Roddy Doyle, Thomas Pynchon, Pat Barker, Gary Snyder, Gertrud Fussenegger, Edmund Wilson, Romain Gary, Alain-René Lesage, Sophus Schandorph

De Ierse schrijver Roddy Doyle werd geboren in Dublin op 8 mei 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Roddy Doyle op dit blog.


“Gloria Kelly lay in bed. She was wide awake. She knew her brother, Raymond, was too. She could tell by the way he was breathing. It was awake breath. He was lying there, thinking and listening. Sleep breath was different. It was longer and lighter, less in and out.
‘Rayzer?’ she whispered,
Raymond didn’t answer. But she didn’t care.
She liked sharing the bedroom. Although she knew Raymond didn’t. She didn’t care about that either. She could like it in secret. She didn’t have to tell him.
She’d been moved into Raymond’s room when their Uncle Ben had come to live with them. For a while. That was what her mam and dad had said. Uncle Ben would be staying ‘for a while’. At first her mother had called it ‘a little while’. But the ‘little’ had disappeared when Uncle Ben kept staying, and Gloria began to think that her bedroom wasn’t hers any more. And Raymond, she supposed, began to think the same thing. His room had become their room.
She looked into her room sometimes, when her Uncle Ben wasn’t in there. He hadn’t done anything to it. He hadn’t touched her pictures or her other stuff. It was still pink, nearly everything in it. The only really new thing in the room was her Uncle Ben’s smell. It was kind of an adult smell. A mixture of soap and sweatiness. There were none of his clothes lying around, and just one book that wasn’t hers. She’d looked at the cover but it had looked boring, about a war or something. Except for the fact that she didn’t sleep or play in there any more, it was still Gloria’s room. So maybe her Uncle Ben really was only staying for a while – but the while was a bit longer than they’d expected.
He still wouldn’t answer.
She didn’t like her bed. It wasn’t a real bed. It was just a mattress on the floor. She’d liked it at first. It had been fun, nearly like camping. But not now. Her face was sometimes right against the wall, low down, at the skirting board, nearly where it joined the floor. It was cold there. Always – even when the rest of the room was warm. And she could hear things sometimes – she thought she could. Behind the skirting board.”

Roddy Doyle (Dublin, 8 mei 1958)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Thomas Pynchon werd op 8 mei 1937 geboren in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Pynchon op dit blog.

Uit: Inherent Vice

“Okay, Doc. He’s married.”
“Some…; money situation.”
She shook back hair that wasn’t there and raised her eyebrows so what.
Groovy with Doc. “And the wife—she knows about you?”
Shasta nodded. “But she’s seeing somebody too. Only it isn’t just the usual—they’re working together on some creepy little scheme.”
“To make off with hubby’s fortune, yeah, I think I heard of that happenin once or twice around L.A. And…; you want me to do what, exactly?” He found the paper bag he’d brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight–chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well–known hardon Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did.
They went in the front room and Doc laid down on the couch and Shasta stayed on her feet and sort of drifted around the place.
“Is, they want me in on it,” she said. “They think I’m the one who can reach him when he’s vulnerable, or as much as he ever gets.”
“Bareass and asleep.”
“I knew you’d understand.”
“You’re still trying to figure out if it’s right or wrong, Shasta?”
“Worse than that.” She drilled him with that gaze he remembered so well. When he remembered. “How much loyalty I owe him.”

Thomas Pynchon (Glen Cove, 8 mei 1937)


De Engelse schrijfster Pat Barker werd geboren in Thornaby-on-Tees op 8 mei 1943. Zie ook alle tags voor Pat Barker op dit blog.

Uit: The Ghost Road

“She was scrabbling in her handbag, dislodging bus tickets, comb, purse, producing, finally, a packet of Woodbines. She let the cigarette dangle wetly from her lower lip while she groped for the matches. Her lips were plump, a pale salmon pink at the centre, darkening to brownish red at the edges. She glanced up, caught him looking at her, and flushed, not with pleasure — his lust was too blatant to be flattering— but drawn by it, nevertheless, into the memory of her unencumbered girlhood.
Her mother was helping the little boy step into his drawers, his hand a dimpled starfish on her broad shoulder. The flare of the match caught her attention. Tor God’s sake, Louie,’ she snapped. ‘If you could only see how common you look…’
Louie’s gaze hadn’t moved. Her mother turned and squinted up into the sun, seeing the characteristic silhouette that said ‘officer’. ‘Look for the thin knees,’ German snipers were told, but where they saw prey this woman saw a predator. If he’d been a private she’d have asked him what the bloody hell he thought he was gawping at. As it was, she said, ‘Nice weather we’re having, sir.’
Prior smiled, amused, recognizing his mother’s speech, the accent of working-class gentility. ‘Let’s hope it lasts.’
He touched his cap and withdrew, thinking, as he strolled off, that the girl was neither a widow nor married. The way the mother’s voice had cracked with panic over that word ‘common’ said it all.
Louie’s knees were by no means glued together, even after the child. And her mother was absolutely right, with that fag stuck in her mouth she did look common. Gloriously, devastatingly, fuckably common.
He ought to be getting back to barracks. He had his medical in less than an hour, and it certainly wouldn’t do to arrive gasping. He had no business to be drifting along the front looking at girls. But he looked anyway, hoarding golden fuzz on a bare arm, the bluish shadow between breasts thrust together by stays, breathing in lavender sharpened by sweat.”

