William Styron, Sophie van der Stap, N. P. van Wyk Louw, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata, Athol Fugard, Nnimmo Bassey

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: The Confessions of Nat Turner

“There was nothing to say. “Well, you was a success, all right. Up to a point. Mind you”—he jabbed a brown-stained finger at me—”up to a point. Because, Reverend, basically speaking and in the profoundest sense of the word you was a flat-assed failure—a total fiasco from beginning to end insofar as any real accomplishment is concerned. Right? Because, like you told me yesterday, all the big things that you expected to happen out of this just didn’t happen. Right? Only the little things happened, and them little things when they was all added up didn’t amount to a warm bottle of piss. Right?” I felt myself shivering as I gazed downward between my legs at the plank floor and at the links of cold cast iron sagging like a huge rusting timber chain in the chill dim light. Suddenly I felt the approach of my own death, and with a prickling at my scalp, considered that death with mingled dread and longing. My hands trembled, my bones ached, and I heard Gray’s voice as if from a broad and wintry distance. “Item,” he persisted. “By the U. S. census of last year there were eight thousand niggers in this county, all chattel, not counting around fifteen hundred niggers that were free. Of this grand total of ten thousand plus or minus whatever, you fully expected a good percentage of the male population, at least, to rise up and join you. Anyway, that’s what you have said, and that’s what the nigger Hark and that other nigger, Nelson, before we hung him, said you said. Let’s figure that, oh, maybe a little less than half of the nigger population of the county lives along the route you traversed toward Jerusalem. Lives within earshot of your clarion call, so to speak. Counting on the bucks alone, that’s one thousand black people who might be expected to follow your banner and live and die for Niggerdom, and this is only if we figure that a pathetic fifty per cent of the eligible males joined you. Not including pickaninnies and old uncles. One thousand niggers you should have collected, according to your plans. One thousand! And how in the forenoon of the second day when at some pillaged ruin of a manor house far up-county I watched a young Negro I had never seen before, outlandishly garbed in feathers and the uniform of an army colonel, so drunk that he could barely stand, laughing wildly, pissing into the hollow mouth of a dead, glassy-eyed white-haired old grandmother still clutching a child as they lay sprawled amid a bed of zinnias, and I said not a word to him, merely turned my horse about and thought: It was because of you, old woman, that we did not learn to fight nobly … “Last but not least,” Gray said, “item. And a durned important item it is, too, Reverend, also attested to by witnesses both black and white and by widespread evidence so unimpeachable as to make this here matter almost a foregone conclusion.”

William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)
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De Nederlandse schrijfster Sophie van der Stap werd geboren in Amsterdam op 11 juni 1983. Zie ook alle tags voor Sophie van der Stap op dit blog.

Uit: Buiten spelen

“Het is nu bijna drie jaar geleden dat ik Paloma heb ontmoet. Ik had toen twee boeken op m’n naam staan; een biografisch boek en een tweede dat ergens de weg tussen fictie en non-fictie was kwijtgeraakt. Wat kan ik verder over toen zeggen? Ergens in huis lag een paspoort gevuld met stempels en andere souvenirs aan mijn verre reizen. In míjn huis; niet lang daarvoor had ik dankzij het succes van Meisje met negen pruiken een appartement aan de Lijnbaansgracht kunnen kopen, maar ik stond heel ergens anders: aan de voet van Montmartre en aan de voet van een nieuw project, boek nummer drie. Mijn eerste echte boek, een roman, want écht schrijven is toch veel meer dan een biografische overlevering. Al met al was het een ander leven en misschien was ik toen ook wel een andere ik. Alles zag er anders uit, of ik nou achterom keek of vooruit.
Ik koos Parijs omdat ik me niet meer thuis voelde in mijn leventje in Amsterdam. Het was te routineus, te ontdekt, te gemakkelijk misschien ook.
Parijs was het tegenovergestelde; ik sprak de taal niet en op mijn literaire agenten na – twee zes-talen-sprekende, drukke dames – kende ik er niemand. In Amsterdam was ik inmiddels een big fish in a small pond, in Parijs slechts een van de natgeregende jassen op straat die stilletjes in de metro verdwijnen. Ik wilde uit die vissenkom treden, uit mijn eigen ik. En dat lukte. Ik merkte dat de mensen me er ‘schoner’ bejegenden; zonder informatie is het moeilijk iemand te plaatsen. Uit je buitenlandse accent kunnen ze niet opmaken of je van de grachtengordel komt of uit Osdorp. Je bent onleesbaar, ongrijpbaar, onaantastbaar. Je bent de buitenlander. Dat maakt wat alleenig, maar ook universeler en uiteindelijk meer jezelf.”

Sophie van der Stap (Amsterdam, 11 juni 1983)


De Zuid-Afrikaans schrijver en dichter Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw werd geboren in Sutherland op 11 juni 1906. Zie ook alle tags voor N. P. van Wyk Louw op dit blog.

O suiwer hart

O suiwer hart wat honger was
in al jou lang deurwaakte nagte
na lewe en versadiging
van trane en lag en wilde klagte;
wat so ’n hoë gang wou gaan
en al Gods denke wou deurskou
soos water in jou hand gekelk
en in die witte son gehou;
wat alle vreugde wou besit
en àl wat die aarde aan skoonheid het
of sonde of smart, soos silwer vis
vang met die lyf se brose net;
– o bloed wat brand, o trotse hart,
nog roer om jou soos wind die smart,
maar in jou donker en hoë wil
word dit soos in ’n kamer stil
nou dat die bitter trots gaan skuil
in deernis soos ’n klippie sink
deur die grys-wit water van ’n kuil
en bewend daal deur kring nà kring
van aldeur sterker skemering
tot daardie stil en diep bestaan
waaroor die sware waters gaan.

