Lucien Rebatet, Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Janus Secundus

De Franse schrijver en journalist Lucien Rebatet werd geboren op 15 november 1903 in Moras -en- Valloire, Drôme. Zie ook alle tags voor Lucien Rebatet op dit blog.

Uit: Les décombres

« Nous roulions en direction de Montlhéry. Quelques kilomètres après Versailles, un embouteillage inouï nous arrêta tout à coup. Nous n’étions plus en retraite, mais au milieu d’une débâcle sans précédent. Le flux des fuyards vomi de Paris par cinq ou six portes était venu se confondre inextricablement à ce carrefour. Tous les aspects de la plus infâme panique se révélaient dans ces voitures, remplies jusqu’à rompre les essieux des chargements les plus hétéroclites, femelles hurlantes aux tignasses jaunes échevelées se collant dans les trainées de fard fondu et de poussière, males en bras de chemises, en nage, exorbités, les nuques violettes, retombé en une heure à l’état de la brute néolithique, pucelles dépoitraillées à plein seins, belles-mères à demi-mortes d’épouvante et de fatigue, répandues parmi les chienchiens, les empilements de fourrures, d’édredons, de coffrets à bijoux, de cages à oiseaux, de boites de camemberts, de poupées-fétiches, exhibant comme des bêtes devant la foule leurs jambons écartés et le fond de leurs culottes. Des bicyclettes étaient fichées entre les garde-boues. Des enfants de douze ans étaient partis agrippés aux portières de petites neuf chevaux au fond desquelles s’emmêlaient dix paires de jambes et de bras. Certains avaient arrimé des lits-cages à leur malle-arrière. Des voitures de deux cent mille francs portaient sur leurs toits, enveloppés dans des draps sales, deux ou trois célèbres matelas de juin Quarante, disparaissaient sous des paquets d’on ne savait quoi ficelés dans des journaux et de vieilles serviettes éponges, pendant le long des garde-boues. Des ouvrières s’étaient mises en route à pied, nu-tête, en chaussons ou en talons Louis XV, poussant deux marmots devant elles dans une voiture de nourrice, un troisième pendu à leur jupes. Des cyclistes étaient parvenus jusque là on ne savait comment, traînant sur leurs vélos leurs échines la charge d’un chameau de caravane. Des gens avaient emportés un peignoir de bain, un aspirateur, un pot de géranium, des pincettes, un baromètre, un porte-parapluie, dans l’affolement d’un réveil de cauchemar, une empilade éperdue, le pillage forcené d’un logis par ses propres habitants. »

 
Lucien Rebatet (15 november 1903 – 24 augustus 1972)
In 1931

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Lucien Rebatet, Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Janus Secundus”

Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Lucien Rebatet, Janus Secundus

De Poolse dichter en schrijver Antoni Słonimski werd geboren op 15 november 1895 in Warschau. Zie ook alle tags voor Antoni Sionimski op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 15 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 15 november 2010

ELÉGIE POUR LES VILLAGES JUIFS

Ils n’existent plus, en Pologne, les villages juifs, non
A Hrubieszów, Karczew, Brody ou Falenica,
En vain tu cherches la lueur des bougies allumées
Et tends l’oreille vers le chant de la synagogue de bois.

Disparus les derniers vestiges, le saint-frusquin des juifs,
Recouvert de sable le sang, effacées toutes traces,
Les murs blanchis à la chaux, sur toutes leurs faces
Comme pour un grand jour ou après une épidémie.

Ici brille une lune pâle, étrangère et froide,
Dès la sortie de la ville, sur la chaussée,
quand la nuit déploie sa lumière,
Mes parents juifs, gens à l’âme poétique,
Ne retrouvent plus les deux lunes d’or de Chagall.

Les lunes voyagent déjà au-dessus d’une autre planète
Chassées par le sombre silence, d’elles plus une trace.
Ils ne sont plus les villages, où le cordonnier était poète,
L’horloger, philosophe, le barbier, troubadour.

Ils ne sont plus ces villages où les chants bibliques,
Poussés par le vent,
s’alliaient au chant polonais et à la tristesse slave,
Où les vieux juifs s’asseyaient à l’ombre du cerisier
Et pleuraient les saintes murailles de Jérusalem.

Ils ne sont plus ces villages, disparus comme des ombres
Et cette ombre s’étendra entre nos paroles
Jusqu’à ce qu’ils s’unissent fraternellement
et recommencent au début,
Deux peuples nourris de la même souffrance.