Pat Barker (Thornaby-on-Tees, 8 mei 1943)

De Amerikaanse dichter Gary Snyder werd geboren op 8 mei 1930 in San Francisco. Zie ook alle tags voor Gary Snyder op dit blog.

Beneath My Hand And Eye The Dis­tant Hills, Your Body

What my hand fol­lows on your body
Is the line. A stream of love
of heat, of light, what my
eye las­civ­i­ous
over watch­ing
far snow-dappled Uin­tah moun­tains
Is that stream
Of power. what my
hand curves over, fol­low­ing the line.
“hip” and “groin”
Where “I”
fol­low by hand and eye
the swim­ming limit of your body.
As when vision idly dal­lies on the hills
Lov­ing what it feeds on.
soft cin­der cones and craters;
-Drum Hadley in the Pinacate
took ten min­utes more to look again-
A leap of power unfurl­ing:
left, right-right-
My heart beat faster look­ing
at the snowy Uin­tah Moun­tains.
What “is” within not know
but feel it
sink­ing with a breath
pusht ruth­less, surely, down.
Beneath this long caress of hand and eye
“we” learn the flow­er­ing burn­ing,
out­ward, from “below”.


A Dent in a Bucket

Hammering a dent out of a bucket
a woodpecker
answers from the woods

Gary Snyder (San Francisco, 8 mei 1930)

De Oostenrijkse schrijfster Gertrud Fussenegger werd geboren op 8 mei 1912 in Pilsen. Zie ook alle tags voor Gertrud Fussenegger op dit blog.

Uit: Das verschüttete Antlitz

„Er hätte nicht lügen, vielmehr, er hätte besser lügen sollen. Er war zu verwirrt, ihm kam die Nachricht zu plötzlich, ein niederschmettender Schlag.( Dabei stand sie seit dem Morgen in allen Zeitungen). So wußte er nichts,als er auf das Gericht kam und sie ihn fragten. „ Ich kennne sie nicht, Ihre Tote“, hatte er gesagt. „Kenne keine Helena Jacubowska,“( Und war´s nicht auch so)“ was soll ich mit ihr zu schaffen haben?“
Aber sie war es,konnte niemand anderes sein. Es stand alles so elend genau in der Beschreibung: der grüne Sweater, der schwarze Rock, die Pelzjacke mit den kahlgescheuerten Knöpfen und dem abgestoßenem Saum. Arme, erniedrigte, vom Leben zerdrückte Kreatur! Und doch hatte sie sich gewehrt- in Zemans Herz glühte etwas auf wie Genugtuung. Sie hatte sich gewehrt gegen das Äußerste, Letzte, Infamste; hatte sich gewehrt, verzweifelt, unter Einsatz des Lebens, um den Preis des Lebens.
Niemand braucht zu wissen, wer sie war: das hatte sie sich verdient, wie sie dort lag. Er, Zeman,würde sie morgen sehen; sie hatten ihn noch einmal vorgeladen. Er wollte sich wappnen gegen diesen Anblick. Warum hatte er Angst davor? Es war ihm schon so viel Schlimmes unter die Augen gekommen, ihr Anblick würde das Ärgste nicht sein. Er würde sich nicht ergeben; würde wiederholen: “Ich kenne sie nicht“. Gegen eine Aussage, die sich gleichbleibt, kommt kein Augenschein auf. Laut schrie er, gegen den Wind ankämpfend: “Ich kenne sie nicht“.

Gertrud Fussenegger (8 mei 1912 – 19 maart 2009)


De Amerikaanse schrijver en criticus Edmund Wilson werd geboren op 8 mei 1895 in Red Bank, New Jersey. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund Wilson op dit blog.