 

God, dat hul smaad

God, dat hul smaad my nog kan raak,
my hart nog so verwondbaar is,
waar U groot wind moes óm my waai
vir hùl tot skriklike duisternis!

Ek sal nie twis en stry met hùl
wat self so magteloos is, gevang
in iedere dag se kleinlikheid
van smaad en wedersmaad en dwang –

met U, met U is my geding,
wat my geskei het van hul ras:
dat U die skulp van stilte breek
waarin ek so verborge was.

Was dit my woorde wat ek sê,
was my begeerte dan in my daad
dat U my nakend voor hul stel
en voor hul dwase Goed en Kwaad?

U moes die nag wees rondom my
omdat ek vir hul duister is;
U moes my skulp wees, of die see
waarin ek één vér spoeling is.

N. P. van Wyk Louw (11 juni 1906 – 18 juni 1970)
Adriaan Roland Holst, Jan Greshoff en NP van Wyk Louw


De Britse dichteres en schrijfster Renée Vivien (eig. Pauline Mary Tarn) werd geboren op 11 juni 1877 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Renée Vivien op dit blog.

Victory

Give me kisses bitter as your tears tonight,
When birds pause in their flight to wait.
Our long loveless unions have the charms
Of plunder, and the feral lure of rape.

Your eyes reflect the splendor of the storm…
Breathe out your scorn until you swoon away,
My very dear!—Unclose your lips in wrath:
I’ll slowly drink their poison and their rage.

Roused as a pirate before his precious spoils,
Tonight when all your gaze’s glow has fled,
The conqueror’s soul, savage and radiant,
Sings in my triumph as I leave your bed!

Vertaald door Samantha Pious

 

You for whom I wrote

You for whom I wrote, oh lovely young women without names,
You whom, alone, I loved, will you reread my verse
On future mornings snowing coldly on the universe,
By future quiet evenings of roses and flames?

Will you sit dreaming, amid the charming disarray
Of dishevelled hair, open robes, of her you never discover
Wherever you look: “Whether on day of mourning or festival day,
This woman wore always her glance, her tips of a lover.”

Pale, giving forth a fragrance to haunt my flesh and mind,
In the magic evocation of the night when love should be rare and free
Will you say: “This woman had the ardor I can never find.
What a pity she is not living! She would have loved me!”

Renée Vivien (11 juni 1877 – 10 november 1909)
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De Franse schrijver Jean-Pierre Chabrol werd geboren op 11 juni 1925 in Chamborigaud. Zie ook alle tags voor Jean-Pierre Chabrol op dit blog.

Uit: La banquise

« Là, on fait place à Maurice Candelaire, dit « le Clouque » (celui qui couve), cantonnier municipal, coiffeur le samedi soir et fossoyeur à l’occasion. Le Clouque se hisse, aidé par des bras complaisants, sur la charrette et se place derrière la rouquine. Il brandit glorieusement ses ciseaux, pas ses outils de coiffeur, non ! des « forces », ciseaux barbares qui ne sont utilisés que pour tondre les moutons. Il fait mine de s’attaquer à l’ouvrage mais se recule sans arrêt pour exciter la populace dont les vociférations s’élèvent dans l’aigu. Enfin le Clouque attrape à pleines mains la longue crinière rousse et la tire brutalement vers l’arrière, démasquant ainsi le visage de la prisonnière qu’il force à se tourner dans tous les sens pour que les spectateurs, de plus en plus montés, n’en perdent rien. La prisonnière est très pâle mais impassible. Sa figure est large, de proportions harmonieuses, le nez droit, les lèvres charnues. A peine quelques rides aux commissures et des pattes-d’oie au coin des yeux qu’elle ne baisse pas. Des yeux usés, d’un bleu pâli, ceux des bergers de transhumance, yeux étranges qui voient au loin avec ce regard qui semble pourtant tourné vers l’intérieur. Elle n’esquisse pas le moindre geste pour éviter les projectiles, débris de boîtes de cigares, emballages froissés, tout ce que les pillards du débit de tabac ont jeté par terre et que les plus montés ramassent à présent. Enfin, les forces attaquent la chevelure en prenant leur temps, avec, entre chaque mèche, de grands moulinets de ciseaux qui cliquettent dans le vide. A mesure qu’apparaît la peau blanche du crâne, les applaudissements crépitent et les gens commencent à rire. Ils se regardent rire les uns les autres, comme si chacun avait peur de rester le seul impassible, car alors toute tiédeur devient suspecte. Ainsi les rires se multiplient, se nourrissant les uns des autres à chaque boucle qui tombe, jusqu’à devenir un fracassant fou rire qui secoue Bouscassel, d’autant plus violent qu’il est né d’une longue peur. Le coiffeur jette les frisettes et les mèches aux mains qui se tendent. Le soleil une seconde, au passage, les transforme en lambeaux sanglants. Quand la tonte est terminée, le Clouque salue dans une révérence outrée désignant d’une main son oeuvre. Alors, suivant une voix surexcitée qui se met à brailler : « Allons enfants de la Patrie… », la populace entonne La Marseillaise. Assis sur le marchepied de la charrette, tourné vers la tondue, le Pétronille, un gros homme flasque, la main droite mutilée, n’arrive pas à retenir de gros sanglots d’enfant. Mais le Clouque trouve autre chose. Il enlève le panneau infamant. Il pose ses mains sur les épaules de la tondue et d’un coup il fait tomber le corsage. C’est d’abord deux robustes épaules, bien rondes, d’une chair délicate. »

Jean-Pierre Chabrol (11 juni 1925 – 1 december 2001)
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De Engelse dichter en schrijver Ben Jonson werd geboren rond 11 juni 1572 in Westminster, Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Ben Jonson op dit blog.

