Leonard Cohen en Vriendschappelijke brieven (Frans Roumen)

De Canadese dichter, folk singer-songwriter en schrijver Leonard Cohen werd geboren op 21 september 1934 te Montréal. Zie ook alle tags voor Leonard Cohen op dit blog.

Uit: The favorite game

“5

  The Breavmans founded and presided over most of the institutions which make the Montreal Jewish community one of the most powerful in the world today.

  The joke around the city is: The Jews are the conscience of the world and the Breavmans are the conscience of the Jews. “And I am the conscience of the Breavmans,” adds Lawrence Breavman. “Actually we are the only Jews left; that is, super-Christians, first citizens with cut prongs.”

  The feeling today, if anyone troubles himself to articulate it, is that the Breavmans are in a decline. “Be careful,” Lawrence Breavman warns his executive cousins, “or your children will speak with accents.”

  Ten years ago Breavman compiled the Code of Breavman:

  We are Victorian gentlemen of Hebraic persuasion.

  We cannot be positive, but we are fairly certain that any other Jews with money got it on the black market.

  We do not wish to join Christian clubs or weaken our blood through inter-marriage. We wish to be regarded as peers, united by class, education, power, differentiated by home rituals.

  We refuse to pass the circumcision line.

  We were civilized first and drink less, you lousy bunch of bloodthirsty drunks.

  6

  A rat is more alive than a turtle.

  A turtle is slow, cold, mechanical, nearly a toy, a shell with legs. Their deaths didn’t count. But a white rat is quick and warm in its envelope of skin.

  Krantz kept his in an empty radio. Breavman kept his in a deep honey tin. Krantz went away for the holidays and asked Breavman to take care of his. Breavman dropped it in with his.

  Feeding rats is work. You have to go down to the basement. He forgot for a while. Soon he didn’t want to think about the honey tin and avoided the basement stairs.

  He went down at last and there was an awful smell coming from the tin. He wished it were still full of honey. He looked inside and one rat had eaten most of the stomach of the other rat. He didn’t care which was his. The alive rat jumped at him and then he knew it was crazy.

  He held the tin way in front because of the stink and filled it with water. The dead one floated on top with the hole between its ribs and hind legs showing. The alive one scratched the side.

  He was called for lunch which began with marrow. His father tapped it out of a bone. It came from inside an animal.

  When he went down again both were floating. He emptied the can in the driveway and covered it with snow. He vomited and covered that with snow.

  Krantz was mad. He wanted to have a funeral at least, but they couldn’t find the bodies because of some heavy snowfalls.

  When Spring began they attacked islands of dirty snow in the driveway. Nothing. Krantz said that seeing things were as they were Breavman owed him money for a white rat. He’d lent his and got nothing back, not even a skeleton. Breavman said that a hospital doesn’t pay anything when someone dies there. Krantz said that when you lend somebody something and that person loses it he has to pay for it. Breavman said that when it’s alive it isn’t a thing and besides he was doing him a favour when he took care of his. Krantz said that killing a rat was some favour and they fought it out on the wet gravel. Then they went downtown and bought new ones.

  Breavman’s escaped and lived in a closet under the stairs. He saw its eyes with a flashlight. For a few mornings he put out Puffed Wheat in front of the door and it was nibbled, but soon he didn’t bother.

  When summer came and the shutters and screens were being taken out one of the men discovered a little skeleton. It had patches of hair stuck to it. He dropped it in a garbage can.

  Breavman fished it out when the man was gone and ran to Krantz’s. He said it was the skeleton of the first rat and Krantz could have a funeral if he wanted. Krantz said he didn’t need a stinky old skeleton, he had a live one. Breavman said that was fine but he had to admit they were quits. Krantz admitted.

  Breavman buried it under the pansies, one of which his father took each morning for his buttonhole. Breavman took new interest in smelling them.”

Leonard Cohen (21 september 1934 – 7 november 2016)

 

*************************

In de tweede helft van de jaren negentig werkte Frans Roumen aan een roman die de titel “Vriendschappelijke brieven” had moeten krijgen. Het manuscript gold na een verhuizing jarenlang als zoekgeraakt. Onlangs werden er echter toch flinke delen van bij een grote opruimactie ontdekt in een oude doos in de kelder. Romenu heeft de toestemming gekregen om er regelmatig fragmenten uit te publiceren. Vandaag volgt het achtste van een nog nader te bepalen aantal

Uit: Vriendschappelijke brieven

“Arnhem, 6 mei 1996

Prof. Dr. W. Bronzwaer

Hooggeleerde heer,

Het zal u ongetwijfeld verheugen te vernemen dat ik heel voorzichtig de draad weer heb opgepakt waar hij twee jaar geleden is blijven liggen. Hugo von Hofmannsthal is al een tijdje bescheiden terug in mijn gedachten, maar nu vind ik ook de innerlijke rust om af en toe weer van een van zijn gedichten te genieten, zoals bijvoorbeeld van WELTGEHEIMNIS.

