André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, T. H. White, Hans Weigel, Max Brand, Joel Benton, Dolores Dorantes

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.

Uit: The blue door

“The urge to touch her becomes hard to resist. But I am restrained by the uncertainty about what might happen if I do. And there is the pure visual joy of looking at her. For the time being I do not want to do anything except to look, and look, and look. (How I wish I could paint her as she lies there now, at this moment, so close, so real.)
After a while, from the way in which she remains almost motionless, never bothering to turn a page, I realise that she is not reading either. Waiting for me to make the first move?
I move my hand closer to her, still without touching.
I seem to detect the merest hint of a stiffening in her body. But it may well be my imagination. And it is of decisive importance that I be sure before I risk an approach. Because if not…
‘What are you reading?’ I ask. But my voice is so strained that I have to clear my throat and repeat the question.
‘Haruki Murakami,’ she says, turning slightly over on her back and raising the book to let me see it. ‘Sputnik Sweetheart.’
‘What’s it like?’
‘A strange book,’ she says without looking at me. ‘I don’t think it’s entirely convincing, but it’s very disturbing.’ Now she settles squarely on her back and turns her head to look at me. ‘In the key episode of the story the young Japanese woman – what’s her name?’ She flips through a few pages. ‘Yes: Miu. She gets stuck at the top of a Ferris wheel at a fair in the middle of the night. And when she looks around, she discovers that she can see into her own apartment in the distance. And there’s a man in there, a man who has recently tried to get her into bed. While Miu is looking at him, she sees a woman with him. And the woman is she herself, Miu. It is a moment so shocking that her black hair turns white on the spot.’ Her black eyes look directly into mine. ‘Can you imagine a thing like that happening? Shifting between dimensions, changing places with herself…?’
‘I think that happens every day,’ I say with a straight face.
‘What do you mean?’
‘When one makes love. Don’t you think that’s a way of changing places with yourself? The world becomes a different place. You are no longer the person you were before.’

André Brink (29 mei 1935 – 6 februari 2015)

 

De Catalaanse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Eduard Escoffet werd geboren op 29 mei 1979 in Barcelona. Zie ook alle tags voor Eduard Escoffet op dit blog.

holz im herz (fragment)

holz im herz
holz im hirn
holz in den gedärmen

ein mann geht zur toilette. ein mann geht zur toilette. die kabine, auch die kabine. ein mann schließt die tür und ein anderer mann ist schon drin. es gibt noch mehr kabinen und trübes licht. ein paar hände fangen bei den hinterbacken an und reiben über den rücken, ziehen das unterhemd heraus bis zu den schultern. das andere paar hände stemmt sich gegen den körper und die kraft des anderen. es müsste alles schnell gehen. er kommt herein. ein mann kommt in eine andere kabine. verschlossen ein körper, doch offen dieser hier. das licht scheint weiter, als ob es den atem anhielte.

holz
das holz ist schon kein holz mehr
holz überall
und holz im wind

derjenige, der zur toilette geht, der drinnen das sonnenlicht mit dem licht der neonröhre verwechselt. kein interesse daran, sich damit aufzuhalten, eins vom anderen zu unterscheiden. er setzt sich auf die toilette: er hat alle zeit der welt. der hellsichtige und jener, dem ein licht wie das andere gilt. er verwechselt erst die hosentaschen, doch dann findet er sie. er sitzt auf der toilettenschüssel, spannt sich genüsslich an und löst den schuss aus. vielleicht fällt das licht durch ein fenster, oder es ist nur die neonröhre. von den ersten, die nach dem schuss hereinkommen, wird sicher einer den eimer und putzlappen holen.

Eduard Escoffet (Barcelona, 29 mei 1979)

 

De Engelse dichter, letterkundige, schrijver en journalist Gilbert Keith Chesterton werd geboren in Londen op 29 mei 1874. Zie ook alle tags voor G. K. Chesterton op dit blog.

