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

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

Uit: The Reckoning

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

John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)


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

Archeoloog van de verbeelding

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin Block (Heemskerk, 8 februari 1980)


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

Uit: Transit

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

Rachel Cusk (Saskatoon, 8 februari 1967)


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

Songs For A Colored Singer

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)


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

Uit: Collected Letters

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

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


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

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

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

Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)


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

Das Geheimnis

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



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



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

Eva Strittmatter (8 februari 1930 – 3 januari 2011)


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

Uit:Geometrischen Heimatroman

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

Gert Jonke (8 februari 1946 – 4 januari 2009)


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

Uit: Les Révoltés de la Bounty

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

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


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

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

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

Uit:The Rooster Bar

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

John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

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

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

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

Uit: The Firm

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

John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)

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

Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke

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

Uit: Relax, Man. The Gay Love Letters of Neal Cassady to Allen Ginsberg

“Denver, Colorado
March 14, 1947.

Dear Allen;
. . . My life is, at the moment, so cluttered up I have become incapable of relaxing long enough to even write a decent letter, really, I’m almost unable to think coherently. You must, then, not only forgive, but, find it within yourself to understand & in so doing develope a degree of patience until I am able to free myself enough to become truly close to you again.
On your part, you must know, that any letdown in your regard for me would upset me so much that, psychologically, I would be in a complete vacuum.
At least for the immediate future I must request these things of you. so please don’t fail me. I need you now more than ever, since I’ve noone else to turn to. I continually feel I am almost free enough to be a real help to you, but, my love can’t flourish in my present position & if I forced it now, both you & I would lose. By God, though, every day I miss you more & More.
Understanding these things I hope, nay, in fact, know you must pour out more affection now than ever, rather than reacting negatively & withering up so that all is loss, or would be, between us.
Let us then find true awareness by realizing that each of us is depending on the other for fulfillment. In that realization lies, I believe, the germ that may grow to the great heights of complete oneness. . . .
I shall find a job tomorrow & perhaps by losing myself in work again I may become more rational & less upset & unnerved by the emotional shock of returning.
Write soon I need you. I remain your other self.

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

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke”

Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke

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

Uit: The First Third

“One day as I looked the train over for brakes sticking etc. I happened to climb up on the top to check the indicators of a passing train (our pride, the Daylight, number 99) and on top of the reefer was a bum. I see at least 10 or 20 bums each day, however I was really stoned, the sun was so warm, and I had almost an hour to wait before my train pulled, so I sat beside this guy and we talked. Suddenly he began telling of his hallucinations; these were a collection of semi-ordinary bum ideas like the one about when he arrived in SF he walked along Mission and when he saw the patrol car he thought he heard the policeman announcing over the car’s loudspeaker, as his fellow policeman drove slowly by, these words over and over: “The time has come, everybody lie down so you won’t get hurt when the sun bursts.” His mind heard these words, but his emotions felt they were actually driving toward him to arrest him because his fly was open (zipper broke and no pins to hold it closed) so he ran to hide in an alley but they drove by there too; so he left SF and caught a freight to Watsonville. This is the simplest and most believable of his images. It all began after he had had sour wine and actually not eaten for four days. He was in the Sacramento Freight yards and he boards a flatcar to lie down. The world seemed normal and there was no indication anything unusual was to happen. It began slowly and normally also—the common thing of one’s mind taking up the sound of a big steam engine as it passes slowly and arranging its bark into a rhythm and then putting a short phrase to the rhythm. The particular accentuation of a steam engine is well known [like—He’s a nigger, he’s a nigger on and on with the accent on the first word, of course if one stays with it long enough you can place your accents anywhere because the exhaust of the engine changes with the amount of pull—like shifting gears) that most people if they do fall into creating a phrase to match the engine’s sound, so get bored with the project and stop soon.“

Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)
Hier met  Allen Ginsberg (links), 1955

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke”

Dolce far niente, Neil Cassady, Robin Block, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Dolce far niente


Dolce far niente, door John William Waterhouse, 1880


Die Faulheit

Fleiß und Arbeit lob’ ich nicht.
Fleiß und Arbeit lob’ ein Bauer.
Ja, der Bauer selber spricht,
Fleiß und Arbeit wird ihm sauer.
Faul zu sein, sei meine Pflicht;
Diese Pflicht ermüdet nicht.

