Jamie McKendrick, Fran Lebowitz, Josef Václav Sládek, Enid Bagnold, Kazimierz Brandys, Reza Allamehzadeh

De Engelse dichter en vertaler Jamie McKendrick werd op 27 oktober 1955 in Liverpool geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Jamie McKendrick op dit blog.

A Mole of Sorts

The digging creature has been at work again
out there — first a modest trough with a crest
of dry earth, fit for a starling or a thrush
to rest in. No big deal except to some yellow ants
doing repairs, carrying stuff on their hods.
Next day the hole was deeper,
deeper and wider, encroaching on the lawn
which yielded inch by inch each clump of turf
as though to a pendulum or scythe.

Asleep, I sat talking to an animal:
three-, four-foot long with silky white fur
and slim interminable fingernails
lucid as biro shafts or goose quills.
They made the plasticky click
of knitting needles as he waved them
in front of his pink snout as if to dry
the shining varnish. He was indeed
he declared to me a mole of sorts.

In a question of days, two weeks at most,
the lavender, the rose bush, the bay plant,
the bindweed, the lilac tree, the brambles
and the potato vine had disappeared
leaving a long rectangular pit
like the foundations of a house
that would never be built, never be lived in.
Then I suppose that was the job done
and the digger moved on to another plot

 
Jamie McKendrick (Liverpool, 27 oktober 1955)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz werd geboren op 27 oktober 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey. Zie ook alle tags voor Frans Lebowitz op dit blog.

Uit: Fran Lebowitz Doesn’t Have a Cell Phone, But Knows Everything That Happens on Social Media Anyway (Interview door Stephanie Eckardt op W Magazine)

“Have you read any new novelists lately that you’re excited about?
By new novelists you probably mean people right out of writing school, which didn’t use to exist. I mean, it’s not that I’m against the idea of new novelists. I’m always asking people if they’ve read anything new that is really good. They very rarely say yes, and when they do, they’re often wrong. My idea of a new novelist is someone who’s still alive. I read Darryl Pinckney’s novel, Black Deutschland. I’m sure he’s not your idea of young, but he’s younger than me. That might be the most recent novel I read by someone who’s alive.

What about by someone who’s not?
My great preference. You know what, I just read Little Dorrit, because I asked a friend of mine what she recommended and she said “Did you ever read Little Dorritt?” And I said, “I think I did not,” because when I was young, I was not the world’s biggest [Charles] Dickens fan. So I did read it, and I would highly recommend it, and he is definitely not alive. The great thing about writers who are not alive is that you don’t meet them at parties.

Do you watch any TV shows?
I watch TV all night long, I flip it on and off. But I have to tell you that watching TV is really an exact description, by which I mean if something interests me I’ll watch it ‘til the commercial, then I’ll flip and I don’t even remember that I watched it anymore. I know this is against the law, but I am also the only person I know of who is not presently obsessed with television. I never imagined that I would live to see a day where people talked about television all the time. I’m astounded by the number of people who — do you realize how much TV you’re watching? Thousands of hours. Thousands of hours. And people now think it’s like a requirement. I have to go, I have 75 episodes of such and such I have to watch. I’m not saying these shows are not good, I’m just saying maybe if I was three years old and I imagined I had this amount of time ahead of me, I might start pursuing it.

Do you have cable?
I do. When they first invented cable television, I didn’t get it. I thought it was ridiculous to pay to watch television. It should be free, like water. [Laughs.] I didn’t get it until they built the World Trade Center (I mean the initial one) because that cut off the TV reception to downtown. So I do have cable television.”

 
Fran Lebowitz (Morristown, 27 oktober 1950)

 

De Tsjechische schrijver, dichter, journalist en vertaler Josef Václav Sládek werd geboren op 27 oktober 1845 in Zbiroh. Zie ook alle tags voor Josef Václav Sládek op dit blog.

We’ll Last, As We’ve Lasted

We’ll last, as we’ve lasted
up till now, awoken,
though fate-battered, blasted,
never crushed or broken.

Many tidal surges
at our promontory
fought off down the ages,
we’ll fight on, yield nary!

Though our flags be rended,
rooftop torn, storm-blustered,
we’ll stay, our house tended
by our hands, own-mastered.

Let seas seethe, rapacious,
by our blood outlasted,
gutsy, contumacious,
we’ll last, as we’ve lasted!

 

Vertaald door Václav Z J Pinkava

 
Josef Václav Sládek (27 oktober 1845 – 28 juni 1912)

 

De Britse schrijfster Enid Algerine Bagnold werd geboren op 27 oktober 1889 in Rochester, Kent. Zie ook alle tags voor Enid Bagnold op dit blog.

Uit: A Diary Without Dates

“When one shoots at a wooden figure it makes a hole. When one shoots at a man it makes a hole, and the doctor must make seven others.
I heard a blackbird sing in the middle of the night last night – two bars, and then another. I thought at first it might be a burglar whistlingto his mate in the black and rustling garden.
But it was a blackbird in a nightmare.
Those distant guns again tonight…
Now a lull and now a bombardment; again a lull, and then batter,batter, and the windows. Is the lull when they go over the top?
I can only think of death tonight. I tried to think just now, ‘What is it, after all! Death comes anyway; this only hastens it.’ But that won’tdo; no philosophy helps the pain of death. It is pity, pity, pity, that I feel, and sometimes a sort of shame that I am here to write at all.
Summer… Can it be summer through whose hot air the guns shakeand tremble? The honeysuckle, whose little stalks twinkled and shone that January night, has broken at each woody end into its crumbled flower.
Where are the frost, the snow? … Where are the dead?
The sound of a bombardment at the Front, which could be heard in England.
Where are my trouble and my longing, and the other troubles, and the happiness in other summers?
Alas, the long history of life! There is that in death that makes the throat contract and the heart catch: everything is written in water.
We talk of tablets to the dead, there can be none but in the heart, and the heart fades.”

 
Enid Bagnold ( 27 oktober 1889 – 3 maart 1981)

 

De Poolse schrijver Kazimierz Brandys werd geboren op 27 oktober 1916 in Lodz. Zie ook alle tags voor Kazimierz Brandys op dit blog.

Uit: Maanden (Vertaald door Liesbeth Schnack-Dijkhuis)

“November 1978
Honderd passen van mijn poortdeur. Al twintig jaar blijven daar groepen buitenlandse toeristen even staan, al twintig jaar hoor ik diezelfde hese bariton: ‘That is the old gothic door of fifteenth century!’ Daarop weerklinkt het toeristisch gekakel, de groep bekijkt mijn poort. Sinds twintig jaar vervloek ik dat wezen en haat ik zijn heesheid. Pas een maand geleden heb ik, op weg naar huis, die gids voor het eerst gezien. Het was een vrouw, al wat ouder, met donkere, lachende ogen, waarmee ze me niet zonder sympathie een steelse blik toewierp, alsof ze mijn langjarige kwellingen begreep. Haar schoenen zaten onder de modder. Ik voel sindsdien geen haat meer als ik haar bariton beneden hoor. Op honderd passen van mijn poort gebeuren wonderen. Niet overdrachtelijk, nee, echte wonderen, met een wonderdoener die uit Engeland is gekomen. Tussen het Bastion en de Swietojerskastraat staat al sinds vroeg in de ochtend een menigte. Mensen op karretjes, mannen met kinderen op de arm, grijsaards, verlamde vrouwen, zonen die hun moeders in rolstoelen voortduwen, een hoop mensen met een schijnbaar gezond uiterlijk, veel jonge gezichten. De zijstraten zijn aan het eind versperd met auto’s, er komen ziekenauto’s aangereden. De menigte staat uren te wachten, om de zoveel tijd klinkt er aan de voet van de Heilige-Jacekkerk een megafoon die nummers en namen afroept. De healer, Clive Harris, geneest door handoplegging. De zieken schuiven ieder op hun beurt naar voren, er is een stem van een vrouwelijke tolk te horen: ‘Head… Leg… Breast…’ De healer, zijn ogen halfdicht, beroert hoofden, armen, borsten. Naar het schijnt neemt hij de pijn weg en doet zijn aanraking gezwellen wijken. Harris is een veertigjarige man, kort van gestalte, met kleine handen en voeten; hij heeft iets ziekelijks over zich, een soort kreupele jongensachtigheid. Hij beroert de zieken als in trance. De header uit roeping straalt – naar ik heb gehoord – elektromagnetische golven uit. Om de paar uur drinkt hij twee, drie bekers melk. De wonderen berusten ook op belangeloosheid. Harris neemt geen geld aan.
Over dat alles vertelde mevrouw Helenka, die op haar reumatische benen even bij ons langs was gekomen om uit te rusten nadat ze vijf uur in de menigte had gestaan. Ontdaan kwam ze binnen, een zilvervos aan, een vilten, roestbruine baret op het hoofd en ringen in de oren. Ze werkt nu al acht jaar niet meer bij ons, maar twintig jaar lang heeft ze bij ons gediend, na de oorlog aanbevolen door mevrouw Bronia, de vroegere huishoudster van tante Klima Heyman, de overleden zuster van mijn moeder. Ik schoof mijn werk opzij om wat met haar te praten. We hadden het over ziektes, over mensen die overleden waren, over de duurte.”

 
Kazimierz Brandys (27 oktober 1916 – 11 maart 2000)
Cover

 

De Iraanse schrijver en filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh werd geboren op 27 oktober 1943 in Sari, Mazandaran. Zie ook alle tags voor Reza Allamehzadeh op dit blog.

Uit: Steril und illusorisch. Iranische Erfahrungen mit dem „islamischen Kino“

“Vierzehn Jahrhunderte nach Erscheinen des Propheten hat es die islamische Revolution im Iran auf sich genommen, endlich das heilige Bilderverbot des Koran durchzusetzen. Mit zu den ersten Aktionen der damals noch jungen Bewegung gehörte das Abbrennen von Kinos in Teheran und anderen Städten. Die Brandstiftungen erreichten im September 1978 einen Höhepunkt, als das „Rex“ im südiranischen Abadan von religiösen Fanatikern und Khomeini-Anhängern angezündet wurde; sie verschlossen alle Ausgänge des mit 400 Menschen besetzten Kinosaales und legten Feuer. Von den 400 Männern, Frauen und Kindern, die sich dort eingefunden hatten, um einen iranischen Film zu sehen, verbrannten 377 bei lebendigem Leibe. In diesem Kontext sah das iranische Kino der Ankunft der islamischen Revolution entgegen.
Nach seinem Machtantritt 1979 ließ sich Khomeini von engen Beratern überreden, zwei Filme des in den USA lebenden arabischen Regisseurs Mostafa A’ghad anzusehen; beide Filme, The Messenger und Omar Mokhtar, sind Beispiele für aufwendige Hollywoodproduktionen, in denen ein islamisches Thema im Zentrum steht. Wenig später machte Khomeini eine seiner obskuren und orakelhaften Äußerungen, die seinen Ruf als unbestrittener Meister der Doppeldeutigkeiten begründeten: „Wir sind nicht gegen das Kino, wir sind gegen Prostitution.“ Seit diesem Tag versucht die iranische Filmindustrie herauszufinden, was genau der Meister damit gemeint haben könnte. Die orthodoxe Auffassung ist simpel genug: „Wir sind gegen das Kino, weil es Prostitution ist.“ Der zur Zeit gültige Trend in den Regierungsinstitutionen, die die Filmindustrie kontrollieren, läßt den Satz folgendermaßen interpretieren: „Wir sind gegen die Art von Kino, die Prostitution bedeutet, nicht aber gegen ein islamisches Kino.“ Das islamische Regime hat einige Jahre gebraucht, um zu erkennen, daß die Konzeption eines islamischen Kinos illusorisch ist.
Der Direktor der Kulturabteilung in einer der größten Regierungsstellen „für islamische Filmproduktion“, Mohsen Tabatab’i, hat erklärt: „Die beste Definition des islamischen Kinos besagt, daß das Kino in der Propagierung des Islam eine eigene Rolle zu spielen hat — so wie auch die Moschee ihre Aufgabe hat.“ Um dieses Ziel zu erreichen, gibt die Filmstiftung jährlich 25 bis 40 Millionen US-Dollar aus — „zur Förderung des neuen islamischen Films“. Die „Bonyad-e-Mostafazan“ („Stiftung der Schwachen“) besitzt etwa 80 Prozent aller iranischen Kinos.”


Reza Allamehzadeh (Sari, 27 oktober 1943)

Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, Zadie Smith, Nawal el Saadawi, Albrecht Rodenbach, Jamie McKendrick, Fran Lebowitz, Josef Václav Sládek, Enid Bagnold

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sylvia Plath werd geboren op 27 oktober 1932 in Jamaica Plain, een buitenwijk van Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Sylvia Plath op dit blog.

Ariel

Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Nigger-eye
Berries cast dark
Hooks—

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,
Shadows.
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

White
Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

 

Edge

The woman is perfected.
Her dead

Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity

Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare

Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.

Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little

Pitcher of milk, now empty.
She has folded

Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden

Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.

The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.

She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.

 
Sylvia Plath (27 oktober 1932 – 11 februari 1963)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, Zadie Smith, Nawal el Saadawi, Albrecht Rodenbach, Jamie McKendrick, Fran Lebowitz, Josef Václav Sládek, Enid Bagnold”

Zadie Smith, Nawal el Saadawi, Enid Bagnold, Fran Lebowitz, Kazimierz Brandys, Reza Allamehzadeh

De Engelse schrijfster Zadie Smith werd geboren op 27 oktober 1975 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Zadie Smith op dit blog en eveneens mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010

 

Uit: NW

 

“On the way back from the chain supermarket where they shop, though it closed down the local grocer and pays slave wages, with new bags though they should take old bags, leaving with broccoli from Kenya and tomatoes from Chile and unfair coffee and sugary crap and the wrong newspaper.

They are not good people. They do not even have the integrity to be the sort of people who don’t worry about being good people. They worry all the time. They are stuck in the middle again. They buy always Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay because these are the only words they know that relate to wine. They are attending a dinner party and for this you need to bring a bottle of wine. This much they have learned. They do not purchase ethical things because they can’t afford them Michel claims and Leah says, no, it’s because you can’t be bothered. Privately she thinks: you want to be rich like them but you can’t be bothered with their morals, whereas I am more interested in their morals than their money, and this thought, this opposition, makes her feel good. Marriage as the art of invidious comparison. And shit that’s him in the phone box and if she had thought about it for more than a split second she would never have said:

— Shit that’s him in the phone box.

— That’s him?

— Yes, but — no, I don’t know. No. I thought. Doesn’t matter. Forget it.

— Leah, you just said it was him. Is it or isn’t it?

Very quickly Michel is out of earshot and over there, squaring up for another invidious comparison: his compact, well-proportioned dancer’s frame against a tall muscled threat, who turns, and turns out not to be Nathan, who is surely the other boy she saw with Shar, though maybe not.“

 

 

Zadie Smith (Londen, 27 oktober 1975)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Zadie Smith, Nawal el Saadawi, Enid Bagnold, Fran Lebowitz, Kazimierz Brandys, Reza Allamehzadeh”

Zadie Smith, Enid Bagnold, Albrecht Rodenbach, Fran Lebowitz, Reza Allamehzadeh, Kazimierz Brandys

De Engelse schrijfster Zadie Smith werd geboren op 27 oktober 1975 in Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2010

 

Uit: Changing My Mind

„My father had few enthusiasms, but he loved comedy. He was a comedy nerd, though this is so common a condition in Britain as to be almost not worth mentioning. Like most Britons, Harvey gathered his family around the defunct hearth each night to watch the same half-hour comic situations repeatedly, in reruns and on video. We knew the “Dead Parrot” sketch by heart. We had the usual religious feeling for Monty Python’s Life of Brian. If we were notable in any way, it was not in kind but in extent. In our wood-cabinet music center, comedy records outnumbered the Beatles. The Goons’ “I’m Walking Backwards for Christmas” got an airing all year long. We liked to think of ourselves as particular, on guard against slapstick’s easy laughs — Benny Hill was beneath our collective consideration. I suppose the more precise term is “comedy snobs.”

Left unchecked, comedy snobbery can squeeze the joy out of the enterprise. You end up thinking of comedy as Hemingway thought of narrative: structured like an iceberg, with all the greater satisfactions fathoms underwater, while the surface pleasure of the joke is somehow the least of it. In my father, this tendency was especially pronounced. He objected to joke merchants. He was wary of the revue-style bonhomie of the popular TV double act Morecambe and Wise and disapproved of the cheery bawdiness of their rivals, the Two Ronnies. He was allergic to racial and sexual humor, to a far greater degree than any of the actual black people or women in his immediate family. Harvey’s idea of a good time was the BBC sitcom Steptoe and Son, the grim tale of two mutually antagonistic “rag-and-bone” men who pass their days in a Beckettian pile of rubbish, tearing psychological strips off each other. Each episode ends with the son (a philosopher manque, who considers himself trapped in the filthy family business) submitting to a funk of existential despair. The sadder and more desolate the comedy, the better Harvey liked it.“

 


Zadie Smith (Londen, 27 oktober 1975)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Zadie Smith, Enid Bagnold, Albrecht Rodenbach, Fran Lebowitz, Reza Allamehzadeh, Kazimierz Brandys”

Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Nawal el Saadawi, Zadie Smith, Enid Bagnold, Albrecht Rodenbach, Fran Lebowitz, Reza Allamehzadeh, Kazimierz Brandys

De Engelse dichter Dylan Thomas werd geboren op 27 oktober 1914 in Swansea in Wales. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: A Child’s Christmas in Wales

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.
It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero’s garden, waiting for cats, with her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared.
We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows – eternal, ever since Wednesday – that we never heard Mrs. Prothero’s first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or, if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor’s polar cat. But soon the voice grew louder.
“Fire!” cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong.”

thomas

Dylan Thomas (27 oktober 1914 – 9 november 1953)
Standbeeld in Swansea Marine

 

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sylvia Plath werd geboren op 27 oktober 1932 in Jamaica Plain, een buitenwijk van Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Child

Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new

Whose names you meditate —
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,
Little

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

Sonnet : To Eva

All right, let’s say you could take a skull and break it
The way you’d crack a clock; you’d crush the bone
Between steel palms of inclination, take it,
Observing the wreck of metal and rare stone.

This was a woman : her loves and stratagems
Betrayed in mute geometry of broken
Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims,
And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken.

Not man nor demigod could put together
The scraps of rusted reverie, the wheels
Of notched tin platitudes concerning weather,
Perfume, politics, and fixed ideals.

The idiot bird leaps up and drunken leans
To chirp the hour in lunatic thirteens..

 

Wintering

This is the easy time, there is nothing doing.
I have whirled the midwife’s extractor,
I have my honey,
Six jars of it,
Six cat’s eyes in the wine cellar,

Wintering in a dark without window
At the heart of the house
Next to the last tenant’s rancid jam
and the bottles of empty glitters–
Sir So-and-so’s gin.

This is the room I have never been in
This is the room I could never breathe in.
The black bunched in there like a bat,
No light
But the torch and its faint

Chinese yellow on appalling objects–
Black asininity. Decay.
Possession.
It is they who own me.
Neither cruel nor indifferent,

Only ignorant.
This is the time of hanging on for the bees–the bees
So slow I hardly know them,
Filing like soldiers
To the syrup tin

To make up for the honey I’ve taken.
Tate and Lyle keeps them going,
The refined snow.
It is Tate and Lyle they live on, instead of flowers.
They take it. The cold sets in.

Now they ball in a mass,
Black
Mind against all that white.
The smile of the snow is white.
It spreads itself out, a mile-long body of Meissen,

Into which, on warm days,
They can only carry their dead.
The bees are all women,
Maids and the long royal lady.
They have got rid of the men,

The blunt, clumsy stumblers, the boors.
Winter is for women–
The woman, still at her knitting,
At the cradle of Spanis walnut,
Her body a bulb in the cold and too dumb to think.

Will the hive survive, will the gladiolas
Succeed in banking their fires
To enter another year?
What will they taste of, the Christmas roses?
The bees are flying. They taste the spring.

 plath.jpg

Sylvia Plath (27 oktober 1932 – 11 februari 1963)

 

De Egyptische schrijfster, gynaecologe, moslimfeministe en politiek activiste Nawal el Saadawi werd geboren in Kafr Tahla op 27 oktober 1931. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: Woman at Point Zero

“A little boy called Mohammadain used to pinch me under water and follow me into the small shelter made of maize stalks. He would make me lie down beneath a pile of straw, and lift up my galabeya. We played at ‘bride and bridegroom’. From some part of my body, where, exactly I did not know, would come a sensation of sharp pleasure. Later I would close my eyes and feel with my hand for the exact spot. The moment I touched it, I would realize that I had felt the sensation before. Then we would start to play again until the sun went down, and we could hear his father’s voice calling to him from the neighbouring field.”

(…)

“To knead the dough, I squatted on the ground with the trough between my legs. At regular intervals I lifted the elastic mass up into the air and let it fall back into the trough. The heat of the oven was full on my face, singeing the edges of my hair. My galabeya often slipped up my thighs, but I paid no attention until the moment when I would glimpse my uncle’s hand moving slowly from behind the book he was reading to touch my leg. The next moment I could feel it travelling up my thigh with a cautious, stealthy, trembling movement. Every time there was the sound of a footstep at the entrance to our house, his hand would withdraw quickly. But whenever everything around us lapsed into silence, broken only every now and then by the snap of dry twigs between my fingers as I fed the oven, and the sound of his regular breathing reaching me from behind the book so that I could not tell whether he was snoring quietly in his sleep or wide awake and panting, his hand could continue to press against my thigh with a grasping, almost brutal insistence.”

saadawi

Nawal el Saadawi (Kafr Tahla, 27 oktober 1931)

 

De Engelse schrijfster Zadie Smith werd geboren op 27 oktober 1975 in Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: The Autograph Man

„You’re either for me or against me, thought Alex-Li Tandem, referring to the daylight and, more generally, to the day. He stretched flat and made two fists. He was fully determined to lie right here until he was given something to work with, something noble, something fine. He saw no purpose in leaving his bed for a day that was against him from the get-go. He had tried it before; no good could come from it.
A moment later he was surprised to feel a flush of warm light dappled over him, filtered through a blind. Nonviolent light. This was encouraging. Compare and contrast with yesterday morning’s light, pettily fascist, cruel as the strip lighting in a hospital hallway. Or the morning before yesterday morning, when he had kept his eyes closed for the duration, afraid of whatever was causing that ominous red throb beneath the eyelids. Or the morning before that, the Morning of Doom, which no one could have supposed would continue for seventy-two hours.
NOW OPTIMISTIC, ALEX grabbed the bauble that must be twisted to open blinds. His fingers were too sweaty. He shuttled up the bed, dried his left hand on the wall, gripped and pulled. The rain had come in the night. It looked as if the Flood had passed through Mountjoy, scrubbed it clean. The whole place seemed to have undergone an act of accidental restoration. He could see brickwork, newly red-faced and streaky as after a good weep, balconies with their clean crop of wet white socks, shirts and sheets. Shiny black aerials. Oh, it was fine. Collected water had transformed every gutter, every depression in the pavement, into prism puddles. There were rainbows everywhere.

Alex took a minute to admire the gentle sun that kept its mildness even as it escaped a gray ceiling of cloud. On the horizon a spindly church steeple had been etched by a child over a skyline perfectly blue and flatly colored in. To the left of that sat the swollen cupola of a mosque, described with more skill. So people were off to see God, then, this morning. All of that was still happening. Alex smiled, weakly. He wished them well.“

 smith.jpg
Zadie Smith (Londen, 27 oktober 1975)

 

De Belgische dichter en schrijver Albrecht Rodenbach werd geboren te Roeselare op 27 oktober 1856. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit de dichterliefde

Een knecht bemint een meiske,
’t bemint ene andere knecht,
die andere bemint nog ene andere
en stort zich met haar in de echt.

Uit wanhoop neemt het meiske,
goed kome het uit, een vent,
de eerste de gereedste;
de knecht, hij, is miscontent:

Dat is een oude historie,
maar ze is nog altijd nieuw,
en wie zij voorvalt gaat het
alsof men hem ’t hert doorhiew.

 

Fantasiën

Het drijven watten wolkjes,
van zonnelicht doorboomd.
De jongeling ziet ze drijven
en droomt…
En onbewust elk wolkje na
drijft zachtjes een fantasia,
doch in de ruimte smelten bei
voorbij, voorbij,
voorbij.

Het drijven blanke zeilen,
waar ’t meer de hemel zoomt.
De jongeling ziet ze drijven
en droomt…
En onbewust elk schipje na
drijft zachtjes een fantasia,
doch over zee verzinken zij
voorbij, voorbij,
voorbij.

Het drijven wondere beelden,
van tovermacht omstroomd.
De jongeling ziet ze drijven
en droomt…
En elke omstraalde beeltnis na
ijlt jagend een fantasia,
doch naar de Lethe* spoeden zij
voorbij, voorbij,
voorbij.

rodenbach.jpg

Albrecht Rodenbach (27 oktober 1856 – 23 juni 1880)
Beeld in Roeselare

 

De Britse schrijfster Enid Algerine Bagnold werd geboren op 27 oktober 1889 in Rochester, Kent. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2009.

Uit: A Diary Without Dates (1917)

“I suffer awfully from my language in this ward. I seem to be the only VAD nurse of whom they continually ask, “What say, nurse?’ It isn’t that I use long words, but my sentences seem to be inverted.
“An antitetanic injection for Corrigan,” said Sister. And I went to the dispensary to fetch the syringe and the needles.
“But has he any symptoms?” I asked. In the Tommies’ ward one dare ask anything; their isn’t that mystery which used to surround the officers’ illnesses.
“Oh, no,” she said, “it’s just that he hasn’t had his full amount in France.”
So I hunted up the spirit-lamp and we prepared it, talking of it.
But we forget to talk of it to Corrigan. The needle was into his shoulder before he knew why his shirt was held up.
His wrath came like an avalanche; the discipline of two years was forgotten, his Irish tongue was loosened. Sister shrugged her shoulders and laughed; I listened to him as I cleaned the syringe.
I gathered that it was the indignity that had shocked his sense of individual pride. “Treating me like a cow” I heard him say to Smiff – who laughed, since it wasn’t his shoulder that carried the serum.“

bagnold

Enid Bagnold ( 27 oktober 1889 – 3 maart 1981)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz werd geboren op 27 oktober 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008

Uit: Taking a Letter

My neighborhood is located in Greenwich Village, a quarter of the city well known for its interesting artistic qualities. These qualities are to be found not only in its atmosphere and residents but also in its public servants. There is, in fact, not a single local postal employee who does not possess a temperament of such lush moodiness that one assumes that only an unfortunate lack of rhythm has kept them from careers devoted to the composition of tragic opera. Exhaustive research soon established that this was no accident but a carefully planned effort to bring the post office closer to those it serves. The Greenwich Village Postal System is a separate entity dedicated to the proposition that nowhere on earth are men created more equal than downtown on the West Side. Thus its offices exhibit a clean Bauhaus influence. The wanted posters refer to desires more personal than federal. Uniforms are chosen on the basis of cut and fabric. And they have punched up the official motto with the Greenwich Village Addendum so that it reads as follows: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can stay these couriers from swift completion of their appointed rounds. However, offended sensibility, painful memory, postman’s block, and previous engagements may stay the courier for an indefinite period of time. C’est la vie.”

 lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz (Morristown, 27 oktober 1950)

 

Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

De Iraanse schrijver en filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh werd geboren op 27 oktober 1943 in Sari, Mazandaran.

De Poolse schrijver Kazimierz Brandys werd geboren op 27 oktober 1916 in Lodz.

 

Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Nawal el Saadawi, Enid Bagnold, Zadie Smith, Albrecht Rodenbach, Fran Lebowitz, Reza Allamehzadeh, Kazimierz Brandys

De Engelse dichter Dylan Thomas werd geboren op 27 oktober 1914 in Swansea in Wales. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

 

Clown in the Moon 

 

My tears are like the quiet drift

Of petals from some magic rose;

And all my grief flows from the rift

Of unremembered skies and snows.

 

I think, that if I touched the earth,

It would crumble;

It is so sad and beautiful,

So tremulously like a dream.

 

 

 

Deaths and Entrances 

 

On almost the incendiary eve

Of several near deaths,

When one at the great least of your best loved

And always known must leave

Lions and fires of his flying breath,

Of your immortal friends

Who’d raise the organs of the counted dust

To shoot and sing your praise,

One who called deepest down shall hold his peace

That cannot sink or cease

Endlessly to his wound

In many married London’s estranging grief.

 

On almost the incendiary eve

When at your lips and keys,

Locking, unlocking, the murdered strangers weave,

One who is most unknown,

Your polestar neighbour, sun of another street,

Will dive up to his tears.

He’ll bathe his raining blood in the male sea

Who strode for your own dead

And wind his globe out of your water thread

And load the throats of shells

with every cry since light

Flashed first across his thunderclapping eyes.

 

On almost the incendiary eve

Of deaths and entrances,

When near and strange wounded on London’s waves

Have sought your single grave,

One enemy, of many, who knows well

Your heart is luminous

In the watched dark, quivering through locks and caves,

Will pull the thunderbolts

To shut the sun, plunge, mount your darkened keys

And sear just riders back,

Until that one loved least

Looms the last Samson of your zodiac.

 

 

Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed 

 

Lie still, sleep becalmed, sufferer with the wound

In the throat, burning and turning. All night afloat

On the silent sea we have heard the sound

That came from the wound wrapped in the salt sheet.

 

Under the mile off moon we trembled listening

To the sea sound flowing like blood from the loud wound

And when the salt sheet broke in a storm of singing

The voices of all the drowned swam on the wind.

 

Open a pathway through the slow sad sail,

Throw wide to the wind the gates of the wandering boat

For my voyage to begin to the end of my wound,

We heard the sea sound sing, we saw the salt sheet tell.

Lie still, sleep becalmed, hide the mouth in the throat,

Or we shall obey, and ride with you through the drowned.

 

dylan_thomas

Dylan Thomas (27 oktober 1914 – 9 november 1953)

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sylvia Plath werd geboren op 27 oktober 1932 in Jamaica Plain, een buitenwijk van Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

 

 

Mad Girl’s Love Song

 

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;

I lift my lids and all is born again.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

 

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,

And arbitrary blackness gallops in:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

 

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed

And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

 

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:

Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

 

I fancied you’d return the way you said,

But I grow old and I forget your name.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

 

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;

At least when spring comes they roar back again.