Uit:The Sixties

“I have decided that the best thing to travel with — New York last winter and Israel last spring — is a volume of Balzac. You sink into the familiar Balzac world with the familiar Balzac characters. In the end, you may become disgusted by his sketchy and implausible inventions — which must have been written when he had become too tired — and repelled by his inveterate habit of having the good people undone or destroyed by the bad. But I was reading a particularly good one, “La Rabouilleuse.” Wellfleet, Spring 1969
My 74th birthday. I spent the day in sloth and the doldrums. Champagne at lunch — Svetlana [ Alliluyeva, Stalin’s daughter ] insisted on making the cork pop to the ceiling. My not being able to make love, not being able to swim or take much exercise and now, with my lower teeth gone, not being able to eat anything but the softest food is getting me down and making me feel frustrated. Had some drinks and went to sleep very early, but had bad dreams and woke up feeling horrible — partly from worrying about Svetlana and how to write about her. But read Macaulay and somewhat regained my equanimity and my inspiration to live. Talcottville, Spring 1969
It sometimes seems to me strange that I am still alive and writing this diary.
At moments, especially when reading in bed, I have a brief comfortable feeling of renewal of something in the past — through a book, a passing contact with some old phase of life, something I recognize, a reassurance cropping up in my now infirm self. New York, Autumn 1969
In New York, working on proofs, I found myself quite comfortable and competent again and began to put together in my mind a new volume of literary essays. This gave me satisfaction — something solid and real in my mind that I shall gradually bring into being. New York, Spring 1970.“

Edmund Wilson (8 mei 1895 – 14 juni 1972)


De Franse schrijver Alain-René Lesage werd geboren op 8 mei 1668 in Sarzeau. Zie ook alle tags voor Alain-René Lesage op dit blog.

Uit: Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane

« Il ne pouvait rien me proposer qui me fût plus agréable car je mourais d’envie de voir le pays. Cependant j’eus assez de force sur moi pour cacher ma joie ; et lorsqu’il fallut partir, ne paraissant sensible qu’à la douleur de quitter un oncle à qui j’avais tant d’obligation, j’attendris le bonhomme, qui me donna plus d’argent qu’il ne m’en aurait donné qu’il eût pu lire au fond de mon âme. Avant mon départ j’allai embrasser mon père et ma mère, qui ne m’épargnèrent pas les remontrances. Ils m’exhortèrent à prier Dieu pour mon oncle, à vivre en honnête homme, à ne me point engager dans de mauvaises affaires, et, sur toutes choses, à ne pas prendre le bien d’autrui. Après qu’ils m’eurent très longtemps harangué, ils me firent présent de leur bénédiction, qui était le seul bien que j’attendais d’eux. Aussitôt je montai sur ma mule, et sortis de la ville.
Me voilà donc hors d’Oviédo, sur le chemin de Peñaflor, au milieu de la campagne, maître de mes actions, d’une mauvaise mule et de quarante bons ducats, sans compter quelques réaux que j’avais volés à mon très honoré oncle. La première chose que je fis fut de laisser ma mule aller à discrétion, c’est-à-dire au petit pas. Je lui mis la bride sur le cou, et, tirant de ma poche mes ducats, je commençai à les compter et recompter dans mon chapeau. Je n’étais pas maître de ma joie. Je n’avais jamais vu autant d’argent. Je ne pouvais me lasser de le regarder et de le manier. Je le comptais peut-être pour la vingtième fois, quand tout à coup ma mule, levant la tête et les oreilles, s’arrêta au milieu du grand chemin. Je jugeai que quelque chose l’effrayait ; je regardai ce que ce pouvait être : j’aperçus sur la terre un chapeau renversé sur lequel il y avait un rosaire à gros grains, et en même temps j’entendis une voix lamentable qui prononça ces paroles : Seigneur passant, ayez pitié, de grâce, d’un pauvre soldat estropié ; jetez, s’il vous plaît, quelques pièces d’argent dans ce chapeau ; vous en serez récompensé dans l’autre monde. Je tournai aussitôt les yeux du côté que partait la voix ; je vis au pied d’un buisson, à vingt ou trente pas de moi, une espèce de soldat qui, sur deux bâtons croisés, appuyait le bout d’une escopette qui me parut plus longue qu’une pique, et avec laquelle il me couchait en joue.”

Alain-René Lesage (8 mei 1668 – 17 november 1747)
Illustratie uit Gil Blas


De Deense schrijver Sophus Schandorph werd geboren op 8 mei 1836 in Ringstedt. Zie ook alle tags voor Sophus Schandorph op dit blog.

Uit: Stina Becomes a Farmer’s Wife (vertaald door Sally Ryan)

“No; if only we don’t have to buy fodder for the cattle before winter is over.”