Bruder, lass das Buch voll Staub.
Willst du länger mit ihm wachen?
Morgen bist du selber Staub!
Lass uns faul in allen Sachen,
Nur nicht faul zu Lieb’ und Wein,
Nur nicht faul zur Faulheit sein.


Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (22 januari 1729 – 15 februari 1781)

Rond 1780

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Dolce far niente, Neil Cassady, Robin Block, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing”

Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Eva Strittmatter, Elizabeth Bishop, Gert Jonke, John Grisham

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


Uit: The Fast Life of a Beat Hero (Biografie door David Sandison)

„Even Jack Kerouac bought into the Bridey phenomenon and for a time seemed prepared to give Cayce the benefit of the doubt. “[S]udden realization that Cayce must be right,” he wrote to the Cassadys, “and Bridey Murphy excitement, which has carried over to my sister, and she and I want you to send us Cayce’s literature address at Atlantic Beach so we can send for literature, my sister especially het up now on Astrology.”

Jack had even started to take Oral Roberts seriously. From the start, Roberts’s reputation as a miraculous healer had been offset by his equally convincing reputation as a charlatan. In his later years, when completion of his extravagant project the City of Faith Hospital complex was threatened because of lack of funds, Roberts claimed to have been visited by a 900-foot Jesus. Roberts had “only seen Jesus once before,” but “there I was, face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. He reached down, put his Hands under the City of Faith, lifted it, and said to me, ‘See how easy it is for Me to lift it!’”

Jack’s leap of faith was facilitated by his discovery that “Oral Roberts is a Cherokee Indian. A real old-fashioned witchdoctor’s what he is . . . he has great compassionate heart. I don’t disbelieve him.” Carolyn insists that this last sentence was a joke for Neal’s benefit.

In any event, the Cassadys continued to pursue the Cayce doctrine, and at the 1956 Cayce spring conference the featured speaker was none other than Starr Daily, author of Release. Neal immediately turned to him for answers. Ex-con Daily certainly looked like Cassady’s sort of man, a bullish and rugged religious convert who would surely give appropriate advice. But this was not the case. With some degree of irony for Catholic-raised Cassady, Caycean Starr Daily seemed more like the kind of tough Irish priest that featured regularly in the gangster movies of the 1930s—morally inflexible but still capable of slugging a sinner if the need arose. His advice to Neal amounted to little more than “pray like the devil and discipline yourself,” whereas what Neal was probably hoping for was an epiphany followed by a fast-track route to enlightenment and salvation.“


Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)

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

Eva Strittmatter, Robin Block, Neal Cassady, Elizabeth Bishop, Gert Jonke

De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Eva Strittmatter werd als Eva Braun geboren op 8 februari 1930 in Neuruppin.  Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009 en eveneens mijn blog van 5 januari 2011.  Eva Strittmatter is op 3 januari van dit jaar op 80-jarige leeftijd in Berlijn overleden. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2010.


Wie furchtbar auch die Flamme war,
In der man einst zusammenbrannte,
Am Ende bleibt ein wenig Glut.
Auch uns geschieht das Altbekannte.

Daß es nicht Asche ist, die letzte Spur von Feuer,
Zeigt unser Tagwerk. Und wie teuer
Die kleine Wärme ist, hab ich erfahren
In diesem schlimmsten Jahr
Von allen meinen Jahren.
Wenn wieder so ein Winter wird
Und auf mich so ein Schnee fällt,
Rettet nur diese Wärme mich
Vom Tod. Was hält
Mich sonst? Von unserer Liebe bleibt: daß
Wir uns hatten. Kein Gras
Wird auf uns sein, kein Stein,
Solange diese Glut glimmt.

Solange Glut ist,
Kann auch Feuer sein ..



Die Amsel macht mich traurig,
Die Kirschen wollen blühn.
Ich fürchte, du könntest mir sterben
Und alles würde doch grün.

Vielleicht ist es auch mein Tod,
der mich schon traurig macht.
Die Amsel kann ich nicht fragen,
Wer hilft mir heute Nacht? 



