Christopher Isherwood, Laura van der Haar, C. B. Vaandrager, Paula Hawkins, Joachim Helfer, Guillaume Apollinaire, Rashid Al-Daif


De Brits-Amerikaanse schrijver Christopher Isherwood werd geboren op 26 augustus 1904 in Disley in het graafschap Cheshire in Engeland. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Christopher Isherwood op dit blog.

Uit: Christopher and His Kind

« The train moved on again. For the first time in his life, he found himself entering a foreign country without official permission. If Heinz had been with him, what could the lawyer have done but accept the accomplished fact and somehow arrange for Heinz to remain in Belgium?
Next morning, the lawyer left Brussels by car for Trier, as he had promised. That night he returned, alone. He told Christopher that he had duly met Heinz at the hotel. Heinz had assured him that he hadn’t been questioned, hadn’t aroused anybody’s curiosity. They had gone to the consulate and got the visa. Then, just as they were about to start on their return journey, some Gestapo agents had appeared. They had asked to see Heinz’s papers and had then taken him away with them. They had told the lawyer that Heinz was under arrest as a draft evader. Before leaving Trier, the lawyer had consulted a German lawyer and engaged him to defend Heinz at his forthcoming trial.
A day or two after the arrest, the German lawyer came from Trier to Brussels to discuss the tactics of Heinz’s defense. He was a Nazi Party member in good standing and had the boundless cynicism of one who is determined to survive under any conceivable political conditions. Christopher, in his present hyper-emotional state, found a strange relief in talking to him, because he seemed utterly incapable of sympathy. Heinz was now in four kinds of potential trouble: He had attempted to change his nationality. (This could almost certainly be concealed from the prosecution.) He had consorted with a number of prominent anti-Nazis, most of them Jews. (This could probably be concealed or, at worst, excused as having been Christopher’s fault.) He had been guilty of homosexual acts. (This couldn’t be co-directors that what they need is the spirit of the merchant-adventurers. He hates the banks. He hates public companies, because they aren’t allowed to take risks. He particularly enjoys ragging the pompous U.S.A. businessmen. Somebody once cabled him from New York: ‘Believe market has touched bottom.’ Potter cabled back: `Whose?’ At board meetings he lies on a sofa—ostensibly because he once had a bad leg; actually because this position gives him a moral advantage. He and his colleagues tell each other dirty limericks and the very serious-minded secretary takes them all down in shorthand—because, as he once explained, he thought they might be in code.
Much less willingly, Wystan and Christopher also became the captive audience of a young man with whom they had to share their table in the second-class dining room. He was a rubber planter, returning from leave in England to a plantation near Singapore. I will call him White.“


Christopher Isherwood (26 augustus 1904 – 4 januari 1986)
Scene uit de gelijknamige tv-film uit 2011


De Nederlandse dichteres Laura van der Haar werd geboren in Groningen in op 26 augustus 1982. Zie ook alle tags voor Laura van der Haar op dit blog.



rottende slootkant, stofhooi, seks in de bosjes, festivalkots
klein straatgedierte sterft in roosters, vogels
walmen na op het wegdek

de zomer is begonnen

overal klinkt zacht gelik
aan ijsjes, liefjes, hondenanussen
autogeronk, bericht voor een meisje, plus het meisje
dat voorzichtig in haar handen wrijft

de smeulende resten van een barbecue
waar het vlees weer redelijk lekker was
rolschaatsers, rochelaars en wespen

die vroege zomer
net als de bosjes

hoeveel splinters zal haar lijf blijven verdragen
voordat ze meer hout is dan mens


Laura van der Haar (Groningen, 26 augustus 1982)



De Nederlandse schrijver en dichter Cornelis Bastiaan Vaandrager werd geboren in Rotterdam op 26 augustus 1935. Zie ook alle tags voor C. B. Vaandrager op dit blog.



Weinig gekend, ondanks
wimpels die waaien al heen en al weer.
Notere wij: oranjeband, oranjeding,
oranjedoek, oranjeboven, kwast,
sliert, slinger. Doekje met bal,
puntige vlag, staart, vlinder,
flappertje, franje.
Kostelijke redding: kindje van vlag.



Met andere ogen

Zaterdagochtend is het en verdacht
dinamies in de stad.
Ik ben vrij.
Om te rijden.
Om een bezoek af te leggen. Aan wie
ik wil.
ik wil.
ik wil. Ik haast mij, want haast
– maar een brug, een onmogelijke brug is dat
niet verdacht dinamies?
En kranig (?)
Stervenslangzaam passeert er 1 elevator.
Tarwe barst los in een ruim.
Een indruk
waaraan ik me niet kan onttrekken:
bepaalde personen worden op mijn weg bepaald vijandig
aan mijn oog onttrokken.

(Ik zie het met andere ogen:
dezelfde stad,
hetzelfde solide reisdoel
met andere ogen.)

Maar ik dwaal af. Ik bedoel
dit: ik heb zo mijn waterdichte dagdroom
en ben serieus onthutst
door het plotseling kalmeren van mijn pedalen.


C. B. Vaandrager (26 augustus 1935 – 18 maart 1992)



De Britse schrijfster Paula Hawkins werd geboren op 26 augustus 1972 en groeide op in Salisbury (het huidige Harare in Zimbabwe) in Rhodesië. Zie ook alle tags voor Paula Hawkins op dit blog.

Uit:The Girl on the Train

“I’ve been kept waiting. The appointment was for half an hour ago, and I’m still here, sitting in the reception room flicking through Vogue, thinking about getting up and walking out. I know doctors’ appointments run over, but therapists? Films have always led me to believe that they kick you out the moment your thirty minutes are up. I suppose Hollywood isn’t really talking about the kind of therapist you get referred to on the National Health Service.
I’m just about to go up to the receptionist to tell her that I’ve waited long enough, I’m leaving, when the doctor’s office door swings open and this very tall, lanky man emerges, looking apologetic and holding out his hand to me.
“Mrs. Hipwell, I am so sorry to have kept you waiting,” he says, and I just smile at him and tell him it’s all right, and I feel, in this moment, that it will be all right, because I’ve only been in his company for a moment or two and already I feel soothed.
I think it’s the voice. Soft and low. Slightly accented, which I was expecting, because his name is Dr. Kamal Abdic. I guess he must be midthirties, although he looks very young with his incredible dark honey skin. He has hands I could imagine on me, long and delicate fingers, I can almost feel them on my skin.
We don’t talk about anything substantial, it’s just the introductory session, the getting-to-know-you stuff; he asks me what the trouble is and I tell him about the panic attacks, the insomnia, the fact that I lie awake at night too frightened to fall asleep. He wants me to talk a bit more about that, but I’m not ready yet. He asks me whether I take drugs, drink alcohol. I tell him I have other vices these days, and I catch his eye and I think he knows what I mean. Then I feel as if I ought to be taking this a bit more seriously, so I tell him about the gallery closing and that I feel at a loose end all the time, my lack of direction, the fact that I spend too much time in my head. He doesn’t talk much, just the occasional prompt, but I want to hear him speak, so as I’m leaving I ask him where he’s from.
“Maidstone,” he says, “in Kent. But I moved to Corly a few years back.” He knows that wasn’t what I was asking; he gives me a wolfish smile.”


Paula Hawkins (Salisbury, 26 augustus 1972)



De Duitse schrijver Joachim Helfer werd geboren in Bonn op 26 augustus 1964. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Joachim Helfer op dit blog.

Uit: To call a spade a spade

“More than a decade after Rashid and I were paired in the West-East-Divan literary exchange project, the fruit of our encounter remains quite undigested. Many find it hard to swallow, if not poisonous. Few even agree on what it is: Did Rashid write a (self)-ironic piece of fiction about two fictional characters, Joachim and Rashid? So say those who seem to feel that his original text, published without my comments in Arabic under the title “The German returns to his senses”, requires such premises in order to be consumed safely. Rashid himself, of course, never provided such reader’s guidance: It’s not the writer’s job to interpret his own text; much less to prescribe any ‘correct’ ways to read it. Those who read Rashid’s text as a macho-provocation, as both illustration and justification of their prejudices against heterosexual men – ‘oriental’ on top of it! – were certainly free to do so.
Or did Rashid write a both warm- and light-hearted, but fundamentally earnest anthropological study on me, the real Joachim, and himself, the real Rashid? So say I, with what I believe are good critical arguments. Fictionalising real events entails changing names, places, and circumstances beyond recognition. An accomplished writer like Rashid obviously knows those literary standard-techniques. Had he desired to fictionalise what he experienced with me, he had done so. He also masters the register of irony, and the markers such as all-out hyperbole conventionally used to flag it. Signs of both fictionalisation and irony are, however, conspicuously absent in the longest stretch of his text. They only appear, tellingly together, in the very last scene: The wedding party which is, unlike the rest of the text, indeed fictional. It is precisely the absence of such conventional irony, I hasten to add, that Rashid should be praised for. Had he actually, as his apologists maintain he has, written a tongue-in-cheek novella on one German’s Damascus-experience of conversion from gay Saul to straight Paul – the booklet would be rightly forgotten. Rashid wanted to do something more daring.”


