Uit: Hangover Square
“What, then, had been happening in his head a few moments before —and in the long hours before that? What?… Well, never mind now. There was plenty of time to think about that when he had found a compartment. He must find an empty one so that he could be by himself. If he had any luck, he might be alone all the way to London — there oughtn’t to be many people travelling on Boxing Day. He walked up to the far end of the train, and selected an empty compartment. As he turned the handle of this, the hissing of the engine abruptly stopped. The station seemed to reel at the impact of the sudden hush, and then, a moment later, began to carry on its activities again in a more subdued, in an almost furtive way. That, he realized, was exactly like what happened in his head — his head, that was to say, when it went the other way, the nasty way, the bad, dead way. It had just gone the right way, and he was back in life again. He put his suit-case on the rack, clicked it open, and stood on the seat to see if he had packed his yellow-covered The Bar 20 Rides Again. He had. It was on the top. It was wonderful how he did things when he didn’t know what he was doing. (Or did he, at the time, in some way know what he was doing? Presumably he did.) Anyway, here was his Bar 20. He clicked the bag shut again, sat down, pulled his overcoat over his legs, put the book on his lap, and looked out of the window. He was back in life again. It was good to be back in life. And yet how quiet and dismal it was in this part of the world. The trolley was still being rolled about the platform at the barrier end of the station: two porters were shouting to each other in the distance; another porter came along trying all the doors, reaching and climactically trying his own handle, and fading away again in a series of receding jabs: he could hear two people talking to each other through the wooden walls of the train, two compartments away; and if he listened he could hear, through the open window, the rhythmic purring of the mud-coloured sea, which he could see from here a hundred yards or so beyond the concrete front which was so near the station as to seem to be almost part of it. Not a soul on the front. Cold and quiet. And the sea purred gently. Dismal, dismal, dismal. He listened to the gentle purring of the sea, and waited for the train to start, his red face and beer-shot eyes assuming an expression of innocent vacancy and misery. »
Patrick Hamilton (17 maart 1904 – 23 september 1962)
Scene uit de gelijknamige film uit 1945 met Laird Cregar als George Harvey Bone (rechts)
Uit: Berlin. Panorama einer Residenzstadt
„Schinkel hat in seinen geistvoll geschriebenen Erläuterungen zu seinen Bauten auch alle die Umstände angeführt, die ihn bewogen, dem Schauspielhause seine jetzige Gestalt zu geben. Wenn an einem öffentlichen Gebäude die Fassade nicht einmal als Ein- und Ausgang benutzt wird, wenn man auf einer großen Freitreppe Gras wachsen sieht, so regt sich unwillkürlich das Gefühl, das Unbenutzte auch für eine Überladung zu halten. Doch mögen die Kenner über den äußern architektonischen Wert des Schauspielhauses entscheiden! Das Innere dieses Theaters, wiederum nicht ausgehend von der speziellen Ansicht Schinkels, hat ganz jenen gedrückten Miniatur- und Privatcharakter, den ein Haus, das früher Nationaltheater hieß, nicht haben sollte. Es wäre vielleicht nicht nötig gewesen, dies Theater größer, als für 1200 Menschen zu bauen; aber warum dieser wunderliche Charakter der Isolierung in der Anlage des Ganzen? Ein Rang ist dem andern unsichtbar. Das Parterre und die Parkettlogen sehen nichts von den Rängen. Man weiß an einer Stelle des Hauses nicht, ob es an der andern besetzt ist. Eine Übersicht des Ganzen ist nur auf dem Proszenium und Podium möglich, so daß man, um zu wissen, ob das Haus besetzt war, die Schauspieler fragen muß. Jedenfalls geht durch dieses Privatliche, das dem Hause aufgedrückt ist, zweierlei verloren. Einmal eine größere gesellschaftliche Annehmlichkeit. Da sich das ganze Publikum nicht beisammen sieht, da der eine dem Auge des andern entzogen ist, so fällt der Charakter einer geselligen Zusammenkunft, der so oft für eine schlechte Vorstellung Ersatz geben könnte, in diesem Theater gänzlich weg. Man kann Bruder und Schwester im Theater haben und sieht sie nicht. Das zweite Unangenehme dieser winkeligen Bauart ist, daß sich das Publikum nicht als solches bildet. Publikum heißt eine Masse, die sich ihrer Kraft ansichtig ist und das Bewußtsein einer Korporation dem Spiel gegenüber zu behaupten weiß. Wo man im Parterre nicht sehen kann, welche Mienen der zweite Rang macht, wo ein Besucher des Theaters nur immer auf den Rücken des andern angewiesen ist, da kann auch keine Totalität des Urteils stattfinden; jeder ist auf sich angewiesen und der Schauspieler bleibt ohne die richtige Würdigung seiner Leistung. Mir haben viele Schauspieler gesagt, daß Berlin kein Publikum mehr hat. Der Grund liegt darin, daß die Lokalität dieses Publikum verhindert, sich als solches kennenzulernen und auszubilden…“
Karl Gutzkow (17 maart 1811 – 16 december 1878)
Het Schauspielhaus van Karl Friedrich Schinkel aan de Gendarmenmarkt in Berlijn, rond 1825
Uit: Fuchsiada (Vertaald door Julian Semilian and Sanda Agalidi)
“During one of his days, Fuchs, having taken his umbrella to the repair shop, was forced to spend the night under the open sky.
