Katharina Hacker, Jasper Fforde, W. C. Heinz, Nikos Kavvadias, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza, Diana Gabaldon, Slavko Janevski

De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Katharina Hacker werd geboren op 11 januari 1967 in Frankfurt am Main. Zie ook alle tags voor Katharina Hacker op dit blog.

Uit: Eine Dorfgeschichte

„Ein Toter oder Apfeldieb oder auch ein Soldat aus dem hinteren Wald, der abschüssig in Richtung Tal ging und im Frühling voller Buschwindröschen war. Unter den Buschwindröschen oder zwischen Zweigen, Blättern, Steinen konnte man Helme und Patronenhülsen aus dem Krieg finden, weil in dem Waldstück Soldaten gekämpft hatten, gegen die anrückenden Amerikaner, die dann doch ersehnt waren, weil es im Dorf Flüchtige gab, Fahnenflüchtige, Deserteure, später dann andere Flüchtlinge, woher die kamen, aus dem Osten und wie, auf Wagen oder mit der Eisenbahn bis Michelstadt, bis Amorbach, den Berg zu Fuß hinauf, vor den letzten Bomben fliehend oder eben vor den Befreiern, Besatzern, das Parteibuch zerrissen, die Abzeichen versteckt. Juden hatte es im Dorf nicht gegeben, sie hatten wohlweislich nicht versucht, dorthin zu flüchten, es hätte ihnen kaum geholfen.
Die Synagoge in Michelstadt wurde verwüstet, vielleicht war sie zu nahe an den anderen Häusern, als dass man sie hätte abbrennen mögen, für die Menschen hat das nichts geändert. Wir haben uns vorgestellt als Kinder, wo Verstecke hätten sein können, wir zeigten sie meiner Großmutter, wir zeigten sie meinem Großvater, schauten neugierig, wie sie schwieg, wie er schwieg, und dann richteten wir uns gerade auf, denn wir, das wussten wir mit Sicherheit, hätten nicht zugelassen, dass auch nur einem Juden ein Haar gekrümmt wird.
Meine Großmutter spielte nicht mit, wenn wir Flüchtlingszug aus dem Osten spielten, gab uns kein Brot und keine Wasserflasche. Wir borgten von den Nachbarsbauern Säcke für den großen Leiterwagen und füllten sie mit Heu und Stroh, wir zogen einer den anderen die Feldwege entlang, stöhnend und klagend, verbanden die Verletzten, luden Tote ab, ließen sie liegen.
Frederik war der beste Tote, den wir hatten. Er blieb liegen, bis abends, bis zum Essen, bis meine Mutter rief, mein Vater suchte, fand ihn am Waldrand, starr geworden vom langen Tod. Mit Frederik wagte ich mich auch wieder in jenen Keller, er war ein Angsthase, aber furchtlos dabei, er plapperte ausgiebig von seiner Angst, ging in den Höllenschlund, in jedes dunkle Loch, lief mutterseelenallein – laut rufend, wie er sich fürchte – in das Verlies der Wildenburg, die wir mit jedem neuen Gast besuchen mussten, verschwand, und wieder musste mein Vater ihn finden. Denn wenn wir Krieg spielten, waren meinem Großvater die Hände gebunden, und meine Großmutter konnte uns nicht retten.“

 
Katharina Hacker (Frankfurt am Main, 11 januari 1967)

 

De Britse schrijver en cameraman Jasper Fforde werd geboren op 11 januari 1961 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jasper Fforde op dit blog.

Uit: Early Riser

“We drove across the city at daybreak, the tracks of the Sno-Trac clean and sharp over a fresh fall of snow, the sky slate-grey. Only the thin trails of vapour rising from the numerous Dormitoria gave any clue that we were in a city of almost half a million people. Despite it being two days before Winter officially began, most people had already hunkered down, and anyone who wasn’t yet asleep would be going through their pre-hibernatory nesting rituals. Yoga and Gregorian chants were always popular, with yoyo, tango, humming, bezique and watercolouring going in and out of favour as the vagaries of fashion saw fit. But for most people it was a simple slowing of activity, purposefully avoiding anything exciting. This was a winding down, a relaxing of mind and spirit. To assist initial descent and a free return in case of an accidental awakening, the networks ran looped repeats of Bonanza throughout the Winter. Residents with Random Waking Syndrome kept a TV switched on at the foot of their bed, sound turned down low, the picture dimmed.
`It’s only dull by endless repetition,’ Logan had explained earlier, while we discussed strategies to ease anomalous wakers back to sleep, ‘and the close familiarity of the characters and situations make for an often transcendental drifting of the mind.’ No one quite knew why Bonanza had become the TV series of choice for the Winter, but the more it was watched, the more suited to easement it became. If the machinations of the Cartwright family didn’t work, you could always watch reruns of Crossroads or resort to the default entry-level route to welcome catatonia: Ulysses, Moby Dick or War and Peace. I halted the Sno-Trac outside the Beryl Cook Dormitorium, the largest of twenty-seven Kipshopsn on the seafront at Penarth. I made sure the compressed air tank was in the green so I could effect a restart, then stopped the engine and climbed out of the rear door.”

 
Jasper Fforde (Londen, 11 januari 1961)
Cover

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver, sportjournalist en oorlogscorrespondent W. C. Heinz werd geboren op 11 januari 1915 in Mount Vernon, New York. Zie ook alle tags voor W. C. Heinz op dit blog.

Uit:The Professional

“I shall remember it as long as I live. I was young then, and I had been on the paper about I three years. They had me teething on boxing, and I had hit it off with Doc. Doc had a good-looking heavyweight at the time, a big blond, out of Des Moines and named Al Fraley. Fraley’s old man had been a Methodist minister, and that made a natural for Doc. The big kid was devout enough, but Doc made him wear dark suits and black ties and carry a Bible into the dressing room, and he called him Deacon Fraley. It was an era when you sold a fighter to the public in every way that you could. This was right after Tunney retired with the title, and there was that confusion in the heavyweight ranks. There were three or four of the battleships with a chance, but the best of them all was the Deacon—or, rather, the Deacon and Doc. When a kid starts out to become a fighter and, somewhere, walks into a gym, bag in hand, he is like a rough-cut block of marble emerged from the quarry that is the mass of man. In any block a stone mason can see many things, but a master sculptor can see but one. In his eye no two blocks of marble are alike, and the thing he sees is the thing for which the block was created and that is the way Winged Victory comes about. That is the way it has always been, too, with Doc. In the boxing business, as in any business, there are hundreds of masons and three or four master sculptors, and the best was Doc. I watched him for years, with a dozen fighters, working carefully with reason and inspiration, shaping slowly and stepping back and looking at what he had done, hiding his excitement and his fear, too, behind that cynical front. Until Eddie Brown came along, Deacon Fraley, even more than Rusty Ryan, was the one. The greatest sculptor in the world, working in marble, cannot add a thing. If it is not there, it is not there. No man makes it, and so no man is truly creative, but by subtraction from the whole he reveals it. That is the nearest that man can come to creation, and that is why the great are afraid. Only they can see all of it, and they are afraid that, in their process of subtraction, they will not reveal the all of it, and what is hidden will remain hidden forever. They are even more afraid that, in the process, they will cut too far and destroy that much of it forever. It is that way in the making of all things, including the making of a fighter. At that time, Doc had the Deacon living in a boardinghouse on West Ninety-second Street, and Doc and I happened to be living in the same hotel. It was on West Forty-eighth Street, but it is not there any more, which is just as well. It was not much of a hotel. It was in the fall of the year. At about 10:30 that night the phone in my room rang and it was Doc. He asked me to come down to his room, and when I got there the door was open and I walked in. He came out of the bathroom, pressing a strip of adhesive over a strip of gauze on his right hand. “What happened to you?” I said. “I’ve just had a visit from the Almighty,” he said.”


W. C. Heinz (11 januari 1915 – 27 februari 2008)

 

De Griekse dichter, schrijver en zeeman Nikos Kavvadias werd geboren op 11 januari 1910 in Nikolski Ousouriski. Zie ook alle tags voor Nikos Kavvadias op dit blog.

Black And White

Wann sieht man den Leuchtturm von Aalborg?
Das Konservatorium entliess die Schülerinnen.
Leuchtreklamen in der Odos Stadiou.
Die Brücke nass und finster.

Erschrecktes Auge, vergeblich halte ich an dir fest
Zur Zeit, wo gerade der Scirocco weht.
Arbeite mit der Schaufel, Schwarzer aus Marokko,
Der Kräuter kaut gegen das Fieber.

Femina! Tanz der Köpfe.
Die Nan-ko tanzen in Asien.
Du leidest – sagtest du mir – an der Feuchtigkeit
Und an deiner alten Krankheit von Toulon.

Ginger, die du mich durch die Brille anschaust,
Den Leuchtturm von Aalborg sieht man nicht.
Ich, ich sehe in London Fanny,
Die einen anderen küsst.

Gesalzenes Fleisch aus der Box.
Myopischer, alter Kapitän,
Ich kenne ein Zauberpulver,
Perfekt für die Pupille des Auges.

Mach Licht auf der Brücke.
In mir spricht ein Papagei,
Alt, krummschnäblig und gross
Aber voller Erfahrung und klug.

In mir tiefer Atem.
Die Matrosen des Kolumbus sind aufgewacht.
Verbrenne jetzt alle Raketen
Und schicke Marconi das SOS.

 

Vertaald door Heinz Schmitz

 
Nikos Kavvadias (11 januari 1910 – 10 februari 1975)
Hier met de componist Thanos Mikroutsikos (links)

 

De Nederlandse (sport)journalist, schrijver en radio- en televisiepresentator Martinus Jan (Mart) Smeets werd geboren in Arnhem op 11 januari 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Mart Smeets op dit blog.

Uit:Verhaal halen

“Het schrijverschap van Mart Smeets is geboren uit liefde.
‘Dat begon op de middelbare school, de Tweede O.H.S. in Amsterdam. Door twee leraren Nederlands. De een was een gesjeesde romancier, Pieter Kuyk. De ander, Jaap Hoogteijling, rookte pijp. Ook voor de klas. Zij hebben mij de liefde voor het woord meegegeven. Zij wakkerden mijn belangstelling aan voor de Tachtigers, voor Hubert Lampo en voor vele andere Vlaamse schrijvers.’
Hij denkt dat er een dichter in hem schuilt, wanneer hij een eervolle vermelding krijgt bij de famos-gedichtenwedstrijd. Het pragmatisme wint. ‘Ik las vreselijk veel. Ik was vooral geïnteresseerd in hoe ik met het woord mensen kon bereiken. Dichten was me te vaag… heel moeilijk ook om dat goed te doen.’
Mart Smeets schrijft vanaf zijn zestiende. ‘Min of meer gestileerde verhalen’ noemt hij het.
Vanzelfsprekend maakt hij de clubkrant van de Amsterdamse basketbalvereniging DED, waar hij in de jaren zestig speelt. ‘De stencilmachine stond bij ons thuis.’ Iets serieuzer wordt het in 1966 en 1967. De stukken worden langer, met telkens de basketbalsport als onderwerp.
Op maandag koopt hij de Belgische krant Het Laatste Nieuws met iedere maandag van de hand van Bob Geuens een hele pagina over basketbal. ‘Ik spelde die krant en niet vanwege de wielerverhalen.’
Mart Smeets trekt de stoute schoenen aan, schrijft een stuk ‘over de stand van zaken in het Nederlands basketbal’ en stuurt het naar Geuens. Het Laatste Nieuws plaatst zijn bijdrage. ‘Ik kreeg er, per internationale postwissel, 25 gulden voor!’
ded is inmiddels Flamingo’s geworden, de Haarlemse hemelbestormer in het Nederlandse basketbal. Het is 1968. Smeets: ‘Mijn leven toen? Beetje basketballen, beetje schrijven.’

 
Mart Smeets (Arnhem, 11 januari 1947)
Cover

 

De Braziliaanse schrijver Oswald de Andrade werd geboren op 11 januari 1890 in São Paulo. Zie ook alle tags voor Oswald de Andrade op dit blog.

Portuguese error

When the Portuguese arrived
In pouring rain
They clothed the Indian
What a shame!
Had it been a sunny morning
The Indian would have stripped
The Portuguese.

 

The discovery

We followed our course on that long sea
Until the eighth day of Easter
Sailing alongside birds
We sighted land
the savages
We showed them a chicken
Almost frightening them
They didn’t want to touch it
Then they took it, stupefied
it was fun
After a dance
Diogo Dias
Did a somersault
the young whores
Three or four girls really fit very nice
With long jet-black hair
And shameless tits so high so shapely
We all had a good look at them
We were not in the least ashamed.

 

3rd of May

I learned from my ten-year old son
That poetry is the discovery
Of things I’ve never seen.

 

Vertaald door Natalie d’Arbeloff

 
Oswald de Andrade (11 januari 1890 – 22 oktober 1954)
Expositie over de dichter in het Museu da Língua Portuguesa, São Paulo

 

De Spaanse schrijver Eduardo Mendoza werd geboren in Barcelona op 11 januari 1943. Zie ook alle tags voor Eduardo de Mendoza op dit blog.

Uit: Das Missverständnis (Vertaald door Benjamin Loy)

„Antolín Cabrales Pellejero, alias Poca Chicha, wurde in das hineingeboren, was man später eine dysfunktionale Familie zu nennen pflegte, türmte aus einigen Schulen und flog von verschiedenen anderen, weshalb er, als er mit 21 Jahren ins Gefängnis kam, zwar lesen und schreiben konnte, sonst aber auch weiter nichts. Nicht dass er die Kultur verachtete: Er hatte in ihr einfach nie ein Interesse oder einen Nutzen gesehen. Einmal im Gefängnis, hielt ihn diese Haltung jedoch nicht davon ab, von der Möglichkeit einer Strafreduzierung Gebrauch zu machen, indem er an Kursen teilnahm, die einige selbstlose Lehrer regelmäßig mit den Gefangenen durchführten. Angesichts dieser verlockenden Perspektive schrieb sich Antolín Cabrales gleich für mehrere Kurse ein, darunter einer über literarisches Schreiben und Interpretation und zugleich der einzige, in dem er mehr als zwei Tage durchhielt.
Die für den Literaturkurs verantwortliche Dozentin hieß Inés Fornillos und war eine 34 Jahre alte, winzige und leicht untersetzte Frau mit rundlichem Gesicht und kurzsichtigen Augen. Sie hatte Philosophie und Literatur studiert, einen Handelsvertreter geheiratet und eine Arbeit als Lehrerin für Latein, Griechisch sowie spanische Literatur und Literatur im Allgemeinen an einer Privatschule gefunden, die jedoch nach einigen Jahren aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen schließen musste und sie vor die Tür setzte. Damals begannen Frauen in Massen an die Universitäten zu strömen, und die Mehrheit entschied sich für ein Studium der Philosophie und Literatur, wo die Konkurrenz der Männer geringer war. Da der übliche Weg dieses Studiums in den Lehrerberuf führte, war der Markt bald übersättigt und so fand die Señorita Fornillos lediglich kurze Schwangerschaftsvertretungen und einige schlecht bezahlte Nachhilfestunden während der Sommermonate. Unzufrieden mit diesem Zustand der Unsicherheit wurde sie auf eine Stellenanzeige für Literaturkurse für Häftlinge aufmerksam und bewarb sich darauf. Ihr Mann war dagegen, aber sie hatten zwei kleine Kinder und es war nicht einfach, mit den Verkaufskommissionen über die Runden zu kommen. Sie erkundigten sich und man versicherte ihnen, dass die Arbeit im Gefängnis keinerlei Risiko mit sich brachte.“


Eduardo Mendoza (Barcelona, 11 januari 1943)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Diana Gabaldon werd op 11 januari 1952 geboren in Williams, Arizona. Zie ook alle tags voor Diana Gabaldon op dit blog.

Uit: Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander 9)

“I was startled from a solid sleep by Jamie exploding out of bed beside me. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, but as usual, it left me sitting bolt upright amid the quilts, dry-mouthed and completely dazed, heart hammering like a drill-press.
He was already down the stairs; I heard the thump of his bare feet on the last few treads—and above that sound, frenzied pounding on the front door. A ripple of unrest spread through the house: rustling bedclothes, sleepy voices, opening doors.
I shook my head violently and flung off the covers. Him or me? was the first coherent thought that formed out of the fog drifting through my brain. Night alarms like this might be news of violence or misadventure, and sometimes of a nature that required all hands, like a house fire or someone having unexpectedly met with a hunting panther at a spring. More often, though…
I heard Jamie’s voice, and the panic left me. It was low, questioning, with a cadence that meant he was soothing someone. Someone else was talking, in high-pitched agitation, but it wasn’t the sound of disaster.
Me, then. Childbirth or accident? My mind had suddenly resurfaced and was working clearly, even while my body fumbled to and fro, trying to recall what I had done with my grubby stockings. Probably birth, in the middle of the night… But the uneasy thought of fire still lurked on the edge of my thoughts.
I had a clear picture in my mind of my emergency kit, and was grateful that I’d thought to refurbish it just before supper. It was sitting ready on the corner of my surgery table. My mind was less clear about other things; I’d put my stays on backward. I yanked them off, flung them on the bed, and went to splash water on my face, thinking a lot of things I couldn’t say out loud, as I could hear children’s feet now pattering across the landing.
I reached the bottom of the stairs belatedly, to find Fanny and Germaine with Jamie, who was talking with a very young girl no more than Fanny’s age, standing barefoot, distraught, and wearing nothing more than a threadbare shift. I didn’t recognize her.”

 
Diana Gabaldon (Williams,11 januari 1952)
Scene uit de tv-serie “Outlander” met Caitroina Balfe (Clair) en Sam Heughan (Jamie)

 

De Macedonische dichter en schrijver Slavko Janevski werd geboren op 11 januari 1920 in Skopje. Zie ook alle tags voor Slavko Janevski op dit blog.

Silence

When the poppies pull themselves up from their roots
and start out
one after the other
toward the sunset,
do not follow them.
There are no weddings anymore
and each step stands autumn
ridiculous, white and bare.

When the poppies leave behind them devastation,
shut up the rain inside you.
Let it ring in the gutter of your veins
beneath a familiar ceiling.

And be quiet.

When the wind falls upon your window
with three thin cries
and the weeping of a half-grown crane,
again be quiet.
The poppies hate speaking.

 
Slavko Janevski (11 januari 1920 – 20 januari 2000)
Monument in Skopje

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 11e januari ook mijn blog van 11 januari 2017 en ook mijn blog van 11 januari 2015 en ook mijn blog van 11 januari 2016 deel 2.

Katharina Hacker, Jasper Fforde, W. C. Heinz, Nikos Kavvadias, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza, Diana Gabaldon, Slavko Janevski

De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Katharina Hacker werd geboren op 11 januari 1967 in Frankfurt am Main. Zie ook alle tags voor Katharina Hacker op dit blog.

Uit:Die Erdbeeren von Antons Mutter

„Sie war so unglücklich, sagte Anton. Sie kennen doch meine Mutter. Immer gefaßt. Aber diesmal hat sie geweint am Telefon, weil sie vergessen hat, die Erdbeeren zu pflanzen.
Und was wollen Sie ihr weismachen? Daß es nicht zu spät ist. Daß sie es nicht vergessen hat.
Ob es richtig war, mit einer Lüge jemanden zu trösten oder glücklich machen zu wollen? Er würde seiner Mutter vorschlagen, in den Garten zu gehen, um nach den Erdbeeren zu schauen. Ihre Angst spürte er, eine Unruhe, die sich verbarg, immer wieder aufbrach, mit einem erschrockenen Reflex.
Er hatte sich zu Bett gelegt, als sie in sein Zimmer kam.
Anton?
Er sah im unregelmäßigen Licht der Straßenlaterne, die, von einer Weide halb verdeckt, vor dem Fenster stand, ihr Gesicht. Es sah männlich aus. Grobe, obenhin zusammengesetzte Flächen, scharf voneinander abgesetzt, nur die Augenpartie war verschwollen.
Mein Kind, sagte sie. Er kam sich groß vor. Da er schnell gewachsen war (mit dreizehn war er schon einen Meter achtzig groß), hatten seine Eltern ihm zum zwölften Geburtstag ein Erwachsenen-Bett geschenkt, auf das er stolz gewesen war.
Das erste Jahr, bis zu seinem dreizehnten Geburtstag, war großartig, sein Zimmer war das Zimmer nicht eines großen Jungen, sondern eines jungen Mannes. Er hatte sich so danach gesehnt, ein junger Mann zu sein. Er war ein guter Sportler, ein Schwimmer und Basketballspieler, von seiner Schwester verehrt. Von ihren Mitschülerinnen, zwei Jahre jünger als er, verehrt. Sein Haar war hell, im Nacken und an den Schläfen gelockt. Wenn er Fotos von damals sah, staunte er selbst, was für ein hübscher Junge er gewesen war.
Dann wurde er dick. Keiner konnte sich erklären, was geschah. Seine Mutter war verzweifelt.
Die Kleider paßten in der Länge, denn er wuchs nicht mehr so rasch, sie waren aber alle eng und bald zu eng.
Sie nahm ihn mit einkaufen, sie fuhren zusammen nach Braunschweig. Sie nahm ihn mit, während sie all die Jahre zuvor für ihn ohne weiteres ausgesucht hatte, was ihm gefiel.
Sein Bund mit der Welt war zerfallen.“

 
Katharina Hacker (Frankfurt am Main, 11 januari 1967)

Continue reading “Katharina Hacker, Jasper Fforde, W. C. Heinz, Nikos Kavvadias, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza, Diana Gabaldon, Slavko Janevski”

Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Nikos Kavvadias, Marc Acito, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza, Gustav Falke, Diana Gabaldon

De Britse schrijver en cameraman Jasper Fforde werd geboren op 11 januari 1961 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jasper Fforde op dit blog.

Uit: The Eye of Zoltar

“The first thing we had to do was catch the Tralfamo-saur. The obvious question, other than “What’s a Tralfa-mosaur?” was “Why us?” The answer to the first question was that this was a magical beast, created by some long-forgotten wizard when conjuring up weird and exotic creatures had been briefly fashionable. The Tralfamosaur is about the size and weight of an elephant, has a brain no bigger than a Ping-Pong ball, and can outrun a human. More relevant to anyone trying to catch one, Tralfamo-saurs aren’t particularly fussy about what they eat. And when they are hungry — which is much of the time — they are even less fussy. A sheep, cow, rubber tire, garden shed, antelope, smallish automobile, or human would go down equally well. In short, the Tralfamosaur is a lot like a Tyrannosaurus rex, but without the sunny disposition. And we had to capture it. Oh, and the answer to the “Why us?” question was that it was our fault the rotten thing had escaped. In case you’re new to my life, I’m sixteen, a girl, and an orphan — hey, no biggie; lots of kids don’t have par-ents here in the Ununited Kingdoms, because so many people have been lost in the endless Troll Wars these past sixty years. With lots of orphans around, there’s plenty of cheap labor. I got lucky. Instead of being sold into the garment, fast food, or hotel industry, I get to spend my six years of indentured servitude at Kazam Mystical Arts Management, a registered House of Enchantment run by the Great Zambini. Kazam does what all Houses of En-chantment used to do: rent out wizards to perform magi-cal feats. The problem is that in the past half century, magic has faded, so we are really down to finding lost shoes, rewiring houses, unblocking drains, and getting cats out of trees. It’s a bit demeaning for the once-mighty sorcerers who work for us, but at least it’s paid work. At Kazam I found out that magic has not much to do with black cats, cauldrons, wands, pointy hats, and broomsticks. No, those are only in the movies. Real magic is weird and mysterious, a fusion between science and faith.”

 
Jasper Fforde (Londen, 11 januari 1961)

Continue reading “Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Nikos Kavvadias, Marc Acito, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza, Gustav Falke, Diana Gabaldon”

Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Nikos Kavvadias, Marc Acito, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza

De Britse schrijver en cameraman Jasper Fforde werd geboren op 11 januari 1961 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jasper Fforde op dit blog.

Uit: Lost in a Good Book

« I didn’t ask to be a celebrity. I never wanted to appear on The Adrian Lush Show. And let’s get one thing straight right now – the world would have to be hurtling towards imminent destruction before I’d agree to anything as dopey as The Thursday Next Workout Video.
The publicity surrounding the successful rebookment of Jane Eyre was fun to begin with but rapidly grew wearisome. I happily posed for photocalls, agreed to newspaper interviews, hesitantly appeared on Desert Island Smells and was thankfully excused the embarrassment of Celebrity Name That Fruit! The public, ever fascinated by celebrity, had wanted to know everything about me following my excursion within the pages of Jane Eyre, and since the Special Operations Network have a PR record on a par with that of Vlad the Impaler, the top brass thought it would be a good wheeze to use me to boost their flagging popularity. I dutifully toured all points of the globe doing signings, library openings, talks and interviews. The same questions, the same SpecOps-approved answers. Supermarket openings, literary dinners, offers of book deals. I even met the actress Lola Vavoom, who said that she would simply adore to play me if there were a film. It was tiring, but more than that – it was dull. For the first time in my career at the Literary Detectives I actually missed authenticating Milton.
I’d taken a week’s leave as soon my tour ended so Landen and I could devote some time to married life. I moved all my stuff to his house, rearranged his furniture, added my books to his and introduced my dodo, Pickwick, to his new home. Landen and I ceremoniously partitioned the bedroom closet space, decided to share the sock drawer, then had an argument over who was to sleep on the wall side of the bed. We had long and wonderfully pointless conversations about nothing in particular, walked Pickwick in the park, went out to dinner, stayed in for dinner, stared at each other a lot and slept in late every morning. It was wonderful.
On the fourth day of my leave, just between lunch with Landen’s mum and Pickwick’s notable first fight with the neighbour’s cat, I got a call from Cordelia Flakk. She was the senior SpecOps PR agent here in Swindon and she told me that Adrian Lush wanted me on his show. I wasn’t mad keen on the idea – or the show. But there was an upside. The Adrian Lush Show went out live and Flakk assured me that this would be a ‘no holds barred’ interview, something that held a great deal of appeal. Despite my many appearances, the true story about Jane Eyre was yet to be told – and I had been wanting to drop the Goliath Corporation in it for quite a while. Flakk’s assurance that this would finally be the end of the press junket clinched my decision. Adrian Lush it would be.”

 
Jasper Fforde (Londen, 11 januari 1961)

Continue reading “Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Nikos Kavvadias, Marc Acito, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza”

Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Marc Acito, Nikos Kavvadias, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Helmut Zenker

De Britse schrijver en cameraman Jasper Fforde werd geboren op 11 januari 1961 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jasper Fforde op dit blog.

Uit: One of our Thursdays is Missing

“I stood up and noticed for the first time that my living room seemed that little bit more realistic. The colours were subtler, and the walls had an increased level of texture. More interestingly, the room seemed to be brighter, and there was light coming in through the windows. It was real light, too, the sort that casts shadows, and not the pretend stuff we were used to. I grasped the handle, opened the front door and stepped outside.
The empty inter-book Nothing that had separated the novels and genres had been replaced by fields, hills, rivers, trees and forests, and all around me the countryside opened out into a series of expansive vistas with the welcome novelty of distance. We were now in the South-East corner of an island perhaps a hundred miles by fifty and bounded on all sides by the Text sea, which had been elevated to ‘Grade IV Picturesque’ status by the addition of an azure hue and a soft billowing motion that made the text shimmer in the breeze.
As I looked around I realised that whoever had remade the Bookworld had consid- ered practicalities as much as aesthetics. Unlike the Realworld, which is inconveniently located on the outside of a sphere, the new Bookworld was anchored on the inside of a sphere, thus ensuring that horizons worked in the opposite way to those in Realworld. Further objects were higher in the visual plane than nearer ones. From anywhere in the Bookworld it was possible to view anywhere else. I noticed, too, that we were not alone. Stuck on the inside of the sphere were hundreds of other islands very similar to our own, and each a haven for a category of literature therein.
About ten degrees upslope of Fiction I could see our nearest neighbour: Artistic Criticism. It was an exceptionally beautiful island, yet deeply troubled, confused and suffused with a blanketing layer of almost impenetrable bullshit. Beyond them were Psychology, Philately, and Software Manuals. But the brightest and biggest archipelago I could see upon the closed sea was the scattered group of Genres that made up Nonfiction. They were positioned right on the other side of the inner globe so were almost directly overhead. On one side of the island the cliffs of irrationality were slowly being eroded away, while on the opposite shore the sands of science were slowly reclaiming salt-marsh from the sea.
While I stared upwards, open mouthed, a steady stream of books moved in an endless multi-layered criss-cross high in the sky. But these weren’t books of the small, paper-and-leather variety that one might find in the Outland. »

 
Jasper Fforde (Londen, 11 januari 1961)

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Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Marc Acito, Nikos Kavvadias, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Helmut Zenker

De Britse schrijver en cameraman Jasper Fforde werd geboren op 11 januari 1961 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jasper Fforde op dit blog.

Uit: Shades of Grey 

“So that’s why we’re back here, four days earlier, in the town of Vermillion, the regional hub of Red Sector West. My father and I had arrived by train the day before and overnighted at the Green Dragon. We had attended Morning Chant and were now seated for breakfast, disheartened but not surprised that the early Greys had already taken the bacon, and it remained only in exquisite odor. We had a few hours before our train and had decided to squeeze in some sightseeing.
“We could always go and see the Last Rabbit,” I suggested. “I’m told it’s unmissable.”
But Dad was not to be easily swayed by the rabbit’s uniqueness. He said we’d never see the Badly Drawn Map, the Oz Memorial, the color garden and the rabbit before our train departed. He also pointed out that not only did Vermillion’s museum have the best collection of Vimto bottles anywhere in the Collective, but on Mondays and Thursdays they demonstrated a gramophone.
“A fourteen- second clip of ‘Something Got Me Started,’ ” he said, as if something vaguely Red- related would swing it.
But I wasn’t quite ready to concede my choice.
“The rabbit’s getting pretty old,” I persisted, having read the safety briefing in the “How Best to Enjoy Your Rabbit Experience” leaflet, “and petting is no longer mandatory.”
“It’s not the petting,” said Dad with a shudder, “it’s the ears. In any event,” he continued with an air of finality, “I can have a productive and fulfilling life having never seen a rabbit.”
This was true, and so could I. It was just that I’d promised my best friend, Fenton, and five others that I would log the lonely bun’s Taxa number on their behalf and thus allow them to note it as “proxy seen” in their animal- spotter books. I’d even charged them twenty- five cents each for the privilege— then blew the lot on licorice for Constance and a new pair of synthetic red shoelaces for me.”

 
Jasper Fforde (Londen, 11 januari 1961)

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Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Marc Acito, Nikos Kavvadias, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza

De Britse schrijver en cameraman Jasper Fforde werd geboren op 11 januari 1961 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jasper Fforde op dit blog.

 

Uit: The Big Over Easy

“That one?” replied Mary without emotion. “Never. It’s plastic.”

“I’m a policeman,” he said unhappily, “not a sodding gardener.”

And he walked off, mumbling darkly to himself.

She turned from the window, approached Briggs’s closed door and paused. She gathered her thoughts, took a deep breath and stood up straight. Reading wouldn’t have been everyone’s choice for a transfer, but for Mary, Reading had one thing that no other city possessed: DCI Friedland Chymes. He was a veritable powerhouse of a sleuth whose career was a catalog of inspired police work, and his unparalleled detection skills had filled the newspaper columns for over two decades. Chymes was the reason Mary had joined the police force in the first place. Ever since her father had bought her a subscription to Amazing Crime Stories when she was nine, she’d been hooked. She had thrilled at “The Mystery of the Wrong Nose,” been galvanised by “The Poisoned Shoe” and inspired by “The Sign of Three and a Half.” Twenty-one years further on, Friedland was still a serious international player in the world of competitive detecting, and Mary had never missed an issue. Chymes was currently ranked by Amazing Crime second in their annual league rating, just behind Oxford’s ever-popular Inspector Moose.

“Hmm,” murmured Superintendent Briggs, eyeing Mary’s job application carefully as she sat uncomfortably on a plastic chair in an office that was empty apart from a desk, two chairs, them- and a trombone lying on a tattered chaise longue.

“Your application is mostly very good, Mary,” he said approvingly. “I see you were with Detective Inspector Hebden Flowwe. How did that go?”

It hadn’t gone very well at all, but she didn’t think she’d say so.

“We had a fairly good clear-up rate, sir.”

“I’ve no doubt you did. But more important, anything published?”

It was a question that was asked more and more in front of promotion boards and transfer interviews and listed in performance reports. It wasn’t enough to be a conscientious and invaluable assistant to one’s allotted inspector—you had to be able to write up a readable account for the magazines that the public loved to read. Preferably Amazing Crime Stories, but, failing that, Sleuth Illustrated.”

 

Jasper Fforde (Londen, 11 januari 1961)

Continue reading “Jasper Fforde, Katharina Hacker, Marc Acito, Nikos Kavvadias, Mart Smeets, Oswald de Andrade, Eduardo Mendoza”