Dat doe ik inmiddels met veel plezierige assistentie van een mij door een vriend beschikbaar gestelde tekstverwerker. Aan al het nieuwe van Windows tot en met Internet heb ik ook al mogen ruiken en het zou ook niet te moeilijk voor mij zijn genoemde vriend te verzoeken van zijn netwerk gebruik te mogen maken om de actuele stand van zaken op het beeldscherm te laten verschijnen.

Dit zijn echter nog wat vrijblijvende reflecties op een mooie zaterdagmiddag in Arnhem. Ik ben in een Italiaanse stemming, eerder dan in een Oostenrijkse en bij de geringste trilling van de aarde, zelfs als dat ver weg als in China is, overschaduwt een donkere wolk mijn gemoed en keer ik met de snelheid van een F 16 terug naar de realiteit van het dagelijkse werk in de crisisopvang van de Gelderse jongeren.

Der tiefe Brunnen weiß es wohl,
Einst waren alle tief und stumm,
Und alle wußten drum.

(Alois Wolf : a further nuance of the word ‘Welt’ is to be found in the poet’s susceptibility to the slightest changes in his environment, even in the atmospheric conditions…p.174 )

Wie Zauberworte nachgelallt
Und nicht begriffen in den Grund,
So geht es jetzt von Mund zu Mund.

(Michael P. Steinberg : Art as a unique system of knowledge of the object world rather than as one of confession or expression of the subject world is the hallmark of that ethical understanding. p.6 )

Ebenda : The domains of history and art both involve the element of mastery …/…mastery, defined as the unity of subjectivity and technique, is associated with the accomplishment of the historian and the artist but would be an inappropriate quality to attribute to a natural scientist or mathematician. p.14

Die pretentie moeten zij dan ook niet hebben, Clinton. Over and out. Kenan, slaap je?

Ebenda : The ethical goal of art, as of historiography, is the understanding of reality. p.15

Kenan, (waar en wanneer ook mijn naam genoemd zal worden zal ook de zijne worden herdacht….), ik ga zo meteen een wandeling door het park maken. Ik wil kijken wat er in de schouwburg te doen is – en bij de Rabobank wat weg mijmeren…. Hoor je dat, Kenan, Clinton zegt dat ik iets weg heb van John F. Kennedy en gelijk heeft hij. Ik ga dat allemaal doen, Kenan, inclusief golf spelen voor F 76.000 dollar, maar eerst nog maar even naar De Spring.

(Deze brief is begonnen op de 24e mei, volledigheidshalve)

Marcel uit Doesburg, van 2 weken geleden, was er ook weer, in Arnhem.

Maar vooral: Johnny en Dick van de Mythe. Johnny heb ik lief gehad. Ooit en vandaag. Johnny zat toen Dick even weg was in meditatiehouding. It is not a question of prayer, Sjonnie. (“Goed zo”, zegt Kenan).

Jij streelde even over je enkel en een stukje van je rechter onderbeen voordat je jouw sok omhoog trok, en je was mooi, John….

Die Beiden

Sie trog den Becher in der Hand –
Ihr Kinn und Mund glich seinen Rand -,
So leicht und sicher war ihr Gang,
Kein Tropfen aus dem Becher sprang.

W.J.M. Bronzwaer (15 mei 1936 – 20 januari 1999)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 21e september ook mijn blog van 21 september 2018.

Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder, Xavier Roelens, Fannie Flag, H.G. Wells, Johann Peter Eckermann, Max Porter, Paul Ewen

De Canadese dichter, folk singer-songwriter en schrijver Leonard Cohen werd geboren op 21 september 1934 te Montréal. Zie ook alle tags voor Leonard Cohen op dit blog.

Uit: The favorite game

“3
His father lived mostly in bed or a tent in the hospital. When he was up and walking he lied. He took his cane without the silver band and led his son over Mount Royal. Here was the ancient crater. Two iron and stone cannon rested in the gentle grassy scoop which was once a pit of boiling lava. Breavman wanted to dwell on the violence. “We’ll come back here when I’m better.” One lie. Breavman learned to pat the noses of horses tethered beside the Chalet, how to offer them sugar cubes from a flat palm. “One day we’ll go riding.” “But you can hardly breathe.” His father collapsed that evening over his map of flags on which he plotted the war, fumbling for the capsules to break and inhale.

