Jim Knipfel, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen, Thomas Hardy

De Amerikaanse schrijver Jim Knipfel werd geboren op 2 juni 1965 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Zie ook alle tags voor Jim Knipfel op dit blog.

Uit: The Blow-off

“Marv was your first husband,” Hank gently corrected. He bit his lip, his eyes drifting involuntarily back toward the ticket booth outside the Girl-to-Gorilla tent.
“I just don’t see the attraction.”
“Fine, I can accept that,” he said. “But would you mind if I went in? You can wait out here, and I’ll be back in ten—”
From inside the tent came the squeal and crash of a metal cage door torn from its hinges and tossed to the ground. Annie jumped a step closer to Hank as, at that instant, the piercing shrieks of half a dozen teenage girls erupted inside. One of the tent’s nylon side panels billowed outward, went taut, and focused nearly to a point before a small, almost delicate black fist punched through the orange fabric. The screams from inside the tent were growing more frenzied. There was a tearing sound as those same girls, blind with panic, ripped their way through the tent wall and poured out onto the midway, stumbling over one another, still screaming and laughing, before scattering in half a dozen different directions. Hank watched a few of them go, shaking his head in quiet, resigned amusement, knowing for certain there was now no way in hell he’d get Annie into the show. “They’re a superstitious people,” he explained. “They always overreact to these things.”
“Shhhh.” His wife glowered at him and pinched his arm for the third time that night. There was nothing playful about it.
Hank winced and pulled his arm away. “All right, then. Let’s move on. We’ll see the gorilla show later. Great show. Trust me. Used to see it when I was a kid.”
She took his arm and they moved down the midway away from the ripped tent, weaving their way through the thick Jersey crowds, trying to avoid
the dropped ice-cream cones and puddles of cotton candy vomit as they went.
The rides they were passing grew more rickety and treacherous with each passing year. Or maybe, Annie sometimes thought, she and Hank were just getting older.”

 
Jim Knipfel (Green Bay, 2 juni 1965)

 

De Duitse schrijver en literatuurcriticus Marcel Reich-Ranicki werd geboren op 2 juni 1920 in Włocławek, Polen. Zie ook alle tags voor Marcel Reich-Ranicki op dit blog.

Uit:Meine Geschichte der deutschen Literatur

“Mit dem Herzen hat es eine eigene Bewandtnis. Es ist — sagt der Prophet Jeremias —»das Herz ein trotzig und verzagt Ding; wer kann es ergründen?« Ohne das Herz, weiß jedes Kind, kann niemand existieren. Nur stellt sich meist heraus, dass gerade die herzlosen Menschen lange und gut leben. Man kann sein Herz verschenken: »Ich schenk mein Herz nur dir allein« — singt die Madame Dubarry in Millöckers Operette. Man kann sich auch ein Menschenherz als Geschenk wünschen, ohne deshalb der Grausamkeit bezichtigt zu werden. Aus dem »Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach« kennen wir ja das wunderbare Lied, das mit den Worten beginnt: »Willst du dein Herz mir schenken, /so fang es heimlich an …« Bisweilen sind jene Menschen besonders glücklich, die ihr Herz verschenkt oder die es ganz einfach verloren haben, beispielsweise in Heidelberg.
Verwunderlich ist auch, was das Herz alles vermag. Denn es kann schlagen und klopfen, pochen und hämmern, es kann zittern und flattern, aber auch schmachten und jubeln, es kann stillstehen, aber auch aufwachen und erglühen, es kann stocken und versagen, brechen und zerspringen. Das Herz kann sich an sehr verschiedenen Orten befinden, mitunter sogar gleichzeitig. Man kann es auf der Zunge haben, aber es kann einem auch in die Hose rutschen. Es kann einem im Leibe lachen, aber sich auch im Leibe umdrehen. Man kann es auf dem rechten Fleck haben, aber auch stehlen und erobern. Man kann sich ein Herz fassen, aber auch sein Herz an jemanden hängen. Man kann seinem Herzen Luft machen und ihm einen Stoß geben, es kann einem ein Stein vom Herzen fallen. Man kann etwas auf dem Herzen haben und ein Kind unter dem Herzen tragen. Man kann die Zwietracht, zumal die deutsche, mitten ins Herz treffen. Und wes das Herz voll ist — wir wissen es aus der Bibel —, des kann der Mund übergehen. Und da man sich einer Sache mit halbem Herzen zuwenden kann, lässt es sich offenbar auch halbieren. Natürlich kann man aus seinem Herzen eine Mördergrube und, häufiger noch, keine Mördergrube machen. Auch kann man jemanden in sein Herz schließen, ja, dort ist so viel Platz, dass sich sogar ein ganzer Chor ins Herz schließen lässt.“

