Johan Harstad, Elizabeth Bishop

De Noorse schrijver Johan Harstad werd geboren op 10 februari 1979 in Stavanger. Zie ook alle tags voor Johan Harstad op dit blog.

Uit: Chlorine (Vertaald door Deborah Dawkin en Erik Skuggevik)

“I have been weighed and found wanting. It’s nearly two o’clock, the last lesson of the day, and I am standing at the back of the diving board, right on its edge, and in front of me are the others, others who are going to dive, and soon it will be my turn. But it’s impossible. Come what may. I know it.
But I’ve got to do it. This is the final dress rehearsal. The last chance but one. I must walk out onto the diving board, bend my knees, and push out with all my strength, dive out into the pool, break the water’s surface, kick my way downward, I must reach the bottom of the pool, find the lifeless plastic dummy down there, rescue her, bring her to the surface with me, pull her after me toward land, up onto the slippery tiles of the swimming hall, and save her life. That is what I’ve got to do. And when I’ve done it a slip of paper will come out of her side, out of a waterproof hatch, a note saying she is alive, showing the frequency of her heartbeat, that she is breathing, evenly, and that she will pull through, even though she has been under water for too long, much too long. Now, it’s my turn.
You’ve got to do it. It is one of the requirements for Physical Education in your last year of senior school, and it’s now it counts, and I’ve been dreading this moment, I shan’t manage it, yet I have to save her, I have to get that piece of paper from out of her, otherwise I’ll be defeated, and I’ll flunk P.E., and I can’t afford to do that. So I jump. I dive out over the side and disappear down into the water, get chlorine in my eyes, gasp for air that isn’t there, and my body turns stubbornly in the water and I come floating to the top, breaking through the water’s surface, a foot first and then my head, I barely draw breath, see the teacher standing by the diving board in her white trousers and blue T-shirt, and around her neck hangs the whistle, when she blows it I’ll be finished, then I can come up onto land again, but she doesn’t blow, she shouts out try again!—and I duck my head beneath the water, and far below there’s something red, which must be her, the one that’s drowned, and I need to reach her, so I kick off, my ears hurting, and I kick, kick, but I don’t reach any farther, my lungs are completely empty, I’m aching, and I begin to travel downward, but not fast enough, my body veers off course, twists, and I come floating to the surface, she blows the whistle, next!
When you’ve finished your dive, you get left in peace for a few minutes, get to sit and gather yourself on the bench beside the large windows where the sun comes in and glistens in the water. I sit on the bench, shivering, smelling chlorine, and the next one dives out, I watch him disappear to the bottom, take hold of the dummy, and come back up with her around him, he grabs her under the chin, holds her head high and swims with her into land, pulls her up after him onto the poolside, lays her on the tiles and checks her pulse, presses his lips against her lips of rubber, blows life into her, finds the correct spot and massages her heart, giving her life back, a gift, and the teacher blows the whistle, goes over to him, checks the slip of paper ejected from her waist, it looks fine, excellent graphs, she rips the printout off, staples it in her book under his name, and writes satisfactory, or something of the sort, a grade, then casts the dummy back out again, she drowns anew, undramatically, stoically.”

 

Johan Harstad (Stavanger, 10 februari 1979)

 

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Elizabeth Bishop werd geboren op 8 februari 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Zie ook alle tags voor Elizabeth Bishop op dit blog.

 

De berg

’s Avonds iets achter me.
Ik schrik een seconde, deins terug
Of stop huiverend en verbrand.
Ik weet mijn leeftijd niet.

In de ochtend is het anders.
Een open boek confronteert me,
te dichtbij om comfortabel te lezen.
Zeg me hoe oud ik ben.

En dan stoppen de valleien
ondoordringbare nevels
als katoen in mijn oren.
Ik weet mijn leeftijd niet.

Ik ben niet van plan te klagen.
Ze zeggen dat het mijn schuld is.
Niemand vertelt me iets.
Zeg me hoe oud ik ben.

De diepste afbakening
kan zich langzaam verspreiden en wegzinken
zoals elke vervaagde tatoeage.
Ik weet mijn leeftijd niet.

Schaduwen vallen neer; lichten stijgen op.
Klauterende lichten, oh kinderen!
Jullie blijven nooit lang genoeg.
Zeg me hoe oud ik ben.

Stenen vleugels zijn hier gezeefd
met veren die veren verharden.
De klauwen zijn ergens verloren.
Ik weet mijn leeftijd niet.

Ik word doof. Vogelgeroep
druppelt en de watervallen
zijn ongeschonden. Wat is mijn leeftijd?
Zeg me hoe oud ik ben.

Laat de maan gaan hangen,
de sterren gaan vliegeren.
Ik wil mijn leeftijd weten.
Zeg me hoe oud ik ben.

 

Vertaald door Frans Roumen

 

Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 10e februari ook mijn blog van 10 februari 2019 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2.

John Coetzee, Elizabeth Bishop

De Zuidafrikaanse schrijver John Maxwell Coetzee werd geboren op 9 februari 1940 in Kaapstad. Zie ook alle tags voor John Coetzee op dit blog.

Uit: The Lives of Animals

“He is waiting at the gate when her flight comes in. Two years have passed since he last saw his mother; despite himself, he is shocked at how she has aged. Her hair, which had had streaks of gray in it, is now entirely white; her shoulders stoop; her flesh has grown flabby.
They have never been a demonstrative family. A hug, a few murmured words, and the business of greeting is done. In silence they follow the flow of travelers to the baggage hall, pick up her suitcase, and set off on the ninety-minute drive.
“A long flight,” he remarks. “You must be exhausted.”
“Ready to sleep,” she says; and indeed, en route, she falls asleep briefly, her head slumped against the window.
At six o’clock, as it is growing dark, they pull up in front of his home in suburban Waltham. His wife Norma and the children appear on the porch. In a show of affection that must cost her a great deal, Norma holds her arms out wide and says, “Elizabeth!” The two women embrace; then the children, in their well-brought-up though more subdued fashion, follow suit.
Elizabeth Costello the novelist will be staying with them for the three days of her visit to Appleton College. It is not a period he is looking forward to. His wife and his mother do not get on. It would be better were she to stay at a hotel, but he cannot bring himself to suggest that.
Hostilities are renewed almost at once. Norma has prepared a light supper. His mother notices that only three places have been set. “Aren’t the children eating with us?” she asks. “No,” says Norma, “they are eating in the playroom.” “Why?”
The question is not necessary, since she knows the answer. The children are eating separately because Elizabeth does not like to see meat on the table, while Norma refuses to change the children’s diet to suit what she calls “your mother’s delicate sensibilities.”
“Why?” asks Elizabeth Costello a second time.
Norma flashes him an angry glance. He sighs. “Mother,” he says, “the children are having chicken for supper, that’s the only reason.”
“Oh,” she says. “I see.”
His mother has been invited to Appleton College, where her son John is assistant professor of physics and astronomy, to deliver the annual Gates Lecture and meet with literature students. Because Costello is his mother’s maiden name, and because he has never seen any reason to broadcast his connection with her, it was not known at the time of the invitation that Elizabeth Costello, the Australian writer, had a family connection in the Appleton community. He would have preferred that state of affairs to continue.”

