Robert Coover, Grigore Vieru

De Amerikaanse schrijver Robert Coover werd geboren op 4 februari 1932 in Charles City, Iowa. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Coover op dit blog.

Uit: White-Bread Jesus

“Wesley was always a dutiful son and responsible student, and he has tried, all his life long and even now while suffering so, to be a dutiful and responsible pastor and citizen, which is to say a typical West Condon hypocrite, and though the rain-soaked Sunrise Service atop a strip-mine hump didn’t go well (all right, so he forgot to put on one of his shoes, what was so important about that?), he got himself dried off and properly dressed and dug up one of his old Easter sermons and was prepared to fulfill his parishioners’ expectations of him for one more day.
And the service began calmly enough. In spite of the storm, there was a large wet but festive crowd, a chirrupy twitter of Easter greetings, colorful floral displays banking the brick walls. Priscilla Tindle, accompanied by muffled thunder and the drum of rain on the tiled roof, did something peppily Risen-Sonish on the organ to get things started, there was the usual unsingable hymn (“The Strife is O’er . . .”), followed by the doxology and prayer of confession muttered in unison, a cantata (“Was It a Morning Like This?”), and then the weekly welcome and church tidings. This was normally his task (and what tidings he had!), but Cavanaugh took it over, canceling the rest of Easter. No problem with that. In fact, a great relief. Just a sham, he would never have got through it all, the maddening detail of his ministry — all the weddings and baptisms and funerals and christenings, the bake sales and potluck suppers, sickroom visits, board meetings, Girl Scouts, quilters, the obligatory golf foursomes and service clubs, spiritual counseling, breakfast clubs and Bible study, not to mention just keeping the church clean and the pianos tuned and the lights and toilets working — contributing intimately to his crisis. But then the banker’s wiseacre brat read the Easter scripture lesson and reached the part where John says, “In that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me, and I in you,” and he couldn’t hold back: “You don’t know the half of it!” he cried, and launched into his Job-inspired diatribe in the name of the opening prayer (“I will not restrain my mouth! I will speak in the anguish of my spirit! I will complain in the bitterness of my soul!”) and got sat down.
While Cavanaugh carries on with his family-values malarkey, thanking his son for the scripture reading and speaking of the church as one big family — there is a suffocating stench worse than the old family farm in the haying season of wet clothing, damp bodies, thick perfume, musty songbooks, and dead flowers that seems to be rising from the speech itself — Wesley glances over at Prissy sitting at her keyboard and sees that she is staring at him, clearly in shocked pain, but as if trying to console him with her sorrowful but adoring gaze. Jesus asks who she is. Priscilla Tindle. Wife of the choir director. Used to be a dancer.”


Robert Coover (Charles City, 4 februari 1932)


De Moldavische dichter en schrijver Grigore Vieru werd geboren in Pereita op 4 februari 1935. Zie ook alle tags voor Grigore Vieru op dit blog.



Ik moest
In mijn borst plaatsen
Een ander hart.
Zou ik omkomen.
Ze gaf mij haar hart
Maar alles
Doet nog steeds pijn.
Vooral als de aarde brandt
Dorstig naar regen.
Vooral als hij niet terugkomt
Papa uit de oorlogen.
Vooral als ik onder vreemden ben
En al maanden niet naar huis schrijf.
Vooral in de schemering, als de zon
Achter de heuvels verdwijnt,
Het doet zeer.
Zoveel pijn
Heb ik nog nooit gehad.
Maar ook nooit zoveel


Vertaald door Frans Roumen


Grigore Vieru (4 februari 1935 – 18 januari 2009)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 4e februari ook mijn blog van 4 februari 2019 en eveneens mijn blog van 4 februari 2018 deel 1 en ook deel 2.

Robert Coover, Stewart O’,Nan, Louis Ferron, Norman Ohler, Werner Schwab, Alfred Andersch, Grigore Vieru, E. J. Pratt, Georg Brandes

De Amerikaanse schrijver Robert Coover werd geboren op 4 februari 1932 in Charles City, Iowa. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Coover op dit blog.

