Uit: About Women: Conversations Between a Writer and a Painter (Met Francoise Gilot)
“LA: Although we were born of different generations an ocean apart, both our childhoods were impacted by war—yours by World Wars I and II, and mine by World War II, the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam. We read a lot about the effect of war on the combatants but not that much about its effect on civilians. Can you say something about how war affected you as a child?
FG: My maternal grandmother had five children, two of whom died when they were quite young, leaving two sons and my mother, the youngest. The child my grandmother loved best was named André. He was wounded at the front and died on November 1, 1918, from a shrapnel wound to the liver. The armistice occurred on November 11, 1918. Just when my grandmother thought that her two sons had escaped the war, she learned the tragic news. André was only twenty-three years old. She had had a special relationship with him, so for her it was as if life ended right then and there.
On the third floor of her home in Neuilly, there was a small room where her sons, my uncles, both of them officers, had collected all sorts of paraphernalia from the different phases of the war. Many photographs were pinned to the walls, as well as warmaps with little flags on pins for the various events. This room was left as it had been when André died. On the walls, one could see all these black-and-white photographs, some taken from the sky, of destroyed villages and cathedrals and bridges, charredforests, trenches. It was a room entirely full of destruction.
LA: Why did your uncles do this?
FG: I think they were so involved in the fight that destruction had grown inside them. They had had to withstand so much horror, and perhaps it was a catharsis to objectify their feelings on the walls of that room.
Years later, when I entered it for the first time, it felt very strange. I was five years old. It was quite frightening. There were also some half-exploded bombshells that looked like dark and ghostly flowers. My grandmother called that room the War Room.I thought it was the Death Room.”
Lisa Alther (Kingsport, 23 juli 1944)
Uit: Requiem for a Dream
“Like if youre beautiful you dont feel pain or have dreams or know the despair of loneliness. Why should you be unhappy, youre so beautiful? My God they drive me nuts, like all I am is a beautiful body and nothing else. Not once, never, have they ever tried to love the real me, to love me for what I am, to love me for my mind.”
„They laughed and put their arms around each other and kissed, first gently, then more passionately, and Harry pulled his face back a few inches and looked lovingly at Marion, I love you, and kissed her on the tip of her nose, her eyelids, her cheeks, then her soft lips, her chin, her neck, her ears, then nuzzled his face in her hair and caressed her back with his hands and breathed her name in her ear, Marion, Marion, I love you, and she gently moved with the flow and felt his words and kisses and feelings flow through her, easing away all her problems, her doubts, her fears, her anxieties and she felt warm and alive and vital. She felt loved. She felt necessary. Harry felt real and substantial. He could feel all the loose pieces starting to fall into place. He felt on the verge of something momentous. They felt whole. They felt united. Though they were still on the couch they felt a part of the vastness of the sky and the stars and moon. They were somehow on the crest of a hill with a gentle breeze blowing Marions hair flowingly; and walking through a sunlit woods and flower studded field feeling the freedom of the birds as they flew through the air chirping and singing and the night was comfortingly warm as the soft filtered light continued to push the darkness into the shadows as they held each other and kissed and pushed each others darkness into the corner, believing in each others light, each others dream.”
Hubert Selby jr. (23 juli 1928 – 26 april 2004)
Uit: Blackmailers Don’t Shoot
„The man in the powderblue suit — which wasn’t powder-blue under the lights of the Club
Bolivar — was tall, with wide-set gray eyes, a thin nose, a jaw of stone. He had a rather sensitive mouth. His hair was crisp and black, ever so faintly touched with gray, as by an almost diffident hand. His clothes fitted him as though they had a soul of their own, not just a doubtful past. His name happened to be Mallory.
He held a cigarette between the strong, precise fingers of one hand. He put the other hand flat on the white tablecloth, and said: “The letters will cost you ten grand, Miss Farr. That’s not too much.”
He looked at the girl opposite him very briefly; then he looked across empty tables towards the heart-shaped space of floor where the dancers prowled under shifting colored lights.
They crowded the customers around the dance-floor so closely that the perspiring waiters had to balance themselves like tightrope walkers to get between the tables. But near where Mallory sat were only four people.
A slim, dark woman was drinking a highball across the table from a man whose fat red neck glistened with damp bristles. The woman stared into her glass morosely, and fiddled with a big silver flask in her lap. Farther alongtwo bored, frowning men smoked long thin cigars, without speaking to each other.
Mallory said thoughtfully: “Ten grand does it nicely, Miss Farr.”
Rhonda Farr was very beautiful. She was wearing, for this occasion, all black, except a collar of white fur, light as thistledown, on her evening wrap. Except also a white wig which, meant to disguise her, made her look very girlish. Her eyes were cornflower blue, and she had the sort of skin an old rake dreams of.“
Raymond Chandler (23 juli 1888 – 26 maart 1959)
Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:
“Ich spürte den Windzug seiner Bewegungen. Was soll’s, dachte ich. Ich versuchte, mich nicht um ihn zu kümmern.
Nach einer Weile kam ich an einer Markthalle vorbei. Sie war voller Menschen. An den Ständenwurden Gurken oder grüne Bohnen feilgeboten. In der Mitte der Halle gab es eine offene Kanalisation. Die graubraune Brühe stank fürchterlich.Trotzdem drängten immer mehr Menschen hinein.
“Wissen Sie, was die Leute hier machen?”
Ich schüttelte den Kopf. “Sie tun so, als ob sie einkaufen. Klingt komisch, aber so ist es. Alle tun so, als ob. Verrückt, finden Sie nicht?”
Ich seufzte. “Na los, sagen Sie mir wohin, und ich bringe Sie hin.”
Wir gingen zurück zum Parque de Céspedes. Auf dem Weg kamen wir an der barocken Kathedrale vorbei. Es war eines der wenigen Gebäude, von denen nicht der Verputz abblätterte. Die Fassade erstrahlte in sattem Gelb. Auf den Stufen der Kathedrale saß ein dicker Mulatte. Er hatte ein breites, hässliches Gesicht mit einer platten Nase. Ernesto begrüßte ihn. Der Mulatte hieß Miguel. Er war Schuhputzer.
Miguel bestand darauf, mir seinen Schemel zu zeigen. Er hatte ihn selbst gezimmert.
Wir gingen über die Straße. Miguel hatte sich unter dem Vordach eines mehrstöckigen Mietshauses eingerichtet. Er zeigte mir Stolz seinen Schemel. Es war ein gewöhnlicher Hocker, wie ich ihn auf Kuba häufiger gesehen hatte. Nicht besonders stabil, da die Seiten aus dünnem Sperrholz gefertigt waren.
“Warten Sie, Sie können ein Foto von uns machen.”
Ernesto setzte sich auf den Schemel. Er stellte die Füße auf das Trittbrett. Miguel nahm eine Bürste aus einer Holzkiste und begann Ernestos Schuhe zu putzen.”
Matthias Spiegel (Bad Dürkheim,1970)
Ze is me vergeten
Ze is me
zij kan dat.
Ik zit hier nog in de
ruïnes van onze relatie,
hier de computer met de
gebroken antenne zodat
internet niet meer werkt,
daar het bos van onze
Toen was het er nog groen en geel
maar nu is het bladertapijt
zompig bruin en de lucht
groot en grijs.
Ik trek voorbij deze
vlagen als een kreupele
kust een flintertje zonlicht
m’n gezicht en dan verdwijnt
de kramp uit m’n rug:
de mist heeft een einde.
Tim Reus (Enkhuizen, 1990)