The mysterious charm of the night with its harmonies, with those whispers, as though from another world, bestowing dreams and melancholy wonder, moved Fuchs such, that – in ecstatic transcendence – after pedaling his piano for three hours, without playing it, for fear of disturbing the silence of the night, he wound up, by grace of this bizarre mode of locomotion, in a gloomy neighborhood, in the direction of which, obeying a will not his own, he had been drawn to mysteriously – gossipy lips so spill it it was the same illustrious street which the good emperor Trajan, after the counsel of his father, Nerva, intimated to the naive shepherd Bucur to set down as the first, when he founded the city which now bears his name…
All at once, several terrestrial votaries of the Venerated One, humble servants at love’s altar, vested in translucent alabaster, with incrimsoned lips and shadowy eyes, surrounded Fuchs from all directions. It was a splendid summer night. All about, song and glee, sweet whispers, harmony… The vestals of bliss greeted the artist with flowers, with towels artistically embroidered, with captivating kettles and bygone washbasins of brass brimming with aromatic water. Each shouted, louder than the other: “Darling Fuchs, give me your immaterial love!”, “O, Fuchs, you are the only one who understands how to love us purely!”; and as though urged on by one and the same impulse, culminated in chorus: “Dear, dear Fuchs, play us a sonata!”…
Urmuz (17 maart 1883 – 23 novemmber 1923)
A Winter Song
Came the dread Archer up yonder lawn —
Night is the time for the old to die —
But woe for an arrow that smote the fawn,
When the hind that was sick unscathed went by.
Father lay moaning, Her fault was sore
(Night is the time when the old must die),
Yet, ah to bless her, my child, once more,
For heart is failing: the end is nigh.
Daughter, my daughter, my girl, I cried
(Night is the time for the old to die)
Woe for the wish if till morn ye bide —
Dark was the welkin and wild the sky.
Heavily plunged from the roof the snow —
(Night is the time when the old will die),
She answered, My mother, ‘tis well, I go.
Sparkled the north star, the wrack flew high.
First at his head, and last at his feet
(Night is the time when the old should die),
Kneeling I watched till his soul did fleet,
None else that loved him, none else were nigh.
I wept in the night as the desolate weep
(Night is the time for the old to die),
Cometh my daughter? the drifts are deep,
Across the cold hollows how white they lie.
I sought her afar through the spectral trees
(Night is the time when the old must die),
The fells were all muffled, the floods did freeze,
And a wrathful moon hung red in the sky.
By night I found her where pent waves steal
(Night is the time when the old should die),
But she lay stiff by the locked mill-wheel,
And the old stars lived in their homes on high.
Jean Ingelow (17 maart 1820 – 20 juli 1897)
Het Jean Ingelow House in Boston, Lincolnshire, gesloopt in 1960
In These Days . . .
In these days, every mother’s son or daughter
Writes verse, which no one reads except the writer,
Although, uninked, the paper would be whiter,
And worth, per ream, a hare, when you have caught her.
Hundreds of unstaunched Shelleys daily water
Unanswering dust; a thousand Wordsworths scribble;
And twice a thousand Corn Law Rhymers dribble
Rhymed prose, unread. Hymners of fraud and slaughter,
By cant called other names, alone find buyers –
Who buy, but read not. ‘What a loss in paper,’
Groans each immortal of the host of sighers!
‘What profanation of the midnight taper
In expirations vile! But I write well,
And wisely print. Why don’t my poems sell?’
The Village Patriarch
But much he dreads the town’s distracting maze,
Where all, to him, is full of change and pain.
New streets invade the country; and he strays,
Lost in strange paths, still seeking, and in vain,
For ancient landmarks, or the lonely lane
Where oft he play’d at Crusoe, when a boy.
Fire vomits darkness, where his lime-trees grew;
Harsh grates the saw, where coo’d the wood-dove coy;
Tomb crowds on tomb, where violets droop’d in dew;
And, brighter than bright heaven, the speedwell blue
Cluster’d the bank, where now the town-bred boor
(Victim and wretch, whose children never smile,)
Insults the stranger, sightless, old, and poor,
On swill’d Saint Monday, with his cronies vile,
Drunk for the glory of the holy isle,
While pines his wife, and tells to none her woes!
Ebenezer Elliott (17 maart 1781 – 1 december 1849)
Standbeeld in Sheffield
Uit: In Abraham’s Bosom
“BUD: Tell ‘bout the fiery furnace — [ jerking his thumb backward] musta meant these old turpentime woods.
LIJE: Yeh, yeh, and us the Hebrew chillun frying in the flame—while the sweat do roll. PUNY: That old Saddy night corn liquor frying in you. Hee-hee.
BUD: [roughly] Talk, talk, little man! [They stand fanning themselves. Puny gets down on his belly at the spring.]
PUNY: Mouth about to crack— can drink this spring dry.
LIJE: [slouching his heavy body toward the pool] Hunh, me too. That ax take water same like a sawmill.
[He gets down flat and drinks with the other. The water can be heard gluking over the cataracts of their Adam’s apples. The younger Negro opens his torn and sleeveless undershirt and stands raking the sweat with curved hand from his powerful chest.]
BUD: [after a moment] Heigh, Puny, you’n Lije pull your guts out’n that mudhole and let the engineer take a drink. [With a sudden thought of devilment he steps quickly forward and cracks their heads together. Puny starts and falls face foremost in the spring. Lije, slow and stolid, saves himself; crawls slowly up on his haunches, and sits smiling good-naturedly, smacking his lips and sucking the water from the slender tails of his mustache.]
LIJE: [cleaning his muddy hands with a bunch of leaves] Nunh-unh, not this time, my boy.”
Paul Green (17 maart 1894 – 4 mei 1981)
Scene uit een opvoering in het Paul Green Theatre, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2016