Uit: Going for a Beer

“He finds himself sitting in the neighborhood bar drinking a beer at about the same time that he began to think about going there for one. In fact, he has finished it. Perhaps he’ll have a second one, he thinks, as he downs it and asks for a third. There is a young woman sitting not far from him who is not exactly good-looking but good-looking enough, and probably good in bed, as indeed she is. Did he finish his beer? Can’t remember. What really matters is: Did he enjoy his orgasm? Or even have one? This he is wondering on his way home through the foggy night streets from the young woman’s apartment. Which was full of Kewpie dolls, the sort won at carnivals, and they made a date, as he recalls, to go to one. Where she wins another—she has a knack for it. Whereupon they’re in her apartment again, taking their clothes off, she excitedly cuddling her new doll in a bed heaped with them. He can’t remember when he last slept, and he’s no longer sure, as he staggers through the night streets, still foggy, where his own apartment is, his orgasm, if he had one, already fading from memory. Maybe he should take her back to the carnival, he thinks, where she wins another Kewpie doll (this is at least their second date, maybe their fourth), and this time they go for a romantic nightcap at the bar where they first met. Where a brawny dude starts hassling her. He intervenes and she turns up at his hospital bed, bringing him one of her Kewpie dolls to keep him company. Which is her way of expressing the bond between them, or so he supposes, as he leaves the hospital on crutches, uncertain what part of town he is in. Or what part of the year. He decides that it’s time to call the affair off—she’s driving him crazy—but then the brawny dude turns up at their wedding and apologizes for the pounding he gave him. He didn’t realize, he says, how serious they were. The guy’s wedding present is a gift certificate for two free drinks at the bar where they met and a pair of white satin ribbons for his crutches. During the ceremony, they both carry Kewpie dolls that probably have some barely hidden significance, and indeed do. The child she bears him, his or another’s, reminds him, as if he needed reminding, that time is fast moving on. He has responsibilities now and he decides to check whether he still has the job that he had when he first met her. He does. His absence, if he has been absent, is not remarked on, but he is not congratulated on his marriage, either, no doubt because—it comes back to him now—before he met his wife he was engaged to one of his colleagues and their co-workers had already thrown them an engagement party, so they must resent the money they spent on gifts. It’s embarrassing and the atmosphere is somewhat hostile, but he has a child in kindergarten and another on the way, so what can he do?”

Robert Coover (Charles City, 4 februari 1932)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Stewart O’Nan werd geboren op 4 februari 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Zie ook alle tags voor Stewart O’Nan op dit blog.

Uit: City of Secrets

“When the war came Brand was lucky, spared death because he was young and could fix an engine, unlike his wife Katya and his mother and father and baby sister Giggi, unlike his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. A Latvian and a Jew, he was interned first by the Russians, then the Germans, then the Russians again. By chance, he lived. While he was tempted almost daily (really, nightly), he wasn’t enough of a fatalist to return the gift. The winter after the war, with no home to go back to and no graves to venerate, he signed on a Maltese freighter and landed in Jerusalem, realizing his mother’s lifelong dream. In their dining room in Riga hung a bad lithograph of the walled city like a fortress out of Beau Geste, its stone golden in the numinous desert light. At the end of the seder, his Grandfather Udelson raised his glass to it.
“Next year in Jerusalem.” For Brand it was next year, without sweetness.
Like so many refugees, he drove a taxi, provided, like his papers, by the underground. His new name was Jossi. His job to listen—again, lucky, since as a prisoner he had years of experience. With his fair hair and grade school Hebrew, he could be trusted. The British soldiers, the blissful pilgrim gawking tourists all wanted to talk. They spoke to him as if he were slow, leaning in close behind his ear, shaping each syllable.
Where was he from? What did he think of the trials? How did he like living in Jerusalem?
“I like it;” the man he was pretending to be said, instead of “It’s better than the camps,” or “I like living,” or, honestly, “I don’t know.”
The city was a puzzle box built of symbols, a confusion of old and new, armored cars and donkeys in the streets, Bedouin bankers. The Turks and Haredim, the showy Greek and Russian processions—everyone seemed to be in costume, reenacting the miraculous past. The very stones were secondhand, scavenged and fit back into place haphazardly, their Roman inscriptions inverted.”

Stewart O’Nan (Pittsburgh, 4 februari 1961)


De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Louis Ferron werd op 4 februari 1942 geboren in Leiden. Zie ook alle tags voor Louis Ferron op dit blog.