Vertaald door Catherine Fourcassié

 
Antoni Słonimski (15 november 1895 – 4 juli 1976)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Lucien Rebatet, Janus Secundus”

Marianne Moore, Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Janus Secundus, Richmal Crompton, Emmy von Rhoden, Madeleine de Scudéry, José de Lizardi

De Amerikaanse dichteres Marianne Moore werd geboren op 15 november 1887 in Kirkwood, Missouri. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 15 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 15 november 2010.

Roses Only

You do not seem to realize that beauty is a liability rather

than

an asset – that in view of the fact that spirit creates form

we are justified in supposing

that you must have brains. For you, a symbol of the

unit, stiff and sharp,

conscious of surpassing by dint of native superiority and

liking for everything

self-dependent, anything an

ambitious civilization might produce: for you, unaided, to

attempt through sheer

reserve, to confuse presumptions resulting from

observation, is idle. You cannot make us

think you a delightful happen-so. But rose, if you are

brilliant, it

is not because your petals are the without-which-nothing

of pre-eminence. Would you not, minus

thorns, be a what-is-this, a mere

perculiarity? They are not proof against a worm, the

elements, or mildew;

but what about the predatory hand? What is brilliance

without co-ordination? Guarding the

infinitesimal pieces of your mind, compelling audience to

the remark that it is better to be forgotten than to be re-

membered too violently,

your thorns are the best part of you.

 

Marianne Moore (15 november 1887 – 5 februari 1972)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Marianne Moore, Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Janus Secundus, Richmal Crompton, Emmy von Rhoden, Madeleine de Scudéry, José de Lizardi”

Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Marianne Moore

De Poolse dichter en schrijver Antoni Słonimski werd geboren op 15 november 1895 in Warschau. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 november 2009.

 

Rebellion

 

Mein Herz zu rühren braucht es nur sehr wenig.

Mein Wort entlädt sich leicht wie ein Gewehr.

Im Königreich bin ich ein Revolutionär,

Und in der Republik lobpreise ich den König.

 

 

Elegy for the Little Jewish Towns

 

Gone now are, gone are in Poland the Jewish villages,
in Hrubieszow, Karczew, Brody, Falenica
you look in vain for candlelight in the windows
and listen for song from the wooden synagogue.

 

Disappeared are the last rests, the Jewish possessions,
the blood is covered over by sand, the traces removed,
and the walls whitewashed with lime,
as for a high holiday or after a contagious disease.

 

One moon shines here, cold, pale, alien,
already behind the town, on the road,
when night uncoils its light,
my Jewish relatives, boys with poetic feeling,

will no longer find Chagal’s two golden moons.

 

The moons now wander above another planet,
frightened away by grim silence, no trace of them.
Gone now are those little towns where the shoemaker was a poet,

The watchmaker a philosopher, the barber a troubadour.

 

Gone now are those little towns where the wind joined
Biblical songs with Polish tunes and Slavic rue,
Where old Jews in orchards in the shade of cherry trees
Lamented for the holy walls of Jerusalem.

 

Gone now are those little towns, though the poetic mists,
The moons, winds, ponds, and stars above them
Have recorded in the blood of centuries the tragic tales,
The histories of the two saddest nations on earth.

 

 

Vertaald door Howard Weiner 

 

 

Antoni Słonimski (15 november 1895 – 4 juli 1976)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Antoni Słonimski, Elizabeth Arthur, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Marianne Moore”

Wolf Biermann, Gerhard Hauptmann, Elizabeth Arthur, Heinz Piontek, J. G. Ballard, Liane Dirks, Antoni Słonimski, Carlo Emilio Gadda

De Duitse zanger, dichter en schrijver Wolf Biermann werd geboren op 15 november 1936 in Hamburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 15 november 2007 en ook mijn blog van 15 november 2008.

 

Das 66. Sonett

Müd müd von all dem schrei ich nach dem Schlaf im Tod
Weil ich ja seh: Verdienst geht betteln hier im Staat
Seh Nichtigkeit getrimmt auf Frohsinn in der Not
Und reinster Glaube landet elend im Verrat

Und Ehre ist ein goldnes Wort, das nichts mehr gilt
Und einer Jungfrau Tugend wird verkauft wie’n Schwein
Und weil Vollkommenheit man einen Krüppel schilt
Und weil die Kraft dahinkriecht auf dem Humpelbein

Gelehrte Narrn bestimmen, was als Weisheit gilt
Und Kunst seh ich geknebelt von der Obrigkeit
Und simple Wahrheit, die man simpel Einfalt schilt
Und Güte, die in Ketten unterm Stiefel schreit