“That might be bad enough,” said Stina sullenly, and turned away from the man. Perhaps this discouraged him from further attempts at conversation. He turned toward her several times, clearing his throat and mumbling, “Well, well, begosh! Ye-e-es.” –What was there to be said to that?–Then, as he did not receive the least response, he fell into a silence, perhaps into a reverie. He bent forward, placed his whip between his legs, the handle leaning against his right thigh, and left the two sorrels to do as they pleased. At their present pace it was out of the question for them to cover four miles an hour, and yet the perspiration formed big flakes of foam on their loins and backs.
No sound was heard except the heavy, monotonous creaking of the axles and a slight rattling of the harness when the horses shook themselves to get rid of the “blind flies” that buzzed around the carriage and sometimes, with a short, faintly snapping sound, hit the leather cover which protected the travelers.
The owner of the spring-cart was roused from his drowsiness by a motion of the girl beside him. Again he glanced sideways at her, and saw her untie the knot in the red and white dotted cotton kerchief which was covering the bundle in her lap. Inside was a parcel wrapped in a newspaper. She opened it, took out a big round of rye bread covered with smoked sausage, and broke the bread in two parts. With a nod she offered her host one of these, without, however, looking at him.
“Thanks to him who offers,” murmured the farmer. Each devoured his half of the round with due composure. It was succeeded by an other covered with green cheese. This slice was also broken in two by its proprietress who then repeated her silent invitation.”

Sophus Schandorph (8 mei 1836 – 1 januari 1901)
Portret door P.S. Krøyer, 1895


De Franse schrijver, vertaler regisseur en diplomaat Romain Gary werd geboren op 8 mei 1914 in Vilnius, Litouwen. Zie ook alle tags voor Romain Gary op dit blog.

Uit: La promesse de l’aube

« Nous restâmes là une heure, deux heures sans nous parler. Puis elle me demanda d’aller tirer les rideaux. Je tirai les rideaux. J’hésitai un moment et puis je levai les yeux au ciel, pour lui éviter d’avoir à me le demander. Je demeurai ainsi un bon coup, les yeux levés à la lumière. C’était à peu près tout ce que je pouvais faire pour elle. On resta là, tous les trois, en silence. Je n’avais même pas besoin de me tourner vers elle pour savoir qu’elle pleurait. Et je n’étais même pas sûr que c’était de moi qu’il s’agissait. Puis j’allai m’asseoir dans le fauteuil en face du lit. J’ai vécu dans ce fauteuil quarante-huit heures. Je gardai presque tout le temps ma casquette et mon cuir et mon mégot: j’avais besoin d’amitié. A un moment, elle me demanda si j’avais des nouvelles de ma Hongroise, Ilona. Je lui dis que non.
– Il te faut une femme à côté de toi, dit-elle, avec conviction.
Je lui dis que tous les hommes en étaient là.
– Ce sera plus difficile pour toi que pour les autres, dit-elle.
Nous jouâmes un peu à la belote. Elle fumait toujours autant, mais elle me dit que les médecins ne le lui défendaient plus. Ce n’était évidemment plus la peine de se gêner. Elle fumait, en m’observant attentivement, et je sentais bien qu’elle faisait des plans. Mais j’étais très loin de me douter de ce qu’elle était en train de combiner. Car je suis convaincu que ce fut à ce moment-là qu’elle eut, pour la première fois, sa petite idée. Je surprenais bien, dans son regard, une expression de ruse, et je savais bien qu’elle avait une idée en tête, mais je ne pouvais vraiment pas deviner, même la connaissant comme je la connaissais, qu’elle pouvait aller aussi loin. Je parlai un peu au médecin: il était rassurant. Elle pouvait tenir encore le coup pendant quelques années. «Le diabète, vous savez…», me dit-il, d’un air entendu. Le troisième jour, au soir, j’allai dîner au Masséna et j’y tombai sur un mynheer hollandais, lequel se rendait par avion en Afrique du Sud pour «se mettre à l’abri de l’invasion allemande qui se préparait». Sans aucune provocation de ma part, se fiant sans doute à mon uniforme d’aviateur, il me demanda si je pouvais lui présenter une femme. Quand j’y pense, le nombre de gens qui m’ont fait la même requête, dans ma vie, est assez inquiétant. J’avais pourtant toujours cru que j’avais l’air distingué. Je lui dis que je n’étais pas en forme, ce soir-là. Il m’annonça que toute sa fortune se trouvait déjà en Afrique du Sud et nous allâmes célébrer cette bonne nouvelle au «Chat Noir».”

Romain Gary (9 mei 1914 – 2 december 1980)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e mei ook mijn blog van 8 mei 2016 deel 2.