Troostlied voor wie met Kerst alleen is (Willem Wilmink)

Aan alle bezoekers en mede-bloggers een Prettig Kerstfeest!


Kerstmis door Nemakin Aleksandr, 2010


Troostlied voor wie met Kerst alleen is

Wees niet zo bang voor kerst.
Het zijn twee dagen,
dat is niet meer dan achtenveertig uur.
En uren, het ene vlug, het andere trager,
uren vervliegen op den duur.

Raak niet verloren in herinneringen,
wees toch een beetje wijzer deze keer.
Zing maar ‘Stille nacht’ als je kunt zingen,
want stil zal het zijn, die nachten. Zeer.

Zing in jezelf: ‘De witte vlokken zweven.’
Terwijl de regen langs de pannen ruist.
Het kind is niet in Bethlehem gebleven:
Het is naar Golgotha verhuisd.

Gedenk de dieren op de schalen en borden,
die zitten meer dan jij in de puree.
Eten is beter dan gegeten worden
ook in de glans van Lucas 2.

Zeg ‘nee’ als mensen je te eten vragen,
want in een andermans gelukkige gezin
daar is de kerstboom enkel te verdragen
met een uitslaande brand erin.

Wees niet zo bang voor Kerst.
Het zijn twee dagen.


Willem Wilmink (25 oktober 1936 – 2 augustus 2003)
Kerstsfeer in Enschede, de geboorteplaats van Willem Wilmink


Zie voor de schrijvers van de 26e december ook mijn vorige drie blogs van vandaag.


David Sedaris, Elizabeth Kostova, Nigel Cliff, Henry Miller, Rainer Malkowski, Mani Beckmann, Alejo Carpentier

De Amerikaanse schrijver David Sedaris werd geboren in Binghamton, New York, op 26 december 1956. Zie ook alle tags voor David Sedaris op dit blog.

Uit: Calypso

“Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age. The only perk I can see is that, with luck, you’ll acquire a guest room. Some people get one by default when their kids leave home, and others, like me, eventually trade up and land a bigger house. “Follow me,” I now say. The room I lead our visitors to has not been hastily rearranged to accommodate them. It does not double as an office or weaving nook but exists for only one purpose. I have furnished it with a bed rather than a fold-out sofa, and against one wall, just like in a hotel, I’ve placed a luggage rack. The best feature, though, is its private bathroom.
“If you prefer a shower to a tub, I can put you upstairs in the second guest room,” I say. “There’s a luggage rack up there as well.” I hear these words coming from my puppet-lined mouth and shiver with middle-aged satisfaction. Yes, my hair is gray and thinning. Yes, the washer on my penis has worn out, leaving me to dribble urine long after I’ve zipped my trousers back up. But I have two guest rooms.
The consequence is that if you live in Europe, they attract guests—lots of them. People spend a fortune on their plane tickets from the United States. By the time they arrive they’re broke and tired and would probably sleep in our car if we offered it. In Normandy, where we used to have a country place, any visitors were put up in the attic, which doubled as Hugh’s studio and smelled of oil paint and decaying mice. It had a rustic cathedral ceiling but no heat, meaning it was usually either too cold or too hot. That house had only one bathroom, wedged between the kitchen and our bedroom. Guests were denied the privacy a person sometimes needs on the toilet, so twice a day I’d take Hugh to the front door and shout behind us, as if this were normal behavior, “We’re going out for exactly twenty minutes. Does anyone need anything from the side of the road?”
That was another problem with Normandy: there was nothing for our company to do except sit around. Our village had no businesses in it and the walk to the nearest village that did was not terribly pleasant. This is not to say that our visitors didn’t enjoy themselves—just that it took a certain kind of person, outdoorsy and self-motivating. In West Sussex, where we currently live, having company is a bit easier. Within a ten-mile radius of our house, there’s a quaint little town with a castle in it and an equally charming one with thirty-seven antique stores. There are chalk-speckled hills one can hike up, and bike trails. It’s a fifteen-minute drive to the beach and an easy walk to the nearest pub.”

David Sedaris (Binghamton, 26 december 1956)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Elizabeth Kostova werd geboren op 26 december 1964 in New London, Connecticut. Zie ook alle tags voor Elizabeth Kostova op dit blog.

Uit:The Shadow Land

“From her plane window, Alexandra had seen a city cradled in mountains and flanked by towering apartment buildings like tombstones. Stepping off the plane with her new camera in her hand, she’d breathed unfamiliar air—­coal and diesel and then a gust that smelled of plowed earth. She had walked across the tarmac and onto the airport bus, observed shiny new customs booths and their taciturn officials, the exotic stamp in her passport. Her taxi had looped around the edges of Sofia and into the heart of the city—­a longer route than necessary, she now suspected—­brushing past outdoor café tables and lampposts that bore political placards or signs for sex shops. From the taxi window, she’d photographed ancient Fords and Opels, new Audis with tinted gangster windows, large slow buses, and trolleys like clanking Megalosauruses that threw sparks from their iron rails. To her amazement, she’d seen that the center of the city was paved with yellow cobblestones.
But the driver had somehow misunderstood her request and dropped her here, at Hotel Forest, not at the hostel she’d booked weeks earlier. Alexandra hadn’t understood the situation, either, until he was gone and she had mounted the steps of the hotel to get a closer look. Now she was alone, more thoroughly than she had ever been in her twenty-­six years. In the middle of the city, in the middle of a history about which she had no real idea, among people who went purposefully up and down the steps of the hotel, she stood wondering whether to descend and try to get another taxi. She doubted she could afford the glass and cement monolith that loomed at her back, with its tinted windows, its crow-­like clients in dark suits hustling in and out or smoking on the steps. One thing seemed certain: she was in the wrong place.
Alexandra might have stood this way long minutes more, but suddenly the doors slid open just behind her and she turned to see three people coming out of the hotel. One of them was a white-­haired man in a wheelchair clutching several travel bags against his suit jacket.”

Elizabeth Kostova (New London, 26 december 1964)


De Britse schrijver, historicus, biograaf, criticus en vertaler Nigel Cliff werd geboren op 26 december 1969 in Manchester. Zie ook alle tags voor Nigel Cliff op dit blog.

Uit: Moscow Nights

“RILDIA BEE O’Bryan Cliburn’s proudest day was the day her son was born. She was thirty-seven and had been married to Harvey Lavan Clibum for eleven childless years. He was two years younger, a native of Mississippi whom she had met at an evening prayer meeting soon after breaking an engagement to a dentist. When she went to him one day in 1933 and said, “Sug, I think we’re going to have a little baby,” it seemed a miracle to them both. The following July 12 he came to her bedside at Tri-State Sanitarium in Shreveport, Louisiana— room 322, the number part of their personal liturgy—and smiled. “Babe,” he said in his laconic drawl, “we have a little boy, and this is our family.” The smiles dimmed when they differed over what to name the child—he wanted his son to have his name; she was not minded to raise a Junior—before harmony was restored with a compro-mise. The birth certificate duly recorded the debut of “Harvey Lavan (Van) Clibum,” but Rildia Bee made sure the child was never called anything but Van. Her second-proudest day was the day she met Sergei Rach-maninoff. It was two years earlier, and she was on a committee of musically minded ladies who had invited the Russian to Shreveport. The Clibums had moved to the city after her father, William Carey O’Bryan, who was mayor of McGregor, Texas, as well as a judge, state legislator, and newspaperman, convinced his son-in-law to make a career in oil. At the time, Harvey was a railroad station agent, but since his dream of being a doctor had been dashed in the Great War, and one thing was as good as an-other, he gamely signed up as a roving crude oil purchasing agent. Rildia Bee’s dream was to be a concert pianist, and she had indeed been on the brink of a career when her parents pulled her back from the unseemly business of performing in public. Since her mother, Sirrildia, had been a semiprofessional ac-tress—the only kind in those parts—that seemed a little unfair, but perhaps it was not, because Sirrildia refashioned herself into that primmest of creatures, a local historian, and the family was trying to put its stage days behind it. Rildia Bee dutifully de-moted herself to teaching piano, which was why she was on the Shreveport concert committee and came to tend personally to Rachmaninoff. Backstage at the big new Art Deco Municipal Auditorium, she had little to do except hand the famous Russian a glass of or-ange juice or water, and she never got to tell him that, pianisti-cally speaking, they were almost family. When she was a student at the Cincinnati conservatory, Rildia Bee had one day attended a recital by the famed pianist Arthur Friedheim, who despite his Germanic name was born to an aristocratic family in St. Peters-burg when it was the Imperial Russian capital. Mesmerized, she followed him to New York, where she became one of his best students at the Institute of Musical Art, a forerunner to the Mil-liard School. Friedheim had studied with the fiery Anton Rubinstein, the founder of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, before he balked at Rubinstein’s chaotic teaching style and defected to the superstar Hungarian Franz Liszt, becoming Liszt’s foremost pupil and, later, his secretary. Rachmaninoff counted Rubinstein as his greatest pianistic inspiration, and in his playing markedly resembled Friedheim, who had died less than a month earlier, leaving Rachmaninoff the greatest living exponent of the school of pianism that Rildia Bee adored.”

Nigel Cliff (Manchester, 26 december 1969)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Henry Miller werd geboren op 26 december 1891 In New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Henry Miller op dit blog.

Uit: The Colossus of Maroussi

“We awoke early and hired a car to take us to Epidaurus. The day began in sublime peace. It was my first real glimpse of the Peloponnesus. It was not a glimpse either, but a vista opening upon a hushed still world such as man will one day inherit when he ceases to indulge in murder and thievery. I wonder how it is that no painter has ever given us the magic of this idyllic landscape. Is it too undramatic, too idyllic? Is the light too ethereal to be captured by the brush? This I can say, and perhaps it will discourage the over-enthusiastic artist: there is no trace of ugliness here, either in line, color, form, feature or sentiment. It is sheer perfection, as in Mozart’s music. Indeed, I venture to say that there is more of Mozart here than anywhere else in the world. The road to Epidaurus is like the road to creation. One stops searching. One grows silent, stilled by the hush of mysterious beginnings. If one could speak one would become melodious. There is nothing to be seized or treasured or cornered off here: there is only a breaking down of the walls which lock the spirit in. The landscape does not recede, it installs itself in the open places of the heart; it crowds in, accumulates, dispossesses. You are no longer riding through something—call it Nature, if you will —but participating in a rout, a rout of the forces of greed, malevolence, envy, selfishness, spite, intolerance, pride, arrogance, cunning, duplicity and so on. It is the morning of the first day of the great peace, the peace of the heart, which comes with surrender. I never knew the meaning of peace until I arrived at Epidaurus. Like everybody I had used the word all my life, without once realizing that I was using a counterfeit. Peace is not the opposite of war any more than death is the opposite of life. The poverty of language, which is to say the poverty of man’s imagination or the poverty of his inner life, has created an ambivalence which is absolutely false. I am talking of course of the peace which passeth all understanding. There is no other kind. The peace which most of us know is merely a cessation of hostilities, a truce, an interregnum, a lull, a respite, which is negative. The peace of the heart is positive and invincible, demanding no conditions, requiring no protection. It just is. If it is a victory it is a peculiar one because it is based entirely on surrender, a voluntary surrender, to be sure. There is no mystery in my mind as to the nature of the cures which were wrought at this great therapeutic center of the ancient world. Here the healer himself was healed, first and most important step in the development of the art, which is not medical but religious. Second, the patient was healed before ever he received the cure. The great physicians have always spoken of Nature as being the great healer.”

Henry Miller (26 december 1891 – 7 juni 1980)
Hier aankomend op Schiphol in 1959


De Duitse dichter Rainer Malkowski werd geboren op 26 december 1939 in Berlijn-Tempelhof. Zie ook alle tags voor Rainer Malkowski op dit blog.

Die Gerechtigkeit des Meeres

Kein Element,
in dem man billig
Spuren hinterläßt.

Das bewegte Wasser
hinter dem Heck
bewahrt der glücklichen Fahrt
kein Gedächtnis.

Nur die Gescheiterten
noch ein paar Jahrhunderte
ihre Geschichten erzählen −
jedem, der sie hören will
und zu den zerbrochenen
hinabsteigt auf den mythischen


Im Jahr X

Hinter ihnen die Nacht.
Vor ihnen ein Raum,
bis an die Decke gefüllt
mit erfundenem Licht.
Sie halten die Scheibe besetzt
und rühren sich nicht.
Winzige, flugfähige Stifte.
Nur ihre Fühler sind in Bewegung −
von symmetrischer Anmut −,
während jetzt im Radio
das Zeitzeichen ertönt: im Jahr X
nach der Ursuppe.
Ein sprechendes Wesen
wird vorgestellt
und hält einen Vortrag
über den Tod
ferner Sterne.

Rainer Malkowski (26 december 1939 – 1 september 2003)


De Duitse schrijver Mani Beckmann (pseudoniem Tom Finnek) werd geboren op 26 december 1965 in Alstätte/Westfalen. Zie ook alle tags voor Mani Beckmann op dit blog.

Uit: Sodom und Gomera

„Das Taxi hielt, Micki zahlte die 2.500 Peseten (er tat dies wortlos), und Sandy forderte von mir die Hälfte des Fahrpreises, indem sie sagte: »Fifty-fi fty, ganz reell!« Als sie m einen fragenden Blick sah, fügte sie achselzuckend hinzu: »Wir sind zwei Parteien: du und wir. Also jeder die Hälfte.« Kopfschüttelnd gab ich ihr 1.500 Peseten und war etwas erstaunt, als sie sie einsteckte, ohne Anstalten zu machen, mir den Rest herauszugeben. Wieder sah sie mein Stirnrunzeln und meinte in vorwurfsvollem Ton: »Bisch du etwa ’n Pfennigfuchser?« Ich lächelte nachsichtig und verneinte ihre Frage. »Siehscht?«, fragte Sandy. »Da vorn isch auch schon die Fähre, wo nach San Sebaschtián fährt.« »San Sebastián?« »Des isch die Hauptstadt von Gomera. Und der Hafen. Das Valle isch auf der anderen Seite der Insel.« Auch während der gut einstündigen und erstaunlich schaukelfreien Schiff fahrt mit der »Ferry Gomera« gelang es mir nicht, den Redeschwall meiner neuen Bekannten zu bremsen oder auf eine andere Person (zum Beispiel ihren apathisch schweigenden Freund) zu lenken. Sie erzählte vermeintlich ulkige Anekdoten von vergangenen Urlaubstrips (sie reiste zum vierten Mal »ins Valle«), schwärmte von dem mojo bei Maria (eine Art Soße oder Dip, angeblich eine kulinarische Spezialität auf der Insel), dozierte über die »Guanchen«, die geheimnisumwitterten Ureinwohner der Kanaren, und berichtete von der so genannten Schweinebucht und den Freaks und Späthippies, die dort direkt am Wasser in Höhlen lebten, sich von Joints und freier Liebe ernährten und denen sich Sandy und Micki (selbstredend) auf der Stelle anschließen wollten.“

Mani Beckmann (Alstätte, 26 december 1965)


De Cubaanse schrijver, essayist en musicoloog Alejo Carpentier werd geboren in Havana op 26 december 1904. Zie ook alle tags voor Alejo Carpentier op dit blog.