 

John Coetzee (Kaapstad, 9 februari 1940)

 

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Elizabeth Bishop werd geboren op 8 februari 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Zie ook alle tags voor Elizabeth Bishop op dit blog.

 

Zelfmoord van een gematigde dictator

Dit is een dag waarop de waarheden misschien naar buiten komen;
lekken uit de bungelende oortelefoons
en de kracht van de versierde schakelborden ondermijnen;
uit de ramen vallen, van de vensterbanken waaien,
– de vage, ietwat onopvallende inhoud
van het legen van asbakken; afgeven aan onze vingers
zoals inkt van de niet-proefgelezen kranten,
zoals de onscherpe foto’s
van snode gezichten die onze jassen vervuilen,
onze jassen met tropisch gewicht, als doodgeslagen motten.

Vandaag is een dag waarop degenen die werken
rondhangen. Degenen die speelden, moeten werken
en zich haasten, ook, om het voor elkaar te krijgen,
met weinig of geen waardigheid.
De kranten worden verkocht; de luiken van de kiosk
vallen neer. Maar hoe dan ook, in de nacht
schreven de koppen zichzelf, kijk, op de straat
en de trottoirs overal; het bezinksel spat
zelfs tot de eerste verdiepingen van appartementsgebouwen.

Dit is ook een mooie dag
en warm en helder. Om zeven uur zag ik
honden uitgelaten worden langs het beroemde strand
zoals gewoonlijk, in een glanzende grijsgroene dageraad,
hun pootafdrukken achterlatend in het nat.
De lijn van brekers was stabiel en de roze,
opgesplitste regenboog hing er aldoor boven.
Om acht uur waren twee kleine jongens aan het vliegeren.

 

Vertaald door Frans Roumen

 

Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 9e februari ook mijn blog van 9 februari 2019 en mijn blog van 9 februari 2017 en ook mijn blog van 9 februari 2014 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2 en deel 3.

Rachel Cusk, Elizabeth Bishop

De Canadese schrijfster Rachel Cusk werd geboren op 8 februari 1967 in Saskatoon. Zie ook alle tags voor Rachel Cusk op dit blog.

Uit: Arlington Park

“All night the rain fell on Arlington Park.
The clouds came from the west: clouds like dark cathedrals, clouds like machines, clouds like black blossoms flowering in the arid starlit sky. They came over the English countryside, sunk in its muddled sleep. They came over the low, populous hills where scatterings of lights throbbed in the darkness. At midnight they reached the city, valiantly glittering in its shallow provincial basin. Unseen, they grew like a second city overhead, thickening, expanding, throwing up their savage monuments, their towers, their monstrous, unpeopled palaces of cloud.
In Arlington Park, people were sleeping. Here and there the houses showed an orange square of light. Cars crept along the deserted roads. A cat leapt from a wall, pouring itself down into the shadows. Silently the clouds filled the sky. The wind picked up. It faintly stirred the branches of the trees, and in the dark, empty park the swings moved back and forth a little. A handful of dried leaves shuffled on the pavement. Down in the city there were still people on the streets, but in Arlington Park they were in their beds, already surrendered to tomorrow. There was no one to see the rain coming, except a couple hurrying down the silent streets on their way back from an evening out.
“I don’t like the look of that,” said the man, peering up. “That’s rain.”
The woman gave an exasperated little laugh.
“You’re the expert on everything tonight, aren’t you?” she said.
They let themselves into their house. The orange light showed for an instant in their doorway and was extinguished again.
On Arlington Rise, where the streetlamps made a tunnel of hard light and the road began its descent down into the city, the wind lifted stray pieces of litter and whirled them around. Further down, the black sky sagged over the darkened shop-fronts. An irascible gust made the signs rattle against the windows. From here the city could be seen, spread out below in the half-splendour of night. A brown haze stood above it. In its heaped centre, cranes and office blocks and the tiny floodlit spires of the cathedral stood out in the dark against the haze. Red and yellow lights moved in little repeating patterns as though they were the lights of an intricate mechanism. All around it, where the suburbs extended to the north and the east, brilliant fields of light undulated over the blackened landscape.
In the centre of the city the pubs and restaurants were closed, but people were queuing outside the nightclubs. When the rain started to fall, a few of the girls shrieked and held their handbags over their heads. The boys laughed uneasily. They hunched their shoulders and put their hands in their pockets. The drops fell from the fathomless darkness and came glittering into the orange light. They fell on the awning of the Luna nightclub and twisted in the beams of the streetlamps. They fell into the melancholy, stained fountain in the square, where men in T-shirts sat with cans of lager and hooded boys made graceful circles in the dark on their skateboards. There were people milling in doorways, shrieking girls in stilettos, boys with sculpted hair, middle-aged men furtively carrying things in plastic bags. A woman in a tight raincoat tick-tacked hurriedly along the pavement, talking into her mobile phone.”

 

Rachel Cusk (Saskatoon, 8 februari 1967)

 

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Elizabeth Bishop werd geboren op 8 februari 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Zie ook alle tags voor Elizabeth Bishop op dit blog.

 

Tankstation

Oh, maar het is vies!
– dit kleine tankstation,
met olie doordrenkt, met olie doorweekt
tot een verontrustende, totaal
zwarte doorschijnendheid.
Wees voorzichtig met die lucifer!

Vader draagt een vies,
met olie doordrenkt apenpak
dat hem in de oksels snijdt,
en een aantal snelle en brutale
en smerige zonen helpen hem
(het is een familietankstation),
allemaal echt door en door vuil.

Wonen ze in het station?
Het heeft een betonnen veranda
achter de pompen, en daarop
een partij vervormd en vet-
geïmpregneerd vlechtwerk;
op de rieten bank
een vuile hond, heel behaaglijk.

Enkele stripboeken bieden
de enige kleurtint-
van een bepaalde kleur. Ze liggen
op een groot donker kleedje,
gedrapeerd over een krukje
(onderdeel van de set), naast
een grote ruige begonia.

Waarom die vreemde plant?
Waarom het krukje?
Waarom, oh waarom, het kleedje?
(Geborduurd in madeliefjessteek
met margrieten, denk ik,
en zwaar van grijs haakwerk.)

Iemand heeft het kleedje geborduurd.
Iemand geeft de plant water,
of oliet hem misschien. Iemand
schikt de rijen blikken
zodat ze zachtjes zeggen:
ESSO-SO-SO-SO
tegen uiterst gespannen auto’s.
Iemand houdt van ons allemaal.

 

Vertaald door Frans Roumen

 

Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)



 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e februari ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2019 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2015 deel 1 en ook deel 2.

