Shahrnush Parsipur, Willem Thies, Sadegh Hedayat, Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Albert Kuyle, Jaroslav Vrchlický, Chaim Potok, Mo Yan, Frederik Hetmann

De Iraanse schrijfster Shahrnush Parsipur werd geboren op 17 februari 1946 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Shahrnush Parsipur op dit blog.

Uit: Prison Memoir (Vertaald door Sara Khalili)

“It was nighttime, the prisoners were lying down on the floor, pressed against each other. But, to my surprise, they were all awake. Total silence reigned over the unit. It was a strange scene. Contrary to all other times, there was no line at the bathroom door. Instead, a few prisoners had gathered round the radiator and they were taking turns climbing on top of it so that they could look out from the window set high in the wall. One of them was Iran, and another, Farzaneh. Both were monarchists. The rest belonged to various other groups.
When I walked out of the bathroom, I saw Iran climb down from the radiator. She was shaking. Although we were not friends, she took me by the arm and whispered that the bodies of the executed prisoners had been laid out on one side of the courtyard. That night, starting at eleven o’clock, we had heard an earsplitting noise every few minutes. One of the prisoners had explained that they were building visitors’ rooms and that the noise was from the steel beams being dropped to the ground. Just then, we heard the noise again, and Iran, who was in shock, started to shake even more. I asked her, ‘What is this noise?’ she said. ‘Heavy machine gun fire.’ I didn’t know what a heavy machine gun was. I left the people who were again climbing up on the radiator and walked back to my room. I felt uneasy.
That day, at about two in the afternoon, I had seen two girls leave the unit. They were very beautiful. They were wearing shoes and to avoid dirtying the pieces of carpeting on the floor, they moved toward the door on their knees. I had asked their names and ages. They looked like twins, seventeen at most, but they explained that they were actually aunt and niece. The image of their amiable faces had stayed in my mind. I had not seen them return. Now I was looking more carefully at the prisoners. They were silent and staring directly ahead.
When I reached my room, Farideh, who managed the room across the hall, was standing in the doorway. I asked her, ‘What is going on?’ She said, ‘It’s heavy machine gun fire. Can’t you hear it?’ I asked, ‘What is heavy machine gun fire?’ She explained that when they carried out mass executions, they used heavy machine guns and this was the sound of the shower of bullets being fired. Then she said everyone was quiet so that they could hear the single shots; after each shower of bullets, a single shot was delivered to the head of each prisoner. The prisoners were counting the single shots. So far, they had counted more than ninety”.

 
Shahrnush Parsipur (Teheran, 17 februari 1946)

 

De Nederlandse dichter Willem Thies werd geboren op 17 februari 1973 in Nijmegen. Zie ook alle tags voor Willem Thies op dit blog.

Vel over vel

kortstondig de kinderen die spelevaren op de vijver

schoorvoetend gaat het volk voorbij

een monitor toont iets afwijkends
iemand zucht – kucht

twee vrouwen twijfelen over de aankoop
van een bundel

‘steek je hand onder een bladzijde en je schrikt
je ziet de poriën in je huid

zó dun is het papier’

 

Kerkhof

Het stormt in de schaduwrijke nacht
ik bezoek een joods kerkhof; sterren en stenen
dit is mijn droomachtige
dronken wat dan ook
werkelijkheid
en ik denk: te weinig plaats voor zoveel joden
ook al zijn ze dood

 

Tegendraads

Slapend schik ik mij naar het lichaam van mijn inmiddels geliefde.
Haar kin tussen mijn schouderbladen.

Overdag blijf ik tegendraads.
Kerf ik mijn voorhoofd tot wijdvertakte webben als zij iets vraagt.
Wellen mijn woorden op in haar ooghoeken.
Schuif ik de nacht van mij af als een slecht boek.

Ik scheid wat van de wijn is en wat van mij
schenk allengs minder van mijzelf in het glas.
Ik slink tot een woedende kring op het tafelblad.

 
Willem Thies (Nijmegen, 17 februari 1973)

 

De Iraanse schrijver Sadegh Hedayat werd geboren op 17 februari 1903 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Sadegh Hedayat op dit blog.

Uit: De blinde uil (Vertaald door Gert J.J. de Vries)

“Er bestaan bepaalde pijnen die als een traag, onzichtbaar woekerend kankergezwel de geest aanvreten.
Dergelijke pijnen laten zich aan niemand duidelijk maken. Mensen zijn het gewend om deze ongelooflijke kwellingen af te doen als bizarre gedachtespinsels. Hoezeer je je ook inspant om daar duidelijkheid over te geven, mondeling of schriftelijk, je krijgt altijd de geijkte reacties of juist een persoonlijke verklaring te horen. Dikwijls zullen je klachten ook een ironische of spottende glimlach ontlokken.
Het gaat hier immers om een kwaal waarvoor de mensheid nog geen behandeling of medicijn heeft ontwikkeld. Alleen de kunstmatige beneveling van alcohol, opium of soortgelijke roesmiddelen zou de pijn kunnen verlichten. Helaas werken dergelijke middelen slechts tijdelijk en zullen die de pijn na enige tijd eerder verscherpen dan verlichten.
Zal iemand er ooit in slagen de geheimen te doorgronden van deze onaardse dimensie; van dit schimmige, comateuze rijk, van dit grensgebied tussen dromen en waken?
Mijn verhaal beperkt zich tot de gebeurtenissen die ik persoonlijk heb ervaren en die mij zodanig hebben geschokt dat ze me altijd zullen bijblijven. De herinnering aan dit onheil zal de rest van mijn leven, tot mijn allerlaatste ademtocht, vergallen – met een intensiteit die elk menselijk begrip te boven gaat. ‘Vergallen,’ zei ik, maar eigenlijk bedoel ik dat ik het litteken ervan altijd gedragen heb en altijd zal blijven dragen. Ik zal een poging doen om mijn herinneringen op te schrijven; om dat op te schrijven waarvan ik meen dat het ter zake doet. Misschien slaag ik er dan in vat op de gebeurtenissen te krijgen. Of nee, om tenminste aan mijn twijfels een eind te maken en om mijn eigen herinneringen te kunnen geloven. Want of ik anderen al dan niet kan overtuigen, laat mij volstrekt onverschillig. Er is slechts één angst die me bezighoudt en dat is dat ik morgen zou sterven zonder mezelf te hebben gekend. In de loop van mijn leven heb ik gemerkt dat er een diepe kloof bestaat tussen mij en mijn medemensen.”

 
Sadegh Hedayat (17 februari 1903 – 9 april 1951)

 

De Russische schrijver, regisseur en acteur Yevgeni Grishkovetz werd geboren op 17 februari 1969 in Kemerovo. Zie ook alle tags voor Yevgeni Grishkovetz op dit blog.

Uit: How I Ate the Dog

“The person who has just woken up: “Yeah?! Well, all the same, what beauty…!” Tuduk-tuk-tuk, tuduk-tuk-tuk…
Two sailors took us, they wore white dress uniforms and really looked after their appearance. Both were short, one had a moustache that he really loved and obviously was very proud of, you couldn’t make it out immediately, but if you so desired, it wasn’t hard to count all the tiny hairs he had on his upper lip, and the other was, I for some reason recall, from Tambov, he was bowlegged and right about here he wore a medal “For faraway deployment.” They got out at every station and walked around the platform with an old cassette player, glancing to the sides, meaning – Are they looking at us or not? Aha…they’re looking! Very good! I was surprised at the time by how their sailor hats stayed on the back of their heads, it was obvious that they should have fallen off, but they stayed on, all the same…. Without any sense of idiotic metaphor, they hung like haloes…. I only found out later, how they stayed on… sailor hats. And that there’s no secret, they simply stay on, and that’s it.
The sailors were entertaining…. We came up to them with questions about how it is, and they gladly told us how…: “Well, we went through La Pérouse Strait, then we went to Cam Ranh, we stopped there…, then we went to New Zealand and they didn’t let us come ashore, but in Australia they let us come ashore, but only the officers went and…”
And I was thinking: “Geeeeee whiz… After all I studied English in school… Why?” Well, there were countries where they speak this language, there was Europe, well somewhere there… Paris, London, you know, Amsterdam, there were those, and leave it at all that. What’s it to me? They sometimes vaguely disturbed you in that they nevertheless kind of existed…, but they didn’t draw out any concrete desire. The world was huge, like in a book….
And these sailors had been, my God, in Australia, New Zealand…. And the same awaits me, just put me in that same uniform…. And little by little, already quickly, the train takes us to Vladivostok, and there is still a little left – and some sort of sea, some sort of countries…. Reluctance!!!! Because even though I didn’t know anything concrete, I suspected that, well, of course, it wasn’t quite that simple, Australia, New Zealand, and still some other place like that, the essential of what I didn’t want to know, of what I was afraid, of what I was very afraid and what would very soon come up… without fail….”


