Sylvie Marie, Reinaldo Arenas, Georges Rodenbach, Tony Kushner, Anita Brookner, Jörg Fauser, William Irwin Thompson

Dolce far niente


Beach Bathers door Jack Maxwell, 2010



op zomerdagen gebeurt zoveel
aan zee. vrouwen ontbloten
buiken, mannen smeren ze
in, jongens halen ballen boven.
weinigen verdiepen zich
in tegendraads gemekker, hardnekkige
vlekken of veters die keer op keer
weer lossen.
het is dat ik, wat de weerman ook voorspelt,
steeds de paraplu meebreng. ik weet:
niet aarzelend verandert alles
maar vastbesloten als de vloed
die op het strand het tij komt keren,
het dier mee loodst, het kind verrast.


Sylvie Marie (Tielt, 28 februari 1984)
De markt in Tielt, de geboorteplaats van Sylvie Marie


De Cubaanse dichter en schrijver Reinaldo Arenas werd geboren op 16 juli 1943 in Holguin. Zie ook alle tags voor Reinaldo Arenas op dit blog.

Uit: The Color of Summer (Vertaald door Andrew Hurley)

“Virgilio Piñera: (moving away)
Well done! Bravo! Bravo!
You’ve got bi-i-ig feet
and one heel’s crooked on your shoe …
Go—there’s nothing for you here.
Suddenly, seeing that Coco Salas is right behind him with a tape recorder, he
turns toward the sea and shouts at the top of his lungs:
Virgilio Piñera:
Where are you going, you ingrate!
Come back—we’ll forgive you! It’s not too late!
Avellaneda: (growing farther and farther away from the Malecón and the harbor)
Ingrate! Ungrateful for what?
That parting shot
to my vulnerable backside?
No thanks, you snot—
I’ll take my chances
in New York or Florida or Kansas.
Chorus: (standing on the wall of the Malecón)
No more mercy, no more pleas—
blast her out of the waves!
The backside’s the best spot to aim,
so do it! Bombs away!
A new barrage of rotten eggs is launched.
Avellaneda: (now pulling into the open sea in a hail of rotten eggs)
What ineffable light, what strange happiness!
Night’s mourning is banished from the skies.
The hour’s come round, the artillery thunders;
fire, fire, fire, you murderers,
fire at this trembling bosom!
Meanwhile, back on shore, Delfín Proust arrives. After first making a quick check of himself in a portable mirror that opens like a huge fan, he makes a grand pirouette and leaps up onto the Malecón. He whirls about several times, hops like a frog, opens and closes his arms. Prancing about, he begins his poetic discourse:

Reinaldo Arenas (16 juli 1943 – 7 december 1990)
Zanger / acteur Wes Mason als Reinaldo Arenas in de opera “Before Night Falls“, 2012


De Belgische dichter en schrijver Georges Rodenbach werd geboren in Doornik op 16 juli 1855. Zie ook alle tags voor Georges Rodenbach op dit blog.

Béguinage flamand

Cependant quand le soir douloureux est défunt,
La cloche lentement les appelle à complies
Comme si leur prière était le seul parfum
Qui pût consoler Dieu dans ses mélancolies !

Tout est doux, tout est calme au milieu de l’enclos ;
Aux offices du soir la cloche les exhorte,
Et chacune s’y rend, mains jointes, les yeux clos,
Avec des glissements de cygne dans l’eau morte.

Elles mettent un voile à longs plis ; le secret
De leur âme s’épanche à la lueur des cierges,
Et, quand passe un vieux prêtre en étole, on croirait
Voir le Seigneur marcher dans un Jardin de Vierges !


Et l’élan de l’extase est si contagieux,
Et le coeur à prier si bien se tranquillise,
Que plus d’une, pendant les soirs religieux,
L’été répète encor les Ave de l’Église ;

Debout à sa fenêtre ouverte au vent joyeux,
Plus d’une, sans Ôter sa cornette et ses voiles,
Bien avant dans la nuit, égrène avec ses yeux
Le rosaire aux grains d’or des priantes étoiles !

Georges Rodenbach (16 juli 1855 – 25 december 1898)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Tony Kushner werd geboren op 16 juli 1956 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Tony Kushner op dit blog.