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

 

 

Frog Autumn

 

Summer grows old, cold-blooded mother.

The insects are scant, skinny.

In these palustral homes we only

Croak and wither.

 

Mornings dissipate in somnolence.

The sun brightens tardily

Among the pithless reeds. Flies fail us.

he fen sickens.

 

Frost drops even the spider. Clearly

The genius of plenitude

Houses himself elsewhwere. Our folk thin

Lamentably.

 

 

 

The Times Are Tidy

 

Unlucky the hero born

In this province of the stuck record

Where the most watchful cooks go jobless

And the mayor’s rotisserie turns

Round of its own accord.

 

There’s no career in the venture

Of riding against the lizard,

Himself withered these latter-days

To leaf-size from lack of action :

History’s beaten the hazard.

 

The last crone got burnt up

More than eight decades back

With the love-hot herb, the talking cat,

But the children are better for it,

The cow milks cream an inch thick.

 

 

SylviaPlathSelfPortrait

Sylvia Plath (27 oktober 1932 – 11 februari 1963)
Zelfportret

 

De Egyptische schrijfster, gynaecologe, moslimfeministe en politiek activiste Nawal el Saadawi werd geboren in Kafr Tahla op 27 oktober 1931. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

 

Uit: Memoirs from the Women’s Prison

“From the moment I opened my eyes upon my first morning in prison, I understood from the motion of my body as I was rising and stretching the muscles of my neck and back, that I had made a firm decision: I would live in this place as I had lived in any other. It was a decision which appeared insane to me, for it would cancel out reality, logic, the walls and the steel doors.

I tossed and turned upon the wooden board, unable to close an eyelid. I became aware that torture in prison does not take place by means of the bars, or the walls, or the stinging insects, or hunger or thirst or insults or beating. Prison is doubt. And doubt is the most certain of tortures. It is doubt that kills the intellect and body – not doubt in others, but doubt in oneself…The baffling, crushing question for the mind: was I right or wrong?

In prison I came to know both extremes together. I experienced the height of grief and joy, the peaks of pain and pleasure, the greatest beauty and the most intense ugliness… In prison I found my heart opened to love – how I don’t know – as if I were back in early adolescence. In prison, I remembered the way I had burst out laughing when a child, while the taste of tears from the harshest and hardest days of my life returned to my mouth.“

 

nawal-el-saadawi

Nawal el Saadawi (Kafr Tahla, 27 oktober 1931)

 

De Britse schrijfster Enid Algerine Bagnold werd geboren op 27 oktober 1889 in Rochester, Kent. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

 

Uit: National Velvet

“Unearthly humps of land curved into the darkening sky like the backs of browsing pigs, like the rumps of elephants. At night when the stars rose over them they looked like a starlit herd of divine pigs. The villagers called them Hullocks.

The valleys were full of soft and windblown vegetation. The sea rolled at the foot of all as though God had brought his herd down to water.

The Hullocks were blackening as Velvet cantered down the chalk road to the village. She ran on her own slender le
gs, making horse-noises and chirrups and occasionally striking her thigh with a switch, holding at the same time something very small before her as she ran. The light on the chalk road was the last thing to gleam and die. The flints slipped and flashed under her feet. Her cotton dress and her cottony hair blew out, and her lips were parted for breath in a sweet metallic smile. She had the look of a sapling-Dante as she ran through the darkness downhill.

At the entrance to the village the sea was pounding up the sewer with a spring gale behind it. She passed to the third cottage, stopped at the door, opened it, let a gush of light onto the pavement, closed it and carried her tender object inside.

Edwina, Malvolia and Meredith sat in their father’s, Mr. Brown’s, sitting room just before suppertime. It was dark outside and hot inside, and outside in the darkness the Hullocks went up in great hoops above the village. There was an oil stove in the comer of the sitting room and lesson books on the table. The ceiling was low, and sagged. A lamp with a green glass shade lit the table. There was no electric light. Donald, the boy of four, was asleep upstairs.

Edwina, Malvolia andMeredith were all exactly alike, like golden greyhounds. Their golden hair was sleek, their fine faces like antelopes, their shoulders still and steady like Zulu women carrying water, and their bodies beneath the shoulders rippled when they moved. They were seventeen, sixteen, and fifteen. Velvet was fourteen. Velvet had short pale hair, large, protruding teeth, a sweet smile and a mouthful of metal.

Mr. Brown was swilling down the slaughterhouse, as Mi Taylor was away for the day. The sound of the hose swished at the wooden partition which separated the slaughterhouse from the sitting room.

“He went beautifully!” said Velvet, and laying down a tiny paper horse on the table she wrenched at the gold band that bound her teeth back and laid it beside the horse.

“Father’ll be in in a minute,” said Edwina warningly.

“It’s going in again directly I hear a sound,” said Velvet and sitting down she swept the band into her lap.

“Look at him,” she said lovingly, taking up the paper horse. “I must unsaddle him and rub him down.” The heads were bent on the lesson books again and Velvettook a tiny bridle of cotton thre ‘ ads from the horse. Thengoing to a shell-box on the sideboard she brought it tothe table.”

 

enid-bagnold-1

Enid Bagnold ( 27 oktober 1889 – 3 maart 1981)

 

De Engelse schrijfster Zadie Smith werd geboren op 27 oktober 1975 in Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

 

Uit: On Beauty

 

“One may as well begin with Jerome’s e-mails to his father:

To: HowardBelsey@fas.Wellington.edu
From: Jeromeabroad@easymail.com
Date: 5 November
Subject:

Hey, Dad – basically I’m just going to keep on keeping on with these mails – I’m no longer expecting you to reply, but I’m still hoping you will, if that makes sense.

Well, I’m really enjoying everything. I work in Monty Kipps’s own office (did you know that he’s actually Sir Monty??), which is in the Green Park area. It’s me and a Cornish girl called Emily. She’s cool. There’re also three more yank interns downstairs (one from Boston!), so I feel pretty much at home. I’m a kind of an intern with the duties of a PA – organizing lunches, filing, talking to people on the phone, that sort of thing. Monty’s work is much more tha
n just the academic stuff: he’s involved with the Race Commission, and he has Church charities in Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, etc. – he keeps me really busy. Because it’s such a small set-up, I get to work closely with him – and of course I’m living with the family now, which is like being completely integrated into something new. Ah, the family. You didn’t respond, so I’m imagining your reaction (not too hard to imagine . . .). The truth is, it was really just the most convenient option at the time. And they were totally kind to offer – I was being evicted from the ‘bedsit’ place in Marylebone. The Kippses aren’t under any obligation to me, but they asked and I accepted – gratefully. I’ve been in their place a week now, and still no mention of any rent, which should tell you something. I know you want me to tell you it’s a nightmare, but I can’t – I love living here. It’s a different universe. The house is just wow – early Victorian, a ‘terrace’ – unassuming-looking outside but massive inside – but there’s still a kind of humility that really appeals to me – almost everything white, and a lot of handmade things, and quilts and dark wood shelves and cornices and this four-storey staircase – and in the whole place there’s only one television, which is in the basement anyway, just so Monty can keep abreast of news stuff, and some of the things he does on the television – but that’s it. I think of it as the negativized image of our house sometimes . . . It’s in this bit of North London called ‘Kilburn’, which sounds bucolic, but boy oh boy is not bucolic in the least, except for this street we live on off the ‘high road’, and it’s suddenly like you can’t hear a thing and you can just sit in the yard in the shadow of this huge tree – eighty feet tall and ivy-ed all up the trunk . . . reading and feeling like you’re in a novel . . . Fall’s different here – much less intense and trees balder earlier – everything more melancholy somehow.”