4
Here is a movie filled with the bodies of his family. His father aims the camera at his uncles, tall and serious, bou-tonnieres in their dark lapels, who walk too close and enter into blurdom. Their wives look formal and sad. His mother steps back, urging aunts to get into the picture. At the back of the screen her smile and shoulders go limp. She thinks she is out of focus.
Breavman stops the film to study her and her face is eaten by a spreading orange-rimmed stain as the film melts. His grandmother sits in the shadows of the stone balcony and aunts present her with babies. A silver tea-set glows richly in early Technicolor. His grandfather reviews a line of children but is stopped in the midst of an approving nod and ravaged by a technical orange flame. Breavman is mutilating the film in his efforts at history. Breavman and his cousins fight small gentlemanly battles. The girls curtsy. All the-children are invited to leap one at a time across the flagstone path. A gardener is led shy and grateful into the sunlight to be pre-served with his betters. A battalion of wives is squeezed abreast, is decimated by the edge of the screen. His mother is one of the first to go. Suddenly the picture is shoes and blurred grass as his father staggers under another attack. “Help!” Coils of celluloid are burning around his feet. He dances until he is saved by Nursie and the maid and punished by his mother. The movie runs night and day. Be careful, blood, be careful.”

 
Leonard Cohen (21 september 1934 – 7 november 2016)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Stephen Edwin King werd geboren in Portland, Maine, op 21 september 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Stephen King op dit blog.

Uit: The Outsider

“He was prepared for another of those accusing stares, but Terry only glanced at him briefly, and with no expression at all, before turning his attention to Bill Samuels, who had taken a seat in one of the three chairs on the other side of the table.
Studying Samuels now, Ralph began to get an idea of how he had risen so high so quickly. While the two of them were standing on the other side of the one-way glass, the DA had simply looked a bit young for the job. Now, facing Frankie Peterson’s rapist and killer, he looked even younger, like a law office intern who had (due to some mixup, probably) landed this interview with a big-time perp. Even the little Alfalfa cowlick sticking up from the back of his head added to the role the man had slipped into: untried youth, just happy to be here. You can tell me anything, said those wide, interested eyes, because I’ll believe it. This is my first time playing with the big boys, and I just don’t know any better.
“Hello, Mr. Maitland,” Samuels said. “I work in the county DA’s office.”
Good start, Ralph thought. You are the county DA’s office.
“You’re wasting your time,” Terry said. “I’m not going to talk to you until my lawyer gets here. I will say that I see a sizeable wrongful arrest suit in your future.”
“I understand that you’re upset, in your position, anyone would be. Maybe we can iron it out right here. Can you just tell me where you were when the Peterson boy was killed? That was on last Tuesday afternoon. If you were somewhere else, then—”
“I was,” Terry said, “but I intend to discuss that with my lawyer before I discuss it with you. His name is Howard Gold. When he gets here, I’ll want to talk to him privately. I assume that’s my right? Since I’m presumed innocent until proven guilty?”
Quick recovery, Ralph thought. A career criminal couldn’t have done it better.
“It is indeed,” Samuels said. “But if you haven’t done anything—”

 
Stephen King (Portland, 21 september 1947)

 

De Franse schrijver Frédéric Beigbeder werd geboren op 21 september 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Zie ook alle tags voor Frédéric Beigbeder op dit blog.

Uit: Une vie sans fin

“Si le ciel est dégagé, on peut voir la mort toutes les nuits. Il suffit de lever les yeux. La lumière des astres défunts a traversé la galaxie. Des étoiles lointaines, disparues depuis des millénaires, persistent à nous envoyer un souvenir dans le firmament. Il m’arrive de téléphoner à quelqu’un que l’on vient d’enterrer, et d’entendre sa voix, intacte, sur sa boîte vocale. Cette situation provoque un sentiment paradoxal. Au bout de combien de temps la luminosité diminue-t-elle quand l’étoile n’existe plus ? Combien de semaines met une compagnie téléphonique à effacer le répondeur d’un cadavre ? Il existe un délai entre le décès et l’extinction : les étoiles sont la preuve qu’on peut continuer de briller après la mort. Passé ce light gap, arrive forcément le moment où l’éclat d’un soleil révolu vacille comme la flamme d’une bougie sur le point de s’éteindre. La lueur hésite, l’étoile se fatigue, le répondeur se tait, le feu tremble. Si l’on observe la mort attentivement, on voit que les astres absents scintillent légèrement moins que les soleils vivants. Leur halo faiblit, leur chatoiement s’estompe. L’étoile morte se met à clignoter, comme si elle nous adressait un message de détresse… Elle s’accroche.
Ma résurrection a commencé à Paris, dans le quartier des attentats, le jour d’un pic de pollution aux particules fines. J’avais emmené ma fille dans un néo-bistrot nommé Jouvence. Elle mangeait une assiette de saucisson de bellota et je buvais un Hendrick’s tonic concombre. Nous avions perdu l’habitude de nous parler depuis l’invention du smartphone. Elle consultait ses WhatsApp pendant que je suivais des top-models sur Instagram. Je lui ai demandé ce qu’elle aimerait le plus comme cadeau d’anniversaire. Elle m’a répondu : «Un selfie avec Robert Pattinson.» Ma première réaction fut l’effarement. Mais à bien y réfléchir, dans mon métier d’animateur de télévision, je réclame aussi des selfies. Un type qui interroge des acteurs, des chanteurs, des sportifs et des hommes politiques devant des caméras ne fait rien d’autre que de longues prises de vue à côté de personnalités plus intéressantes que lui. D’ailleurs, quand je sors dans la rue, les passants me réclament une photo en leur compagnie sur leur téléphone, et si j’accepte volontiers, c’est parce que je viens d’accomplir exactement la même démarche sur mon plateau entouré de projecteurs. Nous menons tous la même non-vie ; nous voulons briller dans la lumière des autres. L’homme moderne est un amas de 75 000 milliards de cellules qui cherchent à être converties en pixels.”

 
Frédéric Beigbeder (Neuilly-sur-Seine, 21 september 1965)

 

De Vlaamse dichter Xavier Roelens werd op 21 september 1976 in Rekkem (Menen) geboren. Zie ook alle tags voor Xavier Roelens op dit blog.

Volg vanaf daar de richtingaanwijzers

de wegen verbonden tegenstrijdige steden.
nam een man de benen, in ganzenpas
en binnen zijn te brede denkmal.

bij omlegging van het heden onthoudt de aarde
zich – zonverblind en teruggetrokken onder het asfalt.

Zo de hersenschors. Zo de maatschappij.
Zo de zonnebril. Zo de val/vrijpartij.
Zo wij. Zo jij. Zozo

sloeg een man op de vlucht naar Rio
en dwong hem tot een noodlanding.

 

leer, beleef, creëer, geniet

ik pretendeer geenszins haar te lijf te gaan

het is haar vinger delete
haar netvlies dat me
geen pixel verliest, nu ik uitgelogd wordt.

spelend met de muis lay-out ze haar lichaam
likt haar link in den Hoge, verzamelt haar netwerk
ze voedt de volgende generatie
ze downloadt, dus://

ik Error 404, als het niet stoort. gewoon
om herop te starten: ik pretendeer enz.

 
Xavier Roelens (Rekkem, 21 september 1976)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster en actrice Fannie Flagg (eig. Patricia Neal) werd geboren op 21 september in Birmingham (Alabama). Zie ook alle tags voor Fannie Flagg op dit blog.

Uit: Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven

“Then she suddenly began to wonder if she had turned off her oven before she had gone out in the yard to pick figs; or if she had fed her cat, Sonny, his breakfast yet. She also wondered what that boy in the ugly green shower cap and those other people leaning over, busy poking at her, were saying. She could see their lips moving all right, but she had not put her hearing aid on this morning, and all she could hear was a faint beeping noise, so she decided to try to take a little nap and wait for her niece Norma to come get her. She needed to get back home to check on Sonny and her stove, but she was not particularly looking forward to seeing her niece, because she knew she was going to get fussed at, but good. Norma was a highly nervous sort of a person and, after Elner’s last fall, had told her time and time again, not to get up on that ladder and pick figs. Norma had made her promise to wait and let Macky, Norma’s husband, come over and do it for her; and now not only had Elner broken a promise, this trip to the emergency room was sure to cost her a pretty penny.
A few years ago, when her neighbor Tot Whooten had gotten that needle-nosed hound fish stuck in her leg and wound up in the emergency room, Tot said they had charged her a small fortune. On reflection, Elner now realized that she probably should have called Norma; she had thought about calling, but she hadn’t wanted to bother poor Macky for just a few figs. Besides, how could she know there was a wasps’ nest up in her tree? If it weren’t for them, she would have been up and down that ladder with her figs, making fig preserves by now, and Norma would have been none the wiser. It was the wasps’ fault; they had no business being up there in the first place. But at this point she knew that all the excuses in the world would not hold much water with Norma. “I’m in big trouble now,” she thought, before she drifted off. “I may have just lost ladder privileges for life.”

 

 
Fannie Flagg (Birmingham, 21 september 1944)

 

De Britse schrijver Herbert George Wells werd geboren op 21 september 1866 in Bromley, Kent. Zie ook alle tags voor H. G. Wells op dit blog.