Uit: Turkenvespers

‘Overal waar je kijkt,’ zei ik tegen juffrouw Kamenow die toevallig de gang op kwam toen ik op weg was naar mijn zolderkamer, ‘overal waar je kijkt, nachtmerries en visioenen. Heeft een oppassend burger dan geen recht meer op gemoedsrust?’
Juffrouw Kamenow begreep me anders dan ik bedoeld had en vroeg met opgetrokken neus of ik haar onder de nachtmerries dan wel onder de visioenen rangschikte. Ik dacht aan mijn zolderkamer die ik niet graag verliezen wilde en zei dat ze een van de meest extatische visioenen vertegenwoordigde die ik ooit beleefd had. Juffrouw Kamenow sloeg haar handen ineen en kirde, ‘o, maar mijnheer Hauser, u mag geen grapjes maken met alleenstaande dames, dat is helemaal niet netjes van u.’
‘Kom, kom, juffrouw Kamenow, zo oud bent u nu ook weer niet.’ En dat had ik natuurlijk nooit moeten zeggen want even later zat ik met een kopje chocolade voor mijn neus.
‘Er is veel misverstand tussen ons, mijnheer Hauser,’ begon juffrouw Kamenow, terwijl ze een biscuitje naar haar mond bracht.
‘Ja, veel misverstand,’ beaamde ik.
‘Maar dat moet de wereld uit.’ En ze sloot haar lippen rond het biscuitje.
‘Ach, wat zal ik u zeggen juffrouw Kamenow, er is zoveel dat de wereld uit moet.’
‘Ziet u wel dat we best met elkaar overweg kunnen?’
Haar lippen weken uiteen, ze had een geprononceerd gebit.
‘Als ik maar niet steeds van die vreemde berichten op de deur van het toilet hoef te lezen.’
‘O, dat spijt me toch zo, mijnheer Hauser. Ik heb er verkeerd aan gedaan. Kunt u me vergeven?’ Ze hield het biscuitje tussen haar tanden geklemd en wrong haar handen. Op haar wangen verschenen blosjes en de chocolade smaakte of er een schijfje komkommer in was uitgeknepen. Ik dacht, welke gek heeft mij eens verwekt, daar in de Dorotheeengasse. Kon hij hebben voorzien dat het lot mij eens in de armen van iemand als juffrouw Kamenow zou drijven? Waarom was toch niemand bij machte zijn eigen geschiedenis te schrijven?
Ze had vaal haar en bij de geringste opwinding verschenen er rode vlekken in haar hals. Ze wasemde een geur van ongewassen camisoles uit. Ze was weliswaar niet uitgesproken lelijk, maar was toch wat gesleten door het voortdurend redderen en doen in haar kamerverhuurbedrijfje. Mitzi mocht dan wel zeggen dat dat een aardig inkomentje opleverde, maar Mitzi hoefde niet met haar onder één dak te verkeren.”

Louis Ferron (4 februari 1942 – 26 augustus 2005)
Cover achterzijde


De Duitse schrijver en journalist Norman Ohler werd geboren op 4 februari 1970 in Zweibrücken. Zie ook alle tags voor Norman Ohler op dit blog.

Uit: Die Gleichung des Lebens

„Die Luft war feucht aber bereits drückend warm, die Oder roch nach Seetang, Fisch, Algen, Erde und Meer. Frühnebel hing über dem Bruch. Als Kunz, der mit allen Wassern gewaschene Aufseher des großen Fischmarktes von Wrietzen, in den frühsten Stunden dieses hochsom-merlichen 7. Juli 1747 und noch ohne seinen teutschen Caffee getrunken zu haben, die routinemäßige Kontroll-fahrt entlang der Ufer der Faulen See unternahm, stieß er auf etwas ganz und gar Ungewöhnliches. Seine Augen, die sonst so tief in den Höhlen lagen, dass sie kom-plett darin verschwanden, wenn er lachte, traten weit nach vorne. Schrecken sprach daraus und Angst, obwohl er sonst ein Mann war, der andere das Fürchten lehrte. Nein, er war kein zimperlicher Mensch. In Wrietzen und im gesamten Bruch kannte man ihn als einen, vor dem man sich in Acht nehmen musste, denn ihm war zur Durchsetzung der Kegeln seines Machtbereiches —des Fischhandels bis hoch nach Freyenwalde, Oderberg und sogar Schwedt — so gut wie jedes Mittel recht. Stets führte er in seiner Stiefeltasche das rechte Fischmaß bei sich, eine Eisenstange von der Länge eines Unterarms, und wenn Hechte oder andere Herrenfische unter dieser Größe zum Verkauf angeboten wurden, scheute er sich nicht, mit ebendiesem Maß die Strafe gleich selbst aus-zuteilen, wie es Wrietzens Bürgenneister Fritze ja auch von ihm verlangte. Wenn Kurz ausgestattet mit einem exzellenten Ruderstil und zwei kräftigen Oberarmen, in seinem wendigen Nachen um eine Biegung schnellte und die Bewohner des Bruches dabei erwischte, wie sie illegal gerissenen Hecht abschlugen, kannte er keine Gnade. Auch im Pranger sah er kein überholtes Instrument aus vergangenen finsteren Zeiten, das in der Ära der Auf-klärung, jenem hell strahlenden 18. Jahrhundert, nichts mehr zu suchen gehabt hätte, sondern betrachtete die-sen als ein noch immer effizientes Strafwerlczeug mit der gewünschten abschreckenden Wirkung. Er handelte übrigens nicht so, weil er seine Freude an der Gewalt gehabt hätte, sondern schlicht aus Loyalität zu eben jenem Fritze, dem er ergeben diente, einfach weil er glaubte, das gehöre sich so.“

Norman Ohler (Zweibrücken, 4 februari 1970)


De Oostenrijkse toneelschrijver Werner Schwab werd geboren in Graz op 4 februari 1958. Zie ook alle tags voor Werner Schwab op dit blog.