Elizabeth Bishop, Gabriele Wohmann, Amy Waldman, Maria Semple, Takis Würger, Dolce far niente

Dolce far niente

 


The Old Shepherd’s Chief Mourner door Edwin Henry Landseer, 1837

 

One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

 

 
Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)
De Sint Paulus kathedraal in Worcester, Massachusetts, de geboorteplaatsd van Elizabeth Bishop

 

De Duitse schrijfster Gabriele Wohmann werd op 21 mei 1932 in Darmstadt geboren als Gabriele Guyot. Zie ook alle tags voor Gabriele Wohmann op dit blog.

Uit: Die Klavierstunde

„Eins zwei drei vier, eins zwei drei vier. Der glitzern* Zeiger des Metronoms pendelte beharrlich und stumm von einer auf die andere Seite seines düsteren Gehauses. Sie stand auf, löschte das ungerufene Bild. Mit der (landfache stemmte sie das Gewicht ihres Arms gegen die Stirn und schob die lappige lose Haut in die Höhe bis zum I laaransatz. Owehoweh. Sie entzifferte die verworrene Schrift auf dem Reklameband, das so sich durchs Halbdunkel Ihres Bewusstseins schob: Kopfschmerzen. Unerträgliche. Ihn wegschicken. Etwas Lebendigkeit kehrte in sie zurück. Im SchlafzImmer fuhr sie mit dem kalten Waschlappen über ihr Gesicht.
Brauchte nicht hinzugehen. Einfach wegbleiben. Die Umgebung wurde vertraut: ein Platz für Aktivität. Er blieb stehen, stellte die schwere Mappe mit den Noten zwischen die Beine, die Schuhe klemmten sie fest. Ein Kind rollerte vorbei; die kleinen Rader quietschten; die abstoßende Ledersohle kratzte den Kies. Nicht hingehen, die Mappe loswerden und nicht hingehen. Er wusste, dass er nur die Mappe loszuwer-den brauchte. Das glatte warme Holz einer Rollerlenkstange in den Handen haben. Die Mappe ins Gebüsch schleudern und einen Stein In die Hand nehmen oder einen Zweig abreißen und ihn tragen, ein Baumblatt mit den Fingern zerpflücken und den Geruch von Seife wegbekommen. Sie deckte den einmal gefalteten Waschlappen auf die Stirn und legte den Kopf, auf dem Bettrand saß sie, weit zurück, bog den Hals. Noch mal von vorne. Und eins und zwei und eins. Die schwarze Taste, b, mein Junge. Das hellbeschriftete Reklameband erleuchtete die dämmrigen Bewusstseinskammern: Kopfschmer-zen. Ihn wegschicken. Sie saß ganz still, das nasse ‘fluch beschwichtigte die Stirn: sie las den hoffnungs-weckenden Slogan. Feucht und hart der Lederhenkel in seiner Hand. Schwer zerrte das Gewicht der Hefte: pede einzelne Note hemmte seine kurzen Vorwartsbewegungen. Fremde Wirklichkeit der Sonne, die aus den Wolkenflocken zuckte, durch die Laubdacher flackerte, abstrakte Muster auf den Kies warf, zitterndes Gesprenkel. Ein Kind; eine Frau, die bunte Päckchen im tiefhangenden Netz trug; ein Mann auf dem Fahrrad. Er lebte nicht mit Ihnen.
Der Lappen hatte sich an der Glut Ihrer Stirn erwärmt: und nicht mehr tropfig hörte er auf, wohl zu tun. Sie stellte sich vor den Spiegel, ordnete die grauen Haar-fetzen. Im Ohr hämmerte der jetzt auch akustisch wirkende Slogan.
Die Mappe loswerden. Einfach nicht hingehen. Seine Beine trugen ihn langsam, mechanisch In die Nahe der efeubeklecksten Villa.
Kopfschmerzen, unerträgliche. Sie klappte den schwarzen Deckel hoch; rückte ein verblichenes Foto auf dem Klaviersims zurecht; kratzte mit dem Zeigefingernagel ein trübes Klümpchen unter dem Dau-mennagel hervor.
Hinter dem verschnörkelten Eisengitter gediehen unfarbige leblose Blumen auf winzigen Rondellen, akkuraten Rabatten. Er begriff, dass er sie nie wie wirkliche Pflanzen sehen würde.“


Gabriele Wohmann (21 mei 1932 – 22 juni 2015)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster en journaliste Amy Waldman werd geboren op 21 mei 1969 in Los Angeles. Zie ook alle tags voor Amy Waldman op dit blog.

Uit: The Submission

“His mind wandered to the coming days, weeks, months. They would announce the winning design. Then he and Edith would visit the Zabar’s at their home in Menerbes, a respite for Paul between the months of deliberation and the fund- raising for the memorial that would begin on his return. It would be a major challenge, with the construction of each of the two fi nalists estimated at $100 million, minimum, but Paul en-joyed parting his friends from serious money. Countless ordinary Ameri-cans were sure to open their wallets, too.Then this chairmanship would lead to others, or so Edith assured him. Unlike many of her friends, his wife did not collect Chanel suits or Harry Winston baubles, although she had quantities of both. Her eye was for prestigious positions, and so she imagined Paul as chairman of the public library, where he already sat on the board. It had more money than the Met, and Edith had pronounced Paul “literary,” although Paul him-self wasn’t sure he’d read a novel since The Bonfi re of the Vanities.“Perhaps we should talk more about the local context,” said Made-line, a community power broker from the neighborhood ringing the site. As if on cue, Ariana extracted from her bag a drawing she had made of the Void to show how well it would play against the cityscape. The Void’s “vertical properties,” she said, echoed Manhattan’s. Claire arched her eyebrows at Paul. Ariana’s “sketch,” as she called it, was better than the drawings accompanying the submission. Claire had complained to Paul more than once that she suspected Ariana knew the Void’s designer— a student, a protégé?— because she seemed so eager to help it along. Maybe, although he didn’t think Ariana had done any more for her favorite than Claire had for hers. For all her poise, Claire couldn’t seem to handle not getting her way. Nor could Ariana, who was used to dominating juries without this one’s slippery quota of sentiment.The group retreated to the parlor, with its warm yellow walls, for dessert. Jorge, the chef at Gracie Mansion, wheeled in a cart laden with cakes and cookies. Then he unveiled, with little fanfare, a three- foot- high gingerbread reconstruction of the vanished towers. The shapes   were unmistakable. The silence was profound.“It’s not meant to be eaten,” Jorge said, suddenly shy. “It’s a tribute.”“Of course,” said Claire, then added, with more warmth, “It’s like a fairy tale.” Chandelier light glinted off the poured-sugar windows.Paul had piled his plate with everything but the gingerbread when Ariana planted herself in front of him like a tiny spear. In concert they drifted toward a secluded corner behind the piano.“I’m concerned, Paul,” Ariana said. “I don’t want our decision based too much on”— the last word almost lowed—“emotion.”“We’re selecting a memorial, Ariana. I’m not sure emotion can be left out of it entirely.”“You know what I mean. I worry that Claire’s feelings are having disproportionate impact.”

