John Burroughs, Arno Geiger, Roland Jooris, Susan Hinton, Manu Joseph, Stephen Vincent Benét, Tom Robbins, Oskar Maria Graf, Dolce far niente

Dolce far niente

 

Zomerweide door Auguste Bonheur, ca. 1860


Midsummer in the Catskills

The strident hum of sickle-bar,
Like giant insect heard afar,
Is on the air again;
I see the mower where he rides
Above the level grassy tides
That flood the meadow plain.

The barns are fragrant with new hay,
Through open doors the swallows play
On wayward, glancing wing;
The bobolinks are on the oats,
And gorging stills the jocund throats
That made the meadows ring.

The cradlers twain, with right good-will,
Leave golden lines across the hill
Beneath the midday sun.
The cattle dream ‘neath leafy tent,
Or chew the cud of sweet content
Knee-deep in pond or run.

July is on her burning throne,
And binds the land with torrid zone,
That hastes the ripening grain;
While sleepers swelter in the night,
The lusty corn is gaining might
And darkening on the plain.

The butterflies sip nectar sweet
Where gummy milkweeds offer treat
Or catnip bids them stay.
On banded wing grasshoppers poise,
With hovering flight and shuffling noise,
Above the dusty way.

The thistle-bird, midsummer’s pet,
In billowy flight on wings of jet,
Is circling near his mate.
The silent waxwing’s pointed crest
Is seen above her orchard nest,
Where cherries linger late.

The dome of day o’erbrims with sound
From humming wings on errands bound
Above the sleeping fields;
The linden’s bloom faint scents the breeze,
And, sole and blessed ‘mid forest trees,
A honeyed harvest yields.

Poisèd and full is summer’s tide,
Brimming all the horizon wide,
In varied verdure dressed;
Its viewless currents surge and beat
In airy billows at my feet
Here on the mountain’s crest.

Through pearly depths I see the farms,
Where sweating forms and bronzèd arms
Reap in the land’s increase;
In ripe repose the forests stand,
And veilèd heights on every hand
Swim in a sea of peace.

John Burroughs (3 april 1837 – 29 maart 1921)
Kirkside Park in Roxbury, New York, de geboorteplaats van John Burroughs

 

De Oostenrijkse schrijver Arno Geiger werd geboren op 22 juli 1968 in Bregenz, Vorarlberg. Zie ook alle tags voor Arno Geiger op dit blog.

Uit: Unter der Drachenwand

“Im Himmel, ganz oben im Himmel, ganz oben, konnte ich einige ziehende Wolken erkennen, und da begriff ich, ich hatte überlebt. / Später stellte ich fest, dass ich doppelt sah. Alle Knochen taten mir weh. Am nächsten Tag Rippfellreizung, zum Glück gut überstanden. Doch auf dem rechten Auge sah ich weiterhin doppelt, und der Geruchssinn war weg.So hatte mich der Krieg auch diesmal nur zur Seite geschleudert. im ersten Moment war mir gewesen, als würde ich von dem Krachen verschluckt und von der ohnehin alles verschluckenden Steppe und den ohnehin alles verschluckenden Flüssen, an diesem groben Knie des Dnjepr. Unter meinem rechten Schlüsselbein lief das Blut in leuchtenden Bächen heraus, ich schaute hin, das Herz ist eine leistungsfähige Pumpe, und es wälzte mein Blut jetzt nicht mehr in meinem Körper im Kreis, sondern pumpte es aus mir heraus, bum, bum. In Todesangst rannte ich zum Sanitätsoffizier, der die Wunde tamponierte und mich notdürftig verband. Ich schaute zu, in staunendem Glück, dass ich noch atmete. / ein Granatsplitter hatte die rechte Wange verletzt, äußerlich wenig zu sehen, ein weiterer Splitter steckte im rechten Oberschenkel, schmerzhaft, und ein dritter Splitter hatte unter dem Schlüsselbein ein größeres Gefäß verletzt, Hemd, Rock und Hose waren blutgetränkt. Das unbeschreibliche, mit nichts zu vergleichende Gefühl, das man empfindet, wenn man überlebt hat. Als Kind der Gedanke: Wenn ich groß bin. Heute der Gedanke: Wenn ich es überlebe. / Was kann es Besseres geben, als am Leben zu bleiben? Es passierte in genau derselben Gegend, in der wir um die gleiche Zeit vor zwei Jahren gestanden waren. Alles hatte ich gut in erinnerung, ich erkannte die Gegend sofort wieder, die Wege, alles immer noch dasselbe. Aber besser waren die Wege seither nicht geworden. Wir lagen neben einem zerstörten Dorf, die meiste Zeit unter Beschuss. in der Nacht war es schon so kalt, dass uns das Wasser im Kübel gefror. Auch auf den Zelten lagen Eiskrusten. / Unser Rückzugsmarsch war ein einziger Feuerstreifen, schauerlich anzusehen. Und ernüchternd, sich darüber Gedanken zu machen. Alle Strohschober brannten, alle Kolchosen brannten, gerade die Häuser blieben meistenteils stehen. Die Bevölkerung sollte nach rückwärts evakuiert werden, doch ließ sich das nur teilweise durchführen, zum Großteil waren die Leute nicht wegzubringen, es war ihnen egal, ob man sie erschoss, aber weg wollten sie auf gar keinen Fall. Und der Krieg arbeitete sich weiter, für die einen nach vorn, für die andern nach hinten, aber immer in der blutigsten, unverständlichsten Raserei.“

Arno Geiger (Bregenz, 22 juli 1968)
Cover

 

De Vlaamse dichter Roland Jooris werd geboren in Wetteren op 22 juli 1936. Zie ook alle tags voor Roland Joris op dit blog.

Achtergrond

Afgewend
met zijn rug naar
het zijnde spaart hij
zijn stilstand in verstomming
uit

de avond tegemoet
de helderheid achter donkere
glazen, de opgooi van stemmen
binnen het afgelijnde, het doffe
leder dat men in het wilde
trapt

doelloos
staart de mens naar
wat hem invalt als een schaduw
in de war van zijn
bestaan

 

Eensklaps

Als een duif opvliegt
neemt geen geluid
haar plaats
nog in;

Eensklaps
en wit
laat zij slechts
verte
in mij na.

 

Minimal

Vogel wipt.
Tak kraakt.
Lucht betrekt.
Bijna niets
om naar te kijken
en juist dat
bekijk ik.

Roland Jooris (Wetteren, 22 juli 1936)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Susan Eloise Hinton werd geboren op 22 juli 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Zie ook alle tags voor Susan Hinton op diit blog.

Uit: Rumble Fish

“We went home. The Motorcycle Boy sat on the mattress and read a book. I sat next to him and smoked one cigarette after another. He sat there reading and I sat there waiting. I didn’t know what I was waiting for. About three years before, a doped-up member of the Tiber Street Tigers had wandered over onto Packer territory and got beat up and crawled back. I remember waiting around in a funny state of tenseness, like seeing lightning and waiting for thunder. That was the night of the last rumble, when Bill Braden died from a bashed-in head. I’d been sliced up real bad by a Tiger with a kitchen knife, and the Motorcycle Boy had sent at least three guys to the hospital, laughing out loud right in the middle of the whole mess of screaming, swearing, grunting, fighting people. I’d forgotten about that. Sitting there reminded me. It was much harder to wait than to fight. “Both home again?” The old man came in the door. He liked to stop in and change his shirt before he went out to the bars for the night. It didn’t matter that the one he changed into was usually as dirty as the one he took off. It was just something he liked to do. “I want to ask you somethin’,” I said. “Yes?” “Was—is—our mother nuts?”
“Your mother,” he said distinctly, “is not crazy. Neither, contrary to popular belief, is your brother. He is merely miscast in a play. He would have made a perfect knight, in a different century, or a very good pagan prince in a time of heroes. He was born in the wrong era, on the wrong side of the river, with the ability to do anything and finding nothing he wants to do.” I looked at the Motorcycle Boy to see what he thought. He hadn’t heard a word of it. And even though I didn’t have much hope that the old man could tell me something in plain English, I had to ask him something else. “I think that I’m gonna look just like him when I get older. Whadd’ya think?” My father looked at me for a long moment, longer than he’d ever looked at me. But still, it was like he was seeing somebody else’s kid, not seeing anybody that had anything to do with him. “You better pray to God not.” His voice was full of pity. “You poor child,” he said. “You poor baby.”
The Motorcycle Boy broke into the pet store that night. I was with him. He didn’t ask me along. I just went. “Look, you need some money? I’ll get you some money,” I said desperately. I knew he didn’t need any money. I just couldn’t think of any other reason for what he was doing. “Anyway…” I kept on talking, saying anything so I couldn’t feel the deadly silence,”…if you want money, liquor stores are the best bet.”

Susan Hinton (Tulsa, 22 juli 1948)
Scene uit de gelijknamige film uit 1983 met Dennis Hopper (Father) en Matt Dillon (Rusty James)

 

 De Indiase schrijver en journalsit Manu Joseph werd geboren op 22 juli 1974 geboren in Kottayam en groeide op in Chennai. Zie ook alle tags voor Manu Joseph op dit blog.

Uit: The Illicit Happiness of Other People

“Ousep Chacko, according to Mariamma Chacko, is the kind of man who has to be killed at the end of a story. But he knows that she is not very sure about this sometimes, especially in the mornings. He sits at his desk, as usual, studying a large pile of cartoons, trying to solve the only mystery that matters to her. He does not ask for coffee, but she brings it anyway, landing the glass on the wooden desk with minor violence to remind him of last night’s disgrace. She flings open the windows, empties his ashtray and arranges the newspapers on the table. And when he finally leaves for work without a word, she strands in the hall and watches him go down the stairs.
On the playground below, a hard brown earth with stray grass, Ousep walks with quick short strides towards the gate. He can see the other men, the good husbands and the good fathers, their black shoes polished, serious shirts already damp in the humid air. They walk to the scooter shed, carrying inverted helmets that contain their outrageously small vegetarian lunches. More men emerge from the stair way tunnels of Block A, which is an austere white building with three floors. Their tidy, auspicious wives in cotton saris now appear in the balconies to bid goodbye. They are mumbling prayers, smiling at other women, peeping with one eye into their own blouses.
The men never greet Ousep. They turn away, or become interested in the ground, or wipe their spectacles. But among their own, they have great affection. They are a fellowship, and they can communicate by just clearing the phlegm in their throats.
“Gorbachev,” a delicate man says.
“Gorbachev,” the other one says.
Having thus completed the analysis of the main story in The Hindu, which is Mikhail Gorbachev’s election as the first executive president of the Soviet Union, they walk towards their scooters. A scooter in Madras is a man’s promise that he will not return home drunk in the evening. Hard-news reporters like Ousep Chacko consider it an insult to be seen on one, but these men are mostly bank clerks. They now hold the handlebars of their scooters and stand in a languid way. Then they kick suddenly as if to startle the engine into life.
At the gates, the fragile watchman stands in a farcical para-military outfit that puffs in the wind, and he cautiously salutes his foe. Ousep nods without looking. That always gets the guard’s respect. Ousep turns for a glimpse of the women on the balconies, and they pretend they were not looking at him. On his own balcony on the third floor there is no one.”

Manu Joseph (Kottayam, 22 juli 1974)

 

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver Stephen Vincent Benét werd geboren op 22 juli 1898 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Zie ook alle tags voorStephen Vincent Benét op dit blog.

Ghosts Of A Lunatic Asylum

Here, where men’s eyes were empty and as bright
As the blank windows set in glaring brick,
When the wind strengthens from the sea — and night
Drops like a fog and makes the breath come thick;

By the deserted paths, the vacant halls,
One may see figures, twisted shades and lean,
Like the mad shapes that crawl an Indian screen,
Or paunchy smears you find on prison walls.

Turn the knob gently! There’s the Thumbless Man,
Still weaving glass and silk into a dream,
Although the wall shows through him — and the Khan
Journeys Cathay beside a paper stream.

A Rabbit Woman chitters by the door —
— Chilly the grave-smell comes from the turned sod —
Come — lift the curtain — and be cold before
The silence of the eight men who were God!

 

Love In Twilight

There is darkness behind the light — and the pale light drips
Cold on vague shapes and figures, that, half-seen loom
Like the carven prows of proud, far-triumphing ships —
And the firelight wavers and changes about the room,

As the three logs crackle and burn with a small still sound;
Half-blotting with dark the deeper dark of her hair,
Where she lies, head pillowed on arm, and one hand curved round
To shield the white face and neck from the faint thin glare.

Gently she breathes — and the long limbs lie at ease,
And the rise and fall of the young, slim, virginal breast
Is as certain-sweet as the march of slow wind through trees,
Or the great soft passage of clouds in a sky at rest.

I kneel, and our arms enlace, and we kiss long, long.
I am drowned in her as in sleep. There is no more pain.
Only the rustle of flames like a broken song
That rings half-heard through the dusty halls of the brain.

One shaking and fragile moment of ecstasy,
While the grey gloom flutters and beats like an owl above.
And I would not move or speak for the sea or the sky
Or the flame-bright wings of the miraculous Dove!

Stephen Vincent Benét (22 juli 1898 – 13 maart 1943)
Cover biografie

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Tom Robbins werd geboren op 22 juli 1936 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Zie ook alle tags voor Tom Robbins op dit blog.

Uit: Wild Ducks Flying Backward

“Physically, my pilgrimage commenced in downtown Seattle. Downtown Seattle has long been my “stomping grounds,” as they say, although in the past couple of years it’s lost its homey air. A side effect of Reaganomics was skyscraper fever. Developers, taking advantage of lucrative tax breaks, voodoo-pinned our city centers with largely unneeded office towers. In downtown Seattle, for some reason, most of the excess buildings are beige. Seattleites complain of beige a vu: the sensation that they’ve seen that color before.
In any case, it was in a Seattle parking lot, flanked by beige edifices, that I exchanged cars with my chiropractor. He took my customized Camaro Z-28 convertible, a quick machine whose splendid virtues do not include comfort on long-distance hauls; I took his big, new Mercedes.
If, indeed, the reader should decide to motor to Nevada and it proves to exceed an afternoon’s j aunt, may I suggest swapping cars with a chiropractor? Chiropractors’ cars are not like yours or mine. Theirs tend to be massage parlors on wheels, equipped with the latest breakthroughs in therapeutic seating, lumbar cushions, and vertebrae-aligning headrests. It’s like rolling along in a technological spa. The driver can get a spinal adjustment and a speeding ticket simultaneously.
So relaxed was I in that tea-green Mercedes that I didn’t look around when I heard my chiropractor burn a quarter inch of rubber off the Camaro’s tires. In a certain way, it was reminiscent of the movie Trading Places. As the good doctor tore off to drag sorority row at the University of Washington, I oozed through the beige maze with a serene, chiropractic smile, braking tenderly in front of Alexa’s apartment, and then in front of Jon’s.
For days to come, the three of us, Alexa, Jon, and your pilgrim, would take turns piloting the doctor’s clinical dreamboat along tilting tables of rural landscape. Once we’d crossed the tamed Columbia and were traversing the vastness of eastern Oregon, once we were out of the wet zone and into the dry zone, out of the vegetable zone and into the meat zone, out of the fiberglass-shower-stall zone and into the metal-shower-stall zone, we would glide through a seemingly endless variety of ecosystems, most of them virtually relieved of the more obvious signs of human folly, all of them unavoidably gorgeous.”

Tom Robbins (Blowing Rock, 22 juli 1936)

 

De Duitse schrijver Oskar Maria Graf werd geboren op 22 juli 1894 in Berg am Starnberger See. Zie ook alle tags voor Oskar Maria Graf op dit blog.

Uit: Das Leben meiner Mutter

„Allem Anschein nach aber ist er verschont geblieben, denn Colonus berichtet nichts Gegenteiliges, ja, er erwähnt die Heimraths nicht einmal mit einem einzigen Wort. Wenngleich dies nun durch nichts belegt werden kann, bei einiger Verwegenheit der Vorstellung könnte man fast annehmen, der Aufhauser Bauer habe zur Rettung seines Hab und Gutes einen anderen Weg als die kopflose Flucht in die Wälder eingeschlagen. Vielleicht sagte er sich in stumpfer Gelassenheit: »Krieg ist eben Krieg, und alles hängt vom Zufall ab. Was hab’ ich schon davon, wenn ich davonlaufe und beim Zurückkommen statt meines schönen Hofes einen Aschenhaufen finde! Lieber gleich als Heimrathbauer sterben, bevor ich ein Leben lang als Bettler im ungewissen herumlaufe. Bleiben wir und schauen wir, was wird! Besser ist’s, einiges einzubüßen, als alles sinnlos zugrunde gehen zu lassen.« Vielleicht ließ er Tür und Tor offen und empfing die rauhen Kriegsleute unerschrocken wie ein biederer Wirt, bot ihnen bereitwillig Speis und Trank an und ließ sie kaltblütig gewähren. Eine so abgebrühte, breit lachende, bezwingend-schlaue Bauernfreundlichkeit, die ein Heimrath dem anderen von Generation zu Generation vererbte, mag vielleicht auf die hitzigen Schweden derart verblüffend gewirkt haben, daß sie nach all dem wilden Fliehen und hilflos bittenden Jammern, das ihnen bis jetzt überall begegnet war, eine solche Einkehr als angenehme Abwechslung empfanden und schließlich abzogen. Demütig und gar nicht eitel darüber, daß sein kluger Einfall sie vor dem Schlimmsten bewahrt hatte, aber doch tief zufrieden, wird der Heimrath mit den Seinen dem Allmächtigen gedankt haben. Denn nichts vermochte der Mensch, alles stand in »Gottes Hand«. Gewiß sind das nur Mutmaßungen, dennoch ist eine so kühne Schlußfolgerung, wenn man alles scharf überdenkt, nicht ganz von der Hand zu weisen. In den darauffolgenden zwei Jahren raffte die Pest, die mit dem unseligen Krieg in die Gaue gekommen war, zahlreiche Familien dahin. Das pfarramtliche Totenregister enthält keinen Namen Heimrath. Zum ersten Male wird einer von ihnen im Zusammenhang mit einer Aufzeichnung aus dem Jahre 1645 im sogenannten Mirakelbuch der Aufkirchner Pfarrchronik namentlich erwähnt. Es heißt da, einer seiner Knechte habe sich in der Christnacht noch einmal im Stall bei den Pferden zu schaffen gemacht und dabei durch ein Guckloch in den dunklen, rauhreifüberzogenen Obstgarten geschaut.“

Oskar Maria Graf (22 juli 1894 – 28 juni 1967)
Cover

 

Zie voor de schrijvers van de 22 juli ook mijn blog van 22 juli 2018 deel 2.

Arno Geiger, Susan Hinton, Manu Joseph, Stephen Vincent Benét, Tom Robbins

De Oostenrijkse schrijver Arno Geiger werd geboren op 22 juli 1968 in Bregenz, Vorarlberg. Zie ook alle tags voor Arno Geiger op dit blog.

Uit: Zelfportret met nijlpaard (Vertaald door W. Hansen)

“Kus op de mond? Dat zou me gewoon geleken hebben, omdat het vertrouwd was. Of kus links en rechts? En wie beslist dat? Wat als ik probeer haar op haar mond te zoenen en zij me haar wang toekeert? Moeten we elkaar een hand geven? We gaan elkaar toch zeker geen hand geven!
Dan maar beter helemaal niets. – Dus zeiden we: Hallo, hoe is het? En met jou? Wat moet ik zeggen? Je gelooft me toch niet.
Ik injecteerde het kalmeringsmiddel in de borst van de oehoe en daarna een verhoogde dosis narcoticum in de vleugelader, waarvoor ik de rechtervleugel uitspreidde, de ader was makkelijk aan de binnenkant te vinden. Judith bleef bij het dier totdat het dood was. Voordat ze wegging kwam ze nog één keer uit het andere vertrek om me te bedanken.
Ik vond het jammer dat ik de oehoe niet had kunnen helpen. Ik had graag alles goed willen laten aflopen. Eén ogenblik overwoog ik nog of ik me moest excuseren, ik voelde de overweldigende behoefte sorry te zeggen. Maar per slot van rekening was het niet mijn schuld.
Judith zei: ‘Ik hoop dat je hier gevonden hebt wat je zocht.’
Ik haalde onzeker mijn schouders op en knikte halfslachtig:
‘Zo’n beetje wel…’
Ze zei: ‘Het was goed dat we uit elkaar zijn gegaan.’
‘Zo zie ik het ook,’ antwoordde ik.
‘Ja, het was goed.’
‘Als ik erop terugkijk, ja.’
‘Ik hoorde dat je in Frankrijk hebt gezeten.’
‘In Parijs, twee jaar.’
‘Ik…’
Judith wilde iets zeggen, iets persoonlijks, dacht ik. Misschien onderbrak ze zichzelf doordat een verpleegster me aan mijn mouw trok en naar de röntgentafel wees, waarop een grote hond lag.
‘Nou, dan…’ zei Judith, ‘nogmaals bedankt.”


Arno Geiger (Bregenz, 22 juli 1968)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Susan Eloise Hinton werd geboren op 22 juli 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Zie ook alle tags voor Susan Hinton op dit blog.

Uit: The Outsiders

“I about decided I didn’t like it so much, though, when I spotted that red Corvair trailing me. I was almost two blocks from home then, so I started walking a little faster. I had never been jumped, but I had seen Johnny after four Socs got hold of him, and it wasn’t pretty. Johnny was scared of his own shadow after that. Johnny was sixteen then.
I knew it wasn’t any use though—the fast walking, I mean—even before the Corvair pulled up beside me and five Socs got out. I got pretty scared—I’m kind of small for fourteen even though I have a good build, and those guys were bigger than me. I automatically hitched my thumbs in my jeans and slouched, wondering if I could get away if I made a break for it. I remembered Johnny—his face all cut up and bruised, and I remembered how he had cried when we found him, half-conscious, in the corner lot. Johnny had it awful rough at home—it took a lot to make him cry.
I was sweating something fierce, although I was cold. I could feel my palms getting clammy and the perspiration running down my back. I get like that when I’m real scared. I glanced around for a pop bottle or a stick or something—Steve Randle, Soda’s best buddy, had once held off four guys with a busted pop bottle—but there was nothing. So I stood there like a bump on a log while they surrounded me. I don’t use my head. They walked around slowly, silently, smiling.
“Hey, grease,” one said in an over-friendly voice. “We’re gonna do you a favor, greaser. We’re gonna cut all that long greasy hair off.”
He had on a madras shirt. I can still see it. Blue madras. One of them laughed, then cussed me out in a low voice. I couldn’t think of anything to say. There just isn’t a whole lot you can say while waiting to get mugged, so I kept my mouth shut.
“Need a haircut, greaser?” The medium-sized blond pulled a knife out of his back pocket and flipped the blade open.
I finally thought of something to say. “No.” I was backing up, away from that knife. Of course I backed right into one of them. They had me down in a second. They had my arms and legs pinned down and one of them was sitting on my chest with his knees on my elbows, and if you don’t think that hurts, you’re crazy. I could smell English Leather shaving lotion and stale tobacco, and I wondered foolishly if I would suffocate before they did anything. I was scared so bad I was wishing I would. I fought to get loose, and almost did for a second; then they tightened up on me and the one on my chest slugged me a couple of times. So I lay still, swearing at them between gasps. A blade was held against my throat.”

 
Susan Hinton (Tulsa, 22 juli 1948)
Scene uit de gelijknamige film uit 1983.

 

De Indiase schrijver en journalsit Manu Joseph werd geboren op 22 juli 1974 geboren in Kottayam en groeide op in Chennai. Zie ook alle tags voor Manu Joseph op dit blog.

Uit: Serious Men

“The crowd on the Worli Seaface was swelling: it was now a giant colourless swarm. Pale boys with defeat in their eyes walked in horizontal gangs; they giggled at the aerobics of unattainable women. And they did not give way to the hasty girls. Ayyan loved this about the city-the humid crowds, the great perpetual squeeze, the silent vengeance of the poor. In the miserly lifts and stuffed trains, he often heard the relief of afternoon farts, saw scales on strange faces and the veins in their still eyes. And the secret moustaches of women. And the terrible green freshness when they had been newly removed with a thread. He felt the shoves and pushes and the heaviness of paunches. This unnerving constriction of Bombay he loved, because the congestion of hopeless shuffling human bodies he was born into was also, in a way, the fate of the rich. On the streets, in the trains, in the paltry gardens and sudden beaches, everybody was poor. And that was fair. The desperate lovers were still arriving and they quickly stole the gaps on the parapet between other fused couples. And then they, too, sat facing the sea with their backs to the great passing crowds, arranged their bodies and did their discreet things. Among these lovers were married people, some of them even married to each other. When night fell, they went back to their one-room homes, which were as large as a Mercedes, to rejoin their children, elders, siblings, nephews and nieces, all heaped under a single roof in gigantic clusters of boiling tenements. Like the BDD chawl, the mother hell. People who knew what BDD stood for were not the kind who lived there. But Ayyan knew such things, even though he was born on a cold floor there, thirty-nine years ago……He walked down the dim corridor of the third floor, which was the top floor. It was flanked by ageing pale-yellow walls with huge cracks that ran like dark river systems. There were about forty open doors here. Unmoving shadows sat on the doorways and gaped. Old widows calmly combed their hair. Children ran happily on the ancient grey stones of the corridor. He knocked on the only door on the corridor that was shut. As he waited, he felt the turbulence of all those open doors, and the milling shadows.”

 
Manu Joseph (Kottayam, 22 juli 1974)

 

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver Stephen Vincent Benét werd geboren op 22 juli 1898 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Zie ook alle tags voorStephen Vincent Benét op dit blog.

Going Back To School

The boat ploughed on. Now Alcatraz was past
And all the grey waves flamed to red again
At the dead sun’s last glimmer. Far and vast
The Sausalito lights burned suddenly
In little dots and clumps, as if a pen
Had scrawled vague lines of gold across the hills;
The sky was like a cup some rare wine fills,
And stars came as he watched
— and he was free
One splendid instant — back in the great room,
Curled in a chair with all of them beside
And the whole world a rush of happy voices,
With laughter beating in a clamorous tide. . . .
Saw once again the heat of harvest fume
Up to the empty sky in threads like glass,
And ran, and was a part of what rejoices
In thunderous nights of rain; lay in the grass
Sun-baked and tired, looking through a maze
Of tiny stems into a new green world;
Once more knew eves of perfume, days ablaze
With clear, dry heat on the brown, rolling fields;
Shuddered with fearful ecstasy in bed
Over a book of knights and bloody shields . . .
The ship slowed, jarred and stopped. There, straight ahead,
Were dock and fellows. Stumbling, he was whirled
Out and away to meet them — and his back
Slumped to the old half-cringe, his hands fell slack;
A big boy’s arm went round him — and a twist
Sent shattering pain along his tortured wrist,
As a voice cried, a bloated voice and fat,
“Why it’s Miss Nancy! Come along, you rat!”

 
Stephen Vincent Benét (22 juli 1898 – 13 maart 1943)
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Main Street

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Tom Robbins werd geboren op 22 juli 1936 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Zie ook alle tags voor Tom Robbins op dit blog.

Uit: Wild Ducks Flying Backward

“Getting back on course, beneath those baseball caps that advertise brands of beer or heavy equipment, under those genuine imitation Stetsons, there’re some rough ol’ hangovers being processed and some rough ol’ ideas being entertained. One simply does not approach a miner, a wrangler, a prospector, a gambler, a Stealth pilot, a construction sweat hog, or sandblasted freebooter and interrupt his thoughts about big, fast bucks and those forces—environmental legislation, social change, loaded dice, et cetera—that could stand between him and big, fast bucks; one simply does not march up to such a man, a man who lifts his crusty lid to no one, and ask:
“Sir, might you possibly direct me to the Canyon of the Vaginas?”
***********

Should readers desire to make their own pilgrimage to the Canyon of the Vaginas—and it is, after all, one of the few holy places left in America—they’ll have to find it by themselves. Were one to inquire of its whereabouts at a bar or gas station (in west-central Nevada they’re often one and the same, complete with slot machines), the best that one could hope for is that a dude would wink and aim one at the pink gates of Bobbie’s Cottontail Ranch, or whatever the nearest brothel might be called.
In the improbable event that he fails to misinterpret one’s inquiry, and/or to take sore offense at it, a dude still isn’t likely to further one’s cause. For that matter, save for the odd archeologist, neither is anybody else. The population of Nevada arises every morning, straightens its hat, swallows a few aspirin, and trucks off to try to strike it rich without so much as a nervous suspicion that the Canyon of the Vaginas lies within its domain.
Your pilgrim learned of it from a Salt Lake City artist who has hiked and camped extensively in the high deserts of the Great Basin. The man drew me a fairly specific map, but I, in good conscience, cannot pass along the details. My reluctance to share is rooted neither in selfishness nor elitism, but in the conviction that certain aspects of the canyon are quite fragile and in need of protection.

Not that genuflecting hordes are likely to descend upon it: the canyon is remote; troubled, according to season, by killer sun, ripping wind, and blinding blizzard; and is reached by a road that nobody making monthly car payments should even think of driving. Still, there are plenty of new-agers with the leisure and energy to track down yet another “power center,” and plenty of curiosity seekers with an appetite for the exotic souvenir. Surely I’ll be forgiven if I’m ever so slightly discreet. »

 
Tom Robbins (Blowing Rock, 22 juli 1936)
Cover

 

Zie voor de schrijvers van de 22 juli ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

 

Arno Geiger, Susan Hinton, Manu Joseph, Stephen Vincent Benét, Tom Robbins

De Oostenrijkse schrijver Arno Geiger werd geboren op 22 juli 1968 in Bregenz, Vorarlberg. Zie ook alle tags voor Arno Geiger op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 22 juli 2010.

Uit: Zelfportret met nijlpaard (Vertaald door W. Hansen)

“Een paar dagen geleden kwam Judith op de eerste hulp, met een oehoe. Het was onze eerste ontmoeting in bijna tien jaar, en ik herkende haar niet, al had ik haar wel moeten herkennen. Dat lag slechts voor een deel aan haar korte haar, ik werd afgeleid door de oehoe, mdat ik bij de eerste blik al dacht dat het een verloren zaak was. En plotseling zei de vrouw: ‘We kennen elkaar. Ik ben het!’
Ik keek haar aan en herkende haar. Mijn handen trilden, terwijl ik de oehoe onderzocht om me ervan te verzekeren dat mijn eerste indruk juist was geweest. Die valt in een duister gat, hem vangt niemand op. En tegen Judith zei ik: ‘Nou, Judith, er is niets meer aan te doen.’
‘Daar was ik al bang voor,’ zei ze. En alsof er een licht verwijt tussen ons beiden hing, voegde ze er hoofdschuddend aan toe: ‘Hij is niet van mij, ik heb hem bij mijn huis gevonden.’
Ze sloeg haar ogen neer, een ongemakkelijke situatie. De oranje-gele ogen van de oehoe met de zwarte pupillen waren enorm en staarden met een vreselijke uitdrukking in het niets.
Terwijl ik voorbereidingen trof om het dier te doden, wisten we beiden niet wat te zeggen. Vroeger had ik Judith nooit verlegen gezien, ze had altijd gestraald, een en al beweging, het prototype van de ongecompliceerde vrouw, de vrouw die in contactadvertenties wordt gezocht als maatje voor het leven. Ze keek afwisselend naar de grond en opzij.
Ik dacht: nee, we kennen elkaar niet, we hebben elkaar gekend, nu niet meer, nu zijn we een raadsel voor elkaar.
Die vervreemding was verrassend snel gekomen, parallel aan het verdwijnen van de openhartigheid. Op de dag nadat we uit elkaar waren gegaan had ik zo goed als niets meer gemerkt van de normale vertrouwdheid, en dat bleef zo bij elk weerzien. We wisten niet eens meer hoe we elkaar moesten groeten.”

 
Arno Geiger (Bregenz, 22 juli 1968)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Arno Geiger, Susan Hinton, Manu Joseph, Stephen Vincent Benét, Tom Robbins”

Susan Hinton

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Susan Eloise Hinton werd geboren op 22 juli 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hinton schreef in de jaren 1960 een aantal bekroonde romans voor jongeren. Met haar eerste “The Outsider”, die verscheen in 1967, werd de 19-jarige op slag beroemd en men beschouwde haar meteen als de stem van de jeugd. Maar de druk van de verwachtingen leidde tot een drie jaar durende schrijfblokkade, die zij pas in 1971 overwon met “That Was Then, This Is Now”. In 1975 volgde de roman “Rumble Fish”, die net als The Outsider aan het begin van de jaren ’80 als een sjabloon voor films van Francis Ford Coppola diende, waarin veel acteurs van de zogenaamde “Brat Pack generatie” hun carrière begonnen. Matt Dillon speelde in “Rumble Fish” en ook in de filmversie van “Tex” de hoofdrol. In de eerste drie verfilmingen van haar boeken was Hinton ook zelf in een kleine rol te zien. In “The Outsider” speelde zij een verpleegkundige. Voor “Rumble Fish” schreef zij ook het scenario. Voor haar grote verdiensten voor de jeugdliteratuur ontving Hinton in 1988 de eerste Margaret A. Edwards Award van de American Library Association.

Uit: The Outsiders

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home. I was wishing I looked like Paul Newman— he looks tough and I don’t— but I guess my own looks aren’t so bad. I have light-brown, almost-red hair and greenish-gray eyes. I wish they were more gray, because I hate most guys that have green eyes, but I have to be content with what I have. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with long hair.
I had a long walk home and no company, but I usually lone it anyway, for no reason except that I like to watch movies undisturbed so I can get into them and live them with the actors. When I see a movie with someone it’s kind of uncomfortable, like having someone read your book over your shoulder. I’m different that way. I mean, my second-oldest brother, Soda, who is sixteen-going-on-seventeen, never cracks a book at all, and my oldest brother, Darrel, who we call Darry, works too long and hard to be interested in a story or drawing a picture, so I’m not like them. And nobody in our gang digs movies  and books the way I do. For a while there, I thought I was the only person in the world that did. So I loned it.
Soda tries to understand, at least, which is more than Darry does. But then, Soda is different from anybody; he understands everything, almost. Like he’s n ever hollering at me all the time the way Darry is, or treating me as if I was six instead of fourteen. I love  Soda more than I’ve ever loved anyone, even Mom and Dad. He’s always happy-go-lucky and grinning, while Darry’s hard and firm and rarely grins at all. But then, Darry’s gone through a lot in his twenty years, grown up too fast. Sodapop’ll never grow up at all. I don’t know which way’s the best. I’ll find out one of these days. Anyway, I went on walking home, thinking about the movie, and then suddenly wishing I had some company. Greasers can’t walk alone too much or they’ll get jumped,“

Susan Hinton (Tulsa, 22 juli 1948)