Uit: Angels in America

“ROY COHN: [delirious, under the impression that Belize is the Angel of Death] Can I ask you something, sir?
BELIZE: “Sir”?
ROY COHN: What’s it like? After?
BELIZE: After…?
ROY COHN: This misery ends?
BELIZE: Hell or heaven?
ROY COHN: [laughs]
BELIZE: Like San Francisco.
ROY COHN A city! Good! I was worried… it’d be a garden. I hate that shit.
BELIZE Mmmm. Big city. Overgrown with weeds, but flowering weeds. On every corner a wrecking crew and something new and crooked going up catty corner to that. Windows missing in every edifice like broken teeth, gritty wind, and a gray high sky full of ravens.
ROY COHN Isaiah.
BELIZE: Prophet birds, Roy. Piles of trash, but lapidary like rubies and obsidian, and diamond-colored cowspit streamers in the wind. And voting booths. And everyone in Balenciaga gowns with red corsages, and big dance palaces full of music and lights and racial impurity and gender confusion. And all the deities are creole, mulatto, brown as the mouths of rivers. Race, taste and history finally overcome. And you ain’t there.
ROY COHN: And Heaven?
BELIZE: That was Heaven, Roy.
ROY COHN: The fuck it was!“

Tony Kushner (New York, 16 juli 1956)


De Engelse schrijfster en historica Anita Brookner werd geboren op 16 juli 1928 in Herne Hill, een voorstad van Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Anita Brookner op dit blog.

Uit: The Rules of Engagement

“We met, and became friends of a sort, by virtue of the fact that we started school on the same day. Because we had the same Christian name it was decreed that she should choose an alternative. For some reason—largely, I think, because she was influenced by the sort of sunny children’s books available in our milieu—she decided to be known as Betsy. When we met up again, several years later, she was Betsy de Saint-Jorre. Not bad for a girl initially registered as Elizabeth Newton.
How much nicer children were in those days than the adults they have become! Born in 1948, we were well-behaved, incurious, with none of the rebellious features adopted by those who make youthfulness a permanent quest. We went to tea in one another’s houses, sent each other postcards when we went on holiday with our parents, assumed we would know each other all our lives . . . The Sixties took us by surprise: we were unprepared, unready, uncomprehending. That, I now see, was why I married Digby: it was the right, unthinking thing to do. That was why Betsy took it upon herself to have a career, out of despair, perhaps, at not being provided for.
Choice hardly dictated our actions. Yet I suppose we were contented enough. Certainly we knew no better. And now we know too much. Discretion veiled our motives then, and perhaps does so even now, even in an age of multiple communications, of e-mails, text messages, and news bulletins all round the clock. We still rely on narrative, on the considered account. That is how and why I knew Betsy’s story, though I cannot claim to know all of it. There were areas of confusion which it seemed better not to disclose. But she was always painfully honest, rather more so than prudence might advise. That quality made itself felt when we were still children; her desire to explain herself, to be known, was perhaps really a desire to be loved. That too was discernible, and it set her apart. In later life, when I knew her again, that quality was still there, obscured only slightly by the manners she had acquired, and always at odds with her mind, which was exacting. In other circumstances she might have been remarkable. But her hopes had been curtailed, and in the years of her adulthood one sometimes saw this, in the odd distant glance directed towards a window, or the eagerness with which she smiled at any passing child.
Her initial demotion from Elizabeth to Betsy was thought to be justified, given her uncertainty of status. She took it in her stride, thinking it gave her permission to assume an altogether different character, someone more lighthearted, skimming the surface, responding always with a smile.“

Anita Brookner (16 juli 1928 – 10 maart 2016)


De Duitse schrijver en journalist Jörg Fauser werd geboren op 16 juli 1944 in Bad Schwalbach. Zie ook alle tags voor Jörg Fauser op dit blog.