Uit: Fäkaliendramen

„ERSTE SZENE Während das Publikum Platz nimmt, hört man die Übertragung einer Messe, die der Papst mit irgendeiner Masse’ feiert. Die Fernsehsendung geht zu Ende und der Vorhang auf. Ernas groteske Wohnküche. Erna schaltet das TV-Gerät aus. Mariedl sucht unter dem Tisch etwas. Grete sitzt am Tisch.
ERNA So viele Menschen. So viel Menschen sind zusammengekommen und zusammengeblieben und haben eine Gemeinschaft gemacht bei den Füßen des Heiligen Vaters.
GRETE Und die Bilder so wunderbar. Die Farben wie aus dem Leben so schön.
ERNA Eine ergreifende Friedlichkeit entsteht bei so vielen Menschen. Der Friede ist der Sinn des Lebens, und das Leben ist der Sinn für die Menschlichkeit.
GRETE (hebt das Tischtuch und spricht unter den Tisch hinein) Jetzt laß doch den Knopf, Mariedl, so wichtig ist mir der Knopf nicht. Vergiß jetzt den Knopf und setz dich zu uns. (Zu Erna) Das war aber wirklich gescheit von dir, Erna, daß du dir die Pelzhaube und den Farbfernseher angeschafft hast. Jetzt kommt der Genuß auch in deine Wohnung. Jetzt mußt du dich dem Leben hingeben, Erna, damit das Leben dich genießen kann.
ERNA Ja freilich, aber das sagt sich so leichtfertig daher. In Wirklichkeit ist es schon schwer, einen Lebensgenuß aufzunehmen, wenn einem das Sparen in das Fleisch und in das Blut übergegangen ist. Aber einmal im Leben muß ja auch so einen Menschen das Glück erreichen, der immer nur den Schmutz der anderen Menschen wegputzen muß.
Erna stellt sich vor dem Spiegel auf) Die Pelzhaube, die habe ich aufgefunden vor einem Jahr bei der Mülldeponie. Da darf aber jetzt niemand glauben, daß die Haube jemand einfach so weggeschmissen hat, da ist sie viel zu wertvoll. Da haben sicher nur so böse junge Menschen der Haube einen Streich gespielt. (Sie kehrt dem Spiegel den Rücken und setzt sich) Aber was glaubst du, wie dreckig die Pelzhaube am Anfang war. Dreieinhalb Stunden hab’ ich mich geplagt, bevor ich die Haube der Polizei ausgeliefert habe. (Grete macht Anstalten, den Pelz der Haube mit zwei Fingern zu prüfen. Erna bückt sich, um Gretes Vorhaben zu erleichtern.”

Werner Schwab (4 februari 1958 – 1 januari 1994)


De Duitse schrijver Alfred Andersch werd geboren op 4 februari 1914 in München. Zie ook alle tags voor Alfred Andersch op dit blog.

Uit: Sansibar oder der letzte Grund

„Es ist möglich, dachte Gregor, vorausgesetzt, man ist nicht bedroht, die licht stehenden Kiefern als Vorhang anzusehen. Etwa so: offen sich darbietende Konstruktion aus hellen Stangen, von denen mattgrüne Fahnen unterm grauen Himmel regungslos wehten, bis sie sich in der Perspektive zu einer Wand aus flaschenglasigem Grün zusammenschlossen. Die fast schwarz makadamisierte Straße deutete man dann als Naht zwischen den beiden Vorhanghälften; man trennte sie auf, indem man sie mit dem Fahrrad entlang fuhr; nach ein paar Minuten würde der Vorhang sich öffnen, um den Blick auf das Szenarium freizugeben: Stadt und Meeresküste.
Da man jedoch bedroht war, dachte Gregor, war nichts wie etwas anderes. Die Gegenstände schlossen sich in die Namen, die sie trugen, vollkommen ein. Sie wiesen nicht über sich selbst hinaus.
Es gab also nur Feststellungen: Kiefernwald, Fahrrad, Straße. Wenn der Wald zu Ende war, würde man die Stadt und die Küste erblicken – keine Kulissen für ein Spiel, sondern den Schauplatz einer Drohung, die alles in unabänderliche Wirklichkeit einfror. Ein Haus würde ein Haus sein, eine Woge eine Woge, nichts weiter und nichts weniger.
Erst jenseits des Hoheitsgebietes der Drohung, sieben Meilen von der Küste entfernt, auf einem Schiff nach Schweden – wenn es ein Schiff nach Schweden geben sollte –, würde das Meer, zum Beispiel das Meer, sich wieder mit einem Vogelflügel vergleichen lassen, einer Schwinge aus eisigem Ultramarin, die den Spätherbst Skandinaviens umflog. Bis dahin war das Meer nichts anderes als das Meer, eine bewegte Materiemasse, die man zu prüfen hatte, ob sie geeignet war, eine Flucht zu tragen.“

Alfred Andersch (4 februari 1914 – 21 februari 1980)
Scene uit de gelijknamige film uit 1987


De Moldavische dichter en schrijver Grigore Vieru werd geboren in Pereita op 4 februari 1935. Zie ook alle tags voor Grigore Vieru op dit blog.


