Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab, Elke Geurts, Claudia Gabler

De Indisch-Britse schrijver en essayist Salman Rushdie werd geboren in Bombay op 19 juni 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Salman Rushdie op dit blog.

Uit: The Golden House

“On the day of the new president’s inauguration, when we worried that he might be murdered as he walked hand in hand with his exceptional wife among the cheering crowds, and when so many of us were close to economic ruin in the aftermath of the bursting of the mortgage bubble, and when Isis was still an Egyptian mother-goddess, an uncrowned seventy-something king from a faraway country arrived in New York City with his three motherless sons to take possession of the palace of his exile, behaving as if nothing was wrong with the country or the world or his own story. He began to rule over his neighborhood like a benevolent emperor, although in spite of his charming smile and his skill at playing his 1745 Guadagnini violin he exuded a heavy, cheap odor, the unmistakable smell of crass, despotic danger, the kind of scent that warned us, look out for this guy, because he could order your execution at any moment, if you’re wearing a displeasing shirt, for example, or if he wants to sleep with your wife. The next eight years, the years of the forty-fourth president, were also the years of the increasingly erratic and alarming reign over us of the man who called himself Nero Golden, who wasn’t really a king, and at the end of whose time there was a large—and, metaphorically speaking, apocalyptic—fire.
The old man was short, one might even say squat, and wore his hair, which was still mostly dark in spite of his advanced years, slicked back to accentuate his devil’s peak. His eyes were black and piercing, but what people noticed first—he often rolled his shirtsleeves up to make sure they did notice—were his forearms, as thick and strong as a wrestler’s, ending in large, dangerous hands bearing chunky gold rings studded with emeralds. Few people ever heard him raise his voice, yet we were in no doubt that there lurked in him a great vocal force which one would do well not to provoke. He dressed expensively but there was a loud, animal quality to him which made one think of the Beast of folktale, uneasy in human finery. All of us who were his neighbors were more than a little scared of him, though he made huge, clumsy efforts to be sociable and neighborly, waving his cane at us wildly, and insisting at inconvenient times that people come over for cocktails. He leaned forward when standing or walking, as if struggling constantly against a strong wind only he could feel, bent a little from the waist, but not too much. This was a powerful man; no, more than that—a man deeply in love with the idea of himself as powerful.
The purpose of the cane seemed more decorative and expressive than functional. When he walked in the Gardens he gave every impression of trying to be our friend. Frequently he stretched out a hand to pat our dogs or ruffle our children’s hair. But children and dogs recoiled from his touch.”

Salman Rushdie (Bombay, 19 juni 1947)


De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Sybren Polet (pseudoniem van Sybe Minnema) werd geboren in Kampen op 19 juni 1924. Zie ook alle tags voor Sybren Polet op dit blog.



Ik vond een oorschelp in de grond
om aan te luisteren.
ik luisterde en vond
drie takken taal
een drietakttaal voor één gedicht.
daar is geen zin mee te verrichten.
ik stop dat oor maar met een stopwoord dicht.


De dichter als dokter

Klop klop.
Hier komt de dokter met zijn woorden,
als een vriendelijk geklede avond,
een avond in sportkostuum.

Zeg maar niets.
Ik zal de pijn wegzuigen uit je wang
en als je wilt
leg ik mij op je als een warm compres.
Zo wen je misschien misschien gemakkelijker aan je lichaam.

Ben je alleen? Stel je maar voor:
iedere minuut treed ik opnieuw de kamer binnen,
ik steek de lamp aan en schik je bed;
één woord leg ik op je voorhoofd
            als een hand koel ijs,
twee woorden duw ik als kussens in je rug,
één woord laat ik achter om je te strelen.
Zo heeft mijn gedicht toch een funktie.

En als je wakker wordt en wilt drinken,
twee jonge in het wit gestoken woorden geven je te drinken
en als je slapen wilt
dit is een woord zó zacht
dat je wel moet slapen.

Als zulke woorden zou ik om je willen zijn.

Klop, klop
hier komt de dokter met zijn woorden.


Sybren Polet (19 juni 1924 – 19 juli 2015)


De Tsjechische schrijver Josef Nesvadba werd geboren op 19 juni 1926 in Praag. Zie ook alle tags voor Josef Nesvadba op dit blog.

Uit: The Half-wit of Xeenemuende (Vertaald door Iris Unwin)

“The unfortunate teacher always counted the minutes to suppertime; never in all his life had lessons seemed so long, and never before had he felt so reluctant to go and teach his pupils.
About a month later he caught sight of Bruno fighting a gang of younger children in the street. He was attacking a couple of eight-year-olds, tripping them up and then kicking them when they were down.
“Bruno!” he shouted from a way off, but he couldn’t run because he had trouble with his breathing, and so it was the butcher’s wife who dealt with Bruno because she had seen the whole thing from her shop. She grabbed the boy by the collar — she was a muscular woman — and just lifted him over the fence into the Habichts’ garden. Then she took the other children indoors and washed their grazes for them.
“He’s always doing things like that,” she explained to the horrified teacher. “An idiot, that’s what he is. Ought to be in a Home. If his father wasn’t such a big bug they’d have taken him away long ago. Everybody’s surprised at you going there at all.”
It was a particularly good supper at the Habichts’ that evening, though, and he could even taste a hint of real coffee in the ersatz. Even Bruno was behaving quietly, only staring sulkily at one spot in the corner of the room. And so the old man could not bring himself to give notice.
That night the whole town was roused by another catastrophe. The butcher’s shop opposite the Habichts’ was destroyed the very same way as the governess’s house had been: by a small-calibre bomb or an artillery shell. The missile must have passed in through the window, and exploded inside the room, demolishing it. The shop was burned down.
Next day Bruno was smiling all through his lesson. The teacher began to feel uneasy.
“Who looks after your boy all day?” he carefully approached Mrs. Habicht at supper-time.
“Nobody. He’s awfully good. He spends all his time on the veranda at the back of the house. His father put together a little workshop for him to potter about in.”
“I’d like to see that.”
“No!” the boy blurted out in a low, furious voice, and his face darkened.”

Josef Nesvadba (19 juni 1926 – 26 april 2005)


De Japanse schrijver Osamu Dazai (eig.Shūji Tsushima) werd geboren op 19 juni 1909 in Tsugaru. Zie ook alle tags voor Osamu Dazai op dit blog.

Uit: The setting sun (Vertaald door Donald Keene)

„I have never liked breakfast and am not hungry before ten o’clock. This morning I managed to get through the soup, but it was an effort to eat anything. I put some rice-balls on a plate and poked at them with my chopsticks, mashing them down. I picked up a piece with my chopsticks, which I held at right angles to my mouth, the way Mother holds a spoon while eating soup, and pushed it into my mouth, as if I were feeding a little bird. While I dawdled over my food, Mother, who had already finished her meal, quietly rose and stood with her back against a wall warmed by the morning sun. She watched me eating for a while in silence.
“Kazuko, you mustn’t eat that way. You should try to make breakfast the meal you enjoy most.”
“Do you enjoy it, Mother?”
“It doesn’t matter about me — I’m not sick anymore.”
“But I’m the one who’s not sick.”
“No, no.” Mother, with a sad smile, shook her head.
Five years ago I was laid up with what was called lung trouble, although I was perfectly well aware that I had willed the sickness on myself. Mother’s recent illness, on the other hand, had really been nerve-racking and depressing. And yet, Mother’s only concern was for me.
“Ah,” I murmured.
“What’s the matter?” This time it was Mother’s turn to ask.
We exchanged glances and experienced something like a moment of absolute understanding. I giggled and Mother’s face lighted into a smile.
Whenever I am assailed by some painfully embarrassing thought, that strange faint cry comes from my lips. This time I had suddenly recalled, all too vividly, the events surrounding my divorce six years ago, and before I knew it, my little cry had come out. Why, I wondered, had Mother uttered it too? It couldn’t possibly be that she had recalled something embarrassing from her past as I had. No, and yet there was something.
“What was it you remembered just now, Mother?”

Osamu Dazai (19 juni 1909 – 13 juni 1948)


De Filippijnse dichter en schrijver José Rizal (eig. José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda) werd geboren op 19 juni 1861 in Calamba. Zie ook alle tags voor José Rizal op dit blog.


Flower Among Flowers

Flower among flowers,
soft bud swooning,
that the wind moves
to a gentle crooning.
Wind of heaven,
wind of love,
you who gladden
all you espy;
you who smile
and will not sigh,
candour and fragrance
from above;
you who perhaps
came down to earth
to bring the lonely
solace and mirth,
and to be a joy
for the heart to capture.
They say that into
your dawn you bear
the immaculate soul
a prisoner
— bound with the ties of
passion and rapture?

They say you spread
good everywhere
like the Spring
which fills the air
with joy and flowers
in Apriltime.
They say you brighten
the soul that mourns
when dark clouds gather,
and that without thorns
blossom the roses
in your clime.
If then, like a fairy,
you enhance
the joy of those
on whom you glance
with the magic charm
God gave to you;
oh, spare me an hour
of your cheer,
a single day
of your career,
that the breast may savor
the bliss it knew.

José Rizal (19 juni 1861 – 30 december 1896)
Standbeeld in Fort Santiago


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Friedrich Huch werd geboren op 19 juni 1873 in Braunschweig. Zie ook alle tags voor Friedrich Huch op dit blog.

Uit: Pitt und Fox

„Wurde Fox am Ende seiner Erzählungen König, so verscholl Pitt am Schlusse ganz und gar und wußte selbst nicht, wo er blieb. – In solchen Augenblicken schwelgte Fox im Gefühle seiner eingebildeten Stärke. Herr Sintrup aber sagte: Aus dir wird mal was Großes! Aber du, Pitt, kannst dich nur gleich begraben lassen. – Dann zog Pitt unbemerkt ein Taschenbüchlein hervor, suchte eine bestimmte Seite und machte einen Bleistiftstrich. Sein Vater und seine Mutter sagten stets dasselbe, und er führte darüber eine Art Statistik.
Herr Sintrup war ein rühriger, geachteter Fabrikant in dem kleinen Städtchen. Pünktlich mit dem Glockenschlag war er zumeist im Bureau und schnauzte seinen Angestellten ein gutmütiges «Guten Morgen» zu. Nur manchmal kam es vor, daß er im Bett länger liegenblieb, denn ab und zu liebte er einen «guten Tropfen», wie er das nannte. Bekam er einen neuen Lehrling, so stellte er ihn vor sich hin, durchbohrte ihn mit seinen Augen und sagte in schrecklich drohendem Ton: Bengel, Bengel, ich sage dir…! Im Grunde aber war er gutmütig und leicht gerührt.
Fox fühlte sich in seiner Haut sehr wohl; den Dienstboten gegenüber tat er, als sei er eigentlich eine Art von Kronprinz; seine Mutter hatte er ganz in der Gewalt, sie verwöhnte ihn und gab ihm in allem seinen Willen, um so mehr, als Pitt ihr nicht im Wege war, der nie um etwas bat und mit einem stereotypen Danke alles in Empfang nahm, mochte es nun Gutes oder Geringwertiges sein.
Pitt erschien wie ein verschlossenes, etwas impertinentes Waisenkind, das trotz aller jahrelangen Gewöhnung niemals recht häuslich wird in dem Kreise seiner Pflegeltern. Die Namen seiner nächsten Verwandten konnte er nicht auseinanderhalten. Manchmal mußte er sich erst besinnen, wo das Eßzimmer, wo die Wohnstube lag. Genau so fremd lebte er in der Schule. Seinen Kameraden gegenüber hatte er einen leise überlegenen, ironischen Ton, feiner oder plumper, je nachdem er es für angemessen hielt. Wirkliche Freundschaften kannte er nicht. Er litt darunter, konnte es aber nicht ändern. Einmal schloß er sich an eine gleichaltrige Kusine an; aber das Mädchen wurde so gefühlvoll, ihm war, als spielten sie Theater; und als sie ihn eines Tages wie gewöhnlich besuchen wollte, fand sie seine Tür verschlossen, und er rief ihr durchs Schlüsselloch zu, es sei aus zwischen ihnen, er wolle sie nie wiedersehen. Als er dann später einmal ein tragisch auf ihn gerichtetes Gesicht erblickte, mußte er sich erst besinnen, wer das war.“

Friedrich Huch (19 juni 1873 – 12 mei 1913)


De Duitse dichter, schrijver en pastor Gustav Schwab werd geboren op 19 juni 1792 in Stuttgart. Zie ook alle tags voor Gustav Schwab op dit blog.


Die stille Stadt

Nenne mir die stille Stadt,
Die den ew’gen Frieden hat,
Deren düstere Gemächer
Sanft sich bauen grüne Dächer:
Ueber ihrer Häuser Zinne
Wandelt ernst der Fremdling hin,
Ziehet fort und hält nicht inne,
Grauen fasset ihm den Sinn.
Aber endlich tritt er wieder
Zitternd auf das morsche Dach,
Und die Wölbung sinket nieder,
Daß er stürzt in das Gemach.
Drunten in den Hallen traurig
Sieht er da die Bürger ruhn,
Alle liegen stumm und schaurig,
Mögen keinen Gruß ihm thun.
Die geschlossne Pforte kündet
Ihm sein ewig Bürgerrecht,
Und der arme Wandrer findet
Bald ein Bettlein recht und schlecht,
Ist des Prunkens müde worden,
Schickt sich in den stillen Orden,
Legt sich nieder in der Stadt,
Die den ew’gen Frieden hat.


Sonette aus dem Bade 1835


Was liegt der Schlaf auf meinen Augenlidern
Am hellen Tag? was ist mein Haupt so schwer?
Bald ras’t mein Puls, bald find’ ich ihn nicht mehr!
Pickt schon der Totenwurm in meinen Gliedern?

»Du bist nicht krank!« hör’ ich den Arzt erwiedern
Auf dieser Klagen ungestümes Heer.
»Setz’ gegen deine Bücher dich zur Wehr!
Laß dir den trägen Mut Natur befiedern!

Geh’ in ein Bad, doch hüte dich zu baden;
Zum Brunnen, doch das Glas nicht an den Mund,
Viel lieber laß zum Firnewein dich laden.

Hinab zur Kühle, dort im Felsengrund!
Empor im Schweiß auf steilen Tannenpfaden,
Lern’ wieder leben, und du wirst gesund!

Gustav Schwab (19 juni 1792 – 4 november 1850)
Stuttgart, Ansicht von Südosten. Gravure door C. Gerstner naar H. Schönfeld, ca. 1870


Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:

De Nederlandse schrijfster Elke Geurts werd geboren in Heijen in 1973. Zij studeerde aan de Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht. Ze schreef toneelstukken en hoorspelen alvorens ze doorbrak met korte verhalen. Zij was de eerste winnaar van de verhalenwedstrijd Duizend Woorden en won de Nieuw Proza Prijs Venlo 2008Geurts publiceerde de verhalenbundels “Het besluit van Dola Korstjens” (2008), “Lastmens” (2010) en “Lastmens & andere verhalen” (2015), en de veelgeprezen roman “De weg naar zee” (2013). Haar werk werd genomineerd voor onder andere De Gouden Boekenuil, de BNG Literatuurprijs en de Anna Bijns Prijs. Geurts is schrijfdocent aan o.a. Schrijversvakschool Amsterdam, en columniste en recensent buitenlandse fictie voor Trouw.

Uit: Ik nog wel van jou

“Ik vroeg of hij de titel die mijn nieuwe uitgever had bedacht goed vond. ‘Veel te plat,’ zei ik. ‘Dat kan écht niet, toch?’
We hingen tegen het aanrecht in onze keuken met onze armen over elkaar en praatten over het werk en de kinderen, maar niet over de zakelijke mail die we om kwart over negen in de ochtend beiden hadden ontvangen. Met het stappenplan.
We hadden uitzicht op onze kleine entreehal en keken naar de jassen aan, op en onder de kapstok; een plank met haakjes die man zelf had gemaakt toen we hier kwamen wonen. Mijn vader ergert zich er al jaren aan dat er in ons nieuwbouwhuis niets waterpas is.
‘Alles wat dat jong hier zelf timmert is waardevermindering.’
We zagen een onordelijke berg schoenen, heely’s, skeelers en één groezelig grijze slof, daarnaast de uitpuilende rieten mand vol ongelezen kranten en wijnfl essen, erg veel lege wijnflessen.
Die grijze afgedragen sloff en staan nu nóg overal waar ik kijk, alsof er hier in huis een onzichtbaar mannetje achter me aan sloft dat ze – waar ik ook zit of sta – steeds precies in mijn zicht legt.
Op dit punt van het verhaal bevonden we ons in de donkere dagen voor kerst, een ijskoude wind kwam naar binnen, maar man had de deur naar het halletje wijd open laten staan, zo ook onze voordeur. Wagenwijd. Het lelijkste standaardmodel, met vier horizontale ramen waar ik de afgelopen anderhalf jaar nogal vaak – kromgebogen – doorheen had staan kijken. Zoals de buurvrouwen in het dorp waar ik vandaan kom vroeger altijd door de jaloezieën gluurden om te kijken wie er thuiskwam en wie er wegging, zo stond ik daar op die ingelegde droogloopmat de straat af te speuren. Te wachten. Op man.”

Elke Geurts (Heijen, 1973)


De Duitse dichteres Claudia Gabler werd in 1970 geboren in Lörrach. Zie ook alle tags voor Claudia Gabler op dit blog.


Eigentlich hatte ich gehofft, der Bus sei schon abgefahren.
Ich hatte ja keine Ahnung von den Rokokokirchen und
ihren egozentrischen Lichtspielen. Dich dagegen befriedigt es
offensichtlich völlig, wenn eine Taube sich aus den Glocken
schlägt, so wie wir damals dachten, wir wüßten alles über
das Leben und diese albernen Raclettegeräte. Heute weiß
ich zumindest, daß wir jahrelang neben einem berühmten
Hirnchirurgen gewohnt haben, ohne auch nur seinen Namen
zu kennen. Im Nachhinein bin ich mir sicher, daß er
ein guter Gesprächspartner gewesen wäre.

Ja, es ist wahr, von der Natur können wir so manches über
Ordnung lernen. Und ich meine nicht die Ordnung, die sich
ständig wiederholt und deshalb langweilig ist. Sondern ich
meine die komplexe Ordnung der Welt der Dinge, in der wir
leben. Also das Chaos als subtilere, nicht wiederkehrende
Art von Ordnung.

Schreibst du das alles auf? Rufst du mich an, wenn du
wiederkommst von dem Kontinent, der dich aufbläht wie
einen Mathematiker, der über seiner Arbeit verzweifelt?
Ich wünschte, wir hätten noch etwas von dem Käse da,
den wir im Morgengrauen in der alten Markthalle
neben der Themse gekauft haben. Als du am anderen
Ende der Welt am Fenster standst und ein Insekt
aus deinem Auge riebst.

Claudia Gabler (Lörrach, 1970)

By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa, (Billy Collins), Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet

Dolce far niente


The Ambassador Hotel Swimming Pool door Joseph Kleitsch, jaren 1920


By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa

All afternoon I have been struggling
to communicate in Italian
with Roberto and Giuseppe, who have begun
to resemble the two male characters
in my Italian for Beginners,
the ones who are always shopping
or inquiring about the times of trains,
and now I can hardly speak or write English.

I have made important pronouncements
in this remote limestone valley
with its trickle of a river,
stating that it seems hotter
today even than it was yesterday
and that swimming is very good for you,
very beneficial, you might say.
I also posed burning questions
about the hours of the archaeological museum
and the location of the local necropolis.

But now I am alone in the evening light
which has softened the white cliffs,
and I have had a little gin in a glass with ice
which has softened my mood or—
how would you say in English—
has allowed my thoughts to traverse my brain
with greater gentleness, shall we say,

or, to put it less literally,
this drink has extended permission
to my mind to feel—what’s the word?—
a friendship with the vast sky
which is very—give me a minute—very blue
but with much great paleness
at this special time of day, or as we say in America, now.


Billy Collins (New York, 22 maart 1941)
New York, Astoria Park Pool. Billy Collins werd geboren in New York

Continue reading “By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa, (Billy Collins), Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet”

Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab, Claudia Gabler

De Indisch-Britse schrijver en essayist Salman Rushdie werd geboren in Bombay op 19 juni 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Salman Rushdie op dit blog.

Uit: The Enchantress of Florence

“She was a doli-arthi prostitute of the Hatyapul, meaning that the terms of her employment stated that she was literally married to the job and would only leave on her arthi or funeral bier. She had had to go through a parody of a wedding ceremony, arriving, to the mirth of the street rabble, on a donkey-cart instead of the usual doli or palanquin. “Enjoy your wedding day, Skeleton, it’s the only one you’ll ever have,” shouted one lout, but the other prostitutes poured a chamber pot of warm urine over him from an upstairs balcony, and that shut him up just fine. The “groom” was the brothel itself, represented symbolically by the madam, Rangili Bibi, a whore so old, toothless, and squinty that she had become worthy of respect, and so fierce that everyone was scared of her, even the police officers whose job it theoretically was to close her business down, but who didn’t dare make a move against her in case she gave them a lifetime’s bad luck by fixing them with the evil eye. The other, more rational explanation for the brothel’s survival was that it was owned by an influential noble of the court — or else, as the city’s gossips were convinced, not a noble but a priest, maybe even one of the mystics praying nonstop at the Chishti tomb. But nobles go in and out of favor, and priests as well. Bad luck, on the other hand, is forever: so the fear of Rangili Bibi’s crossed eyes was at least as powerful as an unseen holy or aristocratic protector.
Mohini’s bitterness was not the result of being a whore, which was a job like any other job and gave her a home, and food and clothing, without which, she said, she would be no better than a pye-dog and would in all likelihood die like a dog in a ditch. It was aimed at one single woman, her former employer, the fourteen-year-old Lady Man Bai of Amer, currently residing at Sikri, a young hussy who was already receiving, in secret, the eager attentions of her cousin Crown Prince Salim. Lady Man Bai had one hundred slaves, and Mohini the Skeleton was one of her favorites.“

Salman Rushdie (Bombay, 19 juni 1947)

Continue reading “Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab, Claudia Gabler”

Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab, Claudia Gabler

De Indisch-Britse schrijver en essayist Salman Rushdie werd geboren in Bombay op 19 juni 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Salman Rushdie op dit blog.

Uit:Luka and the Fire of Life

“There was once, in the city of Kahani in the land of Alifbay, a boy named Luka who had two pets, a bear named Dog and a dog named Bear, which meant that whenever he called out “Dog!” the bear waddled up amiably on his hind legs, and when he shouted “Bear!” the dog bounded towards him wagging his tail. Dog the brown bear could be a little gruff and bearish at times, but he was an expert dancer, able to get up on to his hind legs and perform with subtlety and grace the waltz, the polka, the rhumba, the wah-watusi and the twist, as well as dances from nearer home, the pounding bhangra, the twirling ghoomar (for which he wore a wide mirrorworked skirt), the warrior dances known as the spaw and the thang-ta, and the pea cock dance of the south. Bear the dog was a chocolate Labrador, and a gentle, friendly dog, though sometimes a bit excitable and nervous; he absolutely could not dance, having, as the saying goes, four left feet, but to make up for his clumsiness he possessed the gift of perfect pitch, so he could sing up a storm, howling out the melodies of the most popular songs of the day, and never going out of tune. Bear the dog and Dog the bear quickly became much more than Luka’s pets. They turned into his closest allies and most loyal protectors, so fierce in his defence that nobody would ever have dreamed of bullying him when they were nearby, not even his appalling classmate Ratshit, whose behaviour was usually out of control.
This is how Luka came to have such unusual companions. One fine day when he was twelve years old, the circus came to town – and not just any circus, but the GROF or Great Rings of Fire itself, the most celebrated circus in all of Alifbay, “featuring the Famous Incredible Fire Illusion.” So Luka was at first bitterly disappointed when his father the storyteller Rashid Khalifa told him they would not be going to the show. “Unkind to animals,” Rashid explained.
“Once it may have had its glory days but these days the GROF has fallen far from Grace.” The Lioness had tooth decay, Rashid told Luka, and the Tigress was blind and the Elephants were hungry and the rest of the circus menagerie was just plain miserable.”

Salman Rushdie (Bombay, 19 juni 1947)

Continue reading “Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab, Claudia Gabler”

Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab

De Indisch-Britse schrijver en essayist Salman Rushdie werd geboren in Bombay op 19 juni 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Salman Rushdie op dit blog.

Uit: Joseph Anton: A Memoir

“Afterwards, when the world was exploding around him and the lethal blackbirds were massing on the climbing frame in the school playground, he felt annoyed with himself for forgetting the name of the BBC reporter, a woman, who had told him that his old life was over and a new, darker existence was about to begin. She had called him at home on his private line without explaining how she got the number. “How does it feel,” she asked him, “to know that you have just been sentenced to death by the Ayatollah Khomeini?” It was a sunny Tuesday in London but the question shut out the light. This is what he said, without really knowing what he was saying: “It doesn’t feel good.” This is what he thought: I’m a dead man. He wondered how many days he had left to live and thought the answer was probably a single- digit number. He put down the telephone and ran down the stairs from his workroom at the top of the narrow Islington row house where he lived. The living room windows had wooden shutters and, absurdly, he closed and barred them. Then he locked the front door.
It was Valentine’s Day but he hadn’t been getting on with his wife, the American novelist Marianne Wiggins. Six days earlier she had told him she was unhappy in the marriage, that she “ didn’t feel good around him anymore,” even though they had been married for little more than a year, and he, too, already knew it had been a mistake. Now she was staring at him as he moved nervously around the house, drawing curtains, checking window bolts, his body galvanized by the news as if an electric current were passing through it, and he had to explain to her what was happening. She reacted well, beginning to discuss what they should do next. She used the word “we.” That was courageous.
A car arrived at the house, sent by CBS television. He had an appointment at the American network’s studios in Bowater House, Knightsbridge, to appear live, by satellite link, on its morning show. “I should go,” he said. “It’s live television. I can’t just not show up.” Later that morning the memorial service for his friend Bruce Chatwin was to be held at the Orthodox church on Moscow Road in Bayswater”.

Salman Rushdie (Bombay, 19 juni 1947)

Continue reading “Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab”

Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab

De Indisch-Britse schrijver en essayist Salman Rushdie werd geboren in Bombay op 19 juni 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Salman Rushdie op dit blog.


Uit: The Satanic Verses


“When Baal proceeded to lay out the plan for the madam, she responded: “It is very dangerous, but it could be damn good for business.” While I do not wholly subscribe to the theory that authors tend to write self-fulfilling novels, it seems quite clear to me that “they” did hear and that they are indeed mad enough to “boil his balls in butter.” The Ayyatollah Khomeni, who issued the fatwa for Rushdie’s death, in fact stated that what Rushdie wrote about the Prophet literally made his blood boil (quoted in Appignanesi and Maitland 1990:73). The whole thing has been very dangerous, and there is little doubt but that the controversy has been “damn good for business.”

The question that remains for me is why Rushdie — being brought up as a Muslim, even a backsliding one — did not realize what the reaction of his fellow Muslims would be (Baal was certainly not naive about how Mahound would respond to knowing whores were pretending to be his wives), or why Rushdie realized it but went ahead and did it anyway. To a certain extent Rushdie’s public presentation of his private doubt came at the wrong time — it was a convenient lightning rod at a time when anger against the West — understandable anger at that — needed to go somewhere.

But the key I think is found in the same passage (p. 380), where Rushdie comments: “Where there is no belief, there is no blasphemy.” In an interview ironically broadcast the same day in 1989 as Khomeini’s death warrant, Rushdie added: “Doubt, it seems to me, is the central condition of a human being in the 20th century” (quoted in Appignanesi and Maitland 1990:24). Here I think is the crux of the problem. We can readily identify with Rushdie on doubt as the norm in the secular as well as much of the sacred thinking of our West. We can read The Satanic Verses as an exercise in dealing with that doubt, one that Rushdie as an immigrant author in our backyard vigorously defends as viable even though it may be seen as blatant unbelief by his critics. But the problem is that Rushdie, at least up until a recent interview with

David Frost, has never claimed not to have belief. He has simply admitted to doubt.”




Salman Rushdie (Bombay, 19 juni 1947)

Continue reading “Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab”

Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab

De Indisch-Britse schrijver en essayist Salman Rushdie werd geboren in Bombay op 19 juni 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Salman Rushdie op dit blog.


Uit: Mitternachtskinder (Vertaald door Karin Graf)

“Es war einmal ein kleiner Junge, der wurde in der Stadt Bombay geboren … Nein, so geht es nicht, ich kann mich um das Datum nicht herummogeln: Ich wurde am 15. August 1947 in Dr. Narlikars privatem Entbindungsheim geboren. Und die Zeit? Die Zeit spielt auch eine Rolle. Also dann: nachts. Nein, man muss schon genauer sein … Schlag Mitternacht, um die Wahrheit zu sagen. Uhrzeiger neigten sich einander zu, um mein Kommen respektvoll zu begrüßen.

Oh, sprich’s nur aus: Genau in dem Augenblick, in dem In dien die Unabhängigkeit erlangte, purzelte ich in die Welt. Schweres Atmen war zu hören. Und draußen vor dem Fenster Feuerwerk und Menschenmassen. Ein paar Sekunden später brach mein Vater sich den großen Zeh; aber verglichen mit dem, was mich in diesem verhängnisvollen Augenblick befallen hatte, war sein Unfall eine bloße Lappalie, denn dank der verborgenen Willkürherrschaft dieser verbindlich grüßenden Uhren war ich auf geheimnisvolle Weise an die Geschichte gefesselt, war mein Geschick unlösbar mit dem meines Landes verkettet worden. Für die nächsten drei Jahrzehnte sollte es kein Entkommen geben. Wahrsager hatten mich prophezeit, Zeitungen feierten meine Ankunft, Politiker bescheinigten meine Echtheit. Ich hatte in der ganzen Sache nichts zu sagen. Ich, Saleem Sinai, später auch verschiedentlich Rotznase, Fleckengesicht, Kahlkopf, Schnüffl er, Buddha und sogar Scheibe-vom-Mond genannt, war vom Schicksal schwer mit Beschlag belegt worden – selbst unter günstigsten Umständen eine gefährliche Verstrickung. Und ich konnte mir zu der Zeit noch nicht einmal selbst die Nase putzen.

Nun läuft jedoch die Zeit ab (da sie keine weitere Verwendung für mich hat). Ich werde bald einunddreißig Jahre alt. Vielleicht. Wenn mein zerfallender, überbeanspruchter Körper es zulässt. Aber ich kann nicht darauf hoffen, mein Leben zu retten, ich kann nicht einmal damit rechnen, tausendundeine Nacht zu haben. Ich muss schnell arbeiten, schneller als Scheherazade, wenn mein Leben bei meinem Tod einen Sinn – ja, Sinn – gehabt haben soll. Ich gebe es zu: Mehr als alles andere fürchte ich die Sinnlosigkeit.”


Salman Rushdie (Bombay, 19 juni 1947)

Continue reading “Salman Rushdie, Sybren Polet, Josef Nesvadba, Osamu Dazai, José Rizal, Friedrich Huch, Gustav Schwab”