 
Marcel Reich-Ranicki (2 juni 1920 – 18 september 2013)
Cover

 

De Duitse schrijfster Sibylle Berg werd geboren in Weimar op 2 juni 1962. Zie ook alle tags voor Sibylle Berg op dit blog.

Uit: Ein paar Leute suchen das Glück und lachen sich tot (Tom geht weg)

„Die Luft riecht nach Großstadt, morgens um 4. Ein dicker Geruch. Nach schimmelndem Metall und Bäcker. Die Frau liegt oben. Wahrscheinlich weint sie. Wenn ich eine Frau wäre, würde ich auch weinen. Weil das so bequem ist, eine Flucht, die nichts ändert, falls ihr versteht, was ich meine.
Die Frau weint also vermutlich. Ich nicht. Ich weine nicht, ich leide auch nicht. Ich gehe einfach nur nach Hause. Ich werde mir die Frau abduschen. Wieder durch die Bars laufen und suchen. Nach einer neuen Frau. Wenn Weihnachten ist, und ich kann euch sagen, das kommt immer schneller, als man so denkt, werde ich wieder vor diesem Kaufhaus hier stehen. Jetzt sind da irgendwelche Herbstsachen drin. Blöde Plastefrüchte und so. Aber Weihnachten ist da eine Eisenbahn drin, in dem Schaufenster. Die fährt durch verschneite Dörfer. Die Häuschen sind von innen beleuchtet. Ich steh da immer ganz lange. Stell mir Sachen vor, die in diesen Häuschen passieren. Irgendwo wird eine Katze geschlachtet, in den Ofen geschoben, die Därme an den Baum geputzt. In einem anderen Häuschen liegt der Großvater im Bett und ist schon geraume Weile tot. Da sind Fliegen und die Enkel spielen mit dem Opa. Solche Sachen eben, und ich habe dann so einen Haß auf die Kinder. Die stehen neben mir und sehen meine Bahn an. Und die Eltern zwinkern, wenn die Scheißkinder fragen: Krieg ich so eine? Wir werden sehen, sagen die Eltern und zwinkern.
Ich könnt die dann immer in die Schnauze haun. Ich weiß wirklich nicht, warum. Was ich sagen will, ist, irgendwie suche ich nach einer Frau, die Weihnachten mit mir diese Bahn anguckt. Und die mich nichts Blödes fragt. Die vielleicht so einem Kind eine runterhaut. Und die mir dann eine Eisenbahn schenkt. Aber ich habe so eine noch nie gefunden. Ich gehe jetzt heim, dusche. Und dann gehe ich wieder los. Und suche weiter nach der Frau, die mit mir zu diesem Schaufenster geht.”

 
Sibylle Berg (Weimar, 2 juni 1962)

 

De Canadese schrijfster Carol Shields werd op 2 juni 1935 in Oak Park, Chicago, geboren als Carol Warner. Zie ook alle tags voor Carol Shields op dit blog.