 

zadie-smith

Zadie Smith (Londen, 27 oktober 1975)

 

 

 

De Belgische dichter en schrijver Albrecht Rodenbach werd geboren te Roeselare op 27 oktober 1856. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

 

Stoet

 

Langzaam trekt een blanke stoet door d’heemlen.
Jesus eerst, der maagden koning, ’t aanzicht
lijk de zonne glanzend en de kleedren
lijk de sneeuw, en hunne koninginne,
de Onbevlekte met haar sterrenkrone.
Zeven englen volgen, blank in ’t slepend
koorkleed, houdend hare wijd ontvouwde
hemelsblauwe goudgesternde mantel,
dragend hare blauwe lelievane.
Duizend, duizend, duizend maagden volgen,
sneeuwblank door de nevelige sluiers,
dragend in de hand de blanke lelie,
zingend zoete koren door de heemlen,
volgend waar hij gaat der maagden koning
en hunne onbevlekte koninginne.

 

Dichterliefde

 

Mijne tranen baren bloemen
lijk lentelach over de wei,
en mijne zuchten worden
een nachtegalenrei.

En wils du mi wederlieven,
voor di bloem op bloemken ontschiet,
en voor dijne venster zal klingen*
der nachtegalen lied.

 

Albrecht_Rodenbach-Roeselare

Albrecht Rodenbach (27 oktober 1856 – 23 juni 1880)
Standbeeld in Roeselaere

 

Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2008.

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz werd geboren op 27 oktober 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey.

 

De Iraanse schrijver en filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh werd geboren op 27 oktober 1943 in Sari, Mazandaran.

 

De Poolse schrijver Kazimierz Brandys werd geboren op 27 oktober 1916 in Lodz.

 

Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Reza Allamehzadeh, Nawal el Saadawi, Enid Bagnold, Zadie Smith, Fran Lebowitz, Kazimierz Brandys, Albrecht Rodenbach

De Engelse dichter Dylan Thomas werd geboren op 27 oktober 1914 in Swansea in Wales. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2007.

 

A Process in the Weather of the Heart

A process in the weather of the heart
Turns damp to dry; the golden shot
Storms in the freezing tomb.
A weather in the quarter of the veins
Turns night to day; blood in their suns
Lights up the living worm.

A process in the eye forwarns
The bones of blindness; and the womb
Drives in a death as life leaks out.

A darkness in the weather of the eye
Is half its light; the fathomed sea
Breaks on unangled land.
The seed that makes a forest of the loin
Forks half its fruit; and half drops down,
Slow in a sleeping wind.

A weather in the flesh and bone
Is damp and dry; the quick and dead
Move like two ghosts before the eye.

A process in the weather of the world
Turns ghost to ghost; each mothered child
Sits in their double shade.
A process blows the moon into the sun,
Pulls down the shabby curtains of the skin;
And the heart gives up its dead.

 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

  

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

And you, my father, there on that sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

 

 

Love In the Asylum

  

A stranger has come

To share my room in the house not right in the head,

A girl mad as birds

 

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.

Strait in the mazed bed

She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds

 

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,

At large as the dead,

Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.

 

She has come possessed

Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,

Possessed by the skies

 

She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust

Yet raves at her will

On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.

 

And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last

I may without fail

Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.

 

dylan_thomas

Dylan Thomas (27 oktober 1914 – 9 november 1953)

 

De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sylvia Plath werd geboren op 27 oktober 1932 in Jamaica Plain, een buitenwijk van Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006.

 

 

Dark House

 

This is a dark house, very big.

I made it myself,

Cell by cell from a quiet corner,

Chewing at the grey paper,

Oozing the glue drops,

Whistling, wiggling my ears,

Thinking of something else.

 

It has so many cellars,

Such eelish delvings!

U an round as an owl,

I see by my own light.

Any day I may litter puppies

Or mother a horse. My belly moves.

I must make more maps.

 

These marrowy tunnels!

Moley-handed, I eat my way.

All-mouth licks up the bushes

And the pots of meat.

He lives in an old well,

A stoney hole. He’s to blame.

He’s a fat sort.

 

Pebble smells, turnipy chambers.

Small nostrils are breathing.

Little humble loves!

Footlings, boneless as noses,

It is warm and tolerable

In the bowel of the root.

Here’s a cuddly mother.

 

 

 

Gigolo

 

Pocket watch, I tick well.

The streets are lizardy crevices

Sheer-sided, with holes where to hide.

It is best to meet in a cul-de-sac,

 

A palace of velvet

With windows of mirrors.

There one is safe,

There are no family photographs,

 

No rings through the nose, no cries.

Bright fish hooks, the smiles of women

Gulp at my bulk

And I, in my snazzy blacks,

 

Mill a litter of breasts like jellyfish.

To nourish

The cellos of moans I eat eggs –

Eggs and fish, the essentials,

 

The aphrodisiac squid.

My mouth sags,

The mouth of Christ

When my engine reaches the end of it.

 

The tattle of my

Gold joints, my way of turning

Bitches to ripples of silver

Rolls out a carpet, a hush.

 

And there is no end, no end of it.

I shall never grow old. New oysters

Shriek in the sea and I

Glitter like Fontainebleau

 

Gratified,

All the fall of water and eye

Over whose pool I tenderly

Lean and see me.

 

 

 

Night Shift

 

It was not a heart, beating.

That muted boom, that clangor

Far off, not blood in the ears

Drumming up and fever

 

To impose on the evening.

The noise came from outside:

A metal detonating

Native, evidently, to

 

These stilled suburbs nobody

Startled at it, though the sound

Shook the ground with its pounding.

It took a root at my coming

 

Till the thudding shource, exposed,

Counfounded in wept guesswork:

Framed in windows of Main Street’s

Silver factory, immense

 

Hammers hoisted, wheels turning,

Stalled, let fall their vertical

Tonnage of metal and wood;

Stunned in marrow. Men in white

 

Undershirts circled, tending

Without stop those greased machines,

Tending, without stop, the blunt

Indefatigable fact.

 

plath1

Sylvia Plath (27 oktober 1932 – 11 februari 1963)

 

De Iraanse schrijver en filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh werd geboren op 27 oktober 1943 in Sari, Mazandaran. Hij studeerde regie aan de academie voor film en televisie in Teheran. In1983 vluchtte hij , zoals velen, uit zijn vaderland. Tegenwoordig woont hij in Nederland. Hij maakte onder meer tv-documentaires voor de RVU en de hartverscheurende speelfilm ‘The guests of Hotel Astoria’, over Iraanse vluchtelingen. Ook gaf hij cursussen over film.o.a. aan de Hollins University in Virginia en Leeds Metropolitan University.  Bittere zomer’ was het eerste boek van hem dat in het Nederlands verscheen (hij schreef het in het Farsi).

 

Werk o.a.: “My Great Secret” 1995, “Bitter Summer”, 1996, “Confidential Travelogue”, 1997, “The Private Album”, 1999

 

Uit: Bittere Zomer (Vertaald door Gert J.J. de Vries)

 

“Ik had net de maaltijd op en dacht erover me in het bassin te gaan baden alvorens naar Foezijeh te vertrekken. Op dat moment hoorde ik iemand op de deur kloppen.

Firoez. Ik was zo stomverbaasd dat hij er verlegen van werd. Ik wist wel dat hij mijn adres had en wist dat ik alleen thuis was, maar ik had hem nooit hier aan de deur verwacht. Hij zei dat hij vannacht bij me kon blijven logeren, dat zijn vader dat goedgevonden had. Ik wist niet zeker, of dat helemaal klopte, maar hij had zo’n uitstraling van eerlijkheid en hij kon zo smekend kijken, dat ik hem wel moest geloven. Ik zag hem naar het shirt kijken dat ik in mijn hand hield, en voordat hij iets kon vragen vertelde ik dat ik op het punt stond om te gaan baden. Hij wierp een blik op het bassin van twee bij twee meter en zei:

“Als er plaats is kom ik er ook in!”