Uit: Twelve Modern Apostles and Their Creeds

“The difficulty of explaining “why I am a Catholic” is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true. I could fill all my space with separate sentences each beginning with the words, “It is the only thing that…” As, for instance, (1) It is the only thing that really prevents a sin from being a secret. (2) It is the only thing in which the superior cannot be superior; in the sense of supercilious. (3) It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. (4) It is the only thing that talks as if it were the truth; as if it were a real messenger refusing to tamper with a real message. (5) It is the only type of Christianity that really contains every type of man; even the respectable man. (6) It is the only large attempt to change the world from the inside; working through wills and not laws; and so on.
Or I might treat the matter personally and describe my own conversion; but I happen to have a strong feeling that this method makes the business look much smaller than it really is. Numbers of much better men have been sincerely converted to much worse religions. I would much prefer to attempt to say here of the Catholic Church precisely the things that cannot be said even of its very respectable rivals. In short, I would say chiefly of the Catholic Church that it is catholic. I would rather try to suggest that it is not only larger than me, but larger than anything in the world; that it is indeed larger than the world. But since in this short space I can only take a section, I will consider it in its capacity of a guardian of the truth.
The other day a well-known writer, otherwise quite well-informed, said that the Catholic Church is always the enemy of new ideas. It probably did not occur to him that his own remark was not exactly in the nature of a new idea. It is one of the notions that Catholics have to be continually refuting, because it is such a very old idea. Indeed, those who complain that Catholicism cannot say anything new, seldom think it necessary to say anything new about Catholicism. As a matter of fact, a real study of history will show it to be curiously contrary to the fact. In so far as the ideas really are ideas, and in so far as any such ideas can be new, Catholics have continually suffered through supporting them when they were really new; when they were much too new to find any other support. The Catholic was not only first in the field but alone in the field; and there was as yet nobody to understand what he had found there.”

G. K. Chesterton (29 mei 1874 – 14 juli 1936)

 

De Franse schrijver Bernard Charles Henri Clavel  werd geboren op 29 mei 1923 in Lons-le-Saunier. Zie ook alle tags voor Bernard Clavel op dit blog.

Uit: Les roses de Verdun

« Et vous partiez à pied ? — On se regroupait par bataillons dans les prairies où il n’y avait plus un poil d’herbe. La poussière ou le bourbier. On nous distribuait la soupe ou le café et du pain souvent moisi. On mangeait debout, à côté des faisceaux. Et puis on partait, puis après on attendait la nuit pour s’enfiler dans les boyaux d’accès. On peut dire que la guerre commençait vraiment sur cette route. — Laisse Augustin parler. Tu dis assez parle pas. Sans se retourner, femme : — Ça n’est pas tous les jours que je roule sur la Voie sacrée. Si ça ne te fait aucun effet, tant mieux pour toi… moi, ça me remue. Il a cessé de m’interroger. Je préférais, car la route n’était vraiment pas facile et, dans les descentes, la voiture chassait un peu. Plusieurs fois, nous avons vu des véhicules arrêtés et qui nous gênaient pour passer. Un gros camion était couché dans le fossé. Non, Monsieur ne m’a plus interrogé, mais c’est lui qui s’est mis à parler. Il ne l’avait jamais fait de cette manière, et j’ai compris ce conduire. Ne le fais pas qu’un bon chauffeur ne le patron a lancé à sa matin-là que s’il m’avait si souvent interrogé, il avait dû beaucoup lire aussi et regarder souvent des images de cette partie de la Grande Guerre. Il connaissait les noms des villages où l’on s’était beaucoup battu. En fait, il nous parlait comme s’il avait voulu nous apprendre la vérité sur ces combats. Il disait, par exemple : — Au Tourniquet, quand les poilus regar-daient s’en aller les camions vides, tous se demandaient combien d’entre eux revien-draient. Lesquels étaient d’avance marqués pour rester dans ce bourbier que tant d’autres avaient déjà arrosé de sang. Jusqu’à Bar-le-Duc, il n’a guère cessé de raconter. Il se souvenait de mille détails que j’avais oubliés. Même les noms des généraux et des colonels qui avaient commandé à Ver-dun lui étaient familiers. Et toujours revenait la grande aventure des camions se suivant à se toucher et de cette route où des centaines de territoriaux jetaient des pierres à longueur de journées et de nuits sans jamais inter-rompre ni même ralentir le trafic. Qu’un camion tombe en panne, il était aussitôt poussé hors de la chaussée. Jamais, jamais le flot ne devait se ralentir. A un moment, il a dit : — Cette route, c’était une artère. »

Bernard Clavel (29 mei 1923 – 5 oktober 2010)

 

De Engelse dichter en schrijver Terence Hanbury White werd geboren op 29 mei 1906 in Bombay (Mombai). Zie ook alle tags voor T. H. White op dit blog.