Uit:The Kingdom of This World (Vertaald door Harriet de Onís)

“All of this became particularly evident to me during my stay in Haiti, where I found myself in daily contact with something we could call the marvelous real . I was treading earth where thousands of men, eager for liberty, believed in Mackandal’s lycanthropic powers, to the point that their collective faith produced a miracle on the day of his execution. I already knew the prodigious story of Bouckman, (21) the Jamaican initiate. I had been in the citadel of La Ferriere, a structure without architectonic precedents, portended only in Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons. I had breathed the atmosphere created by Henri Christophe, a monarch of incredible undertakings, much more surprising than all the cruel kings invented by the surrealists, who were very fond of imaginary tyrannies, never having suffered through one.
I found the marvelous real with every step. But I also realized that the presence and vitality of the marvelous real was not a privilege unique to Haiti but the patrimony of all the Americas, where we have not yet established an inventory of our cosmogonies. The marvelous real is found at each step in the lives of the men who inscribed dates on the history of the Continent and who left behind names still borne by the living: from the seekers after the Fountain of Youth or the Golden City of Manoa to certain early rebels or modern heroes of our wars of independence, those of such mythological stature as Colonel Juana Azurduy. It has always seemed significant to me that as recently as 1780 some perfectly sane Spaniards from Angostura set out in search of El Dorado, and that, during the French Revolution– long live Reason and the Supreme Being!–Francisco Menendez, from Compostela, traversed Patagonia hunting for the Enchanted City of the Caesars. Looking at the matter in another way, we see that while in western Europe folk-dancing has lost all its magical evocative power, it is rare that a collective dance in the Americas does not embody a profound ritual meaning that creates around it an entire initiatory process: such are the santeria dances in Cuba or the prodigious African version of the Corpus feast, which may still be seen in the town of San Francisco de Yare in Venezuela.”

Alejo Carpentier (26 december 1904 – 24 april 1980)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 26e december ook mijn vorige twee blogs van vandaag.


Jean Toomer, Hans Brinkmann, Willy Corsari, Alfred Huggenberger, René Bazin, Julien Benda

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver Jean Toomer werd geboren op 26 december 1894 in Washington, D.C. Zie ook alle tags voor Jean Toomer op dit blog.

Seventh Street

        Money burns the pocket, pocket hurts,
        Bootleggers in silken shirts,
        Ballooned, zooming Cadillacs,
        Whizzing, whizzing down the street-car tracks.

Seventh Street is a bastard of Prohibition and the War. A crude-boned, soft-skinned wedge of nigger life breathing its loafer air, jazz songs and love, thrusting unconscious rhythms, black reddish blood into the white and whitewashed wood of Washington. Stale soggy wood of Washington. Wedges rust in soggy wood. . . Split it! In two! Again! Shred it! . . the sun. Wedges are brilliant in the sun; ribbons of wet wood dry and blow away. Black reddish blood. Pouring for crude-boned soft-skinned life, who set you flowing? Blood suckers of the War would spin in a frenzy of dizziness if they drank your blood. Prohibition would put a stop to it. Who set you flowing? White and whitewash disappear in blood. Who set you flowing? Flowing down the smooth asphalt of Seventh Street, in shanties, brick office buildings, theaters, drug stores, restaurants, and cabarets? Eddying on the corners? Swirling like a blood-red smoke up where the buzzards fly in heaven? God would not dare to suck black red blood. A Nigger God! He would duck his head in shame and call for the Judgement Day. Who set you flowing?
       Money burns the pocket, pocket hurts,
       Bootleggers in silken shirts,
       Ballooned, zooming Cadillacs,
       Whizzing, whizzing down the street-car tracks.

Jean Toomer (26 december 1894 – 30 maart 1967)
Washington in de Kersttijd


De Duitse dichter, schrijver en criticus Hans Brinkmann werd geboren op 26 december 1956 in Freiberg in Sachsen. Zie ook alle tags voor Hans Brinkmann op dit blog.


Wir machen den ganzen Rummel mit.
Jeden Tag sind wir hier.
Riesenräder überrollen uns,
auf den Karussells drehen wir durch.
Wie die Schweine und Kleeblätter
haben wir meist kein Glück. Die Schiessbuden
laden uns ein, aufeinander zu feuern,
ehe wir in die Bierzelte laufen,
wo unsre Köpfe im Schaum verschwinden.
Lachend stehen die Rittmeister
an den Kassen der Hippodrome.
Pass doch auf, Junge, wo du hintrittst!
Wie du dich wunderst, lassen sie dich
dafür bezahlen. Nichts ist umsonst.

Hans Brinkmann (Freiberg, 26 december 1956)
Meertalige uitgave bij Brinkmanns 60e verjaardag


De Nederlandse schrijfster Willy Corsari (pseudoniem van Wilhelmina Angela Douwes-Schmidt) werd geboren in Sint-Pieters-Jette, Brussel, op 26 december 1897. Zie ook alle tags voor Willy Corsari op dit blog.