Ik gaf hem een speelse klap achter in zijn nek en sprong toen in mijn onderbroek het water in. Waarop hij zijn kleren ook op de houten ligbank legde en op de rand van het bassin ging zitten. Hij leek te kleumen van de kou. Ik spatte wat water op zijn bovenlichaam en trol hem aan zijn hand de vijver in. Om hem te plagen duwde ik hem een paar keer kopje-onder en liet hem dan weer gaan. Hij raakte buiten adem, maar moest toch lachen. Op zijn beurt probeerde hij mij onder water te krijgen, maar had daar de kracht niet voor. Totdat ik meegaf en me kopje-onder liet gaan. Zijn armen waren onder me weggegleden, maar met één hand hield hij me stevig achter in mijn nek omklemd en duwde hij mijn hoofd naar beneden. Na enkele keren hurkte ik onverhoeds neer in het water en trok de argeloze Firoez naar beneden. Ik had zelf mijn gezicht boven w
ater en liet hem pas los toen ik hem hoorde rochelen. Hij kwam met rode ogen omhoog, buiten adem maar nog steeds lachend: “Hé, je hebt me zowat verzopen!”

reza

Reza Allamehzadeh (Sari, 27 oktober 1943)

 

De Egyptische schrijfster, gynaecologe, moslimfeministe en politiek activiste Nawal el Saadawi werd geboren in Kafr Tahla op 27 oktober 1931. Haar werk bevat toneelstukken, romans en werken over de religieus opgelegde plichten van vrouwen in Abrahamitische religies (in het bijzonder de islam), geweld tegen vrouwen en mensenrechtenactivisten en feminisme. El Saadawi ging geneeskunde studeren aan de Universiteit van Caïro en voltooide deze studie in 1955. Naderhand bereikte ze de status van Directeur Openbare gezondheid op het Ministerie van Gezondheid. In die functie ontmoette ze ook haar derde echtgenoot, Sherif Hetata, met wie ze de kantoorruimte deelde. Hetata had 13 jaar gevangenschap achter de rug vanwege zijn politieke stellingname. Ook Nawal bleef niet verstoken van moeilijkheden vanwege haar kritiek op misstanden in de Egyptische samenleving: ze werd in 1972 ontslagen bij het Ministerie vanwege haar politieke activiteiten en haar boek “Women and sex”.

Omdat ze al sinds 1982 doodsbedreigingen kreeg van islamistische fundamentalisten verliet El Saadawi in 1991 Egypte en verhuisde naar de Amerikaanse staat North Carolina. Ze gaf in de Verenigde Staten college aan de Duke University te Durham en aan de Washington State University te Pullman in de staat Washington. In 1996 keerde ze terug naar Egypte en pakte haar politiek activisme daar weer op. Ze wilde zich kandidaat stellen voor de eerste vrije presidentiële verkiezingen in 2005, maar trok zich terug vanwege de zware voorwaarden die gesteld werden. Eind februari 2007, terwijl ze in Brussel verbleef, werd bekend dat sjeik Mohammed Seyed Tantawi van de Al-Azhar Universiteit een fatwa en de doodstraf op grond van de sharia over haar heeft uitgesproken wegens geloofsafval, vanwege een in Egypte gepubliceerd toneelstuk dat aldaar inmiddels een verboden boek geworden is.

 

Uit: The Hidden Face of Eve

 

lf way between wakefulness and sleep, with the rosy dreams of childhood flitting by, like gentle fairies in quick succession. I felt something move under the blankets, something like a huge hand, cold and rough, fumbling over my body, as though looking for something. Almost simultaneously another hand, as cold and as rough and as big as the first one, was clapped over my mouth, to prevent me from screaming. They carried me to the bathroom. I do not know how many of them there were, nor do I remember their faces, or whether they were men or women. The world to me seemed enveloped in a dark fog winch prevented me from seeing. Or perhaps they put 4ome kind of a cover over my eyes. All I remember is that I was frightened and that there were many of them, and that something hke an iron grasp caught hold of my hand and my arms and my thighs, so that I became unable to resist or even to move. I also remember the icy touch of the bathroom tiles under my naked body, and unknown voices and humming sounds interrupted now and again by a rasping metallic sound which reminded me of the butcher when he used to sharpen his knife before daughtering a sheep for the Eid’ . My blood was frozen in my veins. It looked to me as though some thieves had broken into my room and kidnapped me ftom my bed. They were getting ready to cut my throat which was always what happened with disobedient girls fike myself in the stories that my old rural grandmother was so fond of telling me. I strained my ears trying to catch the rasp of the metallic sound. The moment it ceased, it was as though my heart stopped beating with it. I was unable to see, and somehow my breathing seemed also to have stopped. Yet I imagined the thing that was making the rasping sound coming closer and closer to me. Somehow it was not approac@ng my neck as I had expected but another part of my body. Somewhere below my belly, as though seeking something buried between my thighs. At that very moment I realized that my thighs had been pulled wide apart, and that each of my lower limbs was being held as far away ftom the other as possible, gripped by-steel fingers that never relinquished their pressure. I felt that the rasping knife or blade was heading straight down towards my throat. Then suddenly the sharp metallic edge seemed to drop between my thighs and there cut off a piece of flesh from my body. I screamed with pain despite the tight hand held over my mouth, for the pain was not just a pain, it was like a searing flame that went through my whole body. After a few moments, I saw a red pool of blood around my hips. I did not know what they had cut off from my body, and I did not try to find out. I just wept, and called out to my mother for help. But the worst shock of all was when I looked around and found her standing by my side. Yes, it was her, I could not be mistaken, in flesh and blood, right in the midst of these strangers, talking to them and smiling at them, as though they had not participated in slaughtering her daughter just a few moments ago.”

 

Saadawi

Nawal el Saadawi (Kafr Tahla, 27 oktober 1931)

 

De Britse schrijfster Enid Algerine Bagnold werd geboren op 27 oktober 1889 in Rochester, Kent. Zij baarde in 1923 opzien met haar roman The Difficulty of Getting Married. Internationaal het bekendste en succesvolste werk van haar is National Velvet uit 1935. Het kinderboek werd in 1944 verfilmd door Clarance Brown met o.a. Elizabeth Taylor. Bagnold schreef ook vanaf het begin gedichten die in verschillende bloemlezingen werden gepubliceerd.

 

Uit: THE HAPPY FOREIGNER

 

“COME in,” she said in English, lifting her head and all her mind and spirit out of the pit of the pillow.

 

Feet came further into the room and a shivering child held a candle in her face. “Halb sechs, Fräulein,” it said. But the Fräulein continued to stare at him. He thought she was not yet awake–he could not tell that she was counting countries in her head to find which one she was in–or that she was inclining towards the theory that she was at school in Germany. He was very cold in his shirt and little trousers, and he pulled at her sheets. “Fräulein !” he said again with chattering teeth, and when she nodded more collectedly the little ghost slipped out relieved by the door. “Russian colonel . . . I must get up. Fancy making that boy call me! Why couldn’t someone older . . . I must get up.”

 

He had left the electric light burning in her room, but out in the corridor all was black and hushed as she had left it the night before when she had gone to bed. Behind the kitchen door there was a noise of water running in the sink. She opened the door, and there was the wretched child again, still in his shirt, rinsing out her coffee-pot by the light of one candle. Well, since he was doing it . . . Poor child! But she must have her coffee. By the time she was dressed he tapped again and brought in the tray with coffee, bread and jam on it. Setting it down, he looked it over with an anxious face. “Zucker,” he said, and disappeared to fetch it. She filled her thermos bottle with the rest of the coffee which she could not finish, and put two of the slices of grey bread into the haversack, then crept downstairs and out into the black street where the gas lamps still burnt and the night sentry still paced up and down in the spectral gloom. Over the river hung a woolly fog, imprisoning the water; but as she crossd the bridge she noticed where its solidity was incomplete and torn, and into the dark water which lay at the bottom of such crevasses a lamp upon the bridge struck its arrowed likeness. It was a good seven minutes’ walk to the garage, and she tried to get warm by running, but the ice crackling in the gutters and between the cobble stones defied her, and her hands ached with cold though she put them in turn right through her blouse against her heart to warm them as she ran. Fetching her car she drove to the Hôtel Royal, and settled down to wait.”