 
Amy Waldman (Los Angeles, 21 mei 1969)
Cover

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster en scenariste Maria Keogh Semple werd geboren op 21 mei 1964 in Santa Monica, Californië. Zie ook alle tags voor Maria Semple op dit blog.

Uit: This One Is Mine

“Are we good?” “You didn’t notice it when you looked out the window this morning?” “Apparently not,” Violet said. “Oh! Your milk.” She removed a small pitcher from the microwave, set it next to the coffee, and surveyed David’s domain. “Okay, that’s everything.” “It doesn’t upset you that there’s a dead animal in our Jacuzzi?” “I guess it does, a little. For the gopher.” “What gopher?” asked Dot. “That water could have dysentery in it.” David sat down. “What if Marta took Dot in there to swim?” To underscore the seriousness of his point, he had called their nanny by her real name, Marta, not their nickname for her, LadyGo. “Mama! Want cheese,” said Dot. “I’m getting you some.” Violet walked a piece of cheese over to Dot, then sat down on a tiny stool beside her and looked up at David. “Marcelino is coming today. I’ll have him fish out the gopher, drain the Jacuzzi, and disinfect it.” There was no discernible edge to her voice. This was one of Violet’s most bedeviling tactics, acting as if she was being completely reasonable and it was David who was hell-bent on ruining a perfectly fine morning. “Thank you,” he said. “Look, I’m sorry. Today’s big. KROQ is debuting the Hanging with Yoko single at nine. I’ve got tickets going on sale at the Troubadour at ten – Shit.” “What, Dada?” “Yesterday was my sister’s birthday,” he said to Violet. “I totally spaced it. That must have been why she kept calling the office.” “I’ll get her something and have it messengered over,” Violet said. “I’ll make sure it’s expensive enough so she can’t complain.” “Really? Thanks.” David was heartened. This was the Violet he loved, the Violet who took care of business. He jiggled the mouse on his laptop and clicked open his brokerage account. Up from yesterday, and the Dow was down eighty points. The hard part wasn’t making the money, it was keeping the money. And he had his gold stocks, his little fighters, to thank for that. He opened the chart for Nightingale Mining and sang its theme song. (After all, what would a stock be without its own theme song?) For Nightingale Mining – symbol XNI – he sang Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” “X-N-I. X-N-I. Take my hand. Off to never-never land.” Plunk.”


Maria Semple (Santa Monica, 21 mei 1964)
Cover

 

Onafhankelijk van geboortedata

De Duitse schrijver en journalist Takis Würger werd geboren in 1985 in Hohenhameln. Zie ook alle tags voor Takis Würger op dit blog.

Uit: Der Club

„Jeden Abend hörte ich ihren Husten durch die Dielen meines Kinderzimmers. Das Geräusch half mir beim Einschlafen. Die Eltern sagten mir, dass der Krebs aufgehört habe zu wuchern, die Bestrahlung, die sie nach der Geburt bekommen hatte, habe gewirkt. Ich merkte mir das Wort » Remission «, obwohl ich nicht wusste, was es hieß. So, wie meine Mutter schaute, als sie es sagte, schien es etwas Gutes. Sie sagte mir, dass sie sterben würde, aber niemand wüsste, wann. Ich glaubte, solange ich keine Angst hatte, würde sie leben.
Ich spielte nie. Ich verbrachte meine Zeit damit, die Welt zu beobachten. An den Nachmittagen ging ich in den Wald und schaute zu, wie die Blätter sich bewegten, wenn der Wind sie berührte. Manchmal saß ich neben meinem Vater an der Werkbank und beobachtete, wie er Eichenholz drechselte, und roch den Duft frischer Späne. Ich umarmte meine Mutter, wenn sie Marmelade aus weißen Johannisbeeren kochte, und horchte an ihrem Rücken, wenn sie hustete.
In die Schule ging ich ungern. Das Alphabet lernte ich schnell, und Zahlen mochte ich, weil sie geheimnisvoll waren, Lieder singen oder Blumen aus Pappe basteln fiel mir schwer. Als wir im Deutschunterricht anfingen, Geschichten zu schreiben, verstand ich, dass die Schule mir helfen könnte. Ich schrieb Texte, die vom Wald handelten und von den Arztbesuchen meiner Mutter, und die Geschichten machten mir die Welt weniger fremd, sie erlaubten mir, eine Ordnung zu schaffen, die ich nicht sah. Von meinem Taschengeld kaufte ich mir ein Tagebuch und begann, jeden Abend darin zu schreiben. Ich weiß nicht, ob ich ein Streber war, falls ja, war es mir egal.
Es gab verschiedene Gruppen in der Schule : die Mädchen, die Fußballer, die Handballer, die Gitarrenspieler, die Russlanddeutschen, die Jungs, die in den schönen, weißen Häusern am Waldrand wohnten. Ich mochte keinen Ballsport und spielte kein Instrument, ich wohnte nicht in einem der weißen Häuser und sprach kein Russisch. Die Mädchen stellten sich in der Pause zu mir, und als die Jungs aus meiner Klasse das sahen, lachten sie, deswegen versteckte ich mich in den Pausen oft hinter einem Aquarium, wo ich allein war. An meinem achten Geburtstag bat meine Mutter die anderen Eltern darum, ihre Kinder vorbeizubringen. Ich saß still vor dem Marmorkuchen, war aufgeregt und fragte mich, ob die Kinder meine Freunde sein würden.“


Takis Würger (Hohenhameln, 1985)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers ook mijn blog van 21 mei 2018.

John Grisham, Robin Block, Rachel Cusk, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke, Jules Verne

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook alle tags voor John Grisham op dit blog.