Man musste mir in die Brust,
Ein anderes Herz einstellen.
Folgte ich zu sterben.
Hat ihr Herz gegeben.
Aber, es tut noch weh.
Besonders als die Erde
Vom Regendurst brennt.
Besonders, wenn der Vater
Von Kriegen nicht zurückkommt.
Besonders, wenn ich
Ins Ausland reise
Und monatelang,
Nach Hause nicht schreibe.
Besonders tut es weh,
Wenn die Sonne untergeht.
Solche Schmerzen
Habe ich niemals gehabt.
Aber auch
Eine solche Geduld.


Mutters Stern

– Irgendwo, im weiten All,
Mutter, brennt dein weißer Stern,
Und so nimmst du den Zufall,
Dass du ähnlich siehst wie er.

Tags und nachts, im Untergang,
Brennt für das, was heilig werde,
Leuchtend uns, noch vom Anfang,
Das Gesicht der alten Erde.

– Brennen wir! Da lang und breit
Nichts ist schlimmeres Unglück:
Als ein Stern mit fremden Brand
Und ein Weh, ohne Grundstück.


Vertaald door Nicolae Dabija

Grigore Vieru (4 februari 1935 – 18 januari 2009)
Poster voor een naar de dichter genoemd poëziefestival


De Canadese dichter E. J. Pratt werd op 4 februari 1882 geboren in Western Bay, Newfoundland. Zie ook alle tags voor E. J. Pratt op dit blog.

The Truant (Fragment)

And when, one day, grown conscious of your age,
While pondering an eolith,
We turned a human page
And blotted out a cosmic myth
With all its baby symbols to explain
The sunlight in Apollo’s eyes,
Our rising pulses and the birth of pain,
Fear, and that fern—and—fungus breath
Stalking our nostrils to our caves of death —
That day we learned how to anatomize
Your body, calibrate your size
And set a mirror up before your face
To show you what you really were — a rain
Of dull Lucretian atoms crowding space,
A series of concentric waves which any fool
Might make by dropping stones within a pool,
Or an exploding bomb forever in flight
Bursting like hell through Chaos and Old Night.

‘You oldest of the hierarchs
Composed of electronic sparks,
We grant you speed,
We grant you power, and fire
That ends in ash, but we concede
To you no pain nor joy nor love nor hate,
No final tableau of desire,
No causes won or lost, no free
Adventure at the outposts — only
The degradation of your energy
When at some late
Slow number of your dance your sergeant—major Fate
Will catch you blind and groping and will send
You reeling on that long and lonely
Lockstep of your wave—lengths towards your end.

‘We who have met
With stubborn calm the dawn’s hot fusillades;
Who have seen the forehead sweat
Under the tug of pulleys on the joints,
Under the liquidating tally
Of the cat—and—truncheon bastinades;
Who have taught our souls to rally
To mountain horns and the sea’s rockets
When the needle ran demented through the points;
We who have learned to clench
Our fists and raise our lightless sockets
To morning skies after the midnight raids,
Yet cocked our ears to bugles on the barricades,
And in cathedral rubble found a way to quench
A dying thirst within a Galilean valley —
No! by the Rood, we will not join your ballet.’

E. J. Pratt (4 februari 1882 – 26 april 1964)


De Deense schrijver, criticus en filosoof Georg Brandes werd geboren op 4 februari 1842 in Kopenhagen. Zie ook alle tags voor Georg Brandes op dit blog.

Uit: Die Jesus-Sage (Vertaald door Erwin Magnus)

„Dieser Paulus mit all seiner Feurigkeit ist, soweit man sehen kann, eine unheimliche Persönlichkeit gewesen, einer jener krankhaften Menschen, bei denen die Begeisterung in Abscheu, der Haß dagegen in aufbrausende Schwärmerei umschlägt. Alles historische Wissen ist ja unsicher, das Wort ist wahr daß die historische Sicherheit auf der Schweigsamkeit des Todes beruht. Aber was die Quellen uns melden, ist folgendes: Als der unglückliche Stephanus wegen seines abweichenden Messiasglaubens gesteinigt werden sollte, legten die ersten von den Henkern die Mäntel, die sie bei der Steinigung störten, einem jungen Fanatiker Saul zu Füßen, der Gefallen an dem Morde fand, und deshalb nach seiner eigenen Aussage gern die Kleider derer verwahrte, die ihn ausführten. Er sah es in seiner blinden Leidenschaft für seine Schuldigkeit an, etwas gegen die Nazaräer zu tun. Das tat er denn auch in Jerusalem, wo er sich vom Hohenpriester eine Vollmacht verschaffte, um viele von den Heiligen ins Gefängnis werfen zu lassen; er soll, wenn sie gesteinigt wurden, seine Stimme dafür abgegeben haban. Man nimmt an, daß dies im Jahre 37 geschehen sei. Im Jahre 38 erfolgte seine plötzliche Bekehrung. Sowohl vor wie nach ihr war er ein Eiferer von Fach.
Er war im Jahre 10 oder 12 in Tarsus in Kilikien geboren. Erst, als er sich zum Apostel der Heiden machte, latinisierte er seinen Namen Saul in Paulus. Seine Familie stammte aus Gischala in Galiläa und glaubte, dem Stamm Benjamin anzugehören. Sein Vater war römischer Bürger, hatte diesen Titel entweder durch erwiesene Dienste erworben oder auch vielleicht von einem seiner Vorfahren geerbt, der ihn sich gekauft hatte. Die Familie gehörte, wie alle besseren jüdischen Familien, zur Partei der Pharisäer. Selbst als er mit der Partei gebrochen hatte, behielt er doch noch ihren Eifer, ihre seelische Spannung, die Schärfe ihrer Ausdrucksweise. Tarsus war damals eine blühende Stadt, die Bevölkerung griechisch und arainäisrh Die Juden waren dort wie in allen Handelsstädten zahlreich_ Der Sinn für Literatur war verbreitet, und keine Stadt, selbst nicht Athen oder Alexandria, war reicher an wissenschaftlichen Institutionen.”