Uit: De man zonder uniform

“Joop is een goeie jongen, maar hij heeft nu zijn werk als Griffier— en erg amusant kon ik ‘em nooit vinden. Zou je me niet willen wegbrengen en dan een dagje blijven? Tante zou het 700 prettig vinden. Maar je kunt Joop niet erg verdragen, geloof ik… wel?” Hij haalt de schouders op, glimlachend. „In mijn vak leer je iedereen verdragen!” „Je bent eigenlijk haatdragend,” zegt ze. „Sinds die ge-schiedenis met dat katje, kon jc hem nooit meer goed lijden… weet je nog? Ik herinner me nog je gezicht, toen je me dat vertelde op een Zaterdagmiddag, dat je naar huis kwam! En daarbij geloof ik, dat Joop er vrijwel onschuldig aan was. [let zijn die ellendige boetekinkels geweest, die het arme diertje hebben doodgemarteld. Joop deed waarschijnlijk alleen mee uit lafheid.” „0, niet eens! Hij was mans genoeg om er op te slaan of om weg te kopen… maar hij wou niet anders zijn dan de anderejongens. Dat vond ik juist het misselijke van die geschiedenis. Met die anderen ben ik gauw genoeg weer goeie vrienden geweest, maar hem heb ik eigenlijk nooit meer kunnen uitstaan… dat erken ik. Overigens geloof ik niet, dat hij het gemerkt heeft… of liet begreep.” „Hij deed het niet uit echte wreedheid, dat is tenminste een excuus”, zegt ze, „’t is eigenlijk een lobbes.” „Een excuus?” Hij kijkt haar aan, verwonderd. „Vind jc dat nu werkelijk? Merkwaardig… ik zou het beter hebben kunnen verdragen, als hij het uit wreedheid had gedaan. En een lobbes… het zijn dit goeiige, met de stroom mee-drijvende sullen, die in oorlogstijd de gruwelijkste dingen uithalen… Zie. je, die andere jongens waren wreed, simpel-weg. Dat zijn kinderen veel, bewust, rif onbewust. Wreed-heid hoeft ieder mensch in zich… dat is het oer-dier. Ik natuur zelf is wreed, de dieren zijn het onderling… Het is een woord… een fictie. Een of andere hysterische oude vrijster gilt: „o, die winde kat!” als het beest een vogel opeet. Slaan kan een uiting van hartstocht zijn en kussen een uiting van wreedheid… Er bestaan menschen, die mij wreed zuilen vinden, omdat ik ontelbare malen bij proef-dieren kanker heb verwekt. Ik hou van dieren, maar ik hou mėėr van de mensen.”

Willy Corsari (26 december 1897 – 11 mei 1998)
Cover Franse uitgave


De Zwitserse dichter en schrijver Alfred Huggenberger werd geboren op 26 december 1867 in Bewangen nabij Bertschikon. Zie ook alle tags voor Alfred Huggenberger op dit blog.

Früher Herbst

Nun muss der Sommer scheiden;
Der Tag kam früh, der Tag kam bald.
Der erste Reif liegt auf den Weiden,
Das Schweigen wandelt durch den Wald.

Die alten Tannen träumen
Von Sang und Sonnenherrlichkeit.
Ein Wort klingt zitternd in den Räumen:
Wo ist denn deine Sommerszeit ?

Ich muss mich bang besinnen –
Gar kurz ist doch ein Lebensjahr!
So vieles gibt’s noch zu gewinnen,
So wenig Träume wurden wahr!

Der Reif liegt auf den Weiden,
Das Schweigen wandelt durch den Tann’.
Froh sah ich manchen Sommer scheiden –
Heut’ kommt mich leis’ ein Trauern an.


Kleines Reich

Die reife Wiese ist ein Wald,
Die Hälmchen sind die Stämme schlank.
Dazwischen regt sich’s mannigfalt:
Die kluge Emse baut und schafft,
Und Käferlein spazieren,
Sie tragen Röckchen bunt und blank.

Sie krabbeln auf die Dolden hoch,
Dann heim, als gält’ es, nie zu ruhn:
«Frau Grille – ei, ihr kennt mich noch?»
Die müssiggängert vor der Tür
Und singt ihr altes Liedchen:
«Zirp, zirp! Heut weiss ich nichts zu tun!»

Ein Grashalm zittert neben mir,
Ein Mücklein schwingt sich drauf geschwind
Aus kühlverstecktem Nachtquartier.
«Was willst du, grosses Menschenkind?
Du wirst wohl kaum ergründen,
Was jedes von uns summt und sinnt!»

Alfred Huggenberger (26 december 1867 – 14 februari 1960)


De Franse schrijver René Bazin werd geboren op 26 december 1853 in Angers. Zie ook alle tags voor René Bazin op dit blog.