Third Charm from Masque of Queens

The owl is abroad, the bat, and the toad,
And so is the cat-a-mountain,
The ant and the mole sit both in a hole,
And the frog peeps out o’ the fountain;
The dogs they do bay, and the timbrels play,
The spindle is now a turning;
The moon it is red, and the stars are fled,
But all the sky is a-burning:

The ditch is made, and our nails the spade,
With pictures full, of wax and of wool;
Their livers I stick, with needles quick;
There lacks but the blood, to make up the flood.
Quickly, Dame, then bring your part in,
Spur, spur upon little Martin,
Merrily, merrily, make him fail,
A worm in his mouth, and a thorn in his tail,
Fire above, and fire below,
With a whip in your hand, to make him go.

 

To Censorious Courtling

COURTLING, I rather thou should’st utterly
Dispraise my work, than praise it frostily:
When I am read, thou feign’st a weak applause,
As if thou wert my friend, but lack’dst a cause.
This but thy judgment fools: the other way
Would both thy folly and thy spite betray.

Ben Jonson (ca. 11 juni 1572 – 6 augustus 1637) 
Anoniem portret in de Royal Shakespeare Theatrein Stratford-upon-Avon


De Japanse schrijver Yasunari Kawabata werd geboren op 11 juni 1899 in Osaka. Zie ook alle tags voor Yasunari Kawabata op dit blog.

Uit: The House of the Sleeping Beauties (Vertaald door Edward Seidensticker)

“As Eguchi looked away his eye fell to his wrist watch.
“What time is it?”
“A quarter to eleven.”
“I should think so. Old gentlemen like to go to bed early and get up early. So whenever you’re ready.”
The woman got up and unlocked the door to the next room. She used her left hand. There was nothing remarkable about the act, but Eguchi held his breath as he watched her. She looked into the other room. She was no doubt used to looking through doorways, and there was nothing unusual about the back turned toward Eguchi.
Yet it seemed strange. There was a large, strange bird on the knot of her obi. He did not know what species it might be. Why should such realistic eyes and feet have been put on a stylized bird? It was not that the bird was disquieting in itself, only that the design was bad. But if disquiet was to be tied to the woman’s back, it was there in the bird. The ground was a pale yellow, almost white.
The next room seemed to be dimly lighted. The woman closed the door without locking it, and put the key on the table before Eguchi. There was nothing in her manner to suggest that she had inspected a secret room, nor was there in the tone of her voice.
Here is the key. I hope you sleep well. If you have trouble getting to sleep, you will find some sleeping medicine by the pillow.
“Have you anything to drink?”
“I don’t keep spirits.”
“I can’t even have a drink to put myself to sleep?”
“No.”
“She’s in the next room?”
“She’s asleep, waiting for you.”
“Oh!” Eguchi was a little surprised. When had the girl come into the next room? How long had she been asleep? Had the woman opened the door to make sure that she was asleep? Eguchi have heard by an old acquaintance who frequented the place that a girl would be waiting, asleep, and that she would not awake. But now that he was here he seemed unable to believe it.”

Yasunari Kawabata (11 juni 1899 — 16 april 1972)
Poster voor de gelijknamige film van Vadim Glowna uit 2006


De Zuidafrikaanse schrijver Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard werd geboren op 11 juni 1932 in Middelburg, Kaapprovincie. Zie ook alle tags voor Athol Fugard op dit blog.

Uit: NoGood Friday

“GUY. You mean the hotel? That’s the nearest I got to a job. They didn’t need any musicians … ‘But we’ve got an opening for a kitchen boy’ … ‘Opening’, mind you! I should have told him, his opening was my back door. Another bloke gives me a pat on the back after I’ve blown three bars and says, ever so nicely: ‘You boys is just born musicians … born musicians I tell you. You got it in your soul.’ So I says: ‘But a job, Mister?’ And he says: ‘Nothing doing. Too many of you boys being born.’ You know something, Reb? I should have settled down to book learning. That way you always eat. Like Willie. Now there’s a smart Johnny.
REBECCA. ‘Willie’s all right.
GUY. All right! He’s more than just right, he can’t go wrong.
REBECCA. He’s just like any other fellow.
GUY. I didn’t mean it that way. I know Willie can go wrong, if he does some stupid thing. What I mean is, it’s up to himself. But like me now … I know I play well, everyone says so, even some of the top boys. But how does that help me? I still get buggered around. And the way I see it Willie won’t make no mistakes. What’s this latest thing he’s up to?
REBECCA. You mean the course?
GUY. Yes, that’s it.
REBECCA. First year B.A….Correspondent.
GUY. There, you see. Now who but Willie would think of that. [Pause.] Now … actually … where does that get him?
REBECCA. if he passes, to his second year.
GUY. Well, what do you know! [Pause.] And then?
REBECCA. The third year.
GUY. Doesn’t it end sometime?
REBECCA. If he passes that, he gets his degree. Bachelor of Arts.”

Athol Fugard (Middelburg (ZA), 11 juni 1932)
Scene uit een opvoering in Johannesburg, 2014


De Nigeriaanse dichter, schrijver, architect, en milieuactivist Nnimmo Bassey werd geboren in Akwa Ibom op 11 juni 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Nnimmo Bassey op dit blog.

Uit: Power of poetry for global transformation

“Poetry and song capture our understanding of life and provide us with platforms to express ideas that may otherwise be inexpressible. Poetry represents memory as well as vision. It is the chant as well as the wail. It could come as joyous and exuberant calls, it could also come as a dirge marking the crossing of the slim line between here and there, between life on this plane and life across the river. The poet could be a story teller, the griot, or the prophet. With eyes closed she sees worlds that open-eyed folks are unable to comprehend.
In sum, poetry is an expression of life. Poetry played a central role in the precolonial African community. It still does. However, poetry in the form of song is the dominant format in contemporary society. Dreams are woven and conveyed through poetry. Defiance and censure equally find potent expression in the medium. In other words, poetry can be subversive and rallying cry for change.
As a poet, I have noticed a progression in my relationship between my thoughts, experiences and words. As a young poet, I was drawn to the humour found in rhymes, limericks and the like. Poetry provided an escape route in my struggles to understand the murky terrain of life. It should be said that I grew up in at a time when my country and continent faced serious political struggles. In the mid 1960s my country was embroiled in the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. As a child I was witness to brutality and suffered displacement and the indignities of being a refugee in my own country. Thereafter, the struggle for independence in other parts of Africa utterly radicalised by sensibilities. As all these were going on, Nigeria suffered years of military dictatorship. Add to these, the economic violence visited on Africa by international financial institutions left deep questions. How do you say no in thunder? – to use a phrase from one of the poems the poet Christopher Okigbo (16 August 1932-1967). Okigbo died fighting for the Biafran cause.”

Nnimmo Bassey (Akwa Ibom, 11 juni 1958)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 11e juni ook mijn blog van 11 juni 2017 deel 2.

William Styron, Sophie van der Stap, N. P. van Wyk Louw, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata, Athol Fugard, Nnimmo Bassey

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: The Long March

“One noon, in the blaze of a cloudless Carolina summer, what was left of eight dead boys lay strewn about the landscape, among the poison ivy and the pine needles and loblolly saplings. It was not so much as if they had departed this life but as if, sprayed from a hose, they were only shreds of bone, gut, and dangling tissue to which it would have been impossible ever to impute the quality of life, far less the capacity to relinquish it. Of course, though, these had really died quickly, no doubt before the faintest flicker of recognition, of wonder, apprehension, or terror had had time to register in their minds. But the shock, it occurred to Lieutenant Culver, who stood in the shady lee of an ambulance and watched the scene, must have been fantastic to those on the periphery of the explosion, those fifteen or so surviving marines who now lay on the ground beneath blankets, moaning with pain and fright, and who, not more than half an hour before, had been waiting patiently in line for their lunch before the two mortar shells, misfired—how? why? the question already hung with a buzzing, palpable fury in the noontime heat—had plummeted down upon the chow-line and had deadened their ears and senses and had hurled them earthward where they lay now, alive but stricken in a welter of blood and brain, scattered messkits and mashed potatoes, and puddles of melting ice cream. Moments ago in the confusion—just before he had stolen off from the Colonel’s side to go behind a tree and get sick—Lieutenant Culver had had a glimpse of a young sweaty face grimed with dust, had heard the boy’s voice, astonishing even in that moment of nausea because of its clear, unhysterical tone of explanation: “Major, I tell you I was on the field phone and I tell you as soon as they come out the tube I knew they were short rounds and so I hollered …” Of course it had been an accident. But why? He heard the Major shout something, then Culver had heard no more, retching on the leaves with a sound that, for the moment, drowned out the cries and whines of the wounded and the noise of trucks and ambulances crashing up through the under-brush.
It was not that he had a weak stomach or that he was unacquainted with carnage that allowed him to lose control. If anything, he prided himself on his stomach, and as for blood he had seen a lot spilled on Okinawa and had himself (although through no act of valor whatever) received a shrapnel wound —in the buttocks, a matter which even in retrospect, as he had often been forced to remind his wife, possessed no elements of comedy at all. In this case it was simply that on the one hand he himself had been shocked. The sight of death was the sort of thing which in wartime is expected, which one protects one-self against, and which is finally excused or at least ignored, in the same way that a beggar is ignored, or a head cold, or a social problem.”

 
William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)

 

De Nederlandse schrijfster Sophie van der Stap werd geboren in Amsterdam op 11 juni 1983. Zie ook alle tags voor Sophie van der Stap op dit blog.

Uit: Buiten spelen

“Die vissenkom is niet zomaar uit de lucht komen vallen. Ze had al een plekje veroverd in mijn hoofd en lag ergens, onder een stapel versere gedachten, te wachten totdat ik haar weer op zou pakken.
Op de dag voor mijn vertrek naar Parijs – waar ik naartoe ging om aan een nieuw leven te beginnen (ja dat kan) – kwam dit beeld van de vissenkom met Job aangefietst over de Lijnbaansgracht. Zoals gewoonlijk was Job niet met lege handen gekomen. Hij ging zitten op een van de lege stoelen om de keukentafel en ik schonk ons allebei een glas rode wijn in zonder te weten dat het boek dat hij dit keer voor me mee had genomen, er eentje was dat me heel lang zou achtervolgen. Of beter gezegd, leiden. Maar misschien is dat wel hetzelfde.
Op de voorkant van het boek stond een zwarte kat afgebeeld, en profil, niet zoals je je een Amsterdamse vensterbankkat voorstelt, dik en lui achter het raam, maar eentje die je voor je ziet als je aan Parijs denkt: balancerend over de glinsterende daken van de stad, de staart zelfbewust in de lucht en de pootjes elegant achter elkaar. Verder was er een stukje Parijse hemel. Boven die hemel stond de titel geschreven: Elegant als een egel. Auteur: Muriel Barbery. Ik had meteen zin om het boek open te slaan.
In het boek stelt Paloma, een hoogbegaafd twaalfjarig meisje, de vraag of het leven wel waard is om te leven als ze toch al weet hoe het eindigt: in een vissenkom. De vissenkom werkt als volgt. Je wordt erin geboren en je gaat erin dood. Je kunt een beetje naar links zwemmen en een beetje naar rechts, maar daar houdt het op. Soms raak je de wand en kijk je naar buiten, naar de wereld die erachter ligt. Het is er mooi en je kijkt lang, want daar is je fantasie nooit te groot. In de jaren na je geboorte leef je in de waan dat je leven nog alle kanten op kan schieten. Je kunt astronaut worden, bergbeklimmer, waarschijnlijk win je en passant nog een NobeIprijs voor de Vrede, en op een dag komt de prins in de witte Porsche langs gereden, hij steekt zijn hand uit en jij stapt in.”


Sophie van der Stap (Amsterdam, 11 juni 1983)

 

De Zuid-Afrikaans schrijver en dichter Nicolaas Petrus van Wyk Louw werd geboren in Sutherland op 11 juni 1906. Zie ook alle tags voor N. P. van Wyk Louw op dit blog.

Aanraking van de dood

Slechts rakelings streek over mijn haren
de wind van Zijn vleugelslag, en Zijn schaduw
was koelte rondom mij; ik kon niet zien
of Hij vernietiging of leven gaf,
ik kon geen laatste, dappere woorden vinden;
ik boog alleen, en rondom mij was een wand
van vrees, totdat ik kon luisteren, helemaal verblind,
hoe Hij vér wegruisde over het land.
Maar toen de vrees weggewaaid was van mijn ogen,
stond alles er nieuw bij, van vreemde smart
dooraderd en diep verbonden door alle tijden heen;
er was een grote liefde in mij, en mededogen,
en een besef van het duister in ons hart,
want alles was doorweekt van sterfelijkheid.

Vertaald door Peter Pit

 

Grense

My naakte siel wil sonder skrome
in alle eenvoud tot jou gaan,
soos uit diepe slaap ons drome,
soos teen skemerlug die bome
opreik na die bloue maan;

gaan met al sy donker wense,
en die heilige, nooit-gehoorde
dinge sê, waarvoor die mense
huiwer, en wat om die grense
flikker van my duister woorde.

Voël

’n Voël vlieg voor my venster verby,
’n naalddun lyn wat daaroor gly
en die glas in twee vlakke sny;

die wêrelde val apart en bly
elk in sy enkelheid geskei –
ek hierbinne, en daarbuite hy.


N. P. van Wyk Louw (11 juni 1906 – 18 juni 1970)

 

De Britse dichteres en schrijfster Renée Vivien (eig. Pauline Mary Tarn) werd geboren op 11 juni 1877 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Renée Vivien op dit blog.

Lassitude

Je dormirai ce soir d’un large et doux sommeil…
Fermez bien les rideaux, tenez les portes closes.
Surtout, ne laissez pas pénétrer le soleil.
Mettez autour de moi le soir trempé de roses.

Posez, sur la blancheur d’un oreiller profond,
De ces fleurs sans éclat et dont l’odeur obsède.
Posez-les dans mes mains, sur mon cœur, sur mon front,
Les fleurs pâles au souffle amoureusement tiède.

Et je dirai très bas : « Rien de moi n’est resté…
Mon âme enfin repose… ayez donc pitié d’elle.
Qu’elle puisse dormir toute une éternité. »
Je dormirai, ce soir, de la mort la plus belle.

Que s’effeuillent les fleurs, tubéreuses et lys,
Et que meure et s’éteigne, au seuil des portes closes,
L’écho triste et lointain des sanglots de jadis.
Ah ! le soir infini ! le soir trempé de roses !

 

Les Arbres

Dans l’azur de l’avril, dans le gris de l’automne,
Les arbres ont un charme inquiet et mouvant.
Le peuplier se ploie et se tord sous le vent,
Pareil aux corps de femme où le désir frissonne.

Sa grâce a des langueurs de chair qui s’abandonne,
Son feuillage murmure et frémit en rêvant,
Et s’incline, amoureux des roses du Levant.
Le tremble porte au front une pâle couronne.

Vêtu de clair de lune et de reflets d’argent,
S’effile le bouleau dont l’ivoire changeant
Projette des pâleurs aux ombres incertaines.

Les tilleuls ont l’odeur des âpres cheveux bruns,
Et des acacias aux verdures lointaines
Tombe divinement la neige des parfums.

 
Renée Vivien (11 juni 1877 – 10 november 1909)
Cover

 

De Franse schrijver Jean-Pierre Chabrol werd geboren op 11 juni 1925 in Chamborigaud. Zie ook alle tags voor Jean-Pierre Chabrol op dit blog.

Uit: La banquise

“Le petit village cévenol de Bouscassel est en fête. Son unique rue, qui longe la rivière, est pavoisée de drapeaux rouges et de quelques drapeaux tricolores. Les gens rient, se donnent l’accolade à s’en étouffer, chantent des couplets de La Jeune Garde, parfois de L’Internationale mais surtout des refrains populaires arrangés pour la circonstance. Par moments, la joie s’exprime par quelques coups de feu tirés en l’air. Certains hommes en civil, arborant le brassard FFI, sont armés, qui d’un fusil de guerre allemand, qui d’un revolver… Ils ont rajouté ce qu’ils ont trouvé comme accessoires pour faire plus militaire, celui-ci un ceinturon, celui-là un casque de la guerre de 14… Il traîne là-dessus des souffles composés d’odeurs fortes où priment tour à tour la poudre, la poussière, la vinasse, la sueur et la crasse, et qui ont presque complètement étouffé le parfum des foins coupés, aux portes du village, que l’on rentrait dans les granges, il y a peu. C’est, dans l’air cotonneux de cette matinée d’un mois d’août torride, un pétillement très gai. Devant le bistrot de Marie, dite « la Rumeur » à cause de sa langue, les gens se servent librement au robinet d’un tonneau que son mari, dit « le Gamate » parce qu’il est aussi maçon, vient de mettre en perce. Le bureau de tabac a été pillé, chacun s’est servi, les premiers arrivés fument des cigares, les gosses jouent au canon avec la carotte de l’enseigne, en se gavant de réglisse. Une belle maison aux volets dos ne pavoise pas, les gens grondent en la longeant. Soudain, on se passe le mot : « Elle arrive, tous au pont !… » Sur le pont en dos d’âne, arrive une charrette aussitôt entourée d’une foule qui crie, certaines femmes hurlent à la mort. — Tipendjarén ! « Nous allons te pendre », le vieux cri, le hurlement oublié des rages populaires, semble resurgir soudain d’un lointain Moyen Age, tout naturellement, tout neuf. Au milieu de ce tombereau à ridelles tiré péniblement par un vieux percheron, sur une chaise, les mains liées derrière le dos, une femme est assise, une solide quadragénaire qui baisse la tête. Ce qu’elle a de plus remarquable, c’est une extraordinaire chevelure rousse dépeignée qui lui tombe sur les épaules et devant la figure qu’elle masque. En sautoir sur sa poitrine, une pancarte se balance au rythme du roulis qu’impriment à la charrette les coups de collier du vieux canasson sur les pavés disjoints de la calade. Cette planche porte ces mots d’une écriture maladroite mais parfaitement lisible même de loin. »