Von all dem müde, wär ich lieber tot, ließ ich
In dieser Welt dabei mein Liebchen nicht im Stich

 

Wolkenbilder über Hamburg

Die Wolken wildern weiß im Blau
Der Wind schiebt Bilder durch die Himmel
Der Wind malt mir ‘ne Monsterschau
ein nazigrüner Kohlenklau
ein Wolf im Schafgewimmel

Ein Phönix federwölket zart
schon fingert Licht durch die Kulissen
groß bellt ein Gott mir Zickenbart
ein Hundekopf auf blauer Fahrt
hat mir mein Herz zerbissen

Wenn bloß kein Regen runterfällt,
kein kein kernkraftwerkekranker Regen
der Tod fährt lustig um die Welt
im Wolkenschiff am Himmelszelt
und wirft in Hamburg Anker

Und weißt Du was, auf einmal sah
ich oben in den Wolkenfratzen
Dein liebes Bild so schrecklich klar
Dann weinte ich, ich weiß es ja
kein Tod kann mich noch kratzen.

Biermann

Wolf Biermann (Hamburg, 15 november 1936)

 

 

De Duitse schrijver Gerhard Johann Robert (Gerhart) Hauptmann werd geboren in Obersalzbrunn (Neder-Silezië) op 15 november 1862. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 november 2008.

Uit: Before Daybreak (Vor Sonnenaufgang)

MRS. KRAUSE appears, dreadfully overdressed. Lost of shiny silk and expensive jewelry. Both bearing and garb betray callous arrogance, absurd vanity, and the pride born of stupidity.

HOFFMANN. Ah, there you are, Mother! Permit me to introduce my friend, Dr. Loth.

MRS. KRAUSE. (Improvises a grotesque curtsey.) Pleased-t’meetcha. (After a short pause.) Now first, Doctor, I gotta ask ya not to have no hard feelin’s toward me, ’n I’m properly sorry, so ‘scuse me, will ya? – ‘Scuse me on account o’ the way I acted afore. (The longer she speaks, the faster she speaks.) Y’know, y’unnerstan’, we got a whoppin’ big bunch o’ bums comes bummin’ their way in ’n outa these parts. … Ya wouldn’ believe the kind o’ trouble we got with them moochers. Bunch o’ magpies’ll swipe anythin’ ain’t nailed down. An’ it ain’t ‘zackly ’s if we was tight, ya know. A penny one way or t’other don’t mean nothin’ to us . . . or a Mark neither. Not on yer life! Now, you take Ludwig Krause’s ol’ lady, she’s ’s cheap ’s they come; wouldn’ give ya th’ time o’ day. Her ol’ man dropped dead in a fit o’ rage ‘cause he lost a lousy two thousan’ playin’ cards. Well, we ain’t that sort, ya know. See that buffet over there? Set me back two hunnert – ’n that don’t even include the shippin’ costs. Baron Klinkow himself ain’t got nothin’ better.

MRS. SPILLER has also entered, shortly after Mrs. Krause. She is small, somewhat deformed, and decked out in Mrs. Krause’s hand-me-downs. While Mrs. Krause speaks, she looks up at her with a kind of admiration. She is about fifty-five. Her breath is accompanied by a quiet little moan when she exhales; it is regularly audible, even when she speaks, as a soft “nnngg.”

MRS. SPILLER. (In an obsequious, affectedly melancholic, minor-key tone. Very softly.) His Lordship the Baron has the exact same buffet – nnngg – .

HELEN. (To Mrs. Krause.) Mother, don’t you think we should sit down before we . . .

MRS. KRAUSE. (With a lightning fast turn to Helen, and a scathing look; brusquely and imperiously.) Izzat fittin’ ’n proper? (She is just about to sit down when she remembers that grace has not been said. Mechanically she folds her hands without, however, managing to suppress her meanness.)

MRS. SPILLER. (Intoning.) Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. May thy bounty to us be blessed. A-men. They take their seats noisily. With all the passing and taking of the many dishes, which occupies no mean amount of time, they manage to get over the awkwardness of the previous interchange.

HOFFMANN. (To Loth.) Help yourself, Alfred. How about some oysters?

LOTH. I’ll give them a try. First time for me.

MRS. KRAUSE. (Who has just slurped one down noisily and speaks with freshly restuffed mouth.) Ya mean this season?

LOTH. I mean ever. Mrs. Krause and Mrs. Spiller exchange glances.