Uit: Les Noëllet

“Les femmes mangèrent debout, ça et là, suivant l’usage, causant peu, écoutant ce que disaient les hommes du travail de la journée et de celui du lendemain, par phrases courtes, sentencieuses, coupées de silences qu’imposait la faim vorace. Un air de prospérité marquait cette ferme et cette famille. Les parents étaient sains, les enfants d’allègre venue. Le domestique lui-même, robuste et sérieux, attestait le point d’honneur du maître. Le plat de terre brune, plein de lard aux choux, le saladier à fleurs bleues que surmontait un dôme de laitues fraîches, n’avaient pas une écornure. Tous les meubles luisaient. Dans les étables, d’où arrivait par moments le roulement des chaînes à travers le bois des crèches, il y avait les animaux les mieux nourris de la contrée, des vaches laitières dont le beurre faisait prime sur le marché de Beaupréau, six boeufs, superbes à voir quand ils labouraient ensemble, la vieille Huasse et son poulain, et des porcs et des bandes de poules et de canards, sans parler du bouc, animal solennel, réputé indispensable à la santé des troupeaux. Pour faire vivre tout ce monde, bêtes et gens, vingt-cinq hectares de terre cultivés suivant une tradition un peu routinière, mais avec beaucoup de soin : car Julien Noellet est chez lui, à la Genivière ; c’est son bien, sa propriété, le fruit des efforts de plusieurs générations d’ancêtres. Oh ! tous ces disparus, tous ces passants obscurs de la vie, qui dorment à présent leur dernier sommeil dans les cimetières voisins, comme ils l’avaient souhaitée, l’indépendance de la propriété, comme, pour l’acquérir, ils avaient travaillé, peiné, épargné ! De ferme en ferme, dans leur lent pèlerinage à travers les Mauges, sous des maîtres différents, une même pensée les avait suivis. Quand ils rentraient, le soir, l’échine tordue par la fatigue, au coin de leur feu, dans la demi-obscurité qui leur économisait une chandelle de résine, ils voyaient, par delà la mort qu’ils sentaient venir, une maison blanche, éclairée, une maison à soi où quelque arrière-petit-fils régnerait en souverain. Leur misère se consolait avec la joie de cet autre, en qui se réaliserait l’ambition de toute une race. Ils mouraient : l’épargne grandissait aux mains de l’aîné, plus ou moins lentement, selon les années et le hasard des récoltes, jamais touchée, jamais engagée. Un mariage avait tout à coup doublé l’avoir, et, avec l’argent caché dans un pot de grès, avec le prix d’une petite closerie qu’il possédait sur la paroisse de Villeneuve, avec la dot de sa femme, le père de Julien Noellet avait acheté la métairie de la Genivière, vendue dans un moment de gêne par les anciens propriétaires du domaine de la Landehue. »

René Bazin (26 december 1853 – 19 juli 1932)


De Franse schrijver en filosoof Julien Benda werd geboren op 26 december 1867 in Parijs. Zie ook alle tags voor Julien Benda op dit blog.

Uit: The Treason of the Intellectuals (Vertaald door Richard Aldington)

“It will be seen that I entirely dissociate myself from those who want the “clerk” to govern the world, and who wish with Renan for the “reign of the philosophers”; for it seems to me that human affairs can only adopt the religions of the true “clerk” under penalty of becoming divine, i.e. of perishing as human. This has been clearly seen by all lovers of the divine who did not desire the destruction of what is human. This is marvelously expressed by one of them when he makes Jesus say so profoundly to His disciple: “My son, I must not give you a clear idea of your substance … for if you saw clearly what you are, you could no longer remain so closely united to your body. You would no longer watch over the preservation of your life.”But though I think it a bad thing that the “clerk’s” religion should possess the lay world, I think it still more to be dreaded that it should not be preached to the layman at all, and that he should thus be allowed to yield to his practical passions without the least shame or the least, even hypocritical, desire to raise himself however slightly above them. “There are a few just men who prevent me from sleeping”—that was what the realist said of the teachers of old. Nietzsche, Barres, and Sorel do not prevent any realist from sleeping; on the contrary. This is the novelty I want to point out, which to me seems so serious. It seems to me serious that a humanity, which is more than ever obsessed by the passions of the world, should receive from its spiritual leaders the command: “Remain faithful to the earth.” Is this adoption of “integral realism” by the human species permanent, or merely temporary? Are we, as some people think, witnessing the beginning of a new Middle Ages (and one far more barbarous than the former, for though it practiced realism, it did not extol realism), from which, however, will arise a new Renaissance, a new return to the religion of distinterestedness?”

Julien Benda (26 december 1867 – 7 juni 1956)


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


Thomas Gray, Jean Galtier-Boissière, Ernst Moritz Arndt, Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis, E. D. E. N. Southworth, Jean-François de Saint-Lambert

De Engelse dichter en geleerde Thomas Gray werd geboren op 26 december 1716 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Gray op dit blog.

The Bard

“Fill high the sparkling bowl,
The rich repast prepare;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast.
Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.
Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse?
Long years of havoc urge their destin’d course
And thro’ the kindred squadrons mow their way.
Ye towers of Julius, London’s lasting shame,
With many a foul and midnight murther fed,
Revere his consort’s faith, his father’s fame,
And spare the meek usurper’s holy head.
Above, below, the rose of snow,
Twined with her blushing foe, we spread:
The bristled Boar in infant-gore
Wallows beneath the thorny shade.
Now, brothers, bending o’er th’ accursed loom
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom.