Uit: The Stone Diaries

„All spring she’s been troubled with indigestion. Often in the morning, and then again at night after her young husband has gone to sleep, she’s risen from her bed and dosed herself with Bishop’s Citrate of Magnesia. When she drinks ordinary milk or sweetened tea or sugary lemonade she swallows it down greedily, but Bishop’s cool chalky potion she pours into a china cup and sips with deep, slow concentration, with dignity. She doesn’t know what to think. One day she’s persuaded her liver’s acting up, and the next day her kidneys—she’s only thirty years old, but kidney trouble can start early in life, especially for a woman of my mother’s unorthodox size. Or perhaps the problem stems from constipation. Mrs. Flett next door has suggested this possibility, recommending rhubarb tablets, or else, speaking confidentially, some woman’s trouble. Excessive loss of blood, she tells Mercy, is the cause of discomfort for many young ladies—has Mercy spoken to Dr. Spears? Dr. Spears is known for his sensitivity to women’s complaints; he has a way of squeezing his eyes shut when he phrases his delicate inquiries, of speaking almost poetically of nature’s cycles and balances, of the tide of fertility or the consolation of fruit salts.
No, Mercy has not approached Dr. Spears, she would never speak to Dr. Spears of such a thing, she would speak to no one, not even her husband—especially not her husband. Her monthly blood has appeared only twice in her life, springing out of the soft cushions of her genital flesh, staining her underclothes with its appalling brightness, and mocking the small decencies and duties that steady her life: her needlework, her housekeeping, her skill with a flat iron, her preserves and pickles and fresh linens and the lamp chimneys she polishes every single morning.
The doses of Citrate of Magnesia help hardly at all. Fruit salts only make her suffering worse. Her abdominal walls have continued to cramp and heave all spring, and she’s wondered at times if her inner membranes might burst with the pressure. Bile rises often in her throat. Her skin itches all over. She experiences scalding attacks of flatulence, especially at night as she lies next to my father, who, out of love, out of delicacy, pretends deep sleep—she can tell from the way he keeps himself curled respectfully to his own side of the bed.“

 
Carol Shields (2 juni 1935 – 16 juli 2003)
Cover

 

De Nederlandse sportjournalist en schrijver Jean Nelissen werd geboren in Geleen op 2 juni 1936. Zie ook alle tags voor Jean Nelissen op dit blog.

Uit: De Bijbel van 100 jaar Tour

“We rijden in langzaam tempo door de Midi, Perpignan. Toulouse, Beziers, Albi, Narbonne, Carcasonne. Het is bloedheet De toeristen die hun campings hebben verlaten zijn schaars gekleed. Dan zien ze onze auto. Het vaderland schuift voorbij. En 16 jaar lang horen wij als enige vraag: ‘Hoe doet Joop het? Dan steken we onze duim omhoog en het volk zakt tevreden terug in de wankele campingstoeltjes. Holland en rijn beleving van de Tour de France. In een tunnelrelatie met een timmerman uit Rijpwetering, Joop Zoetemelk. Ik heb in al die jaren zeer vele spandoekjes gezien: ‘Hup Joop’. Mensen, zittend voor hun tent. hebben zich de moeite getroost om in de campingwinkel of in het dorp een doek te kopen en daarop ‘Hup Joop!’ te kalken. Op zich een ontwapenende vorm van nationalisme.
Je zit daar een of meer weken voor zo’n tent, 2000 kilometer van Genemuiden Kwintsheul en Slagharen verwijderd ren over twee dagen komt Joop voorbij.
De enige opwinding in een weliswaar ontspannend maar soms ook slopend saai bestaan. ‘Hup Joop!” Ik heb hem wel eens gevraagd “Zie je die spandoeken? Joop antwoordt ‘Ja, af en toe.’
Ik ken Joop tamelijk goed. Ik heb tien jaar zijn column voor de kranten geschreven. Dat ging zo. Raam van de auto open. “Joop. nog iets bijzonders?’ Hij antwoordt ‘Nee.’ Ik vraag hem naar enkele details over wat er die dag gebeurd is. Dan sluit ik het raam van de auto en begin aan de column. want ik weet met een afwijkingspercentage van slechts enkele percenten hoe Joop over de gang van zaken denkt. We maken samen ook een commercial voor TopDrop. En wij rijden op 8 juni 1971 de destijds befaamde koppeltijdrit bij De Gouden Karper in Hummelo. Topsporters zoals Ard Schenk en Sjaak Swart en journaltsten worden gekoppeld aan een wielrenner. Het bochtige parcours voert 8.5 km om smalle wegen.”

 
Jean Nelissen (2 juni 1936 – 1 september 2010)

 

De Engels romanschrijver en dichter Thomas Hardy werd op 2 juni 1840 geboren in Higher Bockhampton, bij Dorchester. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Hardy op dit blog.

Uit: Far from the Madding Crowd

“The field he was in this morning sloped to a ridge called Norcombe Hill. Through a spur of this hill ran the highway between Emminster and Chalk-Newton. Casually glancing over the hedge, Oak saw coming down the incline before him an ornamental spring waggon, painted yellow and gaily marked, drawn by two horses, a waggoner walking alongside bearing a whip perpendicularly. The waggon was laden with household goods and window plants, and on the apex of the whole sat a woman, young and attractive. Gabriel had not beheld the sight for more than half a minute, when the vehicle was brought to a standstill just beneath his eyes.
“The tailboard of the waggon is gone, Miss,” said the waggoner.
“Then I heard it fall,” said the girl, in a soft, though not particularly low voice. “I heard a noise I could not account for when we were coming up the hill.”
“I’ll run back.”
“Do,” she answered.
The sensible horses stood — perfectly still, and the waggoner’s steps sank fainter and fainter in the distance.
The girl on the summit of the load sat motionless, surrounded by tables and chairs with their legs upwards, backed by an oak settle, and ornamented in front by pots of geraniums, myrtles, and cactuses, together with a caged canary — all probably from the windows of the house just vacated. There was also a cat in a willow basket, from the partly-opened lid of which she gazed with half-closed eyes, and affectionately-surveyed the small birds around.
The handsome girl waited for some time idly in her place, and the only sound heard in the stillness was the hopping of the canary up and down the perches of its prison. Then she looked attentively downwards. It was not at the bird, nor at the cat; it was at an oblong package tied in paper, and lying between them. She turned her head to learn if the waggoner were coming. He was not yet in sight; and her eyes crept back to the package, her thoughts seeming to run upon what was inside it. At length she drew the article into her lap, and untied the paper covering; a small swing looking-glass was disclosed, in which she proceeded to survey herself attentively. She parted her lips and smiled.
It was a fine morning, and the sun lighted up to a scarlet glow the crimson jacket she wore, and painted a soft lustre upon her bright face and dark hair. The myrtles, geraniums, and cactuses packed around her were fresh and green, and at such a leafless season they invested the whole concern of horses, waggon, furniture, and girl with a peculiar vernal charm.“


Thomas Hardy (2 juni 1840 – 11 januari 1928)
Portret door Walter William Ouless, 1922

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 2e juni ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

Jim Knipfel, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen, Thomas Hardy, Markies De Sade, Dorothy West, Max Aub

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Jim Knipfel werd geboren op 2 juni 1965 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Zie ook alle tags voor Jim Knipfel op dit blog.