HOFFMANN. (To Kahl, who is squeezing the juice from a lemon with his teeth.) Haven’t seen you for two days, Mr. Kahl. Been busy shooting up the fieldmice?

KAHL. Aw, g-g-go on.

HOFFMANN. (To Loth.) You see, Mr. Kahl is passionately devoted to hunting.

KAHL. F-f-fieldmice is inf-f-famous amph-ph-phibians!

HELEN. (Bursts out laughing.) That’s just too absurd. Wild or domestic, tame or game, he can’t see anything that moves without shooting it!

KAHL. L-las’ night, I g-g-gunned down our ol’ s-s-sow.

LOTH. Seems that shooting is your primary occupation.”

gerhard_hauptmann

Gerhard Hauptmann (15 november 1862 – 6 juni 1946)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Elizabeth Arthur werd geboren op 15 november 1953 in New York. In 1973 stopte zij met haar studie om te gaan doceren aan de National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming. Nadat zij in 1974 getrouwd was trokken zij en haar man naar Brits Columbia waar zij tot 1979 bleven. In 1978 studeerde Arthur alsnog af in Engels. In 1982 hertrouwde zij met de schrijver Steve Bauer en verhuisde zij uiteindelijk naar Indiana. Met een beurs kon zij in 1983 (Beyond the mountain) en in 1986 (Bad Guys) haar eerste twee romans schrijven.

 

Uit: Bring Deeps

 

„That afternoon, we both stayed angry; we could not stop, although we wished to. Language had led us to a place from which we could not wake at will to fly from it. How could this be? I think perhaps because our bodies spoke so well we failed to notice that our mouths spoke different dialects. We failed to notice, then or after, that our words could turn to stones, or were like ropes we had drawn forth and then become entangled in. And though our conversation needed to be untied as much as any dream in Gilgamesh, it never was, and there’s no magic which can change the evil consequence. We drove to Kirkwall, checked into the house where Bastian always roomed when he was there, and then, since it was three o’clock by then, had early tea, down in the parlor. We said few words until Sebastian said, ‘I have to get my mail. I have to work today.’

And I said, ‘Fine. You do that. I’ll take a walk and see this ugly town you’ve brought me to.’

‘Go see St Magnus,’ said Sebastian. ‘I’ve been there one too many times. I’ve had it up to here, in any case, with Viking savages. They went on the Crusades and slaughtered everyone in sight, then on their way back home, stopped by in Orkney to break in through the roof of the best Stone Age tomb in all of Europe. When that was not enough, they scrawled runes on its walls, claiming they had removed the chambers’ ‘treasures”. Liars. There was no treasure.’

‘I know,’ I said, as short with him as he had ever been with me. ‘I know a lot that you don’t think I know.’

‘I’ll see you later, then,’ he said, and he was gone, and I was left enraged and desolate.

I pulled myself together. I felt a total fool, but put on a down vest, canvas jacket, boots, a woolen hat, before I went out walking, and that was good, because that way I wasn’t cut in half by the cold wind that gathered at each corner. Kirkwall wasn’t ugly, as I’d said. But neither was it like the rest of what I’d seen of Orkney — clear and cold and high and bright and welcoming. It was complex, with taut stone streets, and towered, tiered walls of stone, which seemed to have their windows peering darkly through them. Nor was it true, I n
oticed, that, as Bastian might imply, I felt the cold here more than other people.
The day was August 4th, and from each chimney that I passed, smoke rose, although it was high summer in the Orkneys.“

 

Arthur

Elizabeth Arthur (New York, 15 november 1953)
Elizabeth Arthur met haar man Steven Bauer

 

De Duitse dichter en schrijver Heinz Piontek werd geboren op 15 november 1925 Kreuzburg (Opper-Silezië). Bekend werd hij verrassend snel met de dichtbundels „Die Furt“ (1952) en „Die Rauchfahne“ (1953). In 1955 verscheen zijn eerste bundel met proza „Vor Augen“. In 1967 publiceerde hij de met de Münchner Literaturpreis bekroonde roman „Die mittleren Jahre“. In 1984 verscheen zijn sterk autobiografische roman „Zeit meines Lebens“,  waarin hij over zijn kinderjaren en zijn jeugd in Opper-Silezië vertelde, twee jaar later gevolgd door “Stunde der Überlebenden“. Piontek maakte zich ook verdienstelijk als schrijver van hoorspelen, bloemlezer, vertaler (John Keats) en uitgever. Piontek moest in 1943 zo van de schoolbanken het leger in. In 1945 werd hij Amerikaans krijgsgevangene in Beieren. Hij  werd vrijgelaten, maakte het gymnasium af en studeerde germanistiek. Vanaf 1948 was hij zelfstandig schrijver.

