mehr besteht – ein Augenblick großer Poesie.
Nebel und Watt bezeichnen den düsteren Ort eines Zusammentreffens, ernsthafte Verabredung genannt, und es wird auch geritten: je ein Reiter bei Herder und Goethe; hier aber sind es zwei Reiter, die apokalyptischen, zu denen die Erlkönigstochter eine offenbar ernsthafte Beziehung unterhält. Naturmagie verbindet sich mit den biblischen Endzeitboten der Apokalypse. Der Boden ist unsicher, magischer Naturgrund, gewiß, aber er ist auch zugleich historische Landschaft des 20. Jahrhunderts, mit Bohrinsel, Seenotraketen und Colabüchsen im Schlick.
Die Stunde ist Geisterstunde: Silvestermitternacht, ausgerufen in typisch zeitgenössischem Deutsch: Happy Neujahr! Und der Junge aus Büsum, der niemals wieder gefunden wird, wo ist der wohl geblieben? Sollte der wirklich nichts mit Erlkönigs Tochter zu tun gehabt haben?
Eine solche Vergleichzeitigung gibt es nur in der Poesie, und Gedichte wie dieses gelingen nicht oft. Immer sind es welthaltige, oft wirklichkeitssatte Gedichte, und fast immer ist Magie im poetischen Spiel, Sprachmagie, Traummagie – es sind Gedichte von Erlkönigs nie ganz geheurer aufmüpfiger Tochter.“

Peter Horst Neumann (23 april 1936 – 27 juli 2009)
De cover van „Erlkönigs Tochter“


De Oekraïense schrijver Andrey Kurkov werd geboren op 23 april 1961 in Leningrad. Zie ook alle tags voor Andrey Kurkov op dit blog.

Uit: Death and the Penguin (Vertaald door George Bird)

“He looked more like an aged athlete than a man of the Press. And maybe that’s how it was, except that his eyes betrayed a hint of irony born more of intellect and education than lengthy sessions in a gym.
« Have a seat. Spot of cognac?“ He accompanied these words with a lordly wave of the hand.
“I’d prefer coffee, if I may,”said Viktor, settling into a leather armchair facing the vast executive desk.
“Two coffees,” the Editor-in-Chief said picking up the phone. “Do you know,” he resumed amiably, “we’d only recently been talking about you, and yesterday in came our Assistant Arts Editor, Boris Leonardovich, with your little story. `Get an eyeful of this,’ said he. I did, and it’s good. And then it came to me why we’d been talking about you, and I thought we should meet.”
Viktor nodded politely. Igor Lvovich paused and smiled.
“Viktor Alekseyevich,” he resumed, “how about working for us?”
“Writing what?” asked Viktor, secretly alarmed at the prospect of a fresh spell of journalistic hard labour.
Igor Lvovich was on the point of explaining when the secretary came in with their coffee and a bowl of sugar on a tray, and he held his breath until she had gone.
“This is highly confidential,” he said. “What we’re after is a gifted obituarist, master of the succinct. Snappy, pithy, way-out stuff’s the idea. You with me?” He looked hopefully at Viktor.
“Sit in an office, you mean, and wait for deaths?” Viktor asked warily, as if fearing to hear as much confirmed.
“No, of course not! Far more interesting and responsible than that! What you’d have to do is create, from scratch, an index of obelisk jobs – as we call obituaries – to include deputies and gangsters, down to the cultural scene – that sort of person – while they’re still alive. But what I want is the dead written about as they’ve never been written about before. And your story tells me you’re the man.”
“What about payment?”
“You’d start at $300. Hours up to you. But keeping me informed, of course, who we’ve got carded. So we don’t get caught on the hop by some car crash out of the blue! Oh, and one other condition: you’ll need a pseudonym. In your own interest as much as anything.”

Andrey Kurkov (Leningrad, 23 april 1961)


De IJslandse schrijver Halldór Laxness (eig. Halldór Guðjónsson) werd geboren in Reykjavik op 23 april 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor Halldór Laxness op dit blog.