Uit: The Reckoning

“On a cold morning in early October of 1946, Pete Banning awoke before sunrise and had no thoughts of going back to sleep. For a long time he lay in the center of his bed, stared at the dark ceiling, and asked himself for the thousandth time if he had the courage. Finally, as the first trace of dawn peeked through a window, he accepted the solemn reality that it was time for the killing. The need for it had become so overwhelming that he could not continue with his daily routines. He could not remain the man he was until the deed was done. Its planning was simple, yet difficult to imagine. Its aftershocks would rattle on for decades and change the lives of those he loved and many of those he didn’t. Its notoriety would create a legend, though he certainly wanted no fame. Indeed, as was his nature, he wished to avoid the attention, but that would not be possible. He had no choice. The truth had slowly been revealed, and once he had the full grasp of it, the killing became as inevitable as the sunrise.
He dressed slowly, as always, his war‑wounded legs stiff and painful from the night, and made his way through the dark house to the kitchen, where he turned on a dim light and brewed his coffee. As it percolated, he stood ramrod straight beside the breakfast table, clasped his hands behind his head, and gently bent both knees. He grimaced as pain radiated from his hips to his ankles, but he held the squat for ten seconds. He relaxed, did it again and again, each time sinking lower. There were metal rods in his left leg and shrapnel in his right.
Pete poured coffee, added milk and sugar, and walked outside onto the back porch, where he stood at the steps and looked across his land. The sun was breaking in the east and a yellowish light cast itself across the sea of white. The fields were thick and heavy with cotton that looked like fallen snow, and on any other day Pete would manage a smile at what would certainly be a bumper crop. But there would be no smiles on this day; only tears, and lots of them. To avoid the killing, though, would be an act of cowardice, a notion unknown to his being. He sipped his coffee and admired his land and was comforted by its security. Below the blanket of white was a layer of rich black topsoil that had been owned by Bannings for over a hundred years. Those in power would take him away and would probably execute him, but his land would endure forever and support his family.
Mack, his bluetick hound, awoke from his slumber and joined him on the porch. Pete spoke to him and rubbed his head.
The cotton was bursting in the bolls and straining to be picked, and before long teams of field hands would load into wagons for the ride to the far acres. As a boy, Pete rode in the wagon with the Negroes and pulled a cotton sack twelve hours a day. The Bannings were farmers and landowners, but they were workers, not gentrified planters with decadent lives made possible by the sweat of others.”

     
John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

 

De Nederlandse dichter, songwriter en musicus Robin Block werd geboren op 8 februari 1980 in Heemskerk. Zie ook alle tags voor Robin Block op dit blog. 

Archeoloog van de verbeelding

Geef me een steen, één steen
en ik bouw een paleis dwars door de tijden heen
Vul de oude tuin met geuren

Geef me een rots, een letter
en ik bikkel een gezicht uit
droom er een naam bij

Ik hoor de kreten van mijn voorvaderen
al van meters onder de grond,
Volg het spoor naar hun zanderige mond

Ik blaas silhouetten uit het stof
Draag hun botten door de uitgegraven straten
Zoek een oog voor hun tranen

Hele wat geheeld moet worden
7 generaties voor ons
en 7 erna

Ik lijm de scherven tot een lichaam
Vang in elke barst een lichtstraal
Ontdek in ieder mozaïek een kleurige processie


Robin Block (Heemskerk, 8 februari 1980)

 

De Canadese schrijfster Rachel Cusk werd geboren op 8 februari 1967 in Saskatoon. Zie ook alle tags voor Rachel Cusk op dit blog.

Uit: Transit

“An astrologer emailed me to say she had important news for me concerning events in my immediate future. She could see things that I could not: my personal details had come into her possession and had allowed her to study the planets for their information. She wished me to know that a major transit was due to occur shortly in my sky. This information was causing her great excitement when she considered the changes it might represent. For a small fee she would share it with me and enable me to turn it to my advantage.
She could sense—the email continued—that I had lost my way in life, that I sometimes struggled to find meaning in my present circumstances and to feel hope for what was to come; she felt a strong personal connection between us, and while she couldn’t explain the feeling, she knew too that some things ought to defy explanation. She understood that many people closed their minds to the meaning of the sky above their heads, but she firmly believed I was not one of those people. I did not have the blind belief in reality that made others ask for concrete explanations. She knew that I had suffered sufficiently to begin asking certain questions, to which as yet I had received no reply. But the movements of the planets represented a zone of infinite reverberation to human destiny: perhaps it was simply that some people could not believe they were important enough to figure there. The sad fact, she said, is that in this era of science and unbelief we have lost the sense of our own significance. We have become cruel, to ourselves and others, because we believe that ultimately we have no value. What the planets offer, she said, is nothing less than the chance to regain faith in the grandeur of the human: how much more dignity and honor, how much kindness and responsibility and respect, would we bring to our dealings with one another if we believed that each and every one of us had a cosmic importance? She felt that I of all people could see the implications here for improvements in world peace and prosperity, not to mention the revolution an enhanced concept of fate could bring about in the personal side of things. She hoped I would forgive her for contacting me in this way and for speaking so openly. As she had already said, she felt a strong personal connection between us that had encouraged her to say what was in her heart.
It seemed possible that the same computer algorithms that had generated this email had also generated the astrologer herself: her phrases were too characterful, and the note of character was repeated too often; she was too obviously based on a human type to be, herself, human. As a result her sympathy and concern were slightly sinister; yet for those same reasons they also seemed impartial.”

 
Rachel Cusk (Saskatoon, 8 februari 1967)

 

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Elizabeth Bishop werd geboren op 8 februari 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Zie ook alle tags voor Elizabeth Bishop op dit blog.

Songs For A Colored Singer

II
The time has come to call a halt;
and so it ends.
He’s gone off with his other friends.
He needn’t try to make amends,
this occasion’s all his fault.
Through rain and dark I see his face
across the street at Flossie’s place.
He’s drinking in the warm pink glow
to th’ accompaniment of the piccolo.

The time has come to call a halt.
I met him walking with Varella
and hit him twice with my umbrella.
Perhaps that occasion was my fault,
but the time has come to call a halt.

Go drink your wine and go get tight.
Let the piccolo play.
I’m sick of all your fussing anyway.
Now I’m pursuing my own way.
I’m leaving on the bus tonight.
Far down the highway wet and black
I’ll ride and ride and not come back.
I’m going to go and take the bus
and find someone monogamous.

The time has come to call a halt.
I’ve borrowed fifteen dollars fare
and it will take me anywhere.
For this occasion’s all his fault.
The time has come to call a halt.


Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)
Cover

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Neal Cassady werd geboren op 8 februari 1926 in Salt Lake City. Zie ook alle tags voor Neal Cassady op dit blog.

Uit: Collected Letters

“TO ALLEN GINSBERG
May 8, 1947 1242 Clarkson St. [Denver]
DEAR ALLEN; Can you ever forgive me? I mean it, can you? Really, I feel very guilty about my failure to write; of course, I could rationalize myself indefinitely concerning all the lack of time I’ve had, troubles etc., however, I shan’t do that for I should have written anyhow. The real reason I’ve failed to is, I think, due to my not knowing what would happen next. As I received your last letter I was packing to go to Las Vegas & gamble. Quickly I dashed off a letter telling you so, & the reasons why, then, before I mailed it, I had a minor brush with the police which, incidentally, caused me to move to this address. This change in plans voided my unmailed letter, so I started another, but just then I got a job, and I mean a job! Honestly, I work ten hours a day and it’s so hard on me that even after ten days at it, I can still hardly drag myself home to fall into bed. I have not done anything, haven’t seen Justin, (although I phoned him two weeks ago and made a date), haven’t seen Hal, haven’t even written to you, man, I’ve been beat into the ground by this hard work; enough of these excuses, onward. Your last letter was a pip, truly the best you’ve written; insofar as the groove we’ve been striving for it’s perfect. I feel as I reread it that you’re right in there, now all we need is for me to fall into it properly. Of course, you’ve forgotten most of what you wrote but that’s not important. You’re in!
I must repeat the jobs I suggested as Justin’s best are only what I think, as far as I know he might make you vice-president, so try not to feel any drag, and about all remember, he’s fallen for you hook, line and whatever else he has; I’m quite convinced that you are, by far, the most important and best loved thing that has happened to him in years, so during the summer really bear down on him and where he’ll now eat out of your hand, then he’ll even feed you out of his. If it means anything. I swear I’ll see Justin before the week’s out and then write to you on the “whole thing in general” whatever I meant by that.”