Uit: These Children Who Come at You with Knives

“As if that wasn’t bad enough, the entire sidewalk in both directions had become a river of bodily fluids. Snot and puke and pus and bile and piss all flowed together in a thick noxious stream dotted with islands of shit. Great clouds of fat blackflies hung low over the flood, and even in the chill autumn air the unimaginable stench made Milton’s own gorge rise. Confronted with such a nightmarish landscape, most men would have screamed or called the police or written a strong let-ter of complaint to the EPA. Not Milton, who had almost ex-pected this. He didn’t simply want to identify the culprit anymore. He wanted revenge. This was a malicious premeditated attack aimed at him personally. He knew that. And whoever was responsible would pay. That night, instead of waiting by the window, Milton stepped outside, crossed the street, and hid in a darkened, recessed door-way. From that vantage point he could see a good stretch of side-walk in either direction. He would hide in that doorway as long as it took. The streets were silent. Even the cars were asleep. At the stroke of four, as Milton’s eyelids began to grow quite heavy, he caught a quick movement across the street to his left. A shadow dashed beneath a streetlamp. He strained his eyes but could see nothing. There was another dark flash to his right. In the pool of light he definitely saw a small leg. Another figure came dancing around the corner, fully visible, and Milton nearly let loose with a yelp of surprise. It was a tiny man, no more than three feet tall. He looked human, apart from the pointed ears, the stupid haircut, the peaked red cap, and a pair of strange curly-toed boots. Aside from the hat and the boots, the little man was naked as a jaybird. Not just naked, Milton noted with revulsion, but pissing as well. Dancing in circles and pissing. In his hands he held a crystal bucket. Milton couldn’t tell what was contained in the bucket, but whatever it was the little man was splashing it on the sidewalk as he danced and pissed. The bucket, though tiny, seemed to hold a bottomless supply of something thick and green. A second little man, equally naked apart from the hat and boots, came dancing down the block, snorting and spitting an endless stream of phlegm in every direction. Soon there was a third and a fourth and a fifth.

 
Jim Knipfel (Green Bay, 2 juni 1965)

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Jim Knipfel, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen, Thomas Hardy, Markies De Sade, Joy Ladin

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Jim Knipfel werd geboren op 2 juni 1965 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Zie ook alle tags voor Jim Knipfel op dit blog.

Uit: Slackjaw: A Memoir

“There, you see? Can you imagine how they would feel if you killed yourself?”
“So, what, I should go on living solely out of guilt? Guilt overhow they would feel if I were to end it? That’s not much to workwith.” I chuckled.
“See? You just laughed! If you laugh, that must meansomething. Everything’s not completely dark.”
“Well, Wagner said,” I responded, one more young man whotook his Wagner too seriously, “`Amidst laughter should we faceour doom.'”
“Who?”
“Never mind,” I told her, knowing the whole thing was amistake. It wasn’t going anywhere, and never would go anywhere.”Thanks for taking the time, but I’m suddenly real tired. I’mgoing to bed.”
“Are you still thinking about hurting yourself?”
“Well, yeah. But right now I’m just too damn tired.” Thesefew minutes on the phone with her had completely sapped whatenergy I had left. She began to say something else, but I hungup. Useless. I lay down on my mattress, still dressed, and fellasleep.
The next morning was brisk and clear outside. Therewere things I was supposed to be doing, but for the life of me, Icouldn’t remember what. I put on my hat and coat, left theapartment, and started walking in a direction I’d never gone. I hadstarted wearing a black fedora everywhere when I was sixteenyears old. At the time, I thought it made me look like Bogart. Iwas mistaken. So many of us go through life trying to be Bogartor Cagney, but we mostly end up like Elisha Cook, Jr. I certainlydid. But the hat stayed. It was my most identifiable feature.
I walked for hours, hoping I could exhaust myself and walkthe bad thoughts out of my head. Once my legs started gettingnumb, I turned around and started back home. While I walked,I took inventory, only to discover that there was nothing to count.
When I got home, I opened the door, threw my hat and coaton the mattress, snatched the razors off the desk, took them into the bathroom, and searched in vain for a comfortable spot on the tiled floor. After a few minutes I gave up on that silly notion and set to work on the right wrist.”