Uit:Paradise Reclaimed (Vertaald door Magnus Magnusson)

“He seldom had to wait very long for a lump of butter if there were any available. It was a pleasure to lay one’s face against his nose, which was softer than any maiden’s cheek; but Krapi never liked being caressed for long. As soon as he had got what he wanted he trotted away along the path and then broke into a sudden gallop as if something had frightened him, and did not pull up until he had rejoined the herd.
The summers in Iceland were long in those days. In the mornings and evenings the meadows were so green that they were red, and during the day the horizon was so blue that it was green. But throughout this remarkable play of colours (which no one paid any attention to or even noticed, for that matter) HlÃ?dar in SteinahlÃ?dar went on being one of those south-country farms where nothing very eventful ever happened except that the fulmar went on sweeping along the cliffs just as in great-grandfather’s day. On ledges and in crevices in the cliffs grew rose root and fern, angelica, brittle bladderfern and moonwort. The boulders kept on tumbling down as if the heartless cliff-troll were shedding stone tears. A good pony can occur on a farm once in a generation, with luck; but on some farms, never in a thousand years. From the sea, beyond the sands and marshes, for a thousand years, the murmur was always the same. Late in the hay-season, when the eggs were safely hatched, the oyster-catcher would arrive in red stockings and white shirt under a black silk jacket to strut aristocratically through the new-mown meadows, whistle, and depart. For all those centuries, Snati the farm-dog was just as full of his own importance as he trotted at the shepherd’s side behind the milch-ewes every morning, newly fed and with his tongue lolling out. On still summer days the sound of a scythe being hammered sharp would drift over from the neighbouring farm. There was rain on the way if the cows lay down in the meadow, particularly if they were all lying on the same side; but if there were a dry spell on the way they would bellow eleven times in a row at sunset. Always the same story.

Halldór Laxness (23 april 1902 – 8 februari 1998)
Portret door Einar Hakonarson, 1984


De Oostenrijkse dichteres Christine Busta werd geboren op 23 april 1915 in Wenen. Zie ook alle tags voor Christine Busta op dit blog.

Wo holt sich die Erde die himmlischen Kleider? 

Wo holt sich die Erde die himmlischen Kleider?
Beim Wettermacher, beim Wolkenschneider.
Sie braucht keine eitlen Samte und Seiden,
sie nimmt, was er hat, und trägt froh und bescheiden
das Regenschwere, das Flockenleichte,
das Schattenscheckige, Sonngebleichte,
das Mondgewobne und Sternbestickte,
das Windzerrissene, Laubgeflickte,
das Gockelrote, das Igelgraue,
das Ährengelbe, das Pflaumenblaue,
das Gräserkühle, das Nesselheiße,
das Hasenbraune, das Schwanenweiße –
und schlendert die Jahre hinauf und hinunter:
je schlichter, je lieber, je schöner; je bunter.


Stille Anweisung

Ruh dich aus,
Mir brauchst du das Gras nicht zu schneiden.
Lass es mitsamt dem unbändigen Unkraut
weiterwachsen auf meinem Hügel.

Horch lieber, ob dir nicht unter der Erde
eine schon dicht vergrünte Stimme
immer noch sagt:” Ich wachse dir zu…”

Christine Busta (23 april 1915 – 3 december 1987)
Wenen,  Schloss Schönbrunn


De Zwitserse schrijfster Adelheid Duvanel werd geboren op 23 april 1936 in Basel. Zie ook alle tags voor Adelheid Duvanel op dit blog.

Uit: Inner Tumult (Vertaald door Patricia H. Stanley)

“Through the open balcony door I can see a yellow plastic lounge chair next to the banister. Wotanek, seated at the table nearby, is using the little finger of his left hand to massage his broken incisor with such fervor that you would think he anticipates some effect from this massage. I’ve known Wotanek for a long time; his hunched-over posture is typical for him. When he was a little kid no one wanted to play with him, because he always dropped the ball. Later, he acquired the name “Dopey Motion” from his wife Helga, a true ice princess. On their wedding day she kissed him on the tip of his nose, and it immediately froze. I’ve known Helga only a short time, so I don’t know anything about her earlier life. She is a tall woman with hairy legs and always wears white gym shoes.
As a child Wotanek rebelled with a persistence that was astonishing. His rejection of the playing rules of our world was so effective that even his facial muscles gave up. In time he lived walled up, unrecognized, entirely in concealment. I suspect that this type of existence developed from an extraordinary sensitivity. He was an orphan and had never known his father, an apothecary, a man who, in his free time, filled lengthy strips of paper with attempts to solve a mathematical problem. Finally, taking the failure of his efforts to heart, he committed suicide. The mother had died some time before out of sorrow over this man. Because Wotanek was not able to mourn the death of his parents he secretly grieved when he saw bare branches that the wind swung about in front of the sky like pieces of a torn-up net unable to catch anything. Was there any prey besides the little Wotanek? Even the everlasting melancholy of the orphanage cat upset him, and there was no one with whom he would share his spiritual pain.
The boy’s seemingly stony composure irritated his teachers. He understood their non-comprehension but regarded them blissfully as his enemies and secretly hated them. Sometimes, however, this single joy abandoned him; then he believed he was a wart that would have to be cauterized.”

Adelheid Duvanel (23 april 1936 – 8 juli 1996)
Joe Duvanel: Adelheid mit Fuchs, 1967


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 23e april ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.