 
Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)
Hier met Allen Ginsberg (links)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Henry Roth werd geboren op 8 februari 1906 in Tysmenitz nabij Stanislawow, Galicië, in het toenmalige Oostenrijk-Hongarije. Zie ook alle tags voor Henry Roth op dit blog.

Uit:Mercy of a Rude Stream (A Diving Rock on the Hudson)

“They, and other Jewish youth, more recent arrivals on the block, or in the immediate neighborhood, became, as it were by default, Ira’s provisional companions during that barren, that grievous period. Izzy (who became Irving) Winchel, with blanched blue eyes, a hooked nose, had aspirations of becoming a baseball pitcher. Utterly unscrupulous, the nearest thing to a pathological liar, and phony as a three-dollar bill; his arrant cribbings and copyings still hadn’t saved him from flunking out of Stuyvesant. He did peculiar things with words: mayonnaise became maysonay, trigonometry trigonomogy. Maxie DaM, short of stature, quick, alert, well-informed, best-spoken of any in the group (perhaps because his family had moved here from Ohio), ambitious, an office boy in an advertising firm, and Ira was sure a capable one. Maxie DaM’s father, blocky and affable, owned the new candy store, whose rear was depot for card games. Jakey Shapiro, short of stature and motherless; his short and cinnamon-mustached widowed father had moved here from Boston, married svelte Mrs. Glott, gold-toothed widow, mother of three married daughters, and janitress of 112 East 119th. It was in her abode, in the janitorial quarters assigned her on the ground floor rear, that seemingly inoffensive Mrs. Shapiro set up a clandestine alcohol dispensary—not a speakeasy, but a bootleg joint, where the Irish and other shikkers of the vicinity could come and have their pint bottles filled up, at a price. And several times on weekends, when Ira was there, for he got along best with Jake, felt closest to him, because Jake was artistic, some beefy Irishman would come in, hand over his empty pint bottle for refilling, and after greenbacks were passed, and the transaction completed, receive as a goodwill offering a pony of spirits on the house. And once again those wry (rye? Out vile pun!), wry memories of lost opportunities: Jake’s drab kitchen where the two sat talking about art, about Jake’s favorite painters, interrupted by a knock on the door, opened by Mr. Shapiro, and the customer entered. With the fewest possible words, perhaps no more than salutations, purpose understood, negotiations carried out like a mime show, or a ballet: ecstatic pas de deux with Mr. McNally and Mr. Shapiro—until suspended by Mr. Shapiro’s disappearance with an empty bottle, leaving Mr. McNally to solo in anticipation of a “Druidy drunk,” terminated by Mr. Shapiro’s reappearance with a full pint of booze. Another pas de deux of payment? Got it whole hog—Mr. Shapiro was arrested for bootlegging several times, paid several fines, but somehow, by bribery and cunning, managed to survive in the enterprise, until he had amassed enough wealth to buy a fine place in Bensonhurst by the time “Prohibition” was repealed. A Yiddisher kup, no doubt.”

 
Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)
Cover

 

De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Eva Strittmatter werd als Eva Braun geboren op 8 februari 1930 in Neuruppin. Zie ook alle tags voor Eva Strittmatter op dit blog.

Das Geheimnis

Dort,wo du bist:schreib ein paar Worte
In deinen Himmel.Schick sie her.
Ich fang sie auf an meinem Orte
Und sende sie,von Liebe schwer,
Zu dir zurück.In dieser Zeile
Wird unser Leben sich verbinden:
Geheimnis,das ich mit dir teile.
Und keiner wird die Lösung finden
Für dieses Rätsel im Gedicht.
Die andern sollen dran erblinden:
So sehr ist es gemacht aus Licht.

 

Schrei

Andre gibt es, die können die Kunst
Zu leben besser als ich.
Ich weiß nicht: Ist das eine Gunst Des Schicksals?
Ich weiß nur: Auf mich
Fällt alles mit Gewalt herab.
Wie ein Steinschlag trifft mich das Glück.
Und Unglück ist für mich das Grab.
Ich stürze ins Nichts zurück.
Der Preis ist hoch, den ich bezahl
Für die Fähigkeit zu sagen. Ich muß das Glück und auch die Qual
Bis an den Schrei ertragen.

 

Sein

Ich sehne mich sehr nach Freiheit.
Leicht und im Licht möcht ich sein.
Ich will sie, wies sein soll, verdienen:
Arbeiten. Aber auch: einfach sein.

 
Eva Strittmatter (8 februari 1930 – 3 januari 2011)
Cover

 

De Oostenrijkse dichter en schrijver Gert Jonke werd geboren op 8 februari 1946 in Klagenfurt. Zie ook alle tags voor Gert Jonke op dit blog.