Uit: God the Invisible King

“Modern religion bases its knowledge of God and its account of God entirely upon experience. It has encountered God. It does not argue about God; it relates. It relates without any of those wrappings of awe and reverence that fold so necessarily about imposture, it relates as one tells of a friend and his assistance, of a happy adventure, of a beautiful thing found and picked up by the wayside.
So far as its psychological phases go the new account of personal salvation tallies very closely with the account of “conversion” as it is given by other religions. It has little to tell that is not already familiar to the reader of William James’s “Varieties of Religious Experience.” It describes an initial state of distress with the aimlessness and cruelties of life, and particularly with the futility of the individual life, a state of helpless self- disgust, of inability to form any satisfactory plan of living. This is the common prelude known to many sorts of Christian as “conviction of sin”; it is, at any rate, a conviction of hopeless confusion. . . . Then in some way the idea of God comes into the distressed mind, at first simply as an idea, without substance or belief. It is read about or it is remembered; it is expounded by some teacher or some happy convert. In the case of all those of the new faith with whose personal experience I have any intimacy, the idea of God has remained for some time simply as an idea floating about in a mind still dissatisfied. God is not believed in, but it is realised that if there were such a being he would supply the needed consolation and direction, his continuing purpose would knit together the scattered effort of life, his immortality would take the sting from death. Under this realisation the idea is pursued and elaborated. For a time there is a curious resistance to the suggestion that God is truly a person; he is spoken of preferably by such phrases as the Purpose in Things, as the Racial Consciousness, as the Collective Mind.
I believe that this resistance in so many contemporary minds to the idea of God as a person is due very largely to the enormous prejudice against divine personality created by the absurdities of the Christian teaching and the habitual monopoly of the Christian idea. The picture of Christ as the Good Shepherd thrusts itself before minds unaccustomed to the idea that they are lambs.”

 
H. G. Wells (21 september 1866 – 13 augustus 1946)
Cover

 

De Duitse dichter Johann Peter Eckermann werd geboren op 21 september 1792 in Winsen (Luhe). Hij was bovenal de medewerker en vriend van Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.Zie ook alle tags voor Johann Peter Eckermann op dit blog.

Uit: Gespräche mit Goethe

“Mittwoch, den 11. Juni 1823
Diesen Morgen erhielt ich abermals eine Einladung zu Goethe, und zwar mittelst einer von ihm beschriebenen Karte. Ich war darauf wieder ein Stündchen bei ihm. Er erschien mir heute ganz ein anderer als gestern, er zeigte sich in allen Dingen rasch und entschieden wie ein Jüngling.
Er brachte zwei dicke Bücher, als er zu mir hereintrat. »Es ist nicht gut,«sagte er, »daß Sie so rasch vorübergehen, vielmehr wird es besser sein, daß wir einander etwas näher kommen. Ich wünsche Sie mehr zu sehen und zu sprechen. Da aber das Allgemeine so groß ist, so habe ich sogleich auf etwas Besonderes gedacht, das als ein Tertium einen Verbindungs- und Besprechungspunkt abgebe. Sie finden in diesen beiden Bänden die ›Frankfurter gelehrten Anzeigen‹ der Jahre 1772 und 1773, und zwar sind auch darin fast alle meine damals geschriebenen kleinen Rezensionen. Diese sind nicht gezeichnet; doch da Sie meine Art und Denkungsweise kennen, so werden Sie sie schon aus den übrigen herausfinden. Ich möchte nun, daß Sie diese Jugendarbeiten etwas näher betrachteten und mir sagten, was Sie davon denken. Ich möchte wissen, ob sie wert sind, in eine künftige Ausgabe meiner Werke aufgenommen zu werden. Mir selber stehen diese Sachen viel zu weit ab, ich habe darüber kein Urteil. Ihr Jüngeren aber müßt wissen, ob sie für euch Wert haben und inwiefern sie bei dem jetzigen Standpunkte der Literatur noch zu gebrauchen. Ich habe bereits Abschriften nehmen lassen, die Sie dann später haben sollen, um sie mit dem Original zu vergleichen. Demnächst, bei einer sorgfältigen Redaktion, würde sich denn auch finden, ob man nicht gut tue, hie und da eine Kleinigkeit auszulassen oder nachzuhelfen, ohne im ganzen dem Charakter zu schaden.«
Ich antwortete ihm, daß ich sehr gerne mich an diesen Gegenständen versuchen wolle, und daß ich dabei weiter nichts wünsche als daß es mir gelingen möge, ganz in seinem Sinne zu handeln.
»Sowie Sie hineinkommen,« erwiderte er, »werden Sie finden, daß Sie der Sache vollkommen gewachsen sind; es wird Ihnen von der Hand gehen.”

 
Johann Peter Eckermann (21 september 1792 – 3 december 1854)
Cover

 

Onafhankelijk van geboortedata

De Engelse schrijver Max Porter werd geboren in High Wycombe in 1981. Zie ook alle tags voor Max Porter op dit blog.

Uit: Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

“I lay back, resigned, and wished my wife wasn’t dead. I wished I wasn’t lying terrified in a giant
bird embrace in my hallway. I wished I hadn’t been obsessing about this thing just when the greatest tragedy of my life occurred. These were factual yearnings. It was bitterly wonderful. I had some clarity.
Hello Crow, I said. Good to finally meet you.
And he was gone.
For the first time in days I slept. I dreamt of afternoons in the forest.
CROW
Very romantic, how we first met. Badly behaved. Trip trap. Two-bed upstairs at, spit-level, slight barbed- error, snuck in easy through the wall and up the attic bedroom to see those cotton boys silently sleeping, intoxicating hum of innocent children, lint, flack, gack-pack-nack, the whole place was heavy mourning, every surface dead Mum, every crayon, tractor, coat,
welly, covered in a lm of grief. Down the dead Mum stairs, plinkety plink curled claws whisper, down to Daddy’s recently Mum-and-Dad’s bedroom. I was Herne the hunter hornless, funt. Munt. Here he is. Out. Drunk-for white. I bent down over him and smelt his breath. Notes of rotten hedge, bluebottles.
I prised open his mouth and counted bones, snacked a little on his un-brushed teeth, flossed him, crowly tossed his tongue hither, thither, I lifted the duvet.
I Eskimo kissed him. I butterfly kissed him. I flat-flutter Jenny Wren kissed him. His lint (toe-jam-rint) fuck-sacks sad and cosy, sagging, gently rising, then down, rising, then down, rising, then down, I was praying the breathing and the epidermis whispered ‘flesh, aah, flesh, aah, flesh, aah,’ and it was beautiful for me, rising (just like me) then down (just like me)
pan-shaped (just like me) it was any wonder the facts of my arrival under his sheets didn’t lift him, stench, rot-yot-kot, wake up human (BIRD FEATHERS UP YER CRACK, DOWN YER COCK-EYE, IN YER MOUTH) but he slept and the bedroom was a mausoleum. He was an accidental remnant and I knew this was the best gig, a real bit of fun.”

 
Max Porter (High Wycombe, 1981)

 

De Nieuw-Zeelandse schrijver Paul Ewen werd geboren in Blenheim, Nieuw Zeeland in 1972. Zie ook alle tags voor Paul Ewen op dit blog.

Uit: Space

“New Zealand is a country that is blessed with a great deal of space. This makes it a big drawcard for overseas visitors, a fact not lost on the tourism industry, who commission epic landscape photographs, usually barren and sparse, depicting vast mountain ranges, the purest lakes and fjords, untouched
rolling countryside, and large majestic pools of bubbling mud. You could be forgiven for thinking that no people actually live there.
As a New Zealander, I have managed to see a great deal of my country. Much of this has been through the window of my mate’s brown Cortina.
In its day, Steve’s Cortina transported the pair of us on a series of epic trips around the South and North Islands. Steve always drove (apart from one late-night incident in Cromwell when I mounted the
footpath), and he always insisted the Cortina was in fact copper, not brown.
At every new town we visited, a felt pennant of that province was added to the car aerial, and these flags rippled in the southern-hemisphere winds, most being reduced to tufty dags by the end
of each given trip. To occupy ourselves while travelling through the undeniably magnificent landscape, we would sometimes play car cricket, scoring runs based on the plenitude of oncoming traffic. An approaching car, for instance, would be one run, a motorbike two, and a truck four, but a passing campervan meant the ‘batsman’ was out.
Occasionally, driving in particularly sparse countryside, such as on the west coast of the South Island, we would wait bloody ages to score a single run. Some years later, I found myself living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and on the occasion when I attempted to play car cricket, I scored about a million runs purely in motorbike traffic before I had to pull over, cross-eyed.
One of my theories of why there’s so much space in New Zealand is grounded in the fact that so many of my compatriots are out of the country on any given day. After Germany, New Zealand has the most nationals, per head of population, living or travelling abroad at any one time. A fair counter to my argument, however, may be that most of the space they leave behind is filled, in turn, with German tourists. Despite having loads
of space at home, New Zealanders love to spend time in places where there isn’t much space at all. Like aeroplanes. With backpacks crammed full of undies, T-shirts and woollen socks, they blast off, funded by student loans, attempting to bridge the vast gap between their country and the rest of the world.”