 
Jim Knipfel (Green Bay, 2 juni 1965)

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Jim Knipfel, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen, Thomas Hardy, Markies De Sade

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Jim Knipfel werd geboren op 2 juni 1965 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Zie ook alle tags voor Jim Knipfel op dit blog.

Uit: Slackjaw: A Memoir

„I  didn’t have an answer to her question. I had begun to notice that my failing eyesight — which in the past had affected me only at night — now was affecting me in the daytime as well. I couldn’t cut it in physics, I couldn’t cut it at the University of Chicago. So here I was in Madison, at the University of Wisconsin, a nondescript state school that would admit autistics if they could pay the tuition, studying philosophy, which wouldn’t do me a damn bit of good in the future. Those facts weren’t reasons, either.
“Any possible reasons you could give me?”
I was in it now. I might as well try. “I guess you could say I’m a fuck-up.”
“Yeah?” Her voice dropped to a throaty whisper. She must have thought she was getting someplace, that she had finally broken through. “When was the last time you fucked up?”
“About five minutes ago, when I picked up the phone to call you.”
“That’s not very nice.” She was attempting to hold on to her sincerity.
“Sorry,” I said. I suppose I was, too, a little.
“Let’s try something else. Let’s turn things around. Tell me some of the things you like.”
I thought for a minute.
“I’m pretty hard-pressed to come up with anything just at this moment, ma’am.”
“C’mon, there must be something. You must have friends.”
“Nope.”
“None at all?”
“Nope”
“What about your family?” “My family’s cool. I’ve got nothing but kind things to say about them.”


Jim Knipfel (Green Bay, 2 juni 1965)

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Jim Knipfel, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen, Thomas Hardy, Markies De Sade

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Jim Knipfel werd geboren op 2 juni 1965 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Zie ook alle tags voor Jim Knipfel op dit blog.

Uit: Unplugging Philco

As furtively as possible he checked the three of them again. Still chatting. If they began moving his way he’ d need a new plan, and quick. If only there was another pedestrian to draw their attention away from him — but there never was. Nobody else was out at this hour. It would be simple enough to change his own schedule, he sometimes thought, but he knew it would never happen.
He flexed his legs and his toes, checked the sidewalk directly below him again, then took a deep breath and willed himself into action.
As he scrambled down the stairs like a convulsive heron, Wally told himself for the thirtieth time in as many days that it was about time he picked himself up a new pair of shoes. This old pair he was wearing was simply not made for scrambling of any kind. Not with soles worn that smooth and thin.
Without pausing at the bottom to see if they’d caught sight of him, he dashed across the sidewalk, staying as low as he could manage, and ducked between two parked cars. He was breathing heavy and sweating despite the cool breeze, but at least he had some decent cover here.
Holding on to the rear bumper of a cherry red Chrysler Xanax for support, he pushed himself up just enough to peer over the trunk and down the street.
They still hadn’t seen him, too engrossed as they were in their little chat.
Probably exchanging diapering tips and murder stories, he thought. He checked the street again.
There was someone at the stoplight two blocks away. He was driving one of those Dodge Dipsomatic GX Mini Forts, an enormous vehicle, almost a full lane and a half wide. It was little more than a street-modified tank, really, but they’d become quite popular lately.” 

 
Jim Knipfel (Green Bay, 2 juni 1965)

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Jim Knipfel, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen

De Amerikaanse schrijver Jim Knipfel werd geboren op 2 juni 1965 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Zie ook alle tags voor Jim Knipfel op dit blog.