“Edward, lo! to sudden fate
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun)
Half of thy heart we consecrate.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)’
Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn
Leave me unbless’d, unpitied, here to mourn!
In yon bright track, that fires the western skies!
They melt, they vanish from my eyes.
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon’s height
Descending slow their glitt’ring skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight,
Ye unborn Ages, crowd not on my soul!
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail.
All-hail, ye genuine kings, Britannia’s issue, hail!

Thomas Gray (26 december 1716 – 30 juli 1771)
Gedenkplaat in Londen


De Franse schrijver, polemist en journalist Jean Galtier-Boissière werd geboren op 26 december 1891 in Parijs. Zie ook alle tags voor Jean Galtier-Boissière op dit blog.

Uit: Un hiver à Souchez

« Il me parle parfois de sa vie d’avant la guerre : elle lui apparaît comme un rêve indistinct. Je crois qu’il ne se rappelle plus très bien comment une femme est faite. Cependant il est allé une fois en permission, en remontant de seize jours de tranchées dans un secteur terrible.
A Paris, tandis qu’il se rendait d’une gare à l’autre, une dame a dit comme ça : ” Oh ! ce qu’il est sale, celui-là ! Il y en a qui doivent le faire exprès ! “.
Au pays, il a fait ripaille. Comme il ne racontait rien, les gens disaient : ” Il n’a pas dû être bien exposé, il n’a même pas la croix de guerre ! ”
Il est revenu au front sans trop de peine, n’ayant pas eu le temps de reprendre des habitudes, et c’est plutôt au milieu des gens de l’arrière qu’il se sentait dépaysé.

C’est au début de 1915 que j’entendis parler pour la première fois de fraternisations. Au fond des abris on racontait que dans le secteur du fort de Brimont, entre Reims et Berry-au-Bac, la dernière nuit de Noël, fantassins français et allemands étaient sortis en masse des tranchées et s’étaient jetés dans les bras les uns des autres. Le commandement était affolé et il fallut, des deux côtés, la menace d’ordonner à l’artillerie de tirer dans le tas, pour faire réintégrer leurs tranchées aux adversaires un instant réconciliés.”

Jean Galtier-Boissière (26 december 1891 – 22 januari 1966)
Un hiver à Souchez – illustratie door Jean Galtier-Boissière


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Ernst Moritz Arndt werd op 26 december 1769 in Groß-Schoritz geboren op het eiland Rügen. Zie ook alle tags voor Ernst Moritz Arndt op dit blog.


Freundlich leuchten die Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
Freundlich schimmert das Blumenkleid der Erde,
Mächtig brauset das Meer mit seinen Wellen
Furchtbar und lieblich.

Droben kreiset in Sonnenglut der Adler,
Drunten sumset der Käfer und die Biene,
Aus den Büschen klingen der Nachtigallen
Zärtliche Lieder.

Ja du bist schön und golden, Mutter Erde,
Schön in deinen rosigen Abendlocken,
Duftig in deines Erwachens Silberschimmer,
Bräutlich und züchtig.

Lustig hüpfest du hin im Weltentanze,
Alle deine Kinder am warmen Herzen,
Wandelst freudig dahin in deiner Sonne
Funkelndem Reigen.

Lustig sei und leuchtend des Menschen Stirne!
Nur dem Fröhlichen blüht der Baum des Lebens,
Dem Unschuldigen rinnt der Born der Jugend
Auch noch im Alter.

Ernst Moritz Arndt (26 december 1769 – 29 januari 1860)
Groß Schoritz


De Zwitserse dichter en schrijver Freiherr Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis werd geboren op 26 december 1762 op slot Bothmar bei Malans. Zie ook alle tags voor Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis op dit blog.

Lied zu singen bei einer Wasserfahrt

Wir ruhen vom Wasser gewiegt,
Im Kreise vertraulich und enge;
Durch Eintracht wie Blumengehänge
Verknüpft und in Reihen gefügt:
Uns sondert von lästiger Menge
Die Flut, die den Nachen umschmiegt.

So gleiten, im Raume vereint,
Wir auf der Vergänglichkeit Wellen,
Wo Freunde sich innig gesellen
Zum Freunde, der redlich es meint!
Getrost, weil die dunkelsten Stellen
Ein Glanz aus der Höhe bescheint.

Ach! trüg’ uns die fährliche Flut
Des Lebens so friedlich und leise!
O drohte nie Trennung dem Kreise,
Der sorglos um Zukunft hier ruht!
O nähm’ uns am Ziele der Reise
Elysiums Busen in Hut!

Verhallen mag unser Gesang,
Wie Flötenhauch schwinden das Leben;
Mit Jubel und Seufzern verschweben
Des Daseyns zerfließender Klang!
Der Geist wird verklärt sich erheben,
Wenn Lethe sein Fahrzeug verschlang.

Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis (26 december 1762 – 29 januari 1834)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth werd geboren op 26 december 1819 in Washington, D.C. Zie ook alle tags voor E. D. E. N. Southworth op dit blog.

Uit: The Hidden Hand

“On his left hand stood his cozy bedstead, with its warm crimson curtains festooned back, revealing the luxurious swell of the full feather bed and pillows, with their snow-white linen and lamb’s-wool blankets, inviting repose. Between this bedstead and the corner of the fireplace stood Old Hurricane’s ancient body servant Wool, engaged in warming a crimson cloth nightcap.
“Fools!” muttered Old Hurricane, over his punch–”jacks! they’ll all get the pleurisy except those that get drunk! Did they all go, Wool?”
“Ebery man, ‘oman and chile, sar!–’cept ‘tis me and coachman, sar!”
“More fools they! And I shouldn’t wonder if you, you old scarecrow, didn’t want to go too!”
“No, Marse–”
“I know better, sir! Don’t contradict me! Well, as soon as I’m in bed, and that won’t be long now, you may go–so that you get back in time to wait on me to-morrow morning.”
“Thanky, marse.”
“Hold your tongue! You’re as big a fool as the rest.
“I take this,” said Old Hurricane, as he sipped his punch and smacked his lips– “I take this to be the very quintessence of human enjoyment–sitting here in my soft, warm chair before the fire, toasting my legs, sipping my punch, listening on the one hand to the storm without and glancing on the other hand at my comfortable bed waiting there to receive my sleepy head. If there is anything better than this in this world I wish somebody would let me know it.”
“It’s all werry comformable indeed, marse,” said the obsequious Wool.
“I wonder, now, if there is anything on the face of the earth that would tempt me to leave my cozy fireside and go abroad to-night? I wonder how large a promise of pleasure or profit or glory it would take now?”
“Much as ebber Congress itse’f could give, if it give you a penance for all your sarvins,” suggested Wool.
“Yes, and more; for I wouldn’t leave my home comforts to-night to insure not only the pension but the thanks of Congress!” said the old man, replenishing his glass with steaming punch and drinking it off leisurely.
The clock struck eleven. The old man again replenished his glass, and, while sipping its contents, said:
“You may fill the warming-pan and warm my bed, Wool. The fumes of this fragrant punch are beginning to rise to my head and make me sleepy.”

E. D. E. N. Southworth (26 december 1819 – 30 juni 1899)


De Franse dichter, schrijver en filosoof Jean-François de Saint-Lambert werd geboren op 26 december 1716 in Nancy. Zie ook alle tags voor Jean-François de Saint-Lambert op dit blog.

L’Hiver (Fragment)

Les tyrans des forêts par la faim dévorés,
Impatiens du meurtre et de sang altérés,
Quittent pendant la nuit les bois et les montagnes:
Ils courent en fureur à travers les campagnes ;
lls osent s’élancer sur l’homme épouvanté :
Ce roi de l’univers , sa grâce et sa fierté ,
Ce front oit de son rang la noblesse est empreinte,
Ne leur inspire plus le respect et la crainte.
Ces monstres affamés cherchent dans les tombeaux
Des essemens poudreux ou d’horribles lambeaux.
On entend quelquefois des cris lents et funèbres,
Des hurlemens affreux rouler dans les ténèbres,
Et se mêler dans l’air aux tristes sifflemens
Qui partent d’un vieux dôme ébranlé par les vents :
Ces funestes concerts que les monts réfléchissent,
Semblent être l’écho des mânes qui gémissent.
Le lâche qui poursuit l’innocent opprimé ,
L’ingrat qui blesse un coeur dont il était aimé ,
Le perfide assassin , le monstre sanguinaire ,
Qui plongea le couteau dans le sein de son frère,
Croit voir eu ce moment les spectres des enfers,
Et leurs lugubres jeux couvrir les champs déserts:
Leurs longs gémisse mens, leurs clameurs lamen tables
Retentissent dans l’ ombre au fond des coeurs coupables.
Ah ! si l’ami des lois, le juste est sans remords,
S’il n’entend point les cris des démons ou des morts,
Il déplore , il ressent ces iléaux innombrables
Qu’accumule l’Hiver sur nos jours misérables.
O toi ! qui fis nos sens , toi qui formas nos meurs,
Ou rends-nous moins sensible , ou suspens tes rigueurs,
Dieu ;qu i dispose tout, Dieu, dont les mains fécondes
Ont tiré du néant les soleils et les mondes,
Ne pouvais-tu de l’homme écarter les douleurs?
Glacé par les frimas, brûlé par les chaleurs,
Jeté par la nature à travers les orages,
Sur des bords ennemis, dans des déserts sauvages,
Abandonné sans force au choc des élémens,
Le martyr de ses sens et de ses sentirnens,
De chagrins en chagrins conduit par l’espérance,
Il passe dans les pleurs son moment d’existence,
Et se traîne accablé sous le poids de ses maux,
Sur un monde en ruine, à travers les tombeaux.

Jean-François de Saint-Lambert (26 december 1716 – 9 februari 1803)
Anoniem portret