Martin R. Dean, Rainer Kirsch, Eelke de Jong, Alie Smeding, Paul Lomami Tshibamba, James Purdy, Roger Garaudy, Clara Viebig, Lilian Loke

De Zwitserse schrijver Martin R. Dean werd geboren op 17 juli 1955 in Menziken Aargau. Zie ook alle tags voor Martin R. Dean op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 17 juli 2010.

Uit:The Guyana Knot (Vertaald door Nadia Lawrence)

“First of all, I’ll lie down. You have to dream a city first, before you can take possession of it. Then I’ll take my clothes out of the suitcase and spread them around the room; I shove the heavy metal trunk with the work tools under the bed, to begin with. I won’t need it for my first appearance. Till then I’m a normal traveler.
The hotel room is a strange thing. The white walls radiate the blind concentration of a delivery room; towards evening they become crowded with colorful plays of light and shade, which gently heave and sway this way and that and simulate a deep ocean bed. One of the walls, the east wall, curves into the middle of the room with a wide, full angel’s swing. I felt as if I was in a submarine when I came in. There were the round windows too, molded in greyish cast iron, three bull’s eyes which lure you towards three different views.
In a certain evening light, the south window goes blind and reflects the Vittorio Emanuele monument. Behind that gleam the enormous incisors of the Colosseum. I think about the story of the hotel rooms I’ve stayed in while I’ve been on tour. In northern Germany, melancholy square double bedrooms with a rustic feel and a luxury that amazed me. Further north, purple or mustard patterned carpets, rooms which chilled or nauseated me, all of them overheated. Instead of enjoying a view of chimney pots or shrubby pedestrian precincts, I watched TV for hours at a time. Like someone chained to the bed, I shuddered at the sight of politicians, priests and sportsmen, waffling entertainers in gloomy brewery cellars.
Still further north, in Sweden, I was brought to a room completely lined in blood-red velvet. Outside it was pitch dark and cold, Stockholm in never-ending rain. I sat tight in that room; the blood-red walls flowed over my hands and feet, trickled over my body. I showered half a dozen times and switched on every available lamp. Rainwater clung to bull’s eye window panes as thick as my finger; the only window looked out onto a murky inner courtyard into which, I imagined, a small girl with red glowing eyes and a slit throat was throwing herself, over and over again. Stockholm, an ode full of blood; through my mind ran images of murder, incest, torture and refined methods of mutilation. After ten days I traveled on to Helsinki. There I was met by pure coffin wood, the euphoria of a hotel room lined with pale pinewood. Pinewood, wherever I looked: there wasn’t half an inch in this shack that wasn’t made of that wood. The bed and the walls, the rails and the shower, the breakfast dishes and the chairs and tables—everything was made of pinewood. Looking out of the window, I still saw nothing but pine trees, though in between was sand and a few heavy birches, and in the distance, where the wet black sky stuck, a dreary sea. Not the foamy, steel blue sea of the south, but a northern sea welded tightly into the horizon, heaving up and down, thick and filthy. Up here, life came to an end; obscene fact, everything lay limply on the ground and wallowed in its own oily daze.“

Martin R. Dean (Menziken, 17 juli 1955)

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Donald Davie

De Engelse dichter en criticus Donald Alfred Davie werd geboren op 17 juli 1922 in Barnsley, Yorkshire. Hij begon zijn opleiding aan de Barnsley Holgate Grammar School en doorliep later het St Catharine’s College in Cambridge. Zijn studies daar werden onderbroken tijdens de oorlog door zijn dienst bij de Koninklijke Marine in het Russiche deel van de Noordpool, waar hij zichzelf de taal leerde. In het laatste oorlogsjaar, in Devon, trouwde hij met Doreen John. Na zijn terugkeer in Cambridge, vervolgde hij zijn studie en behaalde hij zijn B.A., M.A. en Ph.D. Hij keerde terug naar Cambridge in 1958 en werd in 1964 de eerste hoogleraar Engels aan de nieuwe universiteit van Essex. Hij doceerde Engels aan de universiteit van Essex van 1964 tot 1968, toen hij verhuisde naar Stanford University, waar hij Yvor Winters opvolgde. In 1978 verhuisde hij naar de Vanderbilt University, waar hij les gaf tot zijn pensionering in 1988. Hij schreef vaak over de techniek van poëzie, zowel in boeken als “Purity of Diction in English Verse”, en in kleinere artikelen zoals ‘Some Notes on Rhythm in Verse’. Davie’s kritiek en poëzie worden beide gekenmerkt door zijn interesse in modernistische en pre-modernistische technieken. Veel van Davie’s poëzie is vergeleken met die van de traditionalistische Philip Larkin, maar andere werken zijn meer beïnvloed door Ezra Pound.


Across the Bay

A queer thing about those waters: there are no
Birds there, or hardly any.
I did not miss them, I do not remember
Missing them, or thinking it uncanny.

The beach so-called was a blinding splinter of limestone,
A quarry outraged by hulls.
We took pleasure in that: the emptiness, the hardness
Of the light, the silence, and the water’s stillness.

But this was the setting for one of our murderous scenes.
This hurt, and goes on hurting:
The venomous soft jelly, the undersides.
We could stand the world if it were hard all over.


In California

Chemicals ripen the citrus;
There are rattlesnakes in the mountains,
And on the shoreline
Hygiene, inhuman caution.

Beef in cellophane
Tall as giraffes,
The orange-rancher’s daughters
Crop their own groves, mistrustful.

Perpetual summer seems
Precarious on the littoral. We drive
Inland to prove
The risk we sense. At once

Winter claps-to like a shutter
High over the Ojai valley, and discloses
A double crisis,
Winter and Drought.

Ranges on mountain-ranges,
Empty, unwatered, crumbling,
Hot colours come at the eye.
It is too cold

For picnics at the trestle-tables. Claypit
Yellow burns on the distance.
The phantom walks
Everywhere, of intolerable heat.

At Ventucopa, elevation
Two-eight-nine-six, the water hydrant frozen,
Deserted or broken settlements,
Gasoline stations closed and boarded.

By nightfall, to the snows;
And over the mile on tilted
Mile of the mountain park
The bright cars hazarded.

Donald Davie (17 juli 1922 – 18 september 1995)