Cees Nooteboom, Jill McDonough

De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Cees Nooteboom werd geboren in Den Haag op 31 juli 1933. Zie ook alle tags voor Cees Nooteboom op dit blog.

Uit: Roads to Santiago (Vertaald door Ina Rilke)

“Berlanga, Gormaz, Penaranda, Penafiel, they all take on the colour of the dry soil as they lie there, sprawled and menacing on the low ripple of hills. Like dismantled, empty shells, the vast carcasses of extinct beasts–that is how they rule over the bare land and the low, unprepossessing villages in which churches and convents preserve the remembrance of former glory. In their sculpted calligraphy they evoke the memory of vanished Arab rulers. Time really did melt in this place, and then solidified for ever. The traveller sees the map growing emptier as he proceeds. There is nothing to tell, he feels lost in a well of centuries, set upon by ruins. The hot wind rolls with him over the plain, and he will encounter few beings on his way: Soria is the most deserted province of Spain, the population is still trickling away, there is no livelihood to be had there.
I seek refuge from the heat in the monastery of Veruela. It’s like slamming the door on the plain behind you and stepping into a different, cooler, world. Oak trees and cypresses, the gentle lapping of water, rustling leaves, shade. There is no one to be seen, no cars belonging to other visitors, nothing. In Italy one often has the feeling that all the treasures are out on display, the eye is inebriated by what it sees, the great cornucopia is drained of its contents, there is no end to it. In Spain, and especially in these parts, one has to make an effort. Distances have to be covered, conquests made. The Spanish character has something monastic about it, even in their great monarchs there is a touch of the anchorite: both Philip and Charles built monasteries for themselves and spent much time in seclusion, turning their backs to the world they were required to govern. Anyone who has travelled widely through Spain is accustomed to such surprise encounters, and indeed anticipates them: in the middle of nowhere an enclave, an oasis, a walled, fortresslike, introverted spot, where silence and the absence of others wreak havoc in the souls of men. That is how it is here. I have walked under all the quarterings of Ferdinand of Aragon’s coat of arms and the simpler, mitred arms of the archbishop of Zaragoza and of the abbot of the monastery. I am standing in the courtyard and have tugged the bell, but there is no response. I go back to the coats of arms and stare up at them, but they have lost their meaning. I can see, but am blind to what I see. There must have been a time when people “read” these symbols the way I read a traffic sign. I know that those quarterings indicate lineage, that they speak of couplings in remote Spanish castles which yielded knights and ladies, all of whom, rowing down the long rivers of their blood, are fused in this Ferdinand.”


Cees Nooteboom (Den Haag, 31 juli 1933)


Onafhankelijk van geboortedata

De Amerikaanse dichteres Jill McDonough werd geboren in Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 en groeide op in North Carolina.


Nog steeds vallend

Mijn vriend probeert te stoppen met roken, en ik zeg: Ach, wees niet zo hard voor jezelf, ziek
van het doen alsof we niet dood gaan. We gaan dood en vallen nog steeds

voor onzin over bessen, een glas rode wijn. Het had erger kunnen zijn. We zijn niet suïcidaal,
geef de duivels een klap, Swazi. Dus we slaan nog steeds de sportschool over, eten nog steeds friet, vallen nog steeds

in slaap met de tv aan. Wat dan ook. We zijn dagelijks dichter bij het sterven, maar
het lijkt langzaam te gebeuren. De avond, poedersneeuw, de koude nacht, vallen nog steeds,

lacht hij, een lang touw van rook, zijn warme adem stijgt op. Goed. We hangen allemaal
onszelf op, maar het is een lang touw, Jill. Zie je? We zijn allemaal nog steeds in orde, we vallen nog steeds.


Vertaald door Frans Roumen


Jill McDonough
(Hartford, Connecticut, 1972)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 31e juli ook mijn blog van 31 juli 2019 en ook mijn blog van 31 juli 2018 en ook mijn blog van 31 juli 2017 en ook mijn blog van 31 juli 2016 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2.