Lasst mir das Silberfingerkraut.
Lasst mir den Hasenklee.
Lasst mir den kleinen Lerchenlaut.
Lasst mir den Liliensee.
Lasst mir den Sandweg durch die Heide.
Die Kiefer und den Birkenbaum.
Braucht ihr nicht manches Mal auch beide,
die Weltstadt und den Weltenraum?


Eva Strittmatter (8 februari 1930 – 3 januari 2011)



Doorgaan met het lezen van “Eva Strittmatter, Robin Block, Neal Cassady, Elizabeth Bishop, Gert Jonke”

Neal Cassady, Elizabeth Bishop, Robin Block, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke

De Amerikaanse schrijver Neal Cassady werd geboren op 8 februari 1926 in Salt Lake City. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


Uit: Grace Beats Karma: Letters from Prison. 1958-1960 (Neal Cassady)



Dearest daft dove deliberately doubling deft devotion despite despair dripping dumbly down delicately dim decolletage deserving diametrically different dissectional dressing—drenched daily in daddy’s deepest dedication—to you, Lady of the Gardenias, Carolyn, wife dearest; Just as little as did the Druids in Gaul 22 Centuries ago suspect their annual late autumn blood & harvest gleaning sacrifice to Shaiman, God of the Dead, would eventually degenerate into tonites small fry trick or treating hollow culmination, did, I’ll wager, you guess when writing it that “Hallelujah, the Pope is dead” would nigh make you a byword here synonymous to the opposite of your true character by exciting, without excepting P. Donovan’s two negro friends, every convict who saw it to comment in admiration as misunderstood as it was genuine, “Jeez, what a tough (means great) broad”, “Man,what a swingin’ chick ya got”, & the topper, from an older felon absolutely bugeyed in disbelief, “Where’s she doin’ time?” Anyway, I, not having fully forgotten Cayce, knew how you meant that already almost classic final line—say, just this second, as I wrote “classic”, a faint recollection struck of some famous Prince or King in history dashing into the castle’s great hall proclaiming “Hallelujah, the Pope is dead”; no doubt the “cons”, you & I were all standing there thunderstricken—& was altogether proud of your performance, so amusingly mistaken by them, still it is true, as my initial letter this month stated, that I did feel a foolish twinge at Pius XII’s passing, somewhat, perhaps, because of two detailed biographies I read, but mostly, due, I think, to heightened sensitivity toward anything familiar that jailing always produces in one, because my priest Godfather had talked with him 3 times rather recently & this closeness by proxy had somehow helped impress on me his true saintliness—of course, at 82 practically anyone can assume that aura, note Churchill, now 84, or Elinor, 76.“



Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)


De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Elizabeth Bishop werd geboren op 8 februari 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


A Miracle for Breakfast 


At six o’clock we were waiting for coffee,

waiting for coffee and the charitable crumb

that was going to be served from a certain balcony

–like kings of old, or like a miracle.

It was still dark. One foot of the sun

steadied itself on a long ripple in the river.


The first ferry of the day had just crossed the river.

It was so cold we hoped that the coffee

would be very hot, seeing that the sun

was not going to warm us; and that the crumb

would be a loaf each, buttered, by a miracle.

At seven a man stepped out on the balcony.


He stood for a minute alone on the balcony

looking over our heads toward the river.

A servant handed him the makings of a miracle,

consisting of one lone cup of coffee

and one roll, which he proceeded to crumb,

his head, so to speak, in the clouds–along with the sun.


Was the man crazy? What under the sun

was he trying to do, up there on his balcony!

Each man received one rather hard crumb,

which some flicked scornfully into the river,

and, in a cup, one drop of the coffee.

Some of us stood around, waiting for the miracle.


I can tell what I saw next; it was not a miracle.

A beautiful villa stood in the sun

and from its doors came the smell of hot coffee.

In front, a baroque white plaster balcony

added by birds, who nest along the river,

–I saw it with one eye close to the crumb–


and galleries and marble chambers. My crumb

my mansion, made for me by a miracle,

through ages, by insects, birds, and the river

working the stone. Every day, in the sun,

at breakfast time I sit on my balcony

with my feet up, and drink gallons of coffee.


We licked up the crumb and swallowed the coffee.

A window across the river caught the sun

as if the miracle were working, on the wrong balcony.



Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)


De Nederlandse dichter, songwriter en musicus Robin Block werd geboren op 8 februari 1980 in Heemskerk. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en mijn blog van 30 maart 2006 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


One Night Ouija

laat dat glas staan, tel de ledematen


wat blijft…dat wat het zwijgen niet kapot krijgt…denk aan het geweld waarmee de grond moest wijken…scherven van ont-innering…adem die verstomde in een grotere storm…

droomwaker…fiebertraumatisch… storyboard in polaroid…letter die haar naam verbasterde…stotterende mond was ik, geboren uit de handgebaren…

haar lichaam vroeg om warmte…hoe ze het ook weigerde, wijkend voor de vingertoppen…wie kan die naaktheid wel verdragen…aanraking maakt zwak en wat breekbaar is verweert zich slecht…

stampte wildwiekend de lakens uiteen
de zoektocht van verbaasde ogen
boven alle stemmen uit
heb ik haar opgetild
de hals gekust
een lied lang vastgehouden

ze zong voorzichtig in de hoorn…zweerde dat ik niet meer luisterde…bedekte een orgaan waarvan ze het bestaan herinnerde…

ik lag schokkend hoofd in randslaap…trilling van de halfgeleiders…
leden strak ineengeregen…

vanmorgen werd ik wakker met haar adem in mijn oor en
spelde zuiver op de tast haar naam uit

Robin Block (Heemskerk, 8 februari 1980)


De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Eva Strittmatter werd als Eva Braun geboren op 8 februari 1930 in Neuruppin.  Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.



Immer die gleiche Rose.

Immer das gleiche Gesicht.

Unter wechselndem Monde.

Unter wechselndem Licht.

Immer die gleiche Tollheit.

Immer der gleiche Traum.

Immer noch keine Weisheit.

Immer noch nicht: wie ein Baum.





Ich kann dich lieben oder hassen-

ganz wie du willst. (Kann dich auch lassen.)

Und du kannst schweigen oder sprechen.

Ganz wie du willst. Daran zerbrechen

werd ich nicht mehr. (Ich kann auch gehn.)

Ganz wie ich will, wird es geschehen.



Eva Strittmatter (Neuruppin, 8 februari 1930)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Gert Jonke werd geboren op 8 februari 1946 in Klagenfurt. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007  en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2009.


Uit: Der ferne Klang


„Vorhin haben auf einmal sämtliche Schornsteine des Hauses dort weiter vorne eine ergreifende M
usik zu blasen begonnen, und zwar zunächst in vereinzelt ganz tiefen aus den Rauchfängen hervorgekeucht ungeordnet aus allen Kaminen durcheinander hervorbrechend heftig auch spuckend manchmal durchaus ebenso leicht rülpsähnlich kräftig hinweggepreßten Gebläsestößen, waren aber erstaunlich bald schon nach und nach zum Anfang einer ganz diszipliniert dunkel herbeiposaunten Fanfare versammelt, durchaus auch trauermarschmäßig fehlerfrei fast einstimmig geordnet gewesen, ganz so, als hätten sich sämtliche Baßtubaspieler und Kontrafagottisten unserer Stadt und der sie umliegenden Landstriche im Dachstuhl dieses einen Gebäudes verborgen, vielleicht zu einer geheim zusammengekommenen ausnehmend mysteriösen Kontrabaßbläserversammlung, deren vorbildlich gemeinsames Musizieren durch die Schornsteinrohre aus dem Dachboden aus allen Schloten noch sehr lange in die Ebene hinausgeblasen worden ist.
Als du dann dem Gebäude immer näher gekommen warst, ist es dir aber nach und nach immer deutlicher als ein in dem vom Sommer geschmolzen zerflossenen Horizont herumschwimmendes Ozeanschiff erschienen, dessen Nebelhörner dich aus so weiter Ferne schon deine nun endliche Rückkehr zu dir herüber entgegen freundlich willkommenheißend herbeigrüßten.“



Gert Jonke (8 februari 1946 – 4 januari 2009)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e februari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.


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

De Nederlandse dichter, songwriter en musicus Robin Block werd geboren op 8 februari 1980 in Heemskerk. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en mijn blog van 30 maart 2006 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008. 