 

Die Furt

 

Schlinggewächs legt sich um Wade und Knie,
Dort ist die seichteste Stelle.
Wolken im Wasser, wie nahe sind sie!
Zögernder lispelt die Welle.

 

Waten und spähen – die Strömung bespült
Höher hinauf mir den Schenkel.
Nie hab ich so meinen Herzschlag gefühlt.
Sirrendes Mückengeplänkel.

 

Kaulquappenrudel zerstieben erschreckt,
Grundgeröll unter den Zehen.
Wie hier die Luft nach Verwesendem schmeckt!
Flutlichter kommen und gehen.

 

Endlose Furt, durch die Fährnis gelegt –
Werd ich das Ufer gewinnen?
Strauchelnd und zaudernd, vom Springfisch erregt
Such ich der Angst zu entrinnen.

 

 

Fischerhütte

 

Harte, wetterfarbne Planken

und die Tür im Sommer offen.

Auf der Eschenschwelle st
eh ich,

von der Finsternis betroffen.

 

Netze, eine Bootslaterne,

Wasserstiefel, Angelhaken,

der Südwester hängt am Nagel,

Strohsackkoje ohne Laken.

 

Hinterm Herd der Kienholzstapel,

warm und dünstig ist die Enge –

und im Dunkel die Geschichten

wunderbarer Fänge.

 

Piontek

Heinz Piontek (15 november 1925 – 26 oktober 2003)

 

De Britse dichter en schrijver James Graham Ballard werd geboren in Shanghai op 15 november 1930. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 november 2008.

 

Crash (Fragment)

 

All the while I stared at those parts of Gabrielle’s body

Reflected in this nightmare technology of cripple controls.

I watched her thighs shifting against each other

The jut of her left breast under the strap of her spinal harness

The angular bowl of her pelvis

The hard pressure of her hand on my arm

She gazed back at me through the windshield

Playing with the chromium clutch treadle

As if hoping that something obscene might happen

 

It was I who first made love to her

In the rear seat of her small car

Surrounded by the bizarre geometry of the invalid controls

As I explored her body

Feeling my way among the braces and straps of her underwear

The unfamiliar planes of her legs and hips

Steered me into unique cul de sacs

Strange declensions of skin and musculature

 

Each of her deformities became a potent metaphor

For the excitements of a new violence

Her body with its angular contours

Its unexpected junctions of mucus membrane and hairline

Detrusor muscle and erectile tissue

Was a ripening anthology of perverse possibilies

 

As I sat with her by the airport fence in her darkened car

Her white breast in my hand lit by the ascending airliners

The shape and tenderness of her nipple seemed to rape my fingers

Her sexual acts were exploratory ordeals

 

jg_ballard

J. G. Ballard (Shanghai, 15 november 1930)

 

 

De Duitse schrijfster Liane Dirks werd geboren op 15 november 1965 in Hamburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 november 2007 en ook mijn blog van 15 november 2008.

 

Uit: Der Koch der Königin

 

„Das Mädchen allerdings brauchte er auch aus einem anderen Grund. Lange hatte er suchen müssen, viel hatte er erleben müssen, und noch meh rhatte er anderen angetan, bis er es fand. Es war etwas sehr Schlichtes, dem er in tausend Trug- und Zerrbildern nachgelaufen war. Hier erst hatte er es entdeckt, hier erst hatte er begriffen, hier, in diesem Land.
Es konnte eine Mango sein, oder eine sich rot öffnende Bananenblüte, es konnte ein schillernder, frisch aus dem Meer gezogener Snapper sein, der kraftvoll auf den Tisch schlug und in der LUft nach Wasser schnappte. Es konnte das Meer selber sein oder eine Handvoll Sand, der Anblick des Vulkans vor dem Abendhimmel oder das Gesicht eines Bettlers, der keineswegs blind war, s
ondern Sterne trug, wo andere ihre Augen haben.
Andres hatte nichts Geringeres als die Schönheit entdeckt, den Kern der Schönheit, die Essenz. Sie war es, nach der er sich sein Leben lang gesehnt hatte.
Das Mangel hatte ihn süchtig gemacht, die Fülle riss ihm zu sehr am Herzen. Es war das Maß, auf das es ankam, endlich hatte er es verstanden. Und das Mädchen hatte es. Es hatte genau das richtige Maß.“