Uit: The Once and Future King

“The day for the ceremony drew near, the invitations to King Pellinore and Sir Grummore were sent out, and the Wart withdrew himself more and more into the kitchen. “Come on, Wart, old boy,” said Sir Ector ruefully. “I didn’t think you would take it so bad. It doesn’t become you to do this sulkin’.” “I am not sulking,” said the Wart. “I don’t mind a bit and I am very glad that Kay is going to be a knight. Please don’t think I am sulking.” “You are a good boy,” said Sir Ector. “I know you’re not sulkin’ really, but do cheer up. Kay isn’t such a bad stick, you know, in his way. “Kay is a splendid chap,” said the Wart. “Only I was not happy because he did not seem to want to go hawking or anything, with me, any more.” “It is his youthfulness,” said Sir Ector. “It will all clear up.” “I am sure it will,” said the Wart. “It is only that he does not want me to go with him, just at the moment. And so, of course, I don’t go. “But I will go,” added the Wart. “As soon as he commands me, I will do exactly what he says. Honestly, I think Kay is a good person, and I was not sulking a bit.” “You have a glass of this canary,” said Sir Ector, “and go and see if old Merlyn can’t cheer you up.” “Sir Ector has given me a glass of canary,” said the Wart, “and sent me to see if you can’t cheer me up.” “Sir Ector,” said Merlyn, “is a wise man.” “Well,” said the Wart, “what about it?” “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”

T. H. White (29 mei 1906 – 17 januari 1964)
Cover

 

De Oostenrijkse schrijver en theatercriticus Hans Weigel werd geboren op 29 mei 1908 in Wenen. Zie ook alle tags voor Hans Weigel op dit blog.

Uit:Ich war einmal (Biografie)

„Die Hoffnung vieler Wiener Juden, durch Assimilation Integration zu erreichen, war in der jüdischen Mittelschicht Wiens am Beginn des vorigen Jahrhunderts weit verbreitet. Geradezu exemplarisch zeigte sich diese — wie sich leidvoll herausgestellt hat — Illusion bei Hans Weigels Eltern. Sein Vater Eduard, ältestes Kind von Lazar Weigl und seiner Frau Babette, 1874 in Markt Eisenstein, einem kleinen böhmischen Ort nahe der bayrischen Grenze, geboren, kam schon in den Neunzigerjahren des 19. Jahrhunderts in die Residenzstadt der Monarchie. In Eisenstein, dem heutigen ZeleZnä Ruda, lebten nur zwei jüdische Familien, die als Kaufleute ihr Fortkommen hatten. Lazar Weigl, sein Sohn Eduard fügte erst in den 1920er-Jahren in Wien das „e” in den Namen „Weigl” ein, besaß nicht nur eine Gemischtwarenhandlung, „den Laden”, wie er genannt wurde, sondern auch Felder und Wiesen und führte eine kleine Milchwirtschaft. Er lebte streng nach den jüdischen Gebräuchen: „[…] in seinem Haus wurde koscher gekocht, Geschirr und Besteck für Fleisch und ‚Milchiges’ getrennt — es wurde kein Schweinefleisch zubereitet.”1 Dieser Großvater Lazar, Ludwig, „war ein verständiger, recht kluger Mann, der auch Humor hatte. […] Ich hatte ihn sehr gern, er war stolz auf mich, wie auf seinen Sohn Eduard, der es in Wien weit gebracht hatte”2, als Handelsakademiker bei der Glasfabrik Stölzle, bei der er seine berufliche Laufbahn begonnen hatte und bei der er zuerst als Prokurist und dann als Direktor Karriere machte. So schrieb Hans Weigel in seiner 2008 posthum von seiner Lektorin Elke Vujica herausgegebenen Autobiografie In die weite Welt hinein, in der er sein Leben von 1908 bis 1938 behandelte. Eduard hatte drei jüngere Schwestern: die Älteste, Franziska, genannt Fanni, hatte fünf Kinder: Ernst, Otto, Klara, Emma und Hedwig. Hans Weigel war in den Ferien seiner Volksschulzeit gerne bei ihnen in Chotieschau (Chotä§ov). Die Mittlere lebte mit ihrem Mann Robert Abeles und ihrer Tochter Irma in Karlsbad (Karlovy Vary), während Regine, die Jüngste, mit ihrem Mann Emil Siller in Eisenstein blieb, zwei Töchter, Roselle und Mitzi, hatte und mit ihrem Mann das Geschäft von Lazar Weigl übernahm. Der Großvater von Hans Weigel mütterlicherseits, Julius Fekete, war Kaufmann aus dem ungarischen Gyon, heute Dabas, und kam mit seiner Frau Katarina, geborene Boskowitz, schon vor der Jahrhundertwende nach Wien. Sie wohnten in Margareten, dem 5. Wiener Gemeindebezirk, und führten in der nahe gelegenen Schönbrunner Straße 31 das „Zentralversandhaus Julius Fekete”, einen Gemischtwarenhandel. Sie waren typische Vertreter des liberalen jüdischen Bildungsbürgertums, hatten drei Söhne und zwei Töchter. Hugo übernahm als Ältester, der Not gehorchend, das Zentralversandhaus, da sein Vater 1903 mit nicht einmal fünfzig Jahren verstorben war. „Onkel Hugo musste das Geschäft führen, und das war wohl tragisch, denn er war sehr musikalisch, spielte großartig Klavier, war charmant und witzig und hatte gewiß ein unerfülltes Leben. Er mochte mich sehr gern, manchmal saß ich neben ihm, wenn er am Klavier improvisierte.”2 Albert, der mittlere der drei Söhne, lebte als Ingenieur bei den Saurer-Werken in Arbon am Bodensee in der Schweiz. „Der dritte Bruder war Onkel Theo, klein und rundlich, er spielte Geige und war angestellt bei der Filmfirma Projektograph. Er schwärmte von der neuartigen Erfindung und prophezeite ihr eine große Zukunft — und wurde in der Familie nur belächelt.”

Hans Weigel (29 mei 1908 – 12 augustus 1991)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Max Brand (eig. Frederick Schiller Faust) werd geboren op 29 mei 1892 in Seattle. Zie ook alle tags voor Max Brand op dit blog.

Uit: The Garden of Eden

“Can’t we walk?” suggested Ben Connor, looking up and down the street at the dozen sprawling frame houses; but the fat man stared at him with calm pity. He was so fat and so good-natured that even Ben Connor did not impress him greatly.
“Maybe you think this is Lukin?” he asked. When the other raised his heavy black eyebrows he explained: “This ain’t nothing but Lukin Junction. Lukin is clear round the hill. Climb in, Mr. Connor.”
Connor laid one hand on the back of the seat, and with a surge of his strong shoulders leaped easily into his place; the fat man noted this with a roll of his little eyes, and then took his own place, the old wagon careening toward him as he mounted the step. He sat with his right foot dangling over the side of the buckboard, and a plump shoulder turned fairly upon his passenger so that when he spoke he had to throw his head and jerk out the words; but this was apparently his time-honored position in the wagon, and he did not care to vary it for the sake of conversation. A flap of the loose reins set the horses jog-trotting out of Lukin Junction down a gulch which aimed at the side of an enormous mountain, naked, with no sign of a village or even a single shack among its rocks. Other peaks crowded close on the right and left, with a loftier range behind, running up to scattered summits white with snow and blue with distance. The shadows of the late afternoon were thick as fog in the gulch, and all the lower mountains were already dim so that the snow-peaks in the distance seemed as detached, and high as clouds. Ben Connor sat with his cane between his knees and his hands draped over its amber head and watched those shining places until the fat man heaved his head over his shoulder.
“Most like somebody told you about Townsend’s Hotel?” His passenger moved his attention from the mountain to his companion. He was so leisurely about it that it seemed he had not heard.
“Yes,” he said, “I was told of the place.” “Who?” said the other expectantly. “A friend of mine.”
The fat man grunted and worked his head around so far that a great wrinkle rolled up his neck close to his ear. He looked into the eye of the stranger.
“Me being Jack Townsend, I’m sort of interested to know things like that; the ones that like my place and them that don’t.”

Max Brand (29 mei 1892 – 12 mei 1944)

De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en publicist Joel Benton werd geboren op 29 mei 1832 in het kleine stadje Amenia, in county New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Joel Benton op dit blog.

Grover Cleveland

Bring cypress, rosemary and rue
For him who kept his rudder true;
Who held to right the people’s will,
And for whose foes we love him still.
A man of Plutarch’s marble mould,
Of virtues strong and manifold,
Who spurned the incense of the hour,
And made the nation’s weal his dower.

His sturdy, rugged sense of right
Put selfish purpose out of sight;
Slowly he thought, but long and well,
With temper imperturbable.

Bring cypress, rosemary and rue
For him who kept his rudder true;
Who went at dawn to that high star
Where Washington and Lincoln are.

 Joel Benton (29 mei 1832 – 15 september 1911)

 

Onafhankelijk van geboortedata

De Mexicaanse dichteres en journaliste Dolores Dorantes werd in 1973 geboren in Veracruz aan de Golf van Mexico. Zie ook alle tags voor Dolores Dorantes op dit blog.

Give us a bottle and let’s be done with your world

Give us a bottle and let’s be done with your world. Light us and the fire will spread like a plague. We arrive at your office. At your machine. We arrive at your masterful chair. At that world that is no longer the world. Where nothing touches and we kiss each other. We join our girlish lips damp with some kind of fuel. Give us a forest. Give us the presidency.

This book does not exist

This book does not exist. All that has been said in the name of a love that does not last. Each line dispossessed. The drug that seeing blood has become. Open us in this impossible territory. Unlimited. Repeated. Uncovered. We are here as the trace of a code. We knock on your door for you to swim us. Fire and water. We are inside bottles and explosives. We are extermination. Place without country. Tie us up, put a leash on us. Command us to get out and show me your tongue: a gust of birds.

Dolores Dorantes (Veracruz, 1973)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 29e mei ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2018 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2016 deel 2.

André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, T. H. White, Hans Weigel, Alfonsina Storni, Max Brand, Joel Benton

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.

Uit: A dry white season

“Even if I’m hated, and ostracized, and persecuted, and in the end destroyed, nothing can make me black. And so those who are cannot but remain suspicious of me. In their eyes my very efforts to identify myself with Gordon, with all the Gordons, would be obscene. Every gesture I make, every act I commit in my efforts to help them makes it more difficult for them to define their real needs and discover for themselves their integrity and affirm their own dignity. How else could we hope to arrive beyond predator and prey, helper and helped, white and black, and find redemption?
On the other hand: what can I do but what I have done? I cannot choose not to intervene: that would be a denial and a mockery not only of everything I believe in, but of the hope that compassion may survive among men. By not acting as I did I would deny the very possibility of that gulf to be bridged.
If I act, I cannot but lose. But if I do not act, it is a different kind of defeat, equally decisive and maybe worse.
Because then I will not even have a conscience left.
The end seems ineluctable: failure, defeat, loss. The only choice I have left is whether I am prepared to salvage a little honour, a little decency, a little humanity — or nothing. It seems as if a sacrifice is impossible to avoid, whatever way one looks at it. But at least one has the choice between a wholly futile sacrifice and one that might, in the long run, open up a possibility, however negligible or dubious, of something better, less sordid and more noble, for our children…”

 
André Brink (29 mei 1935 – 6 februari 2015)
Begin jaren 1960

 

De Catalaanse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Eduard Escoffet werd geboren op 29 mei 1979 in Barcelona. Zie ook alle tags voor Eduard Escoffet op dit blog.

 

alles egal

die liebe
macht alles kaputt;
sie macht den sex kaputt,
sie zerstört den verstand
und sie bleicht den teint.
sie macht aus den augen ein möbel
und aus dem bett ein anderes möbel
– und zwar eins ums andere mal.
die liebe
macht das flirten kaputt,
sie tötet die masern,
sie tötet den schweifenden blick und
erhöht die moral
hin zu unbekannten neigungen.

die liebe
macht alles kaputt;
sie lässt die stimme rostig werden,
zerstört pläne und panoramablicke,
sie füllt den kaffee mit klumpen und
die adern mit nervenfasern, die sich überschlagen.
die liebe lässt das meer ruhig werden und die landschaften zahmer,
sie lässt die plattfüße platt
und macht platt die härteste rute.

die liebe
macht alles kaputt:
sie bedeckt dir die augen,
und zwischen den vorhängen und fensterläden
vergesse ich mich selbst,
die flüsse sind immer noch flüsse
und ich weiß nicht mehr was tun.

 

Vertaald doorRoger Friedlein

 
Eduard Escoffet (Barcelona, 29 mei 1979)

 

De Engelse dichter, letterkundige, schrijver en journalist Gilbert Keith Chesterton werd geboren in Londen op 29 mei 1874. Zie ook alle tags voor G. K. Chesterton en alle tags voor Chesterton op dit blog.

Uit: The Secret Garden (The Complete “Father Brown”)

“I mean,” said little Father Brown, from the corner of the room, “I mean that cigar Mr. Brayne is finishing. It seems nearly as long as a walking-stick.”
Despite the irrelevance there was assent as well as irritation in Valentin’s face as he lifted his head.
“Quite right,” he remarked sharply. “Ivan, go and see about Mr. Brayne again, and bring him here at once.”
The instant the factotum had closed the door, Valentin addressed the girl with an entirely new earnestness.
“Lady Margaret,” he said, “we all feel, I am sure, both gratitude and admiration for your act in rising above your lower dignity and explaining the Commandant’s conduct. But there is a hiatus still. Lord Galloway, I understand, met you passing from the study to the drawing-room, and it was only some minutes afterwards that he found the garden and the Commandant still walking there.”
“You have to remember,” replied Margaret, with a faint irony in her voice, “that I had just refused him, so we should scarcely have come back arm in arm. He is a gentleman, anyhow; and he loitered behind—and so got charged with murder.”
“In those few moments,” said Valentin gravely, “he might really—”
The knock came again, and Ivan put in his scarred face.
“Beg pardon, sir,” he said, “but Mr. Brayne has left the house.”
“Left!” cried Valentin, and rose for the first time to his feet.
“Gone. Scooted. Evaporated,” replied Ivan in humorous French. “His hat and coat are gone, too, and I’ll tell you something to cap it all. I ran outside the house to find any traces of him, and I found one, and a big trace, too.”
“What do you mean?” asked Valentin.
“I’ll show you,” said his servant, and reappeared with a flashing naked cavalry sabre, streaked with blood about the point and edge. Everyone in the room eyed it as if it were a thunderbolt; but the experienced Ivan went on quite quietly:
“I found this,” he said, “flung among the bushes fifty yards up the road to Paris. In other words, I found it just where your respectable Mr. Brayne threw it when he ran away.”
There was again a silence, but of a new sort. Valentin took the sabre, examined it, reflected with unaffected concentration of thought, and then turned a respectful face to O’Brien. “Commandant,” he said, “we trust you will always produce this weapon if it is wanted for police examination. Meanwhile,” he added, slapping the steel back in the ringing scabbard, “let me return you your sword.”

 
G. K. Chesterton (29 mei 1874 – 14 juli 1936)
Mark Williams speelt Father Brown in de BBC-serie vanaf 2013

 

De Franse schrijver Bernard Charles Henri Clavel werd geboren op 29 mei 1923 in Lons-le-Saunier. Zie ook alle tags voor Bernard Clavel op dit blog.

Uit: Les roses de Verdun

« Je suis allé à la porte. La neige tenait. La rue n’était pas déblayée et la voiture de Mme Vallier garée le long du trottoir, un peu plus bas, dans un renfoncement, était blanche. J’ai pensé un instant à la nettoyer, mais comme je ne savais pas quelle décision serait prise, je me suis dit que c’était inutile. Heureusement, elle était venue avec leur plus grosse auto qui était une quinze-chevaux Citroën. Si nous devions partir, sur la neige, la traction avant nous serait très précieuse. Et c’est une voiture que j’aime beaucoup conduire. […]
Ce matin-là encore Monsieur allait m’étonner. Alors que je m’attendais à l’entendre pester contre le mauvais sort qui semblait s’acharner sur nous depuis le début du voyage, lorsqu’il a vu tomber la neige il nous a déclaré:
– Quelle chance que l’Hotchkiss soit cassée, nous serons plus en sécurité dans la traction avec une route pareille.
Mais, au petit déjeuner, il y a eu un très vif accrochage entre les deux femmes et lui. En dépit de l’état des routes et de la piètre visibilité, il s’était mis en tête de pousser jusqu’à Aulnois. Ce qui représentait, en comptant le retour, pas loin de quatre cents kilomètres de plus. Ça me semblait à proprement parler de la folie pure. Fort heureusement, cette empoignade avait dû faire monter sa tension artérielle. Il est devenu rouge et son souffle, de nouveau court et saccadé, l’a obligé à se taire.
– Veux-tu que j’appelle le médecin? a demandé Madame.
Dans un grand effort qui faisait un peu mal à voir car la souffrance se lisait sur ses traits, il est parvenu à gronder:
– Fous-moi la paix avec ce con! Il t’a fait acheter pour une fortune de drogues à foutre aux chiottes… Il doit toucher des ristournes du pharmacien, celui-là… Entre les toubibs qui ne font rien et ceux qui font trop… Les malades qui s’en tirent ont vraiment la peau dure…
– Tais-toi, papa. Tu parles trop. Tu t’essouffles encore plus.
Sa fille lui a pris la main qu’elle a caressée tendrement. Elle lui ressemble. Mince et les traits un peu durs comme lui. Le même grand front. Elle a ajouté d’une voix très douce:
– Tu devrais aller te reposer un moment. Nous ferons les valises et, dès que des voitures auront circulé un peu, on essaiera de partir. S’il faut s’arrêter en route, ce ne sont pas les hôtels qui manquent, entre ici et Lyon. «

 
Bernard Clavel (29 mei 1923 – 5 oktober 2010)
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De Engelse dichter en schrijver Terence Hanbury White werd geboren op 29 mei 1906 in Bombay (Mombai). Zie ook alle tags voor T. H. White op dit blog.

Uit:The Book of Merlyn

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn”.
(…)

“He caught a glimpse of that extraordinary faculty in man, that strange, altruistic, rare, and obstinate decency which will make writers or scientists maintain their truths at the risk of death. Eppur si muove, Galileo was to say; it moves all the same. They were to be in a position to burn him if he would go on with it, with his preposterous nonsense about the earth moving round the sun, but he was to continue with the sublime assertion because there was something which he valued more than himself. The Truth. To recognize and to acknowledge What Is. That was the thing which man could do, which his English could do, his beloved, his sleeping, his now defenceless English. They might be stupid, ferocious, unpolitical, almost hopeless. But here and there, oh so seldome, oh so rare, oh so glorious, there were those all the same who would face the rack, the executioner, and even utter extinction, in the cause of something greater than themselves. Truth, that strange thing, the jest of Pilate’s. Many stupid young men had thought they were dying for it, and many would continue to die for it, perhaps for a thousand years. They did not have to be right about their truth, as Galileo was to be. It was enough that they, the few and martyred, should establish a greatness, a thing above the sum of all they ignorantly had.”

 
T. H. White (29 mei 1906 – 17 januari 1964)
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De Oostenrijkse schrijver en theatercriticus Hans Weigel werd geboren op 29 mei 1908 in Wenen. Zie ook alle tags voor Hans Weigel op dit blog.

Uit: Niemandsland

„Österreich nimmt den Untergang Österreichs nicht zur Kenntnis. Man hört hier auch schon das verhängnisvolle Wort vom “kleineren Übel”, das in Deutschland geprägt worden ist, so lange, bis die Betonung von dem “kleiner” unerheblich immer mehr auf “Übel” gewechselt hatte, so lange, bis das Übel unversehens immer grösser und schliesslich das ganz grosse geworden war. Peter versucht vergeblich darzutun, dass man jedes Übel bekämpfen müsse, ob es nun kleiner oder grösser sei.
Peter kann solche Gespräche nicht mehr hören. Es ist gespenstisch, höllisch, dass man hier das selbe erleben muss wie draussen, einen Staat auf dem selben Weg in den Untergang sehen und ein Volk die selben selbstbetrügerischen Phrasen dazu sagen hören muss, