Uit: Crépuscule Ville
“Les brumes qui étaient à l’origine du mal semblaient s’être épaissies ce soir-là et leurs strates blanchâtres descendaient à hauteur d’homme comme pour manifester leur sympathie envers le chaos. Malgré sa situation, au cœur de l’ancien centre, épargné par l’urbanisation maladive qui avait frappé partout ailleurs, la Vingtième rue n’en croulait pas moins, d’ordinaire, sous les ornements vains, sous les mille feux bidons dont la ville s’était attifée pour planquer sa misère. Toute en ombres dansantes, sa version noir et blanc donnait la chair de poule. L’immeuble d’en face, soulagé des lueurs qui révélaient la vie au creux des meurtrières, avait tout à fait l’aspect d’un bunker ou d’un colombarium. Syd leva les yeux au ciel pour y trouver l’orage. Les réverbères halogènes avaient rendu l’âme et des écrans-titans qui poinçonnaient les façades, provenaient l’unique éclairage, l’image par défaut des appareils en veille ou en dysfonctionnement.
Comme des bouts de ciel disséminés çà et là pour narguer le désordre, pour narguer le présent. Le logo sempiternel. Le logo de Clair-monde. Au-dessous les hommes couraient le long d’une route qui ne menait nulle part. Au-dessous, de la tôle froissée répandue sur des kilomètres avec le crépitement du feu qui gagnaient les moteurs, promettant aux accidentés, coincés dans les habitacles, un brasier funéraire en bonne et due forme.
Au-dessous, à la faveur des pleins phares survivants, des photographes amateurs shootaient des macchabées en variant les angles. (…) Syd vit la porte vitrée éclater en miettes. (…) Il poursuivit sa course. (…) Une balle troua la ville blindée d’une bijouterie.
Une explosion derrière lui.
Ce qu’il avait sous les yeux, c’était bel et bien l’apocalypse. Une apocalypse modernisée. Remise au goût du jour. Réactualisée aux phobies du moment. Feux de signalisation qui flanchent, clim’ externe H.S, écrans en veille, accidents de bagnole, redistribution des biens à main armée, systèmes de sécurité en rade, lignes mortes.
Décidément le monde n’était plus habitable.”
Lolita Pille (Sèvres, 27 augustus 1982)
De Australische dichter, schrijver en journalist David Rowbotham werd geboren in Toowoomba.in de Darling Downs van Queensland op 27 augustus 1924. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor David Rowbotham op dit blog.
Before the Mast
I think the breath of my progenitors
Like wind that filled the sails of masted time,
They leaning like Heredia’s conquerers
Over the prows to see the new stars climb
Out of the ocean into an unknown sky
And lead their whispering ships to history.
It is perhaps a too heroic thought;
For none embarked as being conqueror-born,
Just lord of some expected little plot
Away from villages too long outworn,
And few imagined how the world would rise
So much above domestic enterprise.
But time has made impossible, for their sons,
Continual talk of things of closer home
Without the tracks that mark with pros and cons
As beads an abacus what is to come,
Within the count of alien neighbourhood,
The millions-frame, the hurricane missile cloud.
So I step in, step out, tenant of both
Descended flickering bungalow like a raft
Upon ascendant change, and sightless truth,
Attempting touch with what my fathers breathed,
The sense of family and country claimed,
And destinies my fathers never dreamed.
This, no saving task, is still the task
Demanded; I cannot speak my native place,
Now owned no more than strange, unless I ask
With others before the mast who share my face
What those stars hold that climbed so high
Out of the ocean into the unknown sky.
After Forty Years
(To an elder poet)
Your murderer was the usual younger man
Become killer as such as he but can,
Who must himself be dead where he attacks,
Below the height he deems his victim lacks.
You were predictably slain; you would not rage
But, with the receiving bleakness of your age,
Take and freeze the wound to bloodless brown,
Enough to haunt the hand that stoned you down.
To makers like you returning time shall give
Resurrection your murderers never have
Who hurl their own oblivion in a stone;
You leave word of living — there’s the crown.
David Rowbotham (27 augustus 1924 – 6 oktober 2010)
Toowoomba, Picnic Point
De Britse schrijfster Norah Lofts werd geboren op 27 augustus 1904 in Shipham, Norfolk als Norah Robinson. Zie ook alle tags voor Norah Lofts op dit blogen ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2010.