Uit: Rohstoff

“William S. Burroughs empfing mich nachmittags um drei in seinem spärlich möblierten Apartment in der Duke Street, unweit Piccadilly Circus. Er trug einen schwarzen dreiteiligen Anzug, der mich an die Anzüge meines Großvaters, eines Volksschulrektors, erinnerte, ein weißes Hemd und eine schwarze Krawatte. Ich hatte wieder mal meinen Nadelstreifenanzug an, weißes Hemd, Krawatte. Burroughs war groß und hager und ging leicht gebückt. Er war an den Schläfen weißhaarig, und sein Mund war ein schmaler, blutleerer Strich.
»Kaffee oder Tee?«
»Weiß oder schwarz?«
»Weiß, bitte.«
Wir nahmen jeder eine Tasse Nescafé und setzten uns an einen blankpolierten Tisch. Burroughs saß mit dem Rücken zum Fenster. Er fixierte mich durch seine Brille. Seine Augen waren blau und strahlten die unerschütterliche Autorität eines hohen Richters aus, der jede Art von Korruption kennengelernt hat und dem alle zusammen immer noch zu billig sind.
»Was ist das für eine Zeitschrift, für die Sie arbeiten?«
Ich verlor ein paar Worte über twen. Mein Englisch war ohnehin nicht besonders flüssig, und jetzt fiel mir mein dicker deutscher Akzent unangenehm auf. Burroughs schien er nicht zu stören. Vielleicht hatte er eine perverse Sympathie für die Deutschen.
»Und dieser Artikel, den Sie erwähnten?«
Ich hatte den Auftrag von twen, einen Bericht über harte Drogen zu schreiben. Den Kontakt zu Burroughs hatte Lou Schneider hergestellt. Twen hatte mir den Flug nach London und einen reichlichen Spesenvorschuß bewilligt. Ich war auf dem Weg, und wie. Der rasende Junk-Reporter. Ich
versuchte Burroughs zu erklären, daß ich selbst vier Jahre Junkie gewesen war und in dem Bericht auch über die Möglichkeiten schreiben wollte, von dem Zeug loszukommen. Burroughs hatte es mit Apomorphin geschafft.
Apomorphin war bei uns unbekannt. Deshalb war ich hier. Er machte eine neue Zigarette an. Er rauchte Senior Service ohne Filter. Kette.
»Was für Zeug haben Sie denn genommen?«
»Oh, vor allem Opium.«
»Was – Rohopium? Das haben Sie doch nicht intravenös gefixt?«
»Junger Mann«, sagte Burroughs mit der Andeutung eines Lächelns, »Sie müssen ja völlig verrückt gewesen sein.”

Jörg Fauser (16 juli 1944 – 17 juli 1987)


De Amerikaanse dichter, sociaal filosoof en cultuurcriticus William Irwin Thompson werd geboren op 16 juli 1938 in Chicago, Illinois. Zie ook alle tags voor William Irwin Thompson op dit blog.

Uit: The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light:

“As the great Gilgamesh polishes his armor and weapons in preparation for the great expedition, he attracts the attention of the goddess of love and war, Ishtar (Manna), and she asks to become his lover. Ishtar displays all her beauty and makes great promises to Gilgamesh, but the hero focuses on his heroic ideal and rejects Ishtar in what amounts to a curse. Here the conflict between male bonding and the companionship of the transcen-dent quest versus sexual love and involvement in the immanence of bodily life comes right out into the open. Gilgamesh recites an entire litany which unfolds all the treacheries of Ishtar; he recites the list of all her past lovers who have come to ruin. When Ishtar hears this she is enraged and mounts to the realm of the sky god, Anu, and demands that the Bull of Heaven be sent to earth to destroy Gilgamesh. Threatening to create famine and raise the dead unless she has her way, Ishtar is able to compel Anu to grant her the demand. Anu relents and sends down the Bull of Heaven (a comet?) to attack Gilgamesh. But the goddess has forgotten that bulls and oxen are the province of man, the domesticator of animals, and so the two cowboys, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, make short work of the Bull. Ishtar is again enraged and mounts the walls of Uruk and cries out: “Woe unto Gilgamesh because he insulted me.” When Enkidu hears Ishtar’s threat, he tears loose the right thigh of the Bull of Heaven and flings it at her. No doubt, “right thigh” is a euphemism for the genitals of the bull, and by flinging the phallus into the face of the goddess Enkidu is mocking her role as the goddess of love and war and parodying the old rituals of appeasement of the Great Goddess in rites of castration. That we are witnessing the parody of an ancient ritual becomes clearer when Ishtar responds to Enkidu’s taunt by setting up the old lament for the torn god.

Ishtar assembled the girl-devotees,
The prostitutes, and the courtesans;
Over the right thigh of the bull of heaven
she set up a lamentation.
But Gilgamesh called the craftsmen, the armorers,
all of them.
The artisans admired the size of the horns .
He brought (them) into the room of his rulership (?)
and hung (them) up (therein).

While the women wail over the severed phallus of the torn god, the craftsmen go to work, and Gilgamesh places the more durable horns in his room, a room that would thus have the appearance of the male bull shrine at catal Hiiyiik. By placing an old ritual in a new context, the men are mocking the old religion in which the women lament the death of Dumuzi; in this new context, the old conservative religion of the women is being mocked in a celebra-tion of male ambition.

William Irwin Thompson (Chicago, 16 juli 1938)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 16e juli ook mijn blog van 16 juli 2017 deel 2.