 

LianeDirks

Liane Dirks (Hamburg, 15 november 1965)

 

De Poolse dichter en schrijver Antoni Słonimski werd geboren op 15 november 1895 in Warschau. Hij groeide op als kind uit een joodse familie maar trad later toe tot de katholieke kerk. In 1919 richtte hij samen met Julian Tuwim en Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz de Skamander groep op, een groep van experimentele dichters. In 1939 ging hij in ballingschap, in 1940 vluchtte hij naar Londen. In 1951 keerde hij naar Polen terug en engageerde hij zich tegen het stalinisme en voor politieke liberalisering. Behalve gedichten schreef Słonimski ook theaterkritieken, feullietons en absurde verhalen.

 

Lyrics

I know, I’ll go on foot from the, station,
Even if it happened on a dark evening,
Can’t lose the way: along the track
Then left from the two acacia trees.

 

Tobacco flower fragrant in the darkness,
A sweetish scent of the horse manure
And somewhere a distant locomotive whistle
Long, melancholic, dolefully waning.

 

As it sometimes has been in my dreams,
I’ll recognize your voice when you ask: “Who’s there?”
And it will painfully grab me by the throat
The fear, the despair and the bliss of return.

 

“Who’s there?” – you will ask. I’ll say: “It’s me – Antoni
I am here.” One more step, one half – step.
And a trembling hand I’ll feel on my temple
And will hear the heart beat in the darkness.

 

“Did not think I’ll frighten you so!
Do not turn the lights on, let’s stay in the darkness,
Why look in the eyes, eyes no longer ours
When the hearts like in our youth are pounding?”

 

“Why you came back? It’s not good here.”
“I knew, but there was no solace for me,
I left here everything I possessed:
The common dreams of our young years.”

 


Vertaald door Stefan Golston

 

Antoni_Slonimski

Antoni Słonimski (15 november 1895 – 4 juli 1976)

 

De Italiaanse schrijver Carlo Emilio Gadda werd geboren op 15 november 1893 in Milaan. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 november 2008.

 

Uit: That Awful Mess on the via Merulana (Vertaald door William Weaver)

 

When they reached Via Merulana: the crowd. Outside the entrance, the black of the crowd, with its wreath of bicycle wheels. “Make way there. Police.” Everybody stood aside. The door was closed. A policeman was on guard: with two traffic cops and two carabinieri. The women were questioning them: the cops were saying to the women: “Stand aside.” The women wanted to know. Three or four, already, could be heard talking of the lottery numbers: they agreed on 17, all right, but they were having a spat over 13.

The two men went up to the Balducci home, the hospitable home that Ingravallo knew, you might say, in his heart. On the stairway, a parleying of shadows, the whispers of the women of the building. A baby cried. In the entrance hall . . . nothing especially noticeable (the usual odor of wax, the usual neatness) except for two policemen, silent, awaiting instructions. On a chair, a young man with his lead in his hands. He stood up. It was Doctor Valdarena. Then the concierge appeared, emerging, grim and pudgy, from the shadow of the hall. Nothing remarkable, you would have said: but as soon as they had entered the dining room, on the parquet floor, between the table and the little sideboard, on the floor . . . that horrible thing.

The body of the poor signora was lying in an infamous position, supine, the gray wool skirt and a white petticoat thrown back, almost to her breast: as if someone had wanted to uncover the fascinating whiteness of that dessous, or inquire into its state of cleanliness. She was wearing white underpants, of elegant jersey, very fine, which ended halfway down the thighs with a delicate edging. Between the edging and the stockings, which were a light-shaded silk, the extreme whiteness of the flesh lay naked, of a chlorotic pallor: those two thighs, slightly parted, on which the garters-a lilac hue-seemed to confer a distinction of rank, had lost their tepid sense, were already becoming used to the chill: to the chill of the sarcophagus and of man’s taciturn, final abode. The precise work of the knitting, to the eyes of those men used to frequenting maidservants, shaped uselessly the weary proposals of a voluptuousness whose ardor, whose shudder, seemed to have barely been exhaled from the gentle softness of that hill, from that central line, the carnal mark of the mystery … the one that Michelangelo (Don Ciccio mentally saw again his great work, at San Lorenzo) had thought it wisest to omit. Details! Skip it!”

 

gadda

Carlo Emilio Gadda (15 november 1893 – 21 mei 1973)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 15e november ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.