In Memoriam Neil Simon

In Memoriam Neil Simon

De Amerikaanse toneelschrijver Neil Simon is zondag op 91-jarige leeftijd in New York overleden. ​Neil Simon werd op 4 juli 1927 geboren in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Neil Simon op dit blog.

Uit: The Odd Couple

« OSCAR. What do you mean you didn’t take anything? What did you take?
FELIX. (Sitting on couch.) Nothing! Nothing! I didn’t take anything. .. . Don’t tell Frances what I did, please! . . . Oohh, my stomach.
MURRAY. He took something! I’m telling you he took something.
OSCAR. What, Felix? What?? Feta Nothing! I didn’t take anything.
OSCAR. Pills? Did you take pills?
FELIX. No! No! OSCAR. (Grabbing FELIX.) Don’t lie to me, Felix. Did you take pills?
FELIX. No, I didn’t. I didn’t take anything.
MURRAY. Thank God, he didn’t take pills. (ALL relax and take a breath of relief.)
FELIX. Just a few, that’s all. (ALL react in alarm and concern over the pills.)
OSCAR. He took pills.
MURRAY. How many pills?
OSCAR. What kind of pills? Feta I don’t know what kind. Little green ones. I just grabbed anything out of her medicine cabinet… . I must have been crazy.
OSCAR. Didn’t you look? Didn’t you see what kind?
FELIX. I couldn’t see. The light’s broken. Don’t call Frances. Don’t tell her. I’m so ashamed. So ashamed.

Jack Klugman (Oscar) en Tony Randall (Felix) in de tv-serie (1970 – 1975)


OSCAR. Felix, how-many-pills-did-you-take?
FELIX. I don’t know. I can’t remember.
OSCAR. I’m calling Frances.
FELIX. (Grabs him.) No! Don’t call her. Don’t call her. If she hears I took a whole bottle of pills . .
OSCAR. (To MURRAY.) You don’t even know what kind/
MURRAY. What’s the difference? He took-a-whole-bottle!
OSCAR. Maybe they were vitamins. He could be the healthiest one in the room! . . . Take it easy, will you?
FELIX. Don’t call Frances. Promise me you won’t call Frances.
MURRAY. Open his collar. Open the window. Give him some air.
SPEED. Walk him around. Don’t let him go to sleep. (SPEED and MURRAY pick FELIX up and walk him around, while ROY rubs his wrists.) Roy. Rub his wrists. Keep his circulation going.
VINNIE. (Running to bathroom to get a compress.) A cold compress. Put a cold compress on his neck. (They sit FELIX in the armchair, still chattering in alarm.)
OSCAR. One doctor at a time, heh? All the interns shut the hell up!
FELIX. I’m all right. I’ll be all right. . . . (To OSCAR urgently.) You didn’t call Frances, did you?“

Neil Simon (4 juli 1927 – 26 augustus 2018)

In Memoriam V. S. Naipaul


In Memoriam V. S. Naipaul

De Britse schrijver Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, beter bekend als V.S. Naipaul, is gisteren op 85-jarige leeftijd in Londen overleden. Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul werd geboren op 17 augustus 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad en Tobago. Zie ook alle tags voor V. S. Naipaul op dit blog evenals de oudere berichten.

Uit: A House for Mr. Biswas

„That will be easy,’ Bissoondaye said, speaking with emotion for the first time.
‘On the twenty-first day the father must see the boy.
But not in the flesh.’
‘In a mirror, pundit?’
‘I would consider that ill-advised. Use a brass plate. Scour it well.’
‘Of course.’
‘You must fill this brass plate with coconut oil–which, by the way, you must make yourself from coconuts you have collected with your own hands–and in the reflection on this oil the father must see his son’s face.’
He tied the almanac together and rolled it in the red cotton wrapper which was also spattered with sandalwood paste. ‘I believe that is all.’
‘We forgot one thing, punditji. The name.’
‘I can’t help you completely there. But it seems to me that a perfectly safe prefix would be Mo. It is up to you to think of something to add to that.’
‘Oh, punditji, you must help me. I can only think of hun.’
The pundit was surprised and genuinely pleased. ‘But that is excellent. Excellent. Mohun. I couldn’t have chosen better myself. For Mohun, as you know, means the beloved, and was the name given by the milkmaids to Lord Krishna.’ His eyes softened at the thought of the legend and for a moment he appeared to forget Bissoondaye and Mr Biswas.
From the knot at the end of her veil Bissoondaye took out a florin and offered it to the pundit, mumbling her regret that she could not give more. The pundit said that she had done her best and was not to worry. In fact he was pleased; he had expected less.
Mr Biswas lost his sixth finger before he was nine days old. It simply came off one night and Bipti had an unpleasant turn when, shaking out the sheets one morning, she saw this tiny finger tumble to the ground. Bissoondaye thought this an excellent sign and buried the finger behind the cowpen at the back of the house, not far from where she had buried Mr Biswas’s navel-string.
In the days that followed Mr Biswas was treated with attention and respect. His brothers and sisters were slapped if they disturbed his sleep, and the flexibility of his limbs was regarded as a matter of importance. Morning and evening he was massaged with coconut oil. All his joints were exercised; his arms and legs were folded diagonally across his red shining body; the big toe of his right foot was made to touch his left shoulder, the big toe of his left foot was made to touch his right shoulder, and both toes were made to touch his nose; finally, all his limbs were bunched together over his belly and then, with a clap and a laugh, released.”

V. S. Naipaul (17 augustus 1932 –11 augustus 2018)

In Memoriam Armando

In Memoriam Armando

De Nederlandse schilder, beeldhouwer, dichter, schrijver, violist, acteur, journalist, film-, televisie- en theatermaker is zondag op 88-jarige leeftijd overleden. Armando werd geboren op 18 september 1929 in Amsterdam. Zie ook alle tags voor Armando op dit blog.


Op deze plek

op deze plek, op deze plek
waar struiken zachtjes zingen
en de straat verandert
in een schreeuw.

Op deze plek is een gesprek begraven,
en het ontstoken gebied werd verboden.

Was een overwinning mogelijk?


Armando: Damals. 2003


De waarheid

Wee het veel te smalle bospad,
het stramme struikgewas,
wee de gaten in de bodem.

De jaren zijn in de boeien geslagen,
langs de straten slapen de vochtige lichamen,
stapels op een hoop verzameld.

Hier heeft iets plaatsgevonden
dat op de vage waarheid lijkt.


Armando (18 september 1929 – 1 juli 2018)

In Memoriam Philip Roth

In Memoriam Philip Roth

De Amerikaanse schrijver Philip Roth is op 85-jarige leeftijd overleden. Philip Roth werd geboren op 19 maart 1933 in Newark.en gold als een van de grootste Amerikaanse schrijvers en won talrijke literaire prijzen, waaronder een Pulitzer in 1998. Zie ook alle tags voor Philip Roth op dit blog.

Uit: American Pastoral

“But wit or irony is like a hitch in his swing for a kid like the Swede, irony being a human consolation and beside the point if you’re getting your way as a god. Either there was a whole side to his personality that he was suppressing or that was as yet asleep or, more likely, there wasn’t. His aloofness, his seeming passivity as the desired object of all this asexual lovemaking, made him appear, if not divine, a distinguished cut above the more primordial humanity of just about everybody else at the school. He was fettered to history, an instrument of history, esteemed with a passion that might never have been if he’d broken the Weequahic basketball record – by scoring twenty-seven points against Barringer – on a day other than the sad, sad day in 1943 when fifty-eight Flying Fortresses were shot down by Luftwaffe fighter planes, two fell victim to flak, and five more crashed after crossing the English coast on their way back from bombing Germany.
The Swede’s younger brother was my classmate, Jerry Levov, a scrawny, small-headed, oddly overflexible boy built along the lines of a licorice stick, something of a mathematical wizard, and the January 1950 valedictorian. Though Jerry never really had a friendship with anyone, in his imperious, irascible way, he took an interest in me over the years, and that was how I wound up, from the age of ten, regularly getting beaten by him at Ping-Pong in the finished basement of the Levovs’ one-family house, on the corner of Wyndmoor and Keer – the word “finished” indicating that it was paneled in knotty pine, domesticated, and not, as Jerry seemed to think, that the basement was the perfect place for finishing off another kid.
The explosiveness of Jerry’s aggression at a Ping-Pong table exceeded his brother’s in any sport. A Ping-Pong ball is, brilliantly, sized and shaped so that it cannot take out your eye. I would not otherwise have played in Jerry Levov’s basement. If it weren’t for the opportunity to tell people that I knew my way around Swede Levov’s house, nobody could have got me down into that basement, defenseless but for a small wooden paddle. Nothing that weighs as little as a Ping-Pong ball can be lethal, yet when Jerry whacked that thing murder couldn’t have been far from his mind. It never occurred to me that this violent display might have something to do with what it was like for him to be the kid brother of Swede Levov. Since I couldn’t imagine anything better than being the Swede’s brother – short of being the Swede himself – I failed to understand that for Jerry it might be difficult to imagine anything worse.
The Swede’s bedroom – which I never dared enter but would pause to gaze into when I used the toilet outside Jerry’s room – was tucked under the eaves at the back of the house. With its slanted ceiling and dormer windows and Weequahic pennants on the walls, it looked like what I thought of as a real boy’s room. From the two windows that opened out over the back lawn you could see the roof of the Levovs’ garage, where the Swede as a grade school kid practiced hitting in the wintertime by swinging at a baseball taped to a cord hung from a rafter – an idea he might have got from a baseball novel by John R. Tunis called The Kid from Tomkinsville. I came to that book and to other of Tunis’s baseball books – Iron Duke, The Duke Decides, Champion’s Choice, Keystone Kids, Rookie of the Year – by spotting them on the built-in shelf beside the Swede’s bed, all lined up alphabetically between two solid bronze bookends that had been a bar mitzvah gift, miniaturized replicas of Rodin’s “The Thinker.”

Philip Roth (19 maart 1933 – 22 mei 2018)

In Memoriam Tom Wolfe

In Memoriam Tom Wolfe

De Amerikaanse schrijver en journalist Tom Wolfe is maandag op 87-jarige leeftijd in een ziekenhuis in New York overleden. Dat heeft zijn agent dinsdag bekendgemaakt. Wolfe werd wereldberoemd door onder meer de roman The Bonfire of the Vanities. Tom Wolfe werd geboren op 2 maart 1931 in Richmond, Virginia. Zie ook alle tags voor Tom Wolfe op dit blog.

Uit: Back To Blood

“Magdalena had never seen this many old men—practically all were middle-aged or older—wearing sneakers. Just look—there and there and over there—not just sneakers but real basketball shoes. And for what? They probably think all these teen togs make them look younger. Are they kidding? They just make their slumping backs and sloping shoulders and fat-sloppy bellies … and scoliotic spines and slanted-forward necks and low-slung jowls and stringy wattles … more obvious.
To tell the truth, Magdalena didn’t particularly care about all that. She thought it was funny. Mainly, she was envious of A.A. This americana was pretty and young and, it almost went without saying, blonde. Her clothes were sophisticated, yet very simple … and very sexy … a perfectly plain, sensible, businesslike sleeveless black dress … but short … ended a foot and a half above her knees and showed plenty of her fine fair thighs … made it seem like you were looking at all of her fine fair body. Oh, Magdalena didn’t doubt for a second that she was sexier than this girl, had better breasts, better lips, better hair … long, full, lustrous dark hair as opposed to this *americana’*s sexless little blond bob, copied from that English girl, Posh Spice … She just wished she had worn a minidress, too, to show off her bare legs … as opposed to these slim white pants that mainly showed off the deep cleft of her perfect little bottom. But this “A.A.” girl had something else too. She was in the know. Advising rich people, like Fleischmann, about what very expensive art to buy was her business, and she knew all about this “fair,” officially called Art Basel Miami Beach, but to those in the know, as A.A. would quickly let you know, it was known as Miami Basel. She could fire off 60 in the know cracks a minute.
At this very moment, A.A. was saying, “So I ask her—I ask her what she’s interested in, and she says to me, ‘I’m looking for something cutting-edge … like a Cy Twombly.’ I’m thinking, ‘A Cy Twombly?’ Cy Twombly was cutting-edge in the nineteen-fifties! He died a couple of years ago. Most of his contemporaries are dead by now! You’re not cutting-edge if your whole generation is dead or dying. You may be great. You may be iconic, the way Cy Twombly is, but you’re not cutting-edge.”
She didn’t address any of this to Magdalena. She never looked at her. Why waste attention, much less words, on some little nobody who probably doesn’t know anything anyway? The worst part of it was that she was right. Magdalena had never heard of Cy Twombly. She didn’t know what “cutting-edge” meant, either, although she could sort of guess from the way A.A. used it. And what did iconic mean? She hadn’t the faintest idea. She bet Norman didn’t know, either, didn’t understand the first thing Miss All-Business sexy A.A. had just said, but Norman created the sort of presence that made people think he knew everything about anything anybody had to say”

Tom Wolfe (2 maart 1931 – 14 mei 2018)

In Memoriam Renate Dorrestein


In Memoriam Renate Dorrestein

De Nederlandse schrijfster Renate Dorrestein is op 64-jarige leeftijd overleden. Ze leed al enige tijd aan slokdarmkanker. Dorrestein overleed vrijdagavond in haar woning in Aerdenhout in het bijzijn van haar dierbaren, zo maakte haar uitgeverij Podium bekend. Renate Dorrestein werd geboren in Amsterdam op 25 januari 1954. Zie ook alle tags voor Renate Dorrestein op dit blog.

Uit: Is er hoop

“Igor is toegelaten op de sociale werkplaats. Zijn oma leest en herleest de brief waar het zwart op wit in staat, en dan leest ze hem voor alle zekerheid nog een keer. Het ongeloof staat op haar gezicht geschreven. Iets voetstoots aannemen is niks voor haar, maar de boodschap is glashelder, onomwonden en voor maar één uitleg vatbaar: Igor is toegelaten op de sociale werkplaats. Ze gooit haar armen in de lucht en rent juichend door hun flat. `Ik zei het toch,’ zegt hij. Buiten adem strijkt ze de gekreukelde brief glad. Ze zegt dat ze hem gaat inlijsten en boven haar bed ophangen. Dan weet ze iedere ochtend zodra ze wakker wordt, tenminste zeker dat ze het niet heeft gedroomd. Bewaart hij zelf gewoon de envelop. Daar staat zijn naam óók op. Volgens de brief zijn ze welkom om op de werkplaats te komen kennismaken, als ze daar zin in hebben. Reken maar, tettert zijn oma. Ze zal direct een afspraak maken en een halve dag vrij nemen. ‘Ben je niet blij?’ vraagt ze. Dat is hij altijd al. Er bestaan wel honderd verschillende ziekten en hij heeft ze geen van alle. Sommige mensen zijn kaal, maar hij niet. En stel dat er een aardbeving komt en het licht uitvalt, dan heeft hij altijd nog zijn zaklantaarn. Die heeft hij voor zijn verjaardag gekregen. Er zit een knoeperd van een batterij in. Om te testen of een batterij nog goed is, moet je eraan likken. Lang niet iedereen weet dat. Je hebt er een iq van minstens zestig voor nodig. Hij gniffelt even in zichzelf. Zestig! Stel dat je zestig batterijen moest vasthouden: daar zouden de meeste mensen niet eens genoeg handen voor hebben. Sukkels. Met haar pols wist zijn oma het zweet van haar voorhoofd. Ze ploft naast hem neer op de bank en legt haar voeten op het tafeltje waaronder het snoer van de televisie met leukoplast is vastgeplakt. ‘Rustig doorgaan met ademhalen,’ zegt ze, ‘anders blijven we erin, Igor.’ Diep ademen, want een zucht geeft lucht. En hoe harder je zucht, des te sneller gaat de tijd. Dat beweert ze altijd, en het klopt nog ook. Na flink wat zuchten zitten ze samen al in de metro, op weg naar de werkplaats. Zij heeft haar haar heel anders dan normaal, het lijkt wel een taart. Ze blijft maar naar het zijne loeren, met samengeknepen ogen, alsof ze van plan is het met spuug achter zijn oren te plakken. Hij moet haar scherp in de gaten houden, wil hij zo meteen niet voor paal komen te staan. We zijn op weg naar je toekomst,’ zegt ze terwijl ze uitstappen.”

Renate Dorrestein (25 januari 1954 – 4 mei 2018)

In memoriam Theo Sontrop

In memoriam Theo Sontrop

De Nederlandse dichter en voormalige literaire uitgever Theo Sontrop is gisteren op 86-jarige leeftijd overleden. Theodorus Alexander Leonardus Maria (“Theo”) Sontrop werd geboren in Haarlem op 2 mei 1931. Zie ook alle tags voor Theo Sontrop op dit blog.



Een blad in de lucht is nog iemand:
wentelend vreemd, als een bootje misbarend –
met niemand aan boord dan de ijskoude
bladluis die klampt aan de stengel –
zichtbaar voor ieder zolang in beweging.
Geen zee kan te hoog, geen hoos die hem deert
als de afstand tot aarde bewaard blijft.
Wat is er ruimer dan het woord dat niet mag,
dan het woord dat je niet meer wilt zeggen?
Dan zwerk? Smaller dan spansel,
het ruim tussen zuilen van hout of nog zachter?
Wie daar doorvaart ziet haven al
wordt hij geblazen als voert hij de kluiver.
Later, vergaderd met velen tot macht,
pas verlaten, al wordt hij weer blad.


Theo Sontrop (2 mei 1931 – 3 september 2017)