 

Bagnold

Enid Bagnold ( 27 oktober 1889 – 3 maart 1981)

 

De Engelse schrijfster Zadie Smith werd geboren op 27 oktober 1975 en woonde in de Londense gemeente Brent bij haar Engelse vader Harvey Smith en zijn tweede vrouw Yvonne McLean, van Jamaicaanse afkomst. Op 14-jarige leeftijd veranderde Sadie haar naam in Zadie.Tijdens haar universitaire opleiding in Engelstalige literatuur aan de universiteit van Cambridge, publiceerde Zadie Smith een aantal korte verhalen in de May Anthologies. Op basis hiervan boden diverse geïnteres
seerde uitgevers haar een contract aan. Haar eerste roman, White Teeth, werkte ze af tijdens haar laatste jaar aan de universiteit. Eenmaal gepubliceerd, werd het onmiddellijk een bestseller. Het werd internationaal erkend als een schitterend debuut en viel meer dan eens in de prijzen Haar derde roman, On Beauty, werd gepubliceerd in september 2005 en werd voorgedragen voor de Man Booker Prize.
In 2006 won On Beauty de Orange Prize for Fiction.

 

Uit: White Teeth

 

“Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway. At 06.27 hours on 1 January 1975, Alfred Archibald Jones was dressed in corduroy and sat in a fume-filled Cavalier Musketeer Estate face down on the steering wheel, hoping the judgement would not be too heavy upon him. He lay forward in a prostrate cross, jaw slack, arms splayed either side like some fallen angel; scrunched up in each fist he held his army service medals (left) and his marriage license (right), for he had decided to take his mistakes with him. A little green light flashed in his eye, signaling a right turn he had resolved never to make. He was resigned to it. He was prepared for it. He had flipped a coin and stood staunchly by its conclusions. This was a decided-upon suicide. In fact it was a New Year’s resolution.

 

But even as his breathing became spasmodic and his lights dimmed, Archie was aware that Cricklewood Broadway would seem a strange choice. Strange to the first person to notice his slumped figure through the windscreen, strange to the policemen who would file the report, to the local journalist called upon to write fifty words, to the next of kin who would read them. Squeezed between an almighty concrete cinema complex at one end and a giant intersection at the other, Cricklewood was no kind of place. It was not a place a man came to die. It was a place a man came in order to go other places via the A41. But Archie Jones didn’t want to die in some pleasant, distant woodland, or on a cliff edge fringed with delicate heather. The way Archie saw it, country people should die in the country and city people should die in the city. Only proper. In death as he was in life and all that. It made sense that Archibald should die on this nasty urban street where he had ended up, living alone at the age of forty-seven, in a one-bedroom flat above a deserted chip shop. He wasn’t the type to make elaborate plans — suicide notes and funeral instructions — he wasn’t the type for anything fancy. All he asked for was a bit of silence, a bit of shush so he could concentrate. He wanted it to be perfectly quiet and still, like the inside of an empty confessional box or the moment in the brain between thought and speech. He wanted to do it before the shops opened.

 

zsmith

Zadie Smith (Londen, 27 oktober 1975)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz werd geboren op 27 oktober 1950 in Morristown, New Jersey. Na van school te zijn gestuurd had zij verschillende baantjes totdat Andy Warhol haar vroeg voor een column in Interview. Haar eerste boek was een verzameling essays onder de titel Metropolitan Life en verscheen in 1978. In 1981 volgde Social Studies. Lebowitz staat bekend om haar sardonische commentaar op de Amerikaanse “way of life”.

 

Uit: Progress

 

“So then, let us consider the likelihood that the empty pews were less the result of a lesser fear of God than they were an indication of a greater fear of the godless. In other words, let us suppose that the Red Scare was enough scare and that the whole thing was, as might well have been suspected, a Communist plot.

And let us assume that a citizenry fully occupied with the questions of the day, a citizenry busy leading and misleading the way—marching on Washington, appearing before Senate subcommittees, putting fluoride in the drinking water, and barring children from the schoolhouse door—was a citizenry too engaged by the demands of democracy to be lured by the commands of religion.

And let us lament that there is no longer a need to imagine the consequences of the failure of imagination that is the consequence of a religiosity so pervasive that it has replaced that which is possible with that which is impossible.

And let us admit that where there is less religion there is more progress. And that this has been true not only throughout the entire history of the whole world
but even in the United States of America. And let us understand that if you do not have a greater belief in democracy than you do in your religion you will eventually have less democracy. And that you may even lose your religion, because, as it turns out, the only people who are really tolerant of other people’s religions are people who are really not that religious.”

Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz (Morristown, 27 oktober 1950)

 

De Poolse schrijver Kazimierz Brandys werd geboren op 27 oktober 1916 in Lodz. Hij studeerde rechten in Warschau en debuteerde in 1935 als theatercriticus. Van 1945 tot 1950 was hij verbonden aan het tijdschrift “Kuźnica”en van 1956 tot 1969 aan “Nowa Kultura”. Hij doceerde ook slavische literatuur aan de Sorbonne in Parijs. Vanaf 1978 woonde hij buiten Polen.

 

Uit:  Warschauer Tagebuch

 

“In Polen äußert sich die Genugtuung zumeist in einem Scherz. Als Wałęsa den Streik in Danzig für beendet erklärte, sagte er zu den Werftarbeitern: “Und jetzt geht jeder nach Hause und guckt nach, ob nicht etwas weg- oder dazugekommen ist, und dann ab in die Heia.”
Diese Worte werden sicherlich nicht in die Geschichte eingehen.
Sie sollten es aber. In ihnen äußert sich ein freundlicher, unprätentiöser Charakterzug der Polen, der die Ergriffenheit lieber hinter einem Witz versteckt. Ich kenne kein zweites Land, in dem Führer der Arbeiterklasse nach einem großen, siegreichen Streik Tausenden seiner Mitkämpfer die Worte hinwirft: “Ab in die Heia.”

Kazimierz%20Brandys

Kazimierz Brandys (27 oktober 1916 – 11 maart 2000)

 

De Belgische dichter en schrijver Albrecht Rodenbach werd geboren te Roeselare op 27 oktober 1856. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 oktober 2006.

 

 

REGENDAG

 

Och hoe droevig sleept de dag. Betrokken

ligt de lucht met wolken grijs en grauw,

’t stuifreînt, en die hooge boomen schokken

hunne kruinen, en vol vreemde rouw

ruischen zij, ontblaadrend, droeve zangen.

Lijk des avonds in het woud een dolend kind,

daar beneden door de donkre gangen

aaklig schreeuwt en huilt de wilde wind.

Sombre wolken door mijn ziel ook zweven,

nevelig betrekt mijn zonneglans.

Houd u sterk, o jongling, dat is ’t leven.

Weze uw droefheid lijk uw vreugd — eens mans.

 

 

 

DICHTERLIEFDE

naar Heyne op musiik van Schumann

 

Mijne tranen baren bloemen

    lijk lentelach over de wei,

en mijne zuchten worden

    een nachtegalenrei.

 

En wils du mi wederlieven,

    voor di bloem op bloemken ontschiet,

en voor dijne venster zal klingen

    der nachtegalen lied.

 

rodenbach

Albrecht Rodenbach (27 oktober 1856 – 23 juni 1880)