Uit:Geometrischen Heimatroman

Der Dorfplatz ist viereckig, grenzt an die um ihn versammelten Häuser, Straßen und Wege münden in ihn, außer dem Brunnen in der Mitte, in dem die Pflastersteinsysteme ihren Ursprung suchen, strahlen-artig sich verteilen, befindet sich nichts auf dem Dorf-platz. Eine auf den Platz hingeworfene Figur nähen sich dem Brunnen, schöpft Wasser, daß die Winde knarrt; sie wendet sich vom Brunnen ab, den Krug am Kopf, verschwindet in einer Seitengasse. Oder aber an den Rändern die vier Hausmauerlinien entlang die einander austauschenden Vorminagsbesuche, die sich rasch hinter den Türen verbergen, in den Türspalten verschwinden Haare und Kopftücher. Zu Mittag dann tummeln sich einige herum, die Kinder kommen aus der Schule, werfen Mützen und Schul-taschen über die Dächer, der Lehrer geht ins Wirtshaus, der Pfarrer schließt das Fenster. – Wir können über den Dorfplatz gehn. – Ja, gehn wir über den Dorfplatz. – Ausgenommen den Brunnen in der Mine ist der Dorf-platz ansonsten leer. Nein, das ist nicht wahr, denn es sind Bänke aufgestellt entlang den Rändern, die Rückseiten der Lehnen zu den Mauern gewandt. Wir hatten uns in der Werkstatt des Schmiedes versteckt, die Wangen eng an die Mauern gepreßt, niemand hat uns geschn, und du hast gesagt – gehn wir über den Dorfplatz. – Nein, gehn wir nicht über den Dorfplatz, habe ich entgegnet, denn ich habe die Leute auf den Bänken sitzen gesehn auf einmal wie hingeworfen plötzlich auf jeder Bank zwei. Wir konnten nicht über den Dorfplatz gehn, weil wir nicht gesehen werden durften. – Gehn wir über den Dorfplatz. – Wir können nw&: über den Dorfplatz gebn, habe ich noch einmal gesagt, währenddem hat sich die erste auf der ersten uns am nächsten liegenden Bank sitzende Figur erhoben, wäh-rend sich die auf jener der ersten Bank gegenüberstehen-den Bank sitzende Figur ebenfalls erhoben hat, dann sind sie einander entgegengegangen, auf der den Dorfplatz teilenden Mittellinie begegnet, haben ihre rechten Hände gehoben, deren Handflächen einander zugestreckt, umschlossen, auf und ab geschüttelt, gelöst, sich voneinander wieder abgewandt, sind zu ihren Bän-ken zurückgegangen, haben sich wieder gesetzt, während die zweite auf der ersten uns am nächsten liegenden Bank sitzende Figur sich erhoben hat, während die auf jener der ersten Bank gegenüberstehenden Bank sitzende zweite Figur sich ebenfalls erhoben hat, dann sind sie einander entgegengegangen … … bis alle auf den einander gegenüberstehenden Bänken gegenübersitzenden Figuren sich erhoben hatten, einander entgegengegangen waren, die Hände einander geschüttelt hauen, zu den jeweiligen Bänken zurückgegangen waren und sich wieder gesetzt hatten.“


Gert Jonke (8 februari 1946 – 4 januari 2009)

 

De Franse schrijver Jules Verne werd geboren in Nantes op 8 februari 1828. Zie ook alle tags voor Jules Verne op dit blog.

Uit: Les Révoltés de la Bounty

“Pas le moindre souffle, pas une ride à la surface de la mer, pas un nuage au ciel. Les splendides constellations de l’hémisphère austral se dessinent avec une incomparable pureté. Les voiles de la Bounty pendent le long des mâts, le bâtiment est immobile, et la lumière de la lune, pâlissant devant l’aurore qui se lève, éclaire l’espace d’une lueur indéfinissable.
La Bounty, navire de deux cent quinze tonneaux monté par quarante-six hommes, avait quitté Spithead, le 23 décembre 1787, sous le commandement du capitaine Bligh, marin expérimenté mais un peu rude, qui avait accompagné le capitaine Cook dans son dernier voyage d’exploration.
La Bounty avait pour mission spéciale de transporter aux Antilles l’arbre à pain, qui pousse à profusion dans l’archipel de Tahiti. Après une relâche de six mois dans la baie de Matavaï, William Bligh, ayant chargé un millier de ces arbres, avait pris la route des Indes occidentales, après un assez court séjour aux îles des Amis.
Maintes fois, le caractère soupçonneux et emporté du capitaine avait amené des scènes désagréables entre quelques-uns de ses officiers et lui. Cependant, la tranquillité qui régnait à bord de la Bounty, au lever du soleil, le 28 avril 1789, ne faisait rien présager des graves événements qui allaient se produire. Tout semblait calme, en effet, lorsque tout à coup une animation insolite se propage sur le bâtiment. Quelques matelots s’accostent, échangent deux ou trois paroles à voix basse, puis disparaissent à petits pas.
Est-ce le quart du matin qu’on relève? Quelque accident inopiné s’est-il produit à bord ?
« Pas de bruit surtout, mes amis, dit Fletcher Christian, le second de la Bounty. Bob, armez votre pistolet, mais ne tirez pas sans mon ordre. Vous, Churchill, prenez votre hache et faites sauter la serrure de la cabine du capitaine. Une dernière recommandation : Il me le faut vivant !»
Suivi d’une dizaine de matelots armés de sabres, de coutelas et de pistolets, Christian se glissa dans l’entrepont; puis, après avoir placé deux sentinelles devant la cabine de Stewart et de Peter Heywood, le maître d’équipage et le midshipman de la Bounty, il s’arrêta devant la porte du capitaine.”

 
Jules Verne (8 februari 1828 – 24 maart 1905)
Scene uit de film “Mutiny On The Bounty” uit 1962 met o.a. Marlon Brando als Fletcher Christian

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e februari ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2018 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2015 deel 1 en ook deel 2.

John Grisham, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook alle tags voor John Grisham op dit blog.

Uit:The Rooster Bar

“The end of the year brought the usual holiday festivities, though around the Frazier house there was little to cheer. Mrs. Frazier went through the motions of decorating a small tree and wrapping a few cheap gifts and baking cookies no one really wanted, and, as always, she kept The Nutcracker running nonstop on the stereo as she gamely hummed along in the kitchen as though the season was merry.
Things were anything but merry. Mr. Frazier had moved out three years earlier, and he wasn’t missed as much as he was despised. In no time, he had moved in with his young secretary, who, as things developed, was already pregnant. Mrs. Frazier, jilted, humiliated, broke, and depressed, was still struggling.
Louie, her younger son, was under house arrest, sort of free on bail, and facing a rough year ahead with the drug charges and all. He made no effort to buy his mom anything in the way of a gift. His excuse was that he couldn’t leave the house because of the court-ordered monitor attached to his ankle. But even without it, no one expected Louie to go to the trouble of buying gifts. The year before and the year before that both of his ankles had been unburdened and he hadn’t bothered to shop.
Mark, the older son, was home from the horrors of law school, and, though even poorer than his brother, had managed to buy his mother some perfume. He was scheduled to graduate in May, sit for the bar exam in July, and begin working with a D.C. firm in September, which, as it so happened, was the same month Louie’s trial was on the docket. But Louie’s case would not go to trial for two very good reasons. First, the undercover boys had caught him in the act of selling ten bags of crack—there was even a video—and, second, neither Louie nor his mother could afford a decent lawyer to handle the mess. Throughout the holidays, both Louie and Mrs. Frazier dropped hints that Mark should rush in and volunteer to defend his brother. Wouldn’t it be easy to stall matters until later in the year when Mark was properly admitted to the bar—he was practically there anyway—and once he had his license wouldn’t it be a simple matter of finding one of those technicalities you read about to get the charges dismissed?”

 
John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “John Grisham, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin”

John Grisham, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke, Robin Block, Jules Verne

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook alle tags voor John Grisham op dit blog.