Uit: The Concubine
“The serving woman went and knelt by the hearth and busied herself with the kindling of the fire. Every movement, every line of her body, proclaimed that she was making a concession to unusual circumstance. Fifteen years and almost as many small promotions lay between her and such a lowly task: but the room, the whole house except for the kitchen, was as cold and damp as the grave, and what was left of the household was in that state of disorganization possible only to one caught unawares in the moment of relaxation following a visit from its master who has just departed and unlikely to re-turn for some time. So Emma Arnett, a practical woman, was lighting the fire. She had, after all, been specially charged to look after her new mistress, the pale, thin girl, stony-eyed with misery, who now stood, still in her damp riding clothes, staring out at the lashing rain. It had rained almost all the way from London, and the state of the roads had added at least two days to the miserable journey. Unless the girl were soon warmed, and coddled a little, she’d come down with a cold, and to judge by the look of her, she was in no state to shake off even the most trivial indisposi-tion. “Even the wood is damp,” Emma said. “Or I’ve lost my knack.” It was as well to draw attention to the fact that she, Lady Lucia’s personal body-servant, was down on her knees, black-ening her hands, doing a kitchen slut’s work. “It doesn’t matter,” the girl said in a dull, indifferent way. “We can go to bed.” “That we can’t do, yet. Apart from the servants’ pallets there’s not a bed in the house fit to sleep on. Those Sir Thomas and his company used, that might have been aired, are all out in the barn, emptied and being picked over. He complained that they were lumpy, as I’ve no doubt they were. That slit-eyed rogue that calls himself steward is as fit for the job as I am to be Master of Horse.” The window rattled under the onslaught of wind and rain; what little smoke had gathered in the chimney gushed out again and drifted about the room. “A fine homecoming,” Emma Arnett said. The girl brought her hands out from under her arms and be-gan to rub them together. “It’s not my home. It’s just one of my father’s houses. I haven’t had a home for years. And now it looks as though I never may again.” Emma turned her head and gave the girl a cautious, almost apprehensive glance.”
Norah Lofts (27 August 1904 – 10 September 1983)
De Engelse schrijver Cecil Scott Forester (pseudoniem van Cecil Lewis Troughton Smith) werd geboren in Cairo, Egypte, op 27 augustus 1899. Zie ook alle tags voor C. S. Forester op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2010.
Uit: Hornblower and the Hotspur
“Repeat after me,’ said the parson. ‘ “I, Horatio, take thee, Maria Ellen—” ’
The thought came up in Hornblower’s mind that these were the last few seconds in which he could withdraw from doing something which he knew to be ill-considered. Maria was not the right woman to be his wife, even admitting that he was suitable material for marriage in any case. If he had a grain of sense, he would break off this ceremony even at this last moment, he would announce that he had changed his mind, and he would turn away from the altar and from the parson and from Maria, and he would leave the church a free man.
‘To have and to hold—’ he was still, like an automaton, repeating the parson’s words. And there was Maria beside him, in the white that so little became her. She was melting with happiness. She was consumed with love for him, however misplaced it might be. He could not, he simply could not, deal her a blow so cruel. He was conscious of the trembling of her body beside him. That was not fear, for she had utter and complete trust in him. He could no more bring himself to shatter that trust than he could have refused to command the Hotspur.
‘And thereto I plight thee my troth,’ repeated Hornblower. That settled it, he thought. Those must be the final deciding words that made the ceremony legally binding. He had made a promise and now there was no going back on it. There was a comfort in the odd thought that he had really been committed from a week back, when Maria had come into his arms sobbing out her love for him, and he had been too soft-hearted to laugh at her and too—too weak? too honest?—to take advantage of her with the intention of betraying her. From the moment that he had listened to her, from the moment that he had returned her kisses, gently, all these later results, the bridal dress, this ceremony in the church of St Thomas à Becket—and the vague future of cloying affection—had been inevitable.
Bush was ready with the ring, and Hornblower slipped it over Maria’s finger, and the final words were said.
‘I now pronounce that they are man and wife,’ said the parson, and he went on with the blessing, and then a blank five seconds followed, until Maria broke the silence.
‘Oh, Horry,’ she said, and she laid her hand on his arm.
Hornblower forced himself to smile down at her, concealing the newly discovered fact that he disliked being called ‘Horry’ even more than he disliked being called Horatio.”
Cecil Scott Forester (27 augustus 1899 – 2 april 1966)
Gregory Peck als Hornblower in de film “Captain Horatio Hornblower” uit 1951.
Steeds als dichteres M. schrijven wil
over haar eerste orgasme
– dat ze kreeg op de rug van een pony –
staat er in haar notitieboekje:
‘Ontlading. Duizend vingers
in mijn lichaam gedrongen strelen
de regen van kleuren. Dit zuchtend rijden.’
Nooit staat er:
‘Ik kreeg mijn eerste orgasme op de rug van mijn pony.
Lernert Engelberts (Leerdam, 27 augustus 1977)