Georg Brandes (4 februari 1842 – 19 februari 1927)
Georg Brandes aan de universiteit van Kopenhagen door Harald Slott-Møller, 1889


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 4e februari ook mijn blog van 4 februari 2018 deel 1 en ook deel 2.

Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Luuk Imhann, Else Kemps

De Amerikaanse schrijver Robert Coover werd geboren op 4 februari 1932 in Charles City, Iowa. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Coover op dit blog.

Uit: White-Bread Jesus

“When that bully Cavanaugh rises in the middle of the opening prayer like a self-righteous Sadducee, shouldered round by all his fawning scribes and elders, to silence Reverend Wesley Edwards (was he shouting? of course he was shouting, God is deaf as a stump), neither he nor Jesus is surprised. In fact, they welcome it. Such persecutions are to be expected when what is hidden is revealed, and indeed stand as validation of it. What else is the Easter story about — for Christ’s sake? Who concurs: As they persecuted me, they’ll persecute you. A prophet in his own country, and all that, my son. But rejoice and be glad, your reward is great. His immediate reward is to have to sit beside the pulpit, biting his tongue, staring out on the sad blank faces of his First Presbyterian congregation, while the banker, having skipped ahead in the proceedings to the tithes and offerings, money being all he knows (and power, Cavanaugh knows power), speaks of the general good health of the church finances, its immediate needs (an assistant minister, for example — urgently!), and Easter as a loving family occasion. No, no, you idiot! It is a time of rejection of family, indeed of all earthly connections! Have you no ears? If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple! Leave everything — everything! — and follow me! You ignorant fool! Listen to your own son Tommy’s scripture reading: “But who do you say that I am?” Do you not know? It’s all Wesley can do to stop another noisy eruption from coming on. The indwelling Christ, too, is aboil with indignation, cursing traders and moneychangers and all their abominable progeny. A den of robbers! They are polluting the temple! Drive them out! He’s in a state, they’re both in a state.
It has been a trying couple of weeks. The Passion of Wesley Edwards. He’s not kidding, he’s endured it all in this Passiontide fortnight, from the deathly silence of God and the collapse of his faith, through all the upheavals at home and a plunge into harrowing desolation, a veritable descent into hell, to — finally — a kind of weird convulsive redemption that has left him rattled and confused and not completely in control of himself.”

Robert Coover (Charles City, 4 februari 1932)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Luuk Imhann, Else Kemps”

Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Luuk Imhann, Else Kemps

De Amerikaanse schrijver Robert Coover werd geboren op 4 februari 1932 in Charles City, Iowa. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Coover op dit blog.

Uit: The Babysitter

“His little hand. clutching the bar of soap, lathers shyly a narrow space between her shoulderblades. She is doubled forward against her knees, buried in rich suds, peeking at him over the edge of her shoulder. The soap slithers out of his grip and plunks into the water. “I… I dropped the soap,‘ he whispers. She: ‘Find it.‘


‘I dream of Jeannie with the light brown pubic hair!‘ ‘Harry! Stop that! You’re drunk!‘ But they’re laughing. they’re all laughing, damn! he’s feeling pretty goddamn good at that. and now he just knows he needs that aspirin. Watching her there, her thighs spread for him, on the couch, in the tub. hell, on the kitchen table for that matter. he tees off on Number Nine. and – _whap_ swats his host’s wife on the bottom. ‘Hole in one!’ he shouts. “Harry? Why can’t his goddamn wife Dolly ever get happy-drunk instead of sour-drunk all the time? ‘Gonna be tough Sunday. old buddy!’ ‘You’re pretty tough right now, Harry,‘ says his host.


The babysitter lunges forward, grabs the boy by the arms and hauls him off the couch, pulling two cushions with him, and drags him towards the bathroom. He lashes out, knocking over an endtable full of magazines and ashtrays. ~You leave my brother alone!‘ Bitsy cries and grabs the sitter around the waist. Jimmy jumps on her and down they all go. On the silent screen. there’s a fade-in to a dark passageway in an old apartment building in some foreign country. She kicks out and somebody falls between her legs. Somebody else is sitting on her face. ‘Jimmyl Stop that!‘ the babysitter laughs. her voice muffled.“

Robert Coover (Charles City, 4 februari 1932)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Luuk Imhann, Else Kemps”

Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch, Grigore Vieru, Luuk Imhann

De Amerikaanse schrijver Robert Coover werd geboren op 4 februari 1932 in Charles City, Iowa. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Coover op dit blog.

Uit:The End of Books

“In the real world nowadays, that is to say, in the world of video transmissions, cellular phones, fax machines, computer networks, and in particular out in the humming digitalized precincts of avant-garde computer hackers, cyberpunks and hyperspace freaks, you will often hear it said that the print medium is a doomed and outdated technology, a mere curiosity of bygone days destined soon to be consigned forever to those dusty unattended museums we now call libraries. Indeed, the very proliferation of books and other print-based media, so prevalent in this forest-harvesting, paper-wasting age, is held to be a sign of its feverish moribundity, the last futile gasp of a once vital form before it finally passes away forever, dead as God.
Which would mean of course that the novel, too, as we know it, has come to its end. Not that those announcing its demise are grieving. For all its passing charm, the traditional novel, which took center stage at the same time that industrial mercantile democracies arose — and which Hegel called “the epic of the middle-class world” — is perceived by its would-be executioners as the virulent carrier of the patriarchal, colonial, canonical, proprietary, hierarchical and authoritarian values of a past that is no longer with us.
Much of the novel’s alleged power is embedded in the line, that compulsory author-directed movement from the beginning of a sentence to its period, from the top of the page to the bottom, from the first page to the last. Of course, through print’s long history, there have been countless strategies to counter the line’s power, from marginalia and footnotes to the creative innovations of novelists like Laurence Sterne, James Joyce, Raymond Queneau, Julio Cortazar, Italo Calvino and Milorad Pavic, not to exclude the form’s father, Cervantes himself. But true freedom from the tyranny of the line is perceived as only really possible now at last with the advent of hypertext, written and read on the computer, where the line in fact does not exist unless one invents and implants it in the text.”

Robert Coover (Charles City, 4 februari 1932)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch, Grigore Vieru, Luuk Imhann”

Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch, Grigore Vieru, Louis Ferron, E. J. Pratt

De Amerikaanse schrijver Robert Coover werd geboren op 4 februari 1932 in Charles City, Iowa. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Coover op dit blog.

Uit: Noir

« You consider your fate. It has a flophouse look about it. You take the folded handkerchief out of your lapel pocket and blow your nose in it. Fuck it, you think. You’re getting too old for this shit. Back to the office. The sofa. A friendly bottle to suck. Sanctuary. You step out, step back again. Police car. Rolling through the watery street, light wheeling. But in dead silence. As if floating an inch or two above the puddles. No, that’s right, can’t go back to the office. Blue will have it staked out. What’s that sonuvabitch up to anyway? Did he invent a body and send you off chasing phantoms, just to land you in trouble? Probably. But then what really happened to the widow? Or her remains? You wish you could talk to her again. She was afraid, seemed drawn to you. You were so slow to apprehend. Yet any move you made got you nowhere. And what does all of this have to do with Mr. Big?

You are moving through pools of wet yellow light, surrounded by a velvety darkness as soft as black silk stockings, and it is not the light but the obscurity that is most alluring. The mystery of it. The streets are deserted and, as you turn into them, kissed by the drifting fog, they open up before you, the buildings seem to lean toward you. Stuttery neon signs wink at you overhead. Behind a steel chainlink fence in an empty playground, a child’s swing creaks teasingly. Somewhere there’s a melancholic sigh of escaping steam. It’s beautiful to be walking down these lush wicked streets with the widow at your side, …”

Robert Coover (Charles City, 4 februari 1932)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Robert Coover, Stewart O’Nan, Werner Schwab, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch, Grigore Vieru, Louis Ferron, E. J. Pratt”

Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch, Grigore Vieru

De Amerikaanse schrijver Stewart O’Nan werd geboren op 4 februari 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Zie ook alle tags voor Stewart O’Nan op dit blog.