 
Paul Ewen (Blenheim, 1972)

Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder, Xavier Roelens, Fannie Flag, H.G. Wells, Johann Peter Eckermann, Max Porter, Paul Ewen

De Canadese dichter, folk singer-songwriter en schrijver Leonard Cohen werd geboren op 21 september 1934 te Montréal. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Leonard Cohen op dit blog.

Uit: The favorite game

“Breavman knows a girl named Shell whose ears were pierced so she could wear the long filigree earrings. The punctures festered and now she has a tiny scar in each earlobe. He discovered them behind her hair. A bullet broke into the flesh of his father’s arm as he rose out of a trench. It comforts a man with coronary thrombosis to bear a wound taken in combat. On the right temple Breavman has a scar which Krantz bestowed with a shovel. Trouble over a snowman. Krantz wanted to use clinkers as eyes. Breavman was and still is against the use of foreign materials in the decoration of snowmen. No woollen muf-flers, hats, spectacles. In the same vein he does not approve of inserting carrots in the mouths of carved pumpkins or pinning on cucumber ears.
His mother regarded her whole body as a scar grown over some earlier perfection which she sought in mirrors and windows and hub-caps. Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh. It is easy to display a wound, the proud scars of combat. It is hard to show a pimple.
Breavman’s young mother hunted wrinkles with two hands and a magnifying mirror. When she found one she consulted a fortress of oils and creams arrayed on a glass tray and she sighed. Without faith the wrinkle was anointed. “This isn’t my face, not my real face.” “Where is your real face, Mother?” “Look at me. Is this what I look like?” “Where is it, where’s your real face?” “I don’t know, in Russia, when I was a girl.” He pulled the huge atlas out of the shelf and fell with it. He sifted pages like a goldminer until he found it, the whole of Russia, pale and vast. He kneeled over the distances until his eyes blurred and he made the lakes and rivers and names become an incredible face, dim and beautiful and easily lost. The maid had to drag him to supper.”

 
Leonard Cohen (21 september 1934 – 7 november 2016)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder, Xavier Roelens, Fannie Flag, H.G. Wells, Johann Peter Eckermann, Max Porter, Paul Ewen”

In Memoriam Leonard Cohen

 

In Memoriam Leonard Cohen

De Canadese dichter, folk singer-songwriter en schrijver Leonard Cohen is op 82-jarige leeftijd overleden. Dat heeft zijn management in de nacht van donderdag op vrijdag gemeld. Leonard Cohen werd geboren op 21 september 1934 te Montréal. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Leonard Cohen op dit blog.

 

You Want It Darker

If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game
If you are the healer, it means I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame
You want it darker
We kill the flame

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the help that never came
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord

There’s a lover in the story
But the story’s still the same
There’s a lullaby for suffering
And a paradox to blame
But it’s written in the scriptures
And it’s not some idle claim
You want it darker
We kill the flame

They’re lining up the prisoners
And the guards are taking aim
I struggled with some demons
They were middle class and tame
I didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord

Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified, in the human frame
A million candles burning for the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

If you are the dealer, let me out of the game
If you are the healer, I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame
You want it darker

Hineni, hineni
Hineni, hineni
I’m ready, my lord

Hineni
Hineni, hineni
Hineni

 


Leonard Cohen (21 september 1934 – 10 november 2016)

 

 

Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder, Xavier Roelens, Fannie Flag, H.G. Wells, Johann Peter Eckermann

De Canadese dichter, folk singer-songwriter en schrijver Leonard Cohen werd geboren op 21 september 1934 te Montréal. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Leonard Cohen op dit blog.

Uit: The favorite game

“He began his tour through the heart streets of Montreal. The streets were changing. The Victorian gingerbread was going down everywhere, and on every second corner was the half-covered skeleton of a new, flat office building. The city seemed fierce to go modern, as though it had suddenly been converted to some new theory of hygiene and had learned with horror that it was impossible to scarpe the dirt out of gargoyle crevices and carved grapevines, and therefore was determined to cauterize the whole landscape.
But they were beautiful. They were the only beauty, the last magic. Breavman knew what he knew, that their bodies never died. Everything else was fiction. It was the beauty they carried. He remembered them all, there was nothing lost. To serve them. His mind sang praise as he climbed a street to the mountain.
For the body of Heather, which slept and slept.
For the body of Bertha, which fell with apples and a flute.
For the body of Lisa, early and late, which smelled of speed and forests.
For the body of Tamara, whose thighs made him a fetishist of thighs.
For the body of Norma, goosefleshed, wet.
For the body of Patricia, which he had still to tame.
(…)

The jukebox wailed. He believed he understood the longing of the cheap tunes better than anyone there. The Wurlitzer was a great beast, blinking in pain. It was everybody’s neon wound. A suffering ventriloquist. It was the kind of pet people wanted. An eternal bear for baiting, with electric blood. Breavman had a quarter to spare. It was fat, it loved its chains, it gobbled and was ready to fester all night.
Breavman thought he’d just sit back and sip his Orange Crush. A memory hit him urgently and he asked a waitress for her pencil. On a napkin he scribbled:
Jesus! I just remembered what Lisa’s favorite game was. After a heavy snow we would go into a back yard with a few of our friends. The expanse of snow would be white and unbroken. Bertha was the spinner. You held her hands while she turned on her heels, you circled her until your feet left the ground. Then she let go and you flew over the snow. You remained still in whatever position you landed. When everyone had been flung in this fashion into the fresh snow, the beautiful part of the game began. You stood up carefully, taking great pains not to disturb the impression you had made. Now the comparisons. Of course you would have done your best to land in some crazy position, arms and legs sticking out. Then we walked away, leaving a lovely white field of blossom-like shapes with footprint stems.”


Leonard Cohen (Montréal, 21 september 1934)
In 1988

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder, Xavier Roelens, Fannie Flag, H.G. Wells, Johann Peter Eckermann”

Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder, Xavier Roelens, Fannie Flag, H.G. Wells

De Canadese dichter, folk singer-songwriter en schrijver Leonard Cohen werd geboren op 21 september 1934 te Montréal. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Leonard Cohen op dit blog.

Take This Waltz
(After Lorca)

Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women.
There’s a shoulder where death comes to cry.
There’s a lobby with nine hundred windows.
There’s a tree where the doves go to die.
There’s a piece that was torn from the morning,
and it hangs in the Gallery of Frost—
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take this waltz with the clamp on its jaws.

I want you, I want you, I want you
on a chair with a dead magazine.
In the cave at the tip of the lily,
in some hallway where love’s never been.
On a bed where the moon has been sweating,
in a cry filled with footsteps and sand—
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take its broken waist in your hand.

This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz
with its very own breath
of brandy and death,
dragging its tail in the sea.

There’s a concert hall in Vienna
where your mouth had a thousand reviews.
There’s a bar where the boys have stopped talking,
they’ve been sentenced to death by the blues.
Ah, but who is it climbs to your picture
with a garland of freshly cut tears?
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take this waltz, it’s been dying for years.

There’s an attic where children are playing,
where I’ve got to lie down with you soon,
in a dream of Hungarian lanterns,
in the mist of some sweet afternoon.
And I’ll see what you’ve chained to your sorrow,
all your sheep and your lilies of snow—
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
with its “I’ll never forget you, you know!”

And I’ll dance with you in Vienna,
I’ll be wearing a river’s disguise.
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder
my mouth on the dew of your thighs.
And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
with the photographs there and the moss.
And I’ll yield to the flood of your beauty,
my cheap violin and my cross.
And you’ll carry me down on your dancing
to the pools that you lift on your wrist—
O my love, O my love
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
it’s yours now. It’s all that there is.

 
Leonard Cohen (Montréal, 21 september 1934)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder, Xavier Roelens, Fannie Flag, H.G. Wells”

80 Jaar Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder

80 Jaar Leonard Cohen

De Canadese dichter, folk singer-songwriter en schrijver Leonard Cohen werd geboren op 21 september 1934 te Montréal. Leonard Cohen viert vandaag zijn 80e verjaardag. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Leonard Cohen op dit blog..

Suzanne

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river.
You can hear the boats go by,
You can spend the night beside her.
And you know she’s half crazy,
But that’s why you want to be there.
And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China.
And just when you mean to tell her that you have no love to give her,
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover.

And you want to travel with her,
And you want to travel blind,
And you know she will trust you,
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor, when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower.
And when he knew for certain, only drowning men could see him,
He said: “All men will be sailors then, until the sea shall free them.”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open,
Foresaken, almost human,
He sank beneath your wisdom, like a stone

And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand and she leads you to the river.
She’s wearing rags and feathers from Salvation Army counters.
And the sun pours down like honey on our Lady of the Harbor.
And she shows you where to look, among the garbage and the flowers.
There are heros in the seaweed,
There are children in the morning,
They are leaning out for love,
They will lean that way forever,
While Suzanne holds the mirror.

And you want to travel with her,
And you want to travel blind,
And you know you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

 

I wonder how many people in this

I wonder how many people in this city
live in furnished rooms.
Late at night when i look out at the buildings
I swear I see a face in every window
looking back at me
and when I turn away
I wonder how many go back to their desks
and write this down.

 

I’m your man

 

 

 

 
Leonard Cohen (Montréal, 21 september 1934)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “80 Jaar Leonard Cohen, Stephen King, Frédéric Beigbeder”