Jean-Pierre Chabrol (11 juni 1925 – 1 december 2001)
Cover

 

De Engelse dichter en schrijver Ben Jonson werd geboren rond 11 juni 1572 in Westminster, Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Ben Jonson op dit blog.

Hymn To The Belly

Room! room! make room for the bouncing Belly,
First father of sauce and deviser of jelly;
Prime master of arts and the giver of wit,
That found out the excellent engine, the spit,
The plough and the flail, the mill and the hopper,
The hutch and the boulter, the furnace and copper,
The oven, the bavin, the mawkin, the peel,
The hearth and the range, the dog and the wheel.
He, he first invented the hogshead and tun,
The gimlet and vice too, and taught ‘em to run;
And since, with the funnel and hippocras bag,
He’s made of himself that now he cries swag;
Which shows, though the pleasure be but of four inches,
Yet he is a weasel, the gullet that pinches
Of any delight, and not spares from his back
Whatever to make of the belly a sack.
Hail, hail, plump paunch! O the founder of taste,
For fresh meats or powdered, or pickle or paste!
Devourer of broiled, baked, roasted or sod!
And emptier of cups, be they even or odd!
All which have now made thee so wide i’ the waist,
As scarce with no pudding thou art to be laced;
But eating and drinking until thou dost nod,
Thou break’st all thy girdles and break’st forth a god.


Ben Jonson (ca. 11 juni 1572 – 6 augustus 1637) 
Cover biografie

 

De Japanse schrijver Yasunari Kawabata werd geboren op 11 juni 1899 in Osaka. Zie ook alle tags voor Yasunari Kawabata op dit blog.

Uit: Snow Country (Vertaald door Edward Seidensticker)

“Black though the mountains were, they seemed at that moment brilliant with the color of the snow. They seemed to him somehow transparent, somehow lonely. The harmony between sky and mountains was lost.’
– Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country. Translator: Edward G. Seidensticker
Small shifts in atmosphere, in emphasis, in tone of voice or choice of words, outlined against the contantly shifting backdrops afforded by the picturesque snow country resort town and its inhabitants take on great significance in this most subtle of novels. With both grace and economy, Kawabata unfolds the story of Shimamura, a wealthy dilletante from Tokyo and his liaison with Komaka, a geisha in the hot springs resort he visits. Shimamura is taken with Komaka’s innocence and simplicity; yet unwilling to fully believe that her professed love for him is real and not the pose of a geisha, or indeed that any sort of reciprocity beyond a never-defined, sporadic relationship without even the status of patron and favoured geisha is possible between them.
Both of them are, in some way, empty people, pursuing what Shimamura thinks of as wasteful effort. Shimamura, at one time a well-regarded commentator on Japanese dance and expected to soon enter into the fray himself finds his hobby getting too real and transfers his scholarly attentions to western dance, despite never having seen a ballet performance, and refusing to see ballets put up by Japanese troupes. Mountain climbing, another hobby of his, is also seen as a classic example of wasted effort – once you reach the top you have climb all the way back down again. Komako reads everything she can get her hands on, from classics to trash, and keeps a record of it all in a diary that she has been maintaining for years.
She doesn’t try to analyse what she reads, or impose any quality control on it – she just reads omnivourously and keeps a record of it. She teaches herself to play songs using sheet music, with no exposure to actual peformance practise, creating a naive and affecting but essentially quaint and insular art of her own. »


Yasunari Kawabata (11 juni 1899 — 16 april 1972)
Cover

 

De Zuidafrikaanse schrijver Harold Athol Lannigan Fugard werd geboren op 11 juni 1932 in Middelburg, Kaapprovincie. Zie ook alle tags voor Athol Fugard op dit blog.

Uit: Hello And Goodbye

“JOHNNIE. All right I made a mistake. I forgot. I applied. Satisfied?
HESTER. You didn’t forget. You lied to me. You know you posted it.
JOHNNIE. I’m telling you I forgot.
HESTER. You knew they said you must come.
JOHNNIE. Can’t I forget things too?
HESTER. And you wanted to go!
JOHNNIE. Maybe … it’s a long time ago … ten years … My memory….
HESTER. Don’t try to get out of it.
JOHNNY [desperate] What do you want me to say?
HESTER. What are you trying to hide?
JOHNNY. Nothing. So leave me alone. Understand ? Just leave us alone. Take what you want and go! [He is squirming—then a clumsy move and the crutches fall—he stands on his feet.] Look, what you’ve made me do!!
[Pause.]
Yes, I wanted to go. They are the most beautiful things in the world! Black, and hot, hissing, and the red glow of their furnaces, their whistles blowing out like ribbons in the wind! And the engine driver, grade one, and his stoker up there, leaning out of the cab, watching the world like kings! Yes, I wanted to go. I could have gone. It was up to me. He didn’t say anything to stop me posting the forms in duplicate. And when I got the letter saying I must come he even said he was happy because now his son would also work for the railways. I said I’d come home for all my holidays to be with him and give the house a good sweep out. And when I was packing my suitcase he gave me one of his railway shirts—even made a joke, with tears in his eyes—said it would fit when my muscles were big. So there we stood with tears in our eyes, him on his crutches—me with my suitcase. He came to the door and waved to me all the way down Valley Road.”