Joachim Helfer (Bonn, 26 augustus 1964)
Cover van Rashid al-Daif en Joachim Helfer (2015): What Makes a Man? Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin



De Franstalige schrijver en dichter Guillaume Apollinaire werd in Parijs geboren op 26 augustus 1880. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Guillaume Apollinaire op dit blog.



Dans la Haute-Rue à Cologne
Elle allait et venait le soir
Offerte à tous en tout mignonne
Puis buvait lasse des trottoirs
Très tard dans les brasseries borgnes

Elle se mettait sur la paille
Pour un maquereau roux et rose
C’était un juif il sentait l’ail
Et l’avait venant de Formose
Tirée d’un bordel de Changaï

Je connais gens de toutes sortes
Ils n’égalent pas leurs destins
Indécis comme feuilles mortes
Leurs yeux sont des feux mal éteints
Leurs cœurs bougent comme leurs portes.



Carte postale

Je t’écris de dessous la tente
Tandis que meurt ce jour d’été
Où floraison éblouissante
Dans le ciel à peine bleuté
Une canonnade éclatante
Se fane avant d’avoir été



La porte

La porte de l’hôtel sourit terriblement
Qu’est-ce que cela peut me faire ô ma maman
D’être cet employé pour qui seul rien n’existe
Pi-mus couples allant dans la profonde eau triste
Anges frais débarqués à Marseille hier matin
J’entends mourir et remourir un chant lointain
Humble comme je suis qui ne suis rien qui vaille


Enfant je t’ai donné ce que j’avais travaille


Guillaume Apollinaire (26 augustus 1880 – 9 november 1918)
Hier met echtgenote Jacqueline in 1918



Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:

De Libanese schrijver Rashid Al-Daif werd in 1945 geboren in Ehden bij Zgharta in het noorden van Libanon. Zie ook alle tags voor Rashid Al-Daif op dit blog.

Uit: Die Verschwulung der Welt (Samen met Joachim Helfer)

„Die Beziehung zwischen Mann und Frau, Ehe, Scheidung, Kinder, Singledasein, Zusammenwohnen, freie Liebe, Trennung zwischen Sex und Liebe, Sex und Liebe als Einheit … All diese Themen interessieren mich brennend, und ich versuche soviel wie möglich darüber zu erfahren, wie die Welt mit ihnen umgeht.
Für Homosexualität hatte ich mich dagegen bisher nur allgemein interessiert, gerade so, wie man sich als nicht direkt Betroffener dafür interessiert, denn ich lebe in einer Gesellschaft, die Männlichkeit feiert und verehrt und sie bei jeder Gelegenheit stolz demonstriert. Ein Vater wird bei uns mit dem Namen seines erstgeborenen Sohnes tituliert, und dieser erhält den Namen des Großvaters. Schon die alten arabischen Kritiker haben die großen Dichter ihrer Zeit als »Hengste« (fuhul) bezeichnet. Homosexualität gilt bei uns als etwas Anstößiges und Schandhaftes, das es zu unterdrücken gilt, ja als ein strafbares Vergehen. Homosexuelle werden als »Anormale« (sadd) bezeichnet, und homosexueller Verkehr gilt als ein widernatürlicher Akt. Ich achte ständig sehr darauf, eine Distanz zum Verhalten, zu den Begrifflichkeiten und den Ideologien der Gesellschaft zu bewahren, der ich angehöre, und stelle die Überzeugungen meiner Mitmenschen, selbst meine eigenen, permanent auf den Prüfstand. Und dennoch habe ich manche gesellschaftlichen Konzeptionen verinnerlicht, ohne daß ich mir dessen immer bewußt werde.
Ich erinnere mich, daß ich große Freude empfand, als mein Sohn zum ersten Mal mit einer Freundin nach Hause kam und mit ihr auf sein Zimmer ging. Ich rief innerlich »hurra!«, als ich hörte, wie er die Tür von innen verschloß. Seine Männlichkeit war bewiesen. Eine Entwicklung war abgeschlossen.“


(Rashid Al-Daif, Ehden, 1945)



Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 26e augustus ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.