Yevgeni Grishkovetz (Kemerovo, 17 februari 1969)
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De Nederlandse schrijver Albert Kuyle werd geboren in Utrecht op 17 februari 1904. Zie ook alle tags voor Albert Kuyle op dit blog.

Uit: Harten en Brood

“Ergens in de wereld loopen schapen. Ze hebben genoeg ervan, op het plaatje te staan, waarop de zon achter hen onder gaat, en waarop de herder met zijn hond hen naar een schilderachtige schaapskooi drijft. ‘Keerende kudde’. ‘Naar huis’. ‘Als het avond wordt…’. Het zijn die wollige, sentimenteele mekkerdieren niet, die in massa optreden om de burger een lustschokje van ontroering te bezorgen. Het zijn ook de schapen niet, die alleen in verhalen en predikaties bestaan, de schapen met de ééne schaapstal, met de goede en de trouwelooze herder, met de wolf-in-een-vacht, de schapen van de arme herder, die niet tegen het rumoerige leven op kan.
Het zijn de schapen van het groote, daverende land. De schapen, die met duizenden geboren worden en met tienduizenden geschoren. De vrije, gedreven, optrekkende schapen, die van een paard af gehoed en met prikkeldraad bedwongen worden. Ze zijn het eigendom van harde gelooide kerels, die hun heele bezit op pooten hebben loopen en die aan de radio luisteren naar de dagprijs van de wol. Op een dag, een blauwe of een grijze, dat speelt geen rol, verliezen zij hun vacht. Hun vacht die vet, lang en zacht is, en die de vage geur van de thijm en de harde grassen heeft, die zij vraten. Zij worden gebonden, getrapt en geschoren en ze gaan kaal en onaanzienlijk de prairie weer in. Hun wol gaat verder, die dwaalt en dwaalt, in pakken en in balen, die wordt schoon en wit, en tenslotte tot een onherkenbare draad.
Dan is van Duin aan de beurt. Neen, niet van Duin, maar het werk dat hij bewaakt. Dat vangt de draden en de draden worden stukken goed. Roode en blauwe en grijze, en geruite en gestreepte met een graat als van gekookte snoek… Dan is het voorbij. Dan is het leven hem gepasseerd, en met de jassen, de mantels, de broeken en de doeken, die volgen, heeft hij al niets meer uit te staan. Die worden gedragen door menschen die hij niet kent en die hem er zeker niet dankbaar voor zijn dat hij de draad tot lappen maakte.
Van Duin is er een beetje trotsch op, dat dat heele verhaal in de loop van de jaren in hem aan elkaar is gaan zitten. Hij koestert het in zich, en hij zegt tegen de dokter en tegen zijn vrienden: ‘Ik ben ook een beetje filosoof, op mijn manier natuurlijk’.”

 
Albert Kuyle (17 februari 1904 – 4 maart 1958)

 

De Tsjechische dichter en schrijver Jaroslav Vrchlický (eig. Emilius Jakob Frida) werd geboren op 17 februari 1853 in Louny, Bohemen. Zie ook alle tags voor Jaroslav Vrchlický op dit blog.

Metempsychosis

Oftentimes as I sleep, my soul is musing
how down the ages, borne by change, wings beating,
I cruised the starry depths, in thought un-fleeting,
menhir, then wave, then tree, then bird, enthusing.

Via such diverse forms, each stepwise using,
in human-kind I woke, heart anxious beating,
a fledgling’s fall, from woman’s soul, world-meeting,
my soul both suffering and love effusing.

Before I simply lived. Now love’s pained feeling
gives me pause, to the top step I’ve been bidden,
all changes rung; my final goal reached nearly:

Might godliness now lift the mask, revealing
clearly what hence I’ve sensed, by smoke’s veil hidden,
or must I perish now, drawn void-ward merely.

 

Vertaald door Václav ZJ Pinkava

 
Jaroslav Vrchlický (17 februari 1853 – 9 september 1912)
Als student in 1874

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Chaim Potok werd geboren in New York City op 17 februari 1929. Zie ook alle tags voor Chaim Potok op dit blog.

Uit: The Chosen

“Davey Cantor, one of the boys who acted as a replacement if a first-stringer had to leave the game, was standing near the wire screen behind home plate. He was a short boy, with a round face, dark hair, owlish glasses, and a very Semitic nose. He watched me fix my glasses.
“You’re looking good out there, Reuven,” he told me.
“Thanks,” I said.
“Everyone is looking real good.”
“It’ll be a good game.”
He stared at me through his glasses. “You think so?” he asked.
“Sure, why not?”
“You ever see them play, Reuven?”
“No.”
“They’re murderers.”
“Sure,” I said.
“No, really. They’re wild.”
“You saw them play?”
“Twice. They’re murderers.”
“Everyone plays to win, Davey.”
“They don’t only play to win. They play like it’s the first of the Ten Commandments.”
I laughed. “That yeshiva?” I said. “Oh, come on, Davey.”

 
Chaim Potok (17 februari 1929 – 23 juli 2002)

 

De Chinese schrijver Mo Yan werd geboren op 17 februari 1955 in Gaomi in de provincie Shandong. Zie ook alle tags voor Mo Yan op dit blog.

Uit: Red Sorghum (Vertaald door Howard Goldblatt)

“The autumn winds are cold and bleak, the sun’s rays intense. White clouds, full and round, float in the tile-blue sky, casting full round purple shadows onto the sorghum fields below. Over decades that seem but a moment in time, lines of scarlet figures shuttled among the sorghum stalks to weave a vast human tapestry. They killed, they looted, and they defended their country in a valiant, stirring ballet that makes us unfilial descendants who now occupy the land pale by comparison. Surrounded by progress, I feel a nagging sense of our species’ regression.
After leaving the village, the troops marched down a narrow dirt path, the tramping of their feet merging with the rustling of weeds. The heavy mist was strangely animated, kaleido-scopic. Tiny droplets of water pooled into large drops on Father’s face, clumps of hair stuck to his forehead. He was used to the delicate peppermint aroma and the slightly sweet yet pungent odour of ripe sorghum wafting over from the sides of the path — nothing new there. But as they marched through the heavy mist, his nose detected a new, sickly-sweet odour, neither yellow nor red, blending with the smells of peppermint and sorghum to call up memories hidden deep in his soul.
Six days later, the fifteenth day of the eighth month, the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. A bright round moon climbed slowly in the sky above the solemn, silent sorghum fields, bathing the tassels in its light until they shimmered like mercury. Among the chiselled flecks of moonlight Father caught a whiff of the same sickly odour, far stronger than anything you might smell today. Commander Yu was leading him by the hand through the sorghum, where three hundred fellow villagers, heads pillowed on their arms, were strewn across the ground, their fresh blood turning the black earth into a sticky muck that made walking slow and difficult. The smell took their breath away. A pack of corpse-eating dogs sat in the field staring at Father and Commander Yu with glinting eyes. Commander Yu drew his pistol and fired — a pair of eyes was extinguished. Another shot, another pair of eyes gone. The howling dogs scattered, then sat on their haunches once they were out of range, setting up a deafening chorus of angry barks as they gazed greedily, longingly at the corpses. The odour grew stronger. ‘Jap dogs!’ Commander Yu screamed. ‘Jap sons of bitches!’ He emptied his pistol, scattering the dogs without a trace. ‘Let’s go, son,’ he said. The two of them, one old and one young, threaded their way through the sorghum field, guided by the moon’s rays.”

 
Mo Yan (Gaomi, 17 februari 1955)
Scene uit de gelijknamige film uit 1987

 

De Duitse schrijver Frederik Hetmann (eig. Hans-Christian Kirsch) werd geboren op 17 februari 1934 in Breslau. Zie ook alle tags voor Frederik Hetman op dit blog.