Ik ben de naam vergeten

heeft iets te maken met
de manier waarop hij adem haalt

ergens tussen  koekhappen en
het gapen van de bingovrouw
gebeurde het

fossiel van krokodil
tegelwijs uit crisisjaren
wantrouwen  nu de kaalheid nadert

hoor hem steggelen in TL gang:

‘het is hier geen hotel’
en  ‘rot op met die cliniclown’

dit is  de wachtkamer
dit is  de stoel waarop mijn opa slaapt


Het Grote Vergeten
voor Gerrit Kouwenaar

Zoals een weduwnaar alleen
zijn verleden nog kan wegen
met gekromde rug het hoofd buigt
en de kruimels van de tafel veegt
als waren het zijn dagen
zo poetst hij de vlekken weg
omarmt hij het vergeten


Robin Block (Heemskerk, 8 februari 1980)


De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Elizabeth Bishop werd geboren op 8 februari 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008. 

I Am in Need of Music

I am in need of music that would flow

Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,

Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,

With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.

Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,

Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,

A song to fall like water on my head,

And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!


There is a magic made by melody:

A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool

Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep

To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,

And floats forever in a moon-green pool,

Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.




Cirque D’Hiver


Across the floor flits the mechanical toy,

fit for a ki
ng of several centuries back.

A little circus horse with real white hair.

His eyes are glossy black.

He bears a little dancer on his back.


She stands upon her toes and turns and turns.

A slanting spray of artificial roses

is stitched across her skirt and tinsel bodice.

Above her head she poses

another spray of artificial roses.


His mane and tail are straight from Chirico.

He has a formal, melancholy soul.

He feels her pink toes dangle toward his back

along the little pole

that pierces both her body and her soul


and goes through his, and reappears below,

under his belly, as a big tin key.

He canters three steps, then he makes a bow,

canters again, bows on one knee,

canters, then clicks and stops, and looks at me.


The dancer, by this time, has turned her back.

He is the more intelligent by far.

Facing each other rather desperately—

his eye is like a star—

we stare and say, “Well, we have come this far.”



Elizabeth Bishop (8 februari 1911 – 6 oktober 1979)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Neal Cassady werd geboren op 8 februari 1926 in Salt Lake City. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008. 


Uit: The Fast Life of a Beat Hero (Biografie door David Sandison)


The time between New Year’s 1956 and April 1958 was a period of general uncertainty and renewed spiritual doubt for Neal Cassady. He remained haunted by Natalie’s death. In a penitent 1958 letter to Father Harley Schmitt, Neal would write: “I became involved with a younger most sensitive girl who, when the money was gone and apparently despairing because of disappointment in me, committed suicide by leaping off the roof while I slept on in lazy indifference below.”


Suicide was an egregious sin in the eyes of Cayce’s followers, and Caycean thought was still a potent force in the Cassady household even though Neal and [Neal’s wife] Carolyn’s adherence to it marked them as eccentrics to many friends and acquaintances. Then suddenly in 1956 it seemed that, for once, Neal and Carolyn were not as alone in their belief as they thought. A much wider interest in reincarnation was stimulated by the publication, in January of that year, of The Search for Bridey Murphy. This bestselling “faction” book by hypnotist Morey Bernstein focused on Colorado housewife Virginia Tighe and her apparent hypnotic regression into a past life as a nineteenth-century Irishwoman. The same year a movie of the book cast Teresa Wright as Virginia Tighe (renamed Ruth Simmons in the screenplay) and even depicted Edgar Cayce, whose own posthumous fortunes were considerably revived by the Bridey Murphy craze (despite subsequent suspicions that Virginia Tighe had simply—if imaginatively—recycled colorful tales gleaned from an elderly Irish neighbor).



Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)


De Duitse schrijfster en dichteres Eva Strittmatter werd als Eva Braun geboren op 8 februari 1930 in Neuruppin. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008. 



Ich wollte in der
Stille sein.
Bin in den Wald
Und habe mich im
Der Einsamkeit






Ich liebe immer.
Die Entzückungen
der Seele.
Die in ein Auge
sieht, das Antwort
Sie sind es, die ich
schamlos stehle.
Und niemand weiß,
wen ich geliebt,
als nur der eine,
den ich anseh,
Für eine Stunde,
einen Tag,
Und der mit
eingeht in mein
Nach dem ich
immer wieder frag.



Eva Strittmatter (Neuruppin, 8 februari 1930)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Gert Jonke werd geboren op 8 februari 1946 in Klagenfurt. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2007  en ook mijn blog van 8 februari 2008. 


Uit: Insektarium


“Mir passiert es sehr oft, und zwar immer, wenn ich beim Schreiben von Geschichten wieder von vorne beginne, daß deren erstes Wort mir im Mund gefriert, ehe ich es aussprechen könnte wie ein Ort oder der Name eines Ortes, wo noch nie jemand gewesen ist, weil ich mit dieser Geschichte immer wieder jene Orte suche, wo noch niemand gewesen sein kann, um somit neue, unbetretbare Welten zu erfinden, aber ich bleibe schon beim ersten Wort meiner Geschichte stehen und stecken; ich versuche also, dieses Wort auf ein Blatt Papier zu schreiben. Das scheint sehr gut zu gelingen, und beinah wäre das Wort von dem Stift, den ich ergriffen habe, niedergeschrieben worden. Doch kurz bevor er das Wort geschrieben hat, stellt der Stift in meiner Hand sich deutlich als jener Stift eines Forschungsschiffes heraus, das schon vor hundert Jahren mit einer Expedition ins nördliche Eismeer aufgebrochen war und damals unmittelbar nach dem Beginn der Expedition in Vergessenheit geriet, weil das Schiff bis heute noch immer fossiliert in einem versteinerten Nordlichtquader wie eine Fliege im Bernstein steckengeblieben ist und noch immer steckt, dort, verschollen, vergessen, bis jetzt, bis mein Stift quer durchs arktische Eis des Papiers zu diesen nach wie vor in einem riesigen Lichtkristall steckengebliebenen Mitgliedern dieser vergessenen Expedition vorzudringen versucht, mit meiner wie ein Eisbrecher sich zu dem weißen Eispanzer hinüberschreibenden, ihn zerschneidenden Feder des Stifts, um an den erstarrten Minen dieser Leute abzulesen, wo denn der gesuchte Ort, den auch sie noch nicht ganz erreicht hatten, denn etwa liege …”



Gert Jonke (8 februari 1946 – 4 januari 2009)


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

Uit: The Associate


The rules of the New Haven Youth League required that each kid play at least ten minutes in each game. Exceptions were allowed for players who had upset their coaches by skipping practice or violating other rules. In such cases, a coach could file a report before the game and inform the scorekeeper that so-and-so wouldn’t play much, if at all, because of some infraction. This was frowned on by the league; it was, after all, much more recreational than competitive.

With four minutes left in the game, Coach Kyle looked down the bench, nodded at a somber and pouting little boy named Marquis, and said, ”Do you want to play?”



John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)


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


Uit: Noem het slaap (Vertaald door Beccy de Vries)


„Achter de boot werd het witte kielzog, dat zich tot Ellis lsland uitstrekte, steeds langer, langzamerhand tot een flets meloengroen vervagend. Aan de ene zijde was, in een flauwe bocht, de lage, vaalbruine kustlijn van Jersey, terwijl de rondhouten en masten aan de waterkant de hemel met een lijn van franje versierden; aan de andere zijde was B
rooklyn, vlak, met veel watertorens; de kranen van de haven. En daarvoor, op haar hoge voetstuk oprijzend uit die stijgende, woelende schittering van zonverlicht water meer naar het westen toe, de Vrijheid. De snel rondwentelende schijf van de late middagzon daalde schuin achter het beeld, en voor hen aan boord die er naar staarden, waren haar gelaatstrekken verdonkerd door schaduwen, haar diepten leeg, haar massa’s glad gestreken tot één enkel vlak. Tegen de lichtende hemel waren de stralen van haar stralenkrans scherpe punten van duisternis die de lucht de sporen gaven; schaduw vervlakte de toorts die ze droeg tot een zwart kruis tegen smetteloos licht – het zwart geworden gevest van een gebroken zwaard. Vrijheid.“



Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)