 
Athol Fugard (Middelburg (ZA), 11 juni 1932)
Scene uit een opvoering in Kaapstad, 2016

 

De Nigeriaanse dichter, schrijver, architect, en milieuactivist Nnimmo Bassey werd geboren in Akwa Ibom op 11 juni 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Nnimmo Bassey op dit blog.

Uit:To cook a continent

« What makes possible the lack of regulation in Africa’s extractive sectors, the open robbery and the incredibly destructive extractive activities? Leading the multiplicity of factors are unjust power relations that follow from and amplify the baggage of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. From a Nigerian stand-point, but within the tradition of Pan-Africanist political economy and global political ecology, this book unpacks these issues and sets up bins for these needless and toxic loads.
Because of my own experiences, the pages that follow pay close attention to the oil industry in Africa, to the history of environmental justice struggles in the Niger Delta, to the discovery of oilfields in Uganda’s rift Valley, and to the big pull of the offshore finds in the Gulf of Guinea. As we examine the impacts of fossil fuel extraction on the continent, we also look at massive land grabs for the production of agrofuels and foods for export.
What can Africa do? And once our peoples decide, can the rest of the world act in solidarity? If not, will we continue on the path laid out by elites, a path that brings us ever closer to the brink? Must we live in denial even at a time of a rising tide of social and ecological disasters?
….

One of the worst gas flares in the Niger Delta is at a former Shell facility at Oben, on the border of Delta and Edo states. They have been roaring and crackling non-stop for over 30 years, since Shell first lit them. The flared gas comes from the crude oil extracted from the oil wells in the Oben field. As at more than 200 other flow stations across the Niger Delta, these gas flares belch toxic elements into the atmosphere, poisoning the environment and the people. Globally, gas flares pump about 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. Here in Nigeria, the climate is brazenly assaulted both in the short term by gas flaring and over the long term because of the CO2 emissions from this filthy practice. In the hierarchy of gas flares infamy, Nigeria is second only to Russia.”


Nnimmo Bassey (Akwa Ibom, 11 juni 1958)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 11e juni ook mijn blog van 11 juni 2017 deel 2.

William Styron, Sophie van der Stap, N. P. van Wyk Louw, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: Darkness Visible

“I felt a kind of numbness, an enervation, but more particularly an odd fragility—as if my body had actually become frail, hypersensitive and somehow disjointed and clumsy, lacking normal coordination. And soon I was in the throes of a pervasive hypochondria. Nothing felt quite right with my corporeal self there were twitches and pains, sometimes intermittent, often seemingly constant, that seemed to presage all sorts of dire infirmities. (Given these signs, one can understand how, as far back as the seventeenth century-in the notes of contemporary physicians, and in the perceptions of John Dryden and others—a connection is made between melancholia and hypochondria; the words are often interchangeable, and so were used until the nineteenth century by writers as various as Sir Walter Scott and the Brontes, who also linked melancholy to a preoccupation with bodily ills.) It is easy to see how this condition is part of the psyche’s apparatus of defense: unwilling to accept its own gathering deterioration, the mind announces to its indwelling consciousness that it is the body with its perhaps correctable defects—not the precious and irreplaceable mind—that is going haywire. In my case, the overall effect was immensely disturbing, augmenting the anxiety that was by now never quite absent from my waking hours and fueling still another strange behavior pattern—a fidgety recklessness that kept me on the move, somewhat to the perplexity of my family and friends.
…By now I had moved back to my house in Connecticut. It was October, and one of the unforgettable features of this stage of my disorder was the way in which my own farmhouse, my beloved home for thirty years, took on for me at that point when my spirits regularly sank to their nadir an almost palpable quality of ominousness. The fading evening light—akin to that famous “slant of light” of Emily Dickinson’s, which spoke to her of death, of chill extinction—had none of its familiar autumnal loveliness, but ensnared me in a suffocating gloom. I wondered how this friendly place, teeming with such memories of (again in her words) “Lads and Girls,” of “laughter and ability and Sighing,/ And frocks and Curls,” could almost perceptibly seem so hostile and forbidding. Physically, I was not alone. As always Rose was present and listened with unflagging patience to my complaints. But I felt an immense and aching solitude. I could no longer concentrate during those afternoon hours, which for years had been my working time, and the act of writing itself, becoming more and more difficult and exhausting, stalled, then finally ceased.”

 
William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “William Styron, Sophie van der Stap, N. P. van Wyk Louw, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata”

William Styron, Sophie van der Stap, N. P. van Wyk Louw, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: The Confessions of Nat Turner

“I suppose the truth is simply that it was possible for benefits like these to accrue only to a Negro lucky enough to remain in the poor but relatively benign atmosphere of Virginia. For here in this worn-out country with its decrepit little farms there was still an ebb and flow of human sympathy—no matter how strained and imperfect—between slave and master, even an understanding (if sometimes prickly) intimacy; and in this climate a black man had not yet become the cipher he would become in the steaming fastnesses of the far South but could get off in the woods by himself or with a friend, scratch his balls and relax and roast a stolen chicken over an open fire and brood upon women and the joys of the belly or the possibility of getting hold of a jug of brandy, or pleasure himself with thoughts of any of the countless tolerable features of human existence.”
(…)

“I reckon even you didn’t know the actual statistics, hiding out until now like you done. But in the three days and nights that your campaign lasted you managed to hasten fifty-five white people into early graves, not counting a score or so more fearfully wounded or disabled—hors de combat, as the Frenchies say, for the rest of their natural lives. And only God knows how many poor souls will be scarred in their minds by grief and by terrible memories until the day they part this life. No,” he went on, breaking off a black wad from a plug of chewing tobacco, “no, I’ll have to hand it to you, in many respects you was pretty thorough. By sword and ax and gun you run a swath through this county that will be long remembered. You did, as you say, come damn near to taking your army into this town. And in addition, as I think I told you before, you scared the entire South into a condition that may be described as well-nigh shitless. No niggers ever done anything like this.”