Uit:Ich habe sieben Leben. Die Geschichte des Ernesto Guevara, genannt Che

“Die Mutter, Celia de la Serna, wird als Mädchen »La Rebelda« genannt. Sie gilt als eine der schönsten und reichsten Erbinnen von Buenos Aires. Sie besitzt Tausende von Hektar Weideland und riesige Rinderherden. Sie ist mit 17 in Paris gewesen. Nach dem Tod ihrer Eltern hat sie einen Vormund und Anstandsdamen, wie sie die gesellschaftliche Konvention fordert, abgelehnt. Sie soll die erste Frau in Argentinien gewesen sein, die ein eigenes Bankkonto besaß. Sie trägt die Haare kurz geschnitten. Sie begeistert sich für marxistische Ideen.
In Argentinien verdient man in den 20er Jahren unseres Jahrhunderts das große Geld mit Fleisch. Die Gauchos reiten. Das Lasso fliegt. Staubwolken und Gitarrengeklimper. Aber wie ist es wirklich? Celia will es wissen.
Die Rinder werden in die Gasse getrieben. Am Ende der Gasse erwartet sie unverhofft der Tod: zwei Bolzen, die sich von der Seite her in den Schädel der Tiere bohren.
Celia beobachtet den Mann, der mit einem Fingerdruck diesen Bolzen betätigt. Ein gutmütiges Indianergesicht grinst sie an.
Die Kadaver treiben auf dem Fließband davon. Sie werden zerlegt, eingefroren oder in Dosen verpackt und nach Europa exportiert.
Celia sieht die Männer mit Sägen und blutverschmierten Schürzen umhergehen. Sie spürt den leicht süßlichen Geschmack von Blut auf der Zunge.
Am nächsten Tag erzählt man im Jockey Club, dem Treffpunkt der High Society von Buenos Aires, dass »La Rebelda« allein die Schlachthöfe besucht habe. Trotz, oder vielleicht gerade wegen solcher Launen, ist Celia umschwärmt von jungen Männern aus der Bohème und aus der Oberschicht. Zum Teufel mit diesen Gecken, die um sie schwänzeln und sich die Revolution als Operette vorstellen! Sie denkt an die Revolution als an eine große reinigende Kraft. Sie hasste die verhimmelnden Flirtworte blasierter Jünglinge, wenn sie allein mit einem von ihnen in der Nacht auf einer Terrasse steht und dazu schwere Colliers im Salon im Hintergrund klimpern … Oder war es ein Kronleuchter?“

 
Frederik Hetmann (17 februari 1934 – 1 juni 2006)
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Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 17e februari ook mijn vorige twee blogs van vandaag.

Shahrnush Parsipur, Willem Thies, Sadegh Hedayat, Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Albert Kuyle, Jaroslav Vrchlický, Chaim Potok, Mo Yan, Frederik Hetmann

De Iraanse schrijfster Shahrnush Parsipur werd geboren op 17 februari 1946 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Shahrnush Parsipur op dit blog.

Uit: Touba and the Meaning of Night (Vertaald door Kamran Talattof and Havva Houshmand)

“Haji Adib thought, “I am old.” His heart sank. There was not much time left to spend on the subject of becoming and metamorphosis, or the spirit of dust in part and whole, or to contemplate the trees as a whole or the minute parts making up the whole. He thought that probably each in its own minute society had a few Haji Adibs and Moshir O’Dolehs and Englishmen who fought each other. He laughed and imagined that probably Asdolah their local butcher chopped their meat for them. And then he laughed loudly again.
Suddenly the rhythmic sound of the shuttle comb stopped in the basement. Haji Adib could no longer hear the soft conversations of the women. The sun had not yet reached the middle of the sky. Haji Adib still sat on the edge of the octagonal pool, his fist under his chin. He turned his head around and, through the sharp angle that formed between his head and his arm, looked in the direction of the basement. The women had gathered by the basement window staring in his direction and were whispering. He had a feeling that they were talking about him. He remembered that just a few seconds ago he had laughed, loud and without inhibition, in a manner that was not appropriate to his position, and that the women had never seen such behavior in him. As he slowly tapped his foot on the ground, he thought, “They think. Unfortunately, they think. Not like the ants nor like the minute parts of the tree, nor like the particles of dust, but more or less as I do.” But, he was certain that they would never have thoughts about Mullah Sadra.
Suddenly he was shaken again, for of course they could think about Mullah Sadra as well. Had that not been the case with that rebellious and audacious woman who lived in their town when he was a child, who created all that uproar and sensation? People said that she was a prostitute, but they also said that she was learned. How much talking there was about her! He remembered someone telling his father that she was the messiah. The women were laughing behind the basement window. Haji thought disparagingly that they were behaving with typical women’s foolishness. One pushed and the others burst out laughing; one was tickled while the other tried to get away. If there had not been a man in the house, their laughter would probably have been heard all over. Undoubtedly some of them were going crazy for not having a husband, but it was not possible to find husbands for them. They were dependent on Haji Adib, and there was not a man available at the moment who was rich enough to take one of them. Besides, if they did get married who would then weave the carpets? For that, he couldn’t bring strange women into the house. They might then participate in some perverse activities with one another.”

 
Shahrnush Parsipur (Teheran, 17 februari 1946)
Cover

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Shahrnush Parsipur, Willem Thies, Sadegh Hedayat, Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Albert Kuyle, Jaroslav Vrchlický, Chaim Potok, Mo Yan, Frederik Hetmann”

Chaim Potok, Mo Yan, Frederik Hetmann, Emmy Hennings, Mori Ōgai

De Amerikaanse schrijver Chaim Potok werd geboren in New York City op 17 februari 1929. Zie ook alle tags voor Chaim Potok op dit blog.

Uit: The Chosen

“On a Sunday afternoon in early June, the fifteen members of my team met with our gym instructor in the play yard of our school. It was a warm day, and the sun was bright on the asphalt floor of the yard. The gym instructor was a short, chunky man in his early thirties who taught in the mornings in a nearby public high school and supplemented his income by teaching in our yeshiva during the afternoons. He wore a white polo shirt, white pants, and white sweater, and from the awkward way the little black skullcap sat perched on his round, balding head, it was clearly apparent that he was not accustomed to wearing it with any sort of regularity. When he talked he frequently thumped his right fist into his left palm to emphasize a point. He walked on the balls of his feet, almost in imitation of a boxer’s ring stance, and he was fanatically addicted to professional baseball. He had nursed our softball team along for two years, and by a mixture of patience, luck, shrewd manipulations during some tight ball games, and hard, fist-thumping harangues calculated to shove us into a patriotic awareness of the importance of athletics and physical fitness for the war effort, he was able to mold our original team of fifteen awkward fumblers into the top team of our league. His name was Mr. Galanter, and all of us wondered why he was not off somewhere fighting in the war.
During my two years with the team, I had become quite adept at second base and had also developed a swift underhand pitch that would tempt a batter into a swing but would drop into a curve at the last moment and slide just below the flaying bat for a strike. Mr. Galanter always began a ball game by putting me at second base and would use me as a pitcher only in very tight moments, because, as he put it once, “My baseball philosophy is grounded on the defensive solidarity of the infield.”
That afternoon we were scheduled to play the winning team of another neighborhood league, a team with a reputation for wild, offensive slugging and poor fielding. Mr. Galanter said he was counting upon our infield to act as a solid defensive front. Throughout the warm-up period, with only our team in the yard, he kept thumping his right fist into his left palm and shouting at us to be a solid defensive front.”

 
Chaim Potok (17 februari 1929 – 23 juli 2002)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Chaim Potok, Mo Yan, Frederik Hetmann, Emmy Hennings, Mori Ōgai”

Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Chaim Potok, Mo Yan, Frederik Hetmann, Shahrnush Parsipur, Emmy Hennings

De Russische schrijver, regisseur en acteur Yevgeni Grishkovetz werd geboren op 17 februari 1969 in Kemerovo. Zie ook alle tags voor Yevgeni Grishkovetz op dit blog.