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

Uit: Journey to the Centre of the Earth

It was on Sunday, the 24th of May, 1863, that my uncle, Professor Lidenbrock, came rushing suddenly back to his little house in the old part of Hamburg, No. 19, Königstrasse.
Our good Martha could not but think she was very much behindhand with the dinner, for the pot was scarcely beginning to simmer, and I said to myself:
“Now, then, we’ll have a fine outcry if my uncle is hungry, for he is the most impatient of mortals.”
“Mr. Lidenbrock, already!” cried the poor woman, in dismay, half opening the dining-room door.
“Yes, Martha; but of course dinner can’t be ready yet, for it is not two o’clock. It has only just struck the half-hour by St. Michael’s.”
“What brings Mr. Lidenbrock home, then?”
“He’ll probably tell us that himself.”
“Here he comes. I’ll be off, Mr. Axel; you must make him listen to reason.”
And forthwith she effected a safe retreat to her culinary laboratory.
I was left alone, but not feeling equal to the task of making the most irascible of professors listen to reason, was about to escape to my own little room upstairs, when the street-door creaked on its hinges, and the wooden stairs cracked beneath a hurried tread, and the master of the house came in and bolted across the dining-room, straight into his study. But, rapid as his flight was, he managed to fling his nutcracker-headed stick into a corner, and his wide-brimmed rough hat on the table, and to shout out to his nephew:
“Axel, follow me.”



Jules Verne (8 februari 1828 – 24 maart 1905)


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

Uit: The Awakening and Other Stories

Upon the pleasant veranda of Pere Antoine’s cottage, that adjoined the church, a young girl had long been seated, awaiting his return. It was the eve of Easter Sunday, and since early afternoon the priest had been engaged in hearing the confessions of those who wished to make their Easters the following day. The girl did not seem impatient at his delay; on the contrary, it was very restful to her to lie back in the big chair she had found there, and peep through the thick curtain of vines at the people who occasionally passed along the village street.
She was slender, with a frailness that indicated lack of wholesome and plentiful nourishment. A pathetic, uneasy look was in her gray eyes, and even faintly stamped her features, which were fine and delicate. In lieu of a hat, a barege veil covered her light brown and abundant hair. She wore a coarse white cotton ‘josie,’ and a blue calico skirt that only half concealed her tattered shoes.
As she sat there, she held carefully in her lap a parcel of eggs securely fastened in a red bandana handkerchief.
Twice already a handsome, stalwart young man in quest of the priest had entered the yard, and penetrated to where she sat. At first they had exchanged the uncompromising ‘howdy’ of strangers, and nothing more. The second time, finding the priest still absent, he hesitated to go at once. Instead, he stood upon the step, and narrowing his brown eyes, gazed beyond the river, off towards the west, where a murky streak of mist was spreading across the sun.“



Kate Chopin (8 februari 1851 – 22 augustus 1904)


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

Uit: Graue Stunden

“Es hatte den ganzen Tag geregnet. Helene trat ans Fenster und blickte hinaus. Noch immer rann die graue Flut von Himmel nieder. Noch immer das leise Picken der Tropfen an den Fensterscheiben. Noch immer das eintönige Rieseln und Rauschen. Noch immer das Stöhnen des Windes im Ofenrohr.

Helene hatte genäht und dann einen kurzen Brief geschrieben. Nun war es sechs Uhr und die Dämmerung kam schon geschlichen. Wie Nebel auf der See die stillgleitenden Schiffe einhüllt, sank Traurigkeit über die Frau. Ein trübe Melancholie – von den schutzigen, naßglänzenden Straßen, von den kahlen, triefenden Baumzweigen, die sich vor ihren Augen wie in Schmerzen wanden, aus der schweren feuchten Luft schien sie durch die mit Dunst und Gerinnsel bedeckten Fensterscheiben zu ihr einzudringen.

Helene seufzte ungeduldig. Sie hatte gehofft, der Regen werde aufhören, daß sie noch ein wenig ausgehen könne. Sie war ja nicht unbescheiden gewesen und hatte gleich auf Sonnenschein und blauen Himmel gerechnet. Nur ein wenig ausruhende Stille in der Natur.

Es lag ihr so schwer auf der Brust . . .

Und jetzt rauschte es wieder heftiger, das feine Rieseln wurde ein hartes Klatchen, große Blasen tanzten auf den braunen Lachen über dem Pflaster.“



Gabriele Reuter (8 februari 1859 – 18 november 1941)