 
William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)
In 1967

Doorgaan met het lezen van “William Styron, Sophie van der Stap, N. P. van Wyk Louw, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata”

William Styron, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Sophie van der Stap, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata, Athol Fugard

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: Darkness Visible

“When I was aware that I had been laid low by the disease, I felt a need, among other things, to register a strong protest against the word “depression.” Depression, most people know, used to be termed ‘melancholia,” a word which appears in English as early as the year 1305 and crops up more than once in Chaucer, who in his usage seemed to be aware of its pathological nuances. “Melancholia” would still appear to be a far more apt and evocative word for the blacker forms of this disorder, but it was usurped by a noun with a bland tonality and lacking any magisterial presence, used indifferently to describe an economic decline or a rut in the ground, a true wimp of a word for such a major illness. It may be that the scientist generally held responsible for its currency in modern times, a Johns Hopkins Medical School faculty member justly venerated—the Swiss-born Adolf Meyer—had a tin ear for the finer rhythms of English and therefore was unaware of the semantic damage he had inflicted by offering “Depression” as a descriptive noun for such a dreadful and raging disease. Nonetheless, for over seventy-five years the word had slithered innocuously through the language like a slug, leaving little trace of its intrinsic malevolence and preventing, by its very insipidity, a general awareness of the horrible intensity of the disease when out of control.
As one who has suffered from the malady in extremis yet returned to tell the tale, I would lobby for a truly arresting designation. “Brainstorm,” for instance, has unfortunately been preempted to describe, somewhat jocularly, intellectual inspiration. But something along these lines is needed. Told that someone’s mood disorder has evolved into a storm—a veritable howling tempest in the brain, which is indeed what a clinical depression resembles like nothing else—even the uninformed layman might display sympathy rather than the standard reaction that ‘depression” evokes, something akin to So what?” pr “You’ll pull out of it” or “We all have bad days. The phrase “nervous breakdown” seems on its way out, certainly deservedly so, owing to its insinuation of a vague spinelessness, but we still seem destined to be saddled with “depression” until a better, sturdier name is created.”

 
William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “William Styron, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Sophie van der Stap, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata, Athol Fugard”

William Styron, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Sophie van der Stap, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: Sophies keuze (Vertaald door Wim Dielemans)

Mijn hart raakte altijd even van slag en ik voelde me misselijk worden, wanneer Wanda het over wapens had, of over geheime ontmoetingen, of wat verder maar met gevaar te maken had, of met de mogelijkheid door de Duitsers opgepakt te worden. Gepakt worden als je joden hielp, betekende de dood, weet je. Ik werd dan helemaal klam en slap – o, ik was zo’n lafaard! Ik hoop dat Wanda nooit iets van die symptomen gemerkt heeft, en als ik er last van had, vroeg ik me soms af of lafheid misschien niet één van die dingen was die ik van mijn vader had geërfd.”
(…)

“Sophie herinnerde zich nog dat de adem van de Gestapo-agent naar kaas had geroken, en ook de woorden die hij had gesproken, terwijl het mes de bil van wat tot voor kort een tevreden varken was geweest binnendrong. ‘Waarom zeg je niet “Au”, Liebchen?’ In haar angst was ze tot niet meer in staat geweest dan het stamelen van een wanhopig gemeenplaats, hetgeen werd beloond met een compliment wegens de voortreffelijkheid van haar Duits.”

 
William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “William Styron, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Sophie van der Stap, Ben Jonson, Yasunari Kawabata”

William Styron, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Sophie van der Stap, Ben Jonson, Athol Fugard, Yasunari Kawabata

De Amerikaanse schrijver William Styron werd op 11 juni 1925 in Newport News in de staat Virginia geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor William Styron op dit blog.

Uit: Sophie’s Choice

„Sometime during my thirties the nickname and I mysteriously parted company, Stingo merely evaporating like a wan ghost out of my existence, leaving me indifferent to the loss. But Stingo I still was during this time about which I write. If, however, it is perplexing that the name is absent from the earlier part of this narrative, it may be understood that I am describing a morbid and solitary period in my life when, like the crazy hermit in the cave on the hill, I was rarely called by any name at all.

I was glad to be shut of my job–the first and only salaried position, excluding the military, of my life–even though its loss seriously undermined my already modest solvency. Also, I now think it was constructive to learn so early in life that I would never fit in as an office worker, anytime, anywhere. In fact, considering how I had so coveted the job in the first place, I was rather surprised at the relief, indeed the alacrity, with which I accepted my dismissal only five months later. In 1947 jobs were scarce, especially jobs in publishing, but a stroke of luck had landed me employment with one of the largest publishers of books, where I was made “junior editor”–a euphemism for manuscript reader. That the employer called the tune, in those days when the dollar was much more valuable tender than it is now, may be seen in the stark terms of my salary–forty dollars a week. After withholding taxes this meant that the anemic blue check placed on my desk each Friday by the hunchbacked little woman who managed the payroll represented emolument in the nature of a little over ninety cents an hour. But I had not been in the least dismayed by the fact that these coolie wages were dispensed by one of the most powerful and wealthy publishers in the world; young and resilient, I approached my job–at least at the very beginning–with a sense of lofty purpose; and besides, in compensation, the work bore intimations of glamour: lunch at “21,” dinner with John O’Hara, poised and brilliant but carnal-minded lady writers melting at my editorial acumen, and so on.”

William Styron (11 juni 1925 – 1 november 2006)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “William Styron, Renée Vivien, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Sophie van der Stap, Ben Jonson, Athol Fugard, Yasunari Kawabata”