Uit:How I Ate the Dog

“They got out at every station and walked around the platform with an old cassette player, glancing to the sides, meaning – Are they looking at us or not?  Aha…they’re looking!  Very good!  I was surprised at the time by how their sailor hats stayed on the back of their heads, it was obvious that they should have fallen off, but they stayed on, all the same…. Without any sense of idiotic metaphor, they hung like haloes….  I only found out later, how they stayed on… sailor hats.  And that there’s no secret, they simply stay on, and that’s it.
The sailors were entertaining….  We came up to them with questions about how it is, and they gladly told us how…: “Well, we went through La Pérouse Strait, then we went to Cam Ranh, we stopped there…, then we went to New Zealand and they didn’t let us come ashore, but in Australia they let us come ashore, but only the officers went and…”
And I was thinking: “Geeeeee whiz… After all I studied English in school…  Why?”  Well, there were countries where they speak this language, there was Europe, well somewhere there… Paris, London, you know, Amsterdam, there were those, and leave it at all that.  What’s it to me?  They sometimes vaguely disturbed you in that they nevertheless kind of existed…, but they didn’t draw out any concrete desire.  The world was huge, like in a book….
And these sailors had been, my God, in Australia, New Zealand….  And the same awaits me, just put me in that same uniform….  And little by little, already quickly, the train takes us to Vladivostok, and there is still a little left – and some sort of sea, some sort of countries….  Reluctance!!!!  Because even though I didn’t know anything concrete, I suspected that, well, of course, it wasn’t quite that simple, Australia, New Zealand, and still some other place like that, the essential of what I didn’t want to know, of what I was afraid, of what I was very afraid  and what would very soon come up… without fail….“

 
Yevgeni Grishkovetz (Kemerovo, 17 februari 1969)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Chaim Potok, Mo Yan, Frederik Hetmann, Shahrnush Parsipur, Emmy Hennings”

Shahrnush Parsipur, Sadegh Hedayat, Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Mo Yan,Frederik Hetmann, Emmy Hennings

De Iraanse schrijfster Shahrnush Parsipur werd geboren op 17 februari 1946 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Shahrnush Parsipur op dit blog.

Uit: The Gentlemen (Vertaald door Farzin Yazdanfar)

“Mr. Habibi: What should we look at? I don’t get it.
Mr. Nemati: He’s right, dear. We should look around. We just talk. We’ve been talking for 2500 years.**
Mr. Tahmooresi: According to history, 2800 years. I don’t understand why we’re insisting on 2500 years. Humanity has existed for a million years.
Mr. Habibi: Not humanity, ‘humans’.
Mr. Tahmooresi: ‘Humanity’ is symmetrical with ‘human’. One is meaningless without the other.
Mr. Habibi: But it’s correct to say ‘human’. For instance, Dr. Barnard,*** who performs heart transplant operations, replaces a human being’s heart; he doesn’t replace humanity’s heart.
Mr. Tahmooresi: You’re just playing with words. Well, if Dr. Barnard can change the heart of human beings, he’ll somehow be able to change the heart of humanity. Won’t he?
Mr. Nemati: But let’s be honest. The question of humanity aside, Dr. Barnard seems to have started a good business. There’s nobody to ask him what the fuss is about.
Mr. Tahmooresi: I really like Nemati.
He never lets the argument end up with a quarrel. I was once a soldier serving in the army in Kurdestan. I mean I wasn’t a soldier. I was higher in rank, I was a lieutenant…
Mr. Habibi: This is how they fool people. They think that if they give you a couple of badges and promote you to a higher rank, they have the right to bully you. I don’t understand the logic behind it. Why do they waste two years of one’s life?
Mr. Tahmooresi: It’s obvious. If a war breaks out, there should be some people to fight. After all, how would a war be possible without soldiers?
Mr. Nemati: I don’t understand at all what the real purpose of war is. I read somewhere that war isn’t part of man’s nature. Man invented war.
Mr. Habibi: Man invented God, too.”

 
Shahrnush Parsipur (Teheran, 17 februari 1946)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Shahrnush Parsipur, Sadegh Hedayat, Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Mo Yan,Frederik Hetmann, Emmy Hennings”

Shahrnush Parsipur, Sadegh Hedayat, Mo Yan,Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Frederik Hetmann, Emmy Hennings

De Iraanse schrijfster Shahrnush Parsipur werd geboren op 17 februari 1946 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Shahrnush Parsipur op dit blog.

Uit: Touba and the Meaning of Night (Vertaald door Kamran Talattof and Havva Houshmand)

“Haji Adib thought about the women, “They can think.” Something had been shaken in him again, just as the first time he had seen the globe. Haji Adib thought, “Very well, you know that the earth is round, you knew it very well. But then why so much anxiety?” This knowledge threw him rapidly into depths of thought. In his studies he had read that some of the Greek philosophers had hypothesized the roundness of the earth. He knew that the scientists of the east also had knowledge of this fact. At least, a few of them knew it. Then Galileo had come and proven it. Haji Adib knew all of this, yet he wanted to continue believing in the squareness of the earth.
He sat on the edge of the octagonal pool and leaned his head on his left arm. He needed to understand why he wanted the earth to remain square. Impatiently, he wanted to throw aside any thought of the sleeping lady earth. But the thought would not leave him, spinning in the sphere of his mind…. Who was it who said that slaves were merely tools that spoke? Haji Adib had at last found a thought to keep him from dwelling on the sleeping lady of the earth. Who said it? Perhaps it was a Roman. He raised his eyebrows, but it would not come to him. He could not remember.
Who was it who had said, “Let us shut the books and return to the school of nature?” Again, his memory failed him. What had been the use of all his reading, he thought.
On the ground, ants were coming and going in a straight line. Haji Adib placed his index finger in the way of one of the ants. The ant stopped, shook his antennae, then climbed up his finger. Now that the earth was round, everything took on a different meaning. The ant walked aimlessly up and down Haji Adib’s finger. Without doubt, Rumi had been right: Nature progressed, ascended, and was always becoming. But did an ant think? Perhaps it had some kind of thought process. Not everything could be Haji Adib’s sole possession, particularly thought.”

 
Shahrnush Parsipur (Teheran, 17 februari 1946)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Shahrnush Parsipur, Sadegh Hedayat, Mo Yan,Yevgeni Grishkovetz, Frederik Hetmann, Emmy Hennings”

Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur voor Mo Yan

Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur voor Mo Yan

De Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur is toegekend aan Chinese schrijver Mo Yan. Dat heeft het Nobelcomité in Stockholm bekendgemaakt. Mo Yan werd geboren op 17 februari 1955 in Gaomi in de provincie Shandong. Aan de Nobelprijs is een bedrag van ongeveer € 930.000 verbonden. Het Nobelcomité roemt Mo Yan voor het “hallucinerend realisme” waarmee hij volksverhalen, geschiedenis en het hedendaagse combineert. Mo Yan, een pseudoniem voor ‘spreek niet’, krijgt de prijs op 10 december uitgereikt. Zie ook alle tags voor Mo Yan op dit blog.

 

Uit: The Garlic Ballads (Vertaald door Howard Goldblatt)

“Gao Yang touched the drop of nectar with his tongue, and his taste buds were treated to a cool, sweet taste that relaxed him. He surveyed his three acres of garlic field. It was a good crop, the white tips large and plump, some at a jaunty angle, others straight as a board. The garlic was moist and juicy, with downy sprouts beginning to appear. His pregnant wife was on her hands and knees beside him, yanking garlic out of the ground. Her face was darker than usual, and there were fine lines around her eyes, like veins of spreading rust on a sheet of iron. As she knelt, knees coated with mud, her childhood deformity — a stunted left arm that inconvenienced her in everything she did — made the job harder than it ought to have been. He watched her reach down and pinch the stalks with a pair of new bamboo chopsticks; the effort made her bite her lip each time, and he felt sorry for her. But he needed her help, for he’d heard that the co-op was setting up shop in the county town to buy the garlic crop at slightly over fifty fen a pound, higher than last year’s peak price of forty-five. He knew the county had expanded the amount of acreage given over to garlic this year; and with a bumper crop, the earlier you harvested yours, the sooner you could sell it. That was why everyone in the Village, women and children included, was out in the fields. But as he looked at his pitiable pregnant wife, he said, “Why not rest awhile?”

“What for?” She raised her sweaty face. “I’m not tired. I just worry the baby might come.”

“Already?” he asked anxiously.

“I figure some time in the next couple of days. I hope it waits till the harvest is in, at least.”

“Do they always come when they’re due?”

“Not always. Xinghua was ten days late.”

They turned to look behind them, where their daughter sat obediently at the edge of the field, her sightless eyes opened wide. She was holding a stalk of garlic in one hand and stroking it with the other.

“Careful with that garlic, Xinghua,” he said. “Each stalk is worth several fen.”

 

Mo Yan (Gaomi, 17 februari 1955)