Uit: The Odds: A Love Story

“The final weekend of their marriage, hounded by insolvency, indecision, and, stupidly, half secretly, in the never-distant past ruled by memory, infidelity, Art and Marion Fowler fled the country. North, to Canada. “Like the slaves,” Marion told her sister Celia. They would spend their last days and nights as man and wife as they’d spent the first, nearly thirty years ago, in Niagara Falls, as if, across the border, by that fabled and overwrought cauldron of new beginnings, away from any domestic, everyday claims, they might find each other again. Or at least Art hoped so. Marion was just hoping to endure it with some grace and get back home so she could start dealing with the paperwork required to become, for the first time in her life, a single-filing taxpayer.
They told their daughter Emma they were taking a second honeymoon.
“Plus they’re doing another open house here, so … ” Marion, on the other line, qualified.
They weren’t good liars, they were just afraid of the truth and what it might say about them. They were middle-class, prey to the tyranny of appearances and what they could afford, or dare, which was part of their problem. They were too settled and practical for what they were doing, uncomfortable with desperate measures. They could barely discuss the plan between themselves, as if, exposed to light and air, it might evaporate.
With Jeremy, it was enough to say they wanted to see the new casino, a Frank Gehry knockoff featured on the covers of Sunday travel sections and in-flight magazines. He was impressed with the rate they’d gotten. Art had dug around online to find a bargain.
“Your father the high roller,” Marion joked.
The Valentine’s Getaway Special, it was called: $249, inclusive of meals and a stake of fifty Lucky Bucks toward table games.”

Stewart O’Nan (Pittsburgh, 4 februari 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch, Grigore Vieru”

Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch

De Amerikaanse schrijver Stewart O’Nan werd geboren op 4 februari 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Zie ook alle tags voor Stewart O’Nan op dit blog.


Uit: Songs for the Missing

“Inside, the a/c was cranked so high she wore a t-shirt under her uniform. They poached old nametags they found in the junk drawer under the register. She was Angie, Nina was Sam. They spun on their stools and watched the monitors, punching in the pump numbers and making change. They read heavy, insane fashion magazines and called around to see what was going on later — even though they were on camera too — and fought over whose turn it was to refill the nacho pot. Her timecard was in its slot, the clock behind it chunking with every minute, a record of her steadiness. She’d been working seven days a week since graduation and hadn’t missed a shift. Later the police would call this strict pattern a contributing factor. Secretly she was proud of it. She’d never been so determined. She’d never had a reason before.

The Conoco was an oasis of light, drawing cars off the highway like the muffleheads that fluttered against the windows. Drivers came in squinting and rubbing their necks, stopping on the mat inside the door as if this was all new to them, and too much, the bright aisles of candies and chips overloading their brains so they couldn’t read the sign directly in front of them.

They bkinked at her, apologetic. “Where are the–?”

“Straight back.”

Fifty, a hundred times a night. She pointed her whole arm like a ghost.

“It’s true,” Nina said. “The more you drive, the dumber you get.”

“Thank you, thank you, Sam I am.”

The living death had bad breath. They bought coffee and soda and water, cigarettes and gum, Tootsie Pops and jerky, anything to get them to the next stop. In line they nodded their heads and mouthed the lyrics to the dinosaur pop that played endlessly inside and out, a fiendish commercial-free satellite feed pieced together, it seemed, by U2 and the Doobie Brothers.”


Stewart O’Nan (Pittsburgh, 4 februari 1961)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler, Alfred Andersch”

Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler

In verband met een langdurige internetstoring vandaag geen nieuw bericht. Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 4 februari 2011.

Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler,

Grigore Vieru, Georg Brandes, Alfred Andersch, Jacques Prévert,Jean Richepin, Carl Michael Bellman

Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler

De Amerikaanse schrijver Stewart O’Nan werd geboren op 4 februari 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Zie ook mijn blog van 4 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 4 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 4 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 4 februari 2010.


Uit: The speed queen


“I love you,” he said, still gasping. He didn’t even say my name.

And what was I supposed to say? That I felt sick, that I wished I hadn’t let him?

I said it back.

“Are you okay?” he said.

I knew there would be blood but not so much. I wiped my thighs with the blanket and folded it over.

“I’m okay,” I said. “I just need to clean up.”

“I’ve got Kleenex,” he said, and reached through the back window of the cab and handed me the box. He knelt there staring at me.

“Watch the movie,” I said.

I stuffed some up there, but I still felt sick, so I put on my top and my old underwear and my shorts and found my clogs. Monty wouldn’t leave me alone. “I’m okay,” I kept telling him. “I just need to use the bathroom.” He wanted to come with me, but I finally shouted at him, and he let me go.

I jumped down from the tailgate and almost fell. My legs were shaky and my stomach was churning like a washing machine. Everything down there stung. I stumbled over the dusty mounds toward the red flourescents outlining the snack bar. It was circular and shaped like a witches hat, the projector in the top part. You could see the movie scissoring through the air. We were in the back, like a mile away. The last hundred feet were deserted. A green light burned on each unused speaker like an eye. Halfway there, I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I stopped and leaned against a speaker pole and heaved up everything I’d eaten–the Champale and the mustard fries, the nachos and the Dots–all of it splashing hot over my Dr. Scholl’s. I spit to clean my mouth and kicked dust over everything and went on.

My thighs were sticky, and getting sick made me cry, so my face was a mess. I knew the bathrooms were by the front, so I walked around the outside and slipped in, hoping no one would see me.“



Stewart O’Nan (Pittsburgh,  4 februari 1961)



Doorgaan met het lezen van “Stewart O’Nan, Louis Ferron, Robert Coover, Werner Schwab, E. J. Pratt, Norman Ohler”