 

Uit: The Blow-off

 

“The recording started once again from the beginning.
“No,” was all she said.
The limp and faded banner hanging over the entrance to the tent featured a screaming, bikini-clad beauty held loosely in the clutches of what appeared to be a twelve-foot-tall gorilla who, likewise, was screaming about something. His (as promised) wicked yellow fangs were dripping blood. Behind them, for some reason, stood a single palm tree.
“C’mon,” he said, his voice distant, his eyes fixed on the crudely painted banner. His legs were already moving toward the tent, and he was tugging at her immovable arm like a Jack Russell terrier who’d just spotted something in the gutter. A slice of pizza or the severed wing of a pigeon.
“No,” Annie repeated more firmly. She leaned back, digging her heels into the blacktop, which had softened in the unbearable heat of the past three days. She wrenched her arm free from his sweaty grip. There was no question or hesitation in her tone, no opening for negotiations. She folded her arms and waited for him to turn around and meet her unwavering gaze.
The heavy air around them reeked of burnt sugar and sweat and howled with a collision of warped calliope music, classic rock, and screams. Where they stood, they were hemmed in on all sides by thousands of dancing and whirling and throbbing pinpoint lights.
Hank’s eyes snapped away from the banner and back to his wife, his confusion deepening. “No? Whaddya mean no? It’s a Girl-to-Gorilla show.” He spoke the term as if merely uttering it aloud would clarify everything.
“No.”
“Look, sweetie—Annie—like the tape says, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s in a cage. I’ve seen this show a dozen times and it gets me every time. Great little trick. It’s done with mirrors, you know.” He stared at her expectantly.
“That’s great, Marv. Really. But no.”

 

 

Jim Knipfel (Green Bay, 2 juni 1965)

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Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Jim Knipfel, Sibylle Berg, Carol Shields, Jean Nelissen, Markies De Sade, Dorothy West

De Duitse schrijver en literatuurcriticus Marcel Reich-Ranicki werd geboren op 2 juni 1920 in Włocławek, Polen. Zie ook alle tags voor Marcel Reich-Ranicki op dit blog.

 

Uit: Mein Leben

 

„Es war Ende Oktober 1958 auf einer Tagung der “Gruppe 47” in der Ortschaft Grosholzleute im Allgau. Von den hier versammelten Schriftstellern kannte ich nur wenige – kein Wunder, denn ich lebte erst seit drei Monaten wieder in dem Land, aus dem mich die deutschen Behörden im Herbst 1938 deportiert hatten. Jedenfalls fuhlte ich mich bei dieser Tagung isoliert; und so war es mir nicht unrecht, das in der Mittagspause ein jungerer deutscher Autor, mit dem ich mich im vergangenen Fruhjahr in Warschau unterhalten hatte, auf mich zukam. Noch wuste ich nicht, das schon am nachsten Tag, mit dem ihm verliehenen Preis der “Gruppe 47”, sein steiler Aufstieg zum Weltruhm beginnen sollte.

Dieser kraftige junge Mann, selbstsicher und etwas aufmupfig, verwickelte mich nun in ein Gesprach. Nach einem kurzen Wortwechsel bedrangte er mich plotzlich mit einer einfachen Frage. Noch niemand hatte mir, seit ich wieder in Deutschland war, diese Frage so direkt und so ungeniert gestellt.

Er, Gunter Grass aus Danzig, wollte namlich von mir wissen: “Was sind Sie denn nun eigentlich – ein Pole, ein Deutscher oder wie?” Die Worte “oder wie” deuteten wohl noch auf eine dritte Moglichkeit hin. Ich antwortete rasch: “Ich bin ein halber Pole, ein halber Deutscher und ein ganzer Jude.” Grass schien uberrascht, doch war er offensichtlich zufrieden, ja beinahe entzuckt: “Kein Wort mehr, Sie konnten dieses schone Bonmot nur verderben.” Auch ich fand meine spontane Auserung ganz hubsch, aber eben nur hubsch. Denn diese arithmetische Formel war so effektvoll wie unaufrichtig: Hier stimmte kein einziges Wort.

Nie war ich ein halber Pole, nie ein halber Deutscher – und ich hatte keinen Zweifel, das ich es nie werden wurde. Ich war auch nie in meinem Leben ein ganzer Jude, ich bin es auch heute nicht.“

 

Marcel Reich-Ranicki (Włocławek, 2 juni 1920)

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