Uit: The Firm

“The senior partner studied the résumé for the hundredth time and again found nothing he disliked about Mitchell Y. McDeere, at least not on paper. He had the brains, the ambition, the good looks. And he was hungry; with his background, he had to be. He was married, and that was mandatory. The firm had never hired an unmarried lawyer, and it frowned heavily on divorce, as well as womanizing and drinking. Drug testing was in the contract. He had a degree in accounting, passed the CPA exam the first time he took it and wanted to be a tax lawyer, which of course was a requirement with a tax firm. He was white, and the firm had never hired a black. They managed this by being secretive and clubbish and never soliciting job applications. Other firms solicited, and hired blacks. This firm recruited, and remained lily white. Plus, the firm was in Memphis, of all places, and the top blacks wanted New York or Washington or Chicago. McDeere was a male, and there were no women in the firm. That mistake had been made in the mid-seventies when they recruited the number one grad from Harvard, who happened to be a she and a wizard at taxation. She lasted four turbulent years and was killed in a car wreck.
He looked good, on paper. He was their top choice. In fact, for this year there were no other prospects. The list was very short. It was McDeere or no one.
The managing partner, Royce McKnight, studied a dossier labeled “Mitchell Y. McDeere–Harvard.” An inch thick with small print and a few photographs, it had been prepared by some ex-CIA agents in a private intelligence outfit in Bethesda. They were clients of the firm and each year did the investigating for no fee. It was easy work, they said, checking out unsuspecting law students. They learned, for instance, that he preferred to leave the Northeast, that he was holding three job offers, two in New York and one in Chicago, and that the highest offer was $76,000 and the lowest was $68,000. He was in demand. He had been given the opportunity to cheat on a securities exam during his second year. He declined, and made the highest grade in the class. Two months ago he had been offered cocaine at a law school party. He said no and left when everyone began snorting. He drank an occasional beer, but drinking was expensive and he had no money. He owed close to $23,000 in student loans. He was hungry.”

 
John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “John Grisham, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke, Robin Block, Jules Verne”

John Grisham, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook alle tags voor John Grisham op dit blog.

Uit: The Pelican Brief

“He seemed incapable of creating such chaos, but much of what he saw below could be blamed on him. And that was fine. He was ninety-one, paralyzed, strapped in a wheelchair and hooked to oxygen. His second stroke seven years ago had almost finished him off, but Abraham Rosenberg was still alive and even with tubes in his nose his legal stick was bigger than the other eight. He was the only legend remaining on the Court, and the fact that he was still breathing irritated most of the mob below.
He sat in a small wheelchair in an office on the main floor of the Supreme Court Building. His feet touched the edge of the window, and he strained forward as the noise increased. He hated cops, but the sight of them standing in thick, neat lines was somewhat comforting. They stood straight and held ground as the mob of at least fifty thousand screamed for blood.
“Biggest crowd ever!” Rosenberg yelled at the window. He was almost deaf. Jason Kline, his senior law clerk, stood behind him. It was the first Monday in October, the opening day of the new term, and this had become a traditional celebration of the First Amendment. A glorious celebration. Rosenberg was thrilled. To him, freedom of speech meant freedom to riot.
“Are the Indians out there?” he asked loudly.
Jason Kline leaned closer to his right ear. “Yes!”
“With war paint?”
“Yes! In full battle dress.”
“Are they dancing?”
“Yes!”
The Indians, the blacks, whites, browns, women, gays, tree lovers, Christians, abortion activists, Aryans, Nazis, atheists, hunters, animal lovers, white supremacists, black supremacists, tax protestors, loggers, farmers–it was a massive sea of protest. And the riot police gripped their black sticks.
“The Indians should love me!”
“I’m sure they do.” Kline nodded and smiled at the frail little man with clenched fists. His ideology was simple; government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians, give them whatever they want.“

 
John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “John Grisham, Elizabeth Bishop, Neal Cassady, Henry Roth, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke”

Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke

De Amerikaanse schrijver Neal Cassady werd geboren op 8 februari 1926 in Salt Lake City. Zie ook alle tags voor Neal Cassady op dit blog.

Uit: Relax, Man. The Gay Love Letters of Neal Cassady to Allen Ginsberg

“Denver, Colorado
March 14, 1947.

Dear Allen;
. . . My life is, at the moment, so cluttered up I have become incapable of relaxing long enough to even write a decent letter, really, I’m almost unable to think coherently. You must, then, not only forgive, but, find it within yourself to understand & in so doing develope a degree of patience until I am able to free myself enough to become truly close to you again.
On your part, you must know, that any letdown in your regard for me would upset me so much that, psychologically, I would be in a complete vacuum.
At least for the immediate future I must request these things of you. so please don’t fail me. I need you now more than ever, since I’ve noone else to turn to. I continually feel I am almost free enough to be a real help to you, but, my love can’t flourish in my present position & if I forced it now, both you & I would lose. By God, though, every day I miss you more & More.
Understanding these things I hope, nay, in fact, know you must pour out more affection now than ever, rather than reacting negatively & withering up so that all is loss, or would be, between us.
Let us then find true awareness by realizing that each of us is depending on the other for fulfillment. In that realization lies, I believe, the germ that may grow to the great heights of complete oneness. . . .
I shall find a job tomorrow & perhaps by losing myself in work again I may become more rational & less upset & unnerved by the emotional shock of returning.
Write soon I need you. I remain your other self.
Neal.”

 
Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)
Hier met  Allen Ginsberg (links)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke”

Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke

De Amerikaanse schrijver Neal Cassady werd geboren op 8 februari 1926 in Salt Lake City. Zie ook alle tags voor Neal Cassady op dit blog.

Uit: The First Third

“One day as I looked the train over for brakes sticking etc. I happened to climb up on the top to check the indicators of a passing train (our pride, the Daylight, number 99) and on top of the reefer was a bum. I see at least 10 or 20 bums each day, however I was really stoned, the sun was so warm, and I had almost an hour to wait before my train pulled, so I sat beside this guy and we talked. Suddenly he began telling of his hallucinations; these were a collection of semi-ordinary bum ideas like the one about when he arrived in SF he walked along Mission and when he saw the patrol car he thought he heard the policeman announcing over the car’s loudspeaker, as his fellow policeman drove slowly by, these words over and over: “The time has come, everybody lie down so you won’t get hurt when the sun bursts.” His mind heard these words, but his emotions felt they were actually driving toward him to arrest him because his fly was open (zipper broke and no pins to hold it closed) so he ran to hide in an alley but they drove by there too; so he left SF and caught a freight to Watsonville. This is the simplest and most believable of his images. It all began after he had had sour wine and actually not eaten for four days. He was in the Sacramento Freight yards and he boards a flatcar to lie down. The world seemed normal and there was no indication anything unusual was to happen. It began slowly and normally also—the common thing of one’s mind taking up the sound of a big steam engine as it passes slowly and arranging its bark into a rhythm and then putting a short phrase to the rhythm. The particular accentuation of a steam engine is well known [like—He’s a nigger, he’s a nigger on and on with the accent on the first word, of course if one stays with it long enough you can place your accents anywhere because the exhaust of the engine changes with the amount of pull—like shifting gears) that most people if they do fall into creating a phrase to match the engine’s sound, so get bored with the project and stop soon.“

 
Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)
Hier met  Allen Ginsberg (links), 1955

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke”