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

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

Uit: The Reckoning

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

John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)


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

Archeoloog van de verbeelding

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin Block (Heemskerk, 8 februari 1980)


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

Uit: Transit

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

Rachel Cusk (Saskatoon, 8 februari 1967)


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

Songs For A Colored Singer

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)


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

Uit: Collected Letters

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

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


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

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

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

Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)


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

Das Geheimnis

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



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



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

Eva Strittmatter (8 februari 1930 – 3 januari 2011)


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

Uit:Geometrischen Heimatroman

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

Gert Jonke (8 februari 1946 – 4 januari 2009)


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

Uit: Les Révoltés de la Bounty

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

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


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

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

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

Uit:The Rooster Bar

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

John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

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

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

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

Uit: The Firm

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

John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

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

Henry Roth, John Grisham, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter

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

Uit: An American Type

“That was the time, the general mood, the predicament out of which this story comes. The young woman I was courting — we shall call her M — was a very personable, tall, fair-haired young woman, a pianist and composer, a young woman with a world of patience, practicality, and self-discipline, bred and raised in the best traditions of New England and the Middle West, the most wholesome traditions. I was, at that time, sufficiently advanced and superior to be somewhat disdainful of those traditions. I wondered whether there was any reality to my courtship, any future, whether, in short, anything would come of it. I was so committed to being an artist — in spite of anything.
The colony was close to Saratoga Springs, and I owned a Model A Ford, and in the early morning hours before breakfast I would drive down from Yaddo to the spa. There was a kind of public place there in those days, a place where paper cups could be bought for a penny, and a sort of fountain where the water bubbled through a slender pipe into a basin — and I say bubbled because that was one of its attractions, the fact that it did bubble.
Ever since childhood I have regarded carbonated water as something of a treat, something not easily obtainable, in fact, only by purchase, remembering the seltzer-water man on the East Side laboring up the many flights of stairs with his dozen siphons in a box. And here it was free, and not only free but salutary. The water had a slightly musty or sulfurous flavor to go with its effervescence, but its properties were surpassingly benign.
I happened to mention the effectiveness and bracing qualities of the waters of the spring to a small group standing in front of the main building of Yaddo, and invited at large anyone who wished to accompany me in the morning. The response was almost universally negative. “Drink that water? That stuff?” was the tenor of their comments. “I’d sooner drink mud water,” said one of the poets. But one person did reply in the affirmative. That was M. She liked the water; it shortly became apparent that she liked it as much as I did.”

Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)
Stanislawow, tegenwoordig Iwano-Frankowsk in Polen

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Henry Roth, John Grisham, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter”

Jules Verne, Henry Roth, John Grisham, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter

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

Uit: De reis om de wereld in tachtig dagen (Vertaald door Gerard Keller)

“Phileas Fogg was lid van de Reform-club en van niets anders.
Wie zich verwonderen mocht, dat zulk een geheimzinnig man onder de leden van dien aanzienlijken kring werd opgenomen, vindt daarvan de verklaring in de omstandigheid, dat hij was voorgesteld door de gebroeders Baring, bij wie hij een open crediet had. Altijd werden zijne wissels op zicht betaald en geboekt op zijn rekening-courant, waarop hij altijd als crediteur stond.
Was deze Phileas Fogg rijk? Zonder eenigen twijfel. Maar hoe had hij fortuin gemaakt? Dat wisten zelfs de best ingelichten niet, en Fogg was wel de laatste, aan wien men het zou durven vragen. In elk geval, hij was in geen opzicht verkwistend, maar ook nooit gierig; overal waar de steun werd gevraagd voor eene goede, nuttige of loffelijke zaak, droeg hij in stilte en zelfs onbekend bij.
Niemand was zoo weinig spraakzaam als deze gentleman. Hij sprak zoo min mogelijk en die stilzwijgendheid verhoogde nog het geheimzinnige, dat hem kenmerkte. Nochtans lag zijn leven voor ieder open, maar wat hij deed was zulk een mathematische herhaling van hetzelfde, dat de verbeelding, hiermede niet voldaan, er meer achter wilde zoeken.
Had hij gereisd? Dit was waarschijnlijk, want niemand had beter de wereldkaart in zijn hoofd. Zulk een afgelegen plekje was er niet, of hij kende het in alle bijzonderheden. Nu en dan, maar altijd in weinige woorden, kort en duidelijk, nam hij de dwalingen weg, die voortsproten uit de praatjes omtrent verloren geraakte reizigers; hij gaf de meest waarschijnlijke verklaring van hun lot en zijne woorden schenen vaak geïnspireerd door een visioen, wanneer later bleek dat alles zich had toegedragen gelijk hij gezegd had. Hij moest overal geweest zijn–althans in zijn geest.”

Jules Verne (8 februari 1828 – 24 maart 1905)
Scene uit de film “Around the World in 80 Days” met o.a. David Niven, 1956

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Jules Verne, Henry Roth, John Grisham, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter”

John Grisham, Henry Roth, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2010.


Uit: The Appeal


„The jury was ready.

After forty-two hours of deliberations that followed seventy-one days of trial that included 530 hours of testimony from four dozen witnesses, and after a lifetime of sitting silently as the lawyers haggled and the judge lectured and the spectators watched like hawks for telltale signs, the jury was ready. Locked away in the jury room, secluded and secure, ten of them proudly signed their names to the verdict while the other two pouted in their corners, detached and miserable in their dissension. There were hugs and smiles and no small measure of self-congratulation because they had survived this little war and could now march proudly back into the arena with a decision they had rescued through sheer determination and the dogged pursuit of compromise. Their ordeal was over; their civic duty complete. They had served above and beyond. They were ready.

The foreman knocked on the door and rustled Uncle Joe from his slumbers. Uncle Joe, the ancient bailiff, had guarded them while he also arranged their meals, heard their complaints, and quietly slipped their messages to the judge. In his younger years, back when his hearing was better, Uncle Joe was rumored to also eavesdrop on his juries through a ?imsy pine door he and he alone had selected and installed. But his listening days were over, and, as he had con?ded to no one but his wife, after the ordeal of this particular trial he might just hang up his old pistol once and for all. The strain of controlling justice was wearing him down.“



John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)



Doorgaan met het lezen van “John Grisham, Henry Roth, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter”

John Grisham, Henry Roth, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


Uit:  The Runaway Jury


„The face of Nicholas Easter was slightly hidden by a display rack filled with slim cordless phones, and he was looking not directly at the hidden camera but somewhere off to the left, perhaps at a customer, or perhaps at a counter where a group of kids hovered over the latest electronic games from Asia. Though taken from a distance of forty yards by a man dodging rather heavy mall foot traffic, the photo was clear and revealed a nice face, clean-shaven with strong features and boyish good looks. Easter was twenty-seven, they knew that for a fact. No eyeglasses. No nose ring or weird haircut. Nothing to indicate he was one of the usual computer nerds who worked in the store at five bucks an hour. His questionnaire said he’d been there for four months, said also that he was a part-time student, though no record of enrollment had been found at any college within three hundred miles. He was lying about this, they were certain.

He had to be lying. Their intelligence was too good. If the kid was a student, they’d know where, for how long, what field of study, how good were the grades, or how bad. They’d know. He was a clerk in a Computer Hut in a mall. Nothing more or less. Maybe he planned to enroll somewhere. Maybe he’d dropped out but still liked the notion of referring to himself as a part-time student. Maybe it made him feel better, gave him a sense of purpose, sounded good.“



John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Henry Roth werd geboren op 8 februari 1906 in Galicië in het toenmalige Oostenrijk-Hongarije. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.

Uit: Nenn es Schlaf (Vertaald door Eike Schönfeldt)


“Die Häuser, die Fahrbahnen, Gespanne, die Menschen auf der Straße besaßen nicht mehr ihre Einzigartigkeit und Gewißheit wie zuvor. Festumrissene Formen verwirrten ihn jetzt, entzogen sich ihm durch eine verschwommene Verschiebung der Konturen. Nicht einmal den Rhythmus und das Klappern der Hufe vermochte er richtig zu erkennen; etwas Fremdes und Böses hatte sich mit all den vertrauten Geräuschen und Erscheinungen der Welt verbunden. Die Sonne, die ihn zuvor noch so geblendet hatte, war nun auf rätselhafte Weise trübe,
wie von einem unsichtbaren Film gefiltert, Stein war etwas von seiner Gewißheit genommen, Eisen etwas von der unbeugsamen Präzision. Flächen waren ein wenig hohl geworden, waren eingesackt, Ränder verwischt. Die festen Züge der Maske der Welt überschnitten einander, hatten ihre Anordnung so heimlich und unmerklich verändert wie Uhrzeiger, so plötzlich wie ein Augenzwinkern.”


“Auf der Straße, zu tief unter dem Fenster, als daß man sie hätte sehen können, hatte sich mit dem Morgen die tumulthafte Flut erhoben, und ein wildes Durcheinander von Geräuschen und Stimmen ergoß sich über den Sims wie über einen Deich. Die Luft war außergewöhnlich kühl. Zwischen den aufgezogenen Vorhängen eines offenen Fensters auf der anderen Straßenseite kämmte eine Frau einem kleinem Mädchen mit einem viereckigen Kamm die Haare. Letzteres zuckte jedesmal, wenn der Kamm niederging, zusammen; sein dünnes Greinen tanzte auf den verschlungenen Wellen des brausenden Getöses der Straße.”



Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)


De Franse schrijver Jules Verne werd geboren in Nantes op 8 februari 1828. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


Uit: De reis om de wereld in tachtig dagen (Vertaald door Gerard Keller)


In het jaar 1872 werd het huis no. 7 in Saville Row, Burlington Gardens, waarin Sheridan in 1814 overleed, bewoond door Phileas Fogg esq., een der zonderlingste en meest bekende leden van de Reform-club te Londen, al deed hij ook al wat in zijn vermogen was om de aandacht niet op zich te vestigen.

Een der welsprekendste redenaars, waarop Engeland zich verheffen mag, had dus tot opvolger Phileas Fogg, een raadselachtig persoon, van wien men niets wist, dan dat hij een hoogst wellevend man was en een der schoonste gentlemen uit de aanzienlijkste kringen.

Men zeide dat hij op Byron geleek–wat zijn hoofd aangaat, want zijne voeten waren onberispelijk–maar een Byron met baard en knevel, een kalme Byron die duizend jaar had kunnen leven zonder oud te worden.

Ofschoon zonder eenigen twijfel Engelschman van geboorte, was hij misschien geen Londener. Men had hem nooit aan de beurs of aan de bank gezien, noch in eenig kantoor der City. Noch de bassins, noch de dokken te Londen hadden ooit eenig schip bevat, dat Phileas Fogg tot reeder had. Hij was lid van geen enkele administratieve commissie. Zijn naam was nog nooit genoemd in een gezelschap van advocaten, noch in Temple-bar, noch in Lincolns-inn. Nooit had hij gepleit voor de Court of Chancery, of voor Queens-bench, of voor de Rekenkamer of voor het kerkelijk Hooggerechtshof. Hij was noch fabrikant, noch grossier, noch winkelier, noch landbouwer. Hij was geen lid van het Koninklijk Britsch Instituut, noch van het Londensch Instituut, noch van de Maatschappij van Werklieden, noch van het Russels Instituut, noch van het Westersch Genootschap van Letterkunde, noch van de Vereeniging voor Rechtsgeleerdheid, noch van het Vereenigd Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, dat onder rechtstreeksche bescherming staat der Koningin. Hij behoorde ook tot geen dier tallooze andere vereenigingen en genootschappen, waaraan Engelands hoofdstad zoo rijk is: van de maatschappij Armonica af tot het Entomologisch Genootschap, dat voornamelijk werd opgericht om schadelijke insecten uit te roeien.“


Jules Verne (8 februari 1828 – 24 maart 1905)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Kate Chopin (pseudoniem van Katherine O’Flaherty) werd geboren op 8 februari 1851 in St. Louis. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


Uit: The Story of an Hour


Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death.

It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing. Her husband’s friend Richards was there, too, near her. It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard’s name leading the list of “killed.” He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her.

There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.“



Kate Chopin (8 februari 1851 – 22 augustus 1904)


 De Duitse schrijfster Gabriele Reuter werd geboren op 8 februari 1859 in Alexandrië. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


Uit: Ins neue Land


Die Schwester stand mit dem Arzt auf dem kleinen Flur vor dem Parterresaal der Verwundetenbaracke.

»Wie geht’s unserm Finsteren?« fragte der junge Doktor im weißen Operationsmantel, mit der unpersönlichen Heiterkeit, die Ärzten und Pflegerinnen im Verkehr untereinander und mit den Patienten zur Gewohnheit geworden ist.

»Wieder etwas Temperatur, der geistige Zustand derselbe, schwere Depression. Antwortet kaum auf eine teilnehmende Frage. Reden Sie doch mal mit ihm, Herr Doktor …«

»Ja, das will ich, Schwester … Sonderbar, gerade den Gebildeten unter den Verwundeten geht es oft so besonders hart an, 6 sich mit ihrem Schicksal abzufinden. Man sollte meinen …«

»Sie haben eben die größere Denkfähigkeit, um sich alle Schwierigkeiten der gehemmten Zukunft deutlich vorzustellen,« antwortete die Schwester. »Haben Sie mal auf die ausgearbeitete Stirn unseres Finsteren geachtet?«

»Was Ihnen noch alles auffällt bei Ihrer Arbeitslast, Schwester … Na, werde mir unsern Mann mal vornehmen.«

Der junge Arzt öffnete die Glastür. Aus langen Reihen weißer Eisenbetten grüßten ihn die Augen von bärtigen und unbärtigen, jungen und alten Männerköpfen. Feine wie stumpfe, törichte wie kluge Gesichter wendeten sich ihm erwartungsvoll zu. Sie alle, diese Krieger, welche ihr Leben rücksichtslos dem Tode entgegengeworfen hatten, waren nun in qualvollen Tagen und schlaflosen Nächten so mürbe geworden, daß sie von einem blonden 7 fröhlich blickenden jungen Manne im weißen Kittel sehnsüchtig irgendeine Linderung ihrer Leiden, irgendeinen Trost für unerträgliche Pein des Körpers oder der Seele erwarteten.“



Gabriele Reuter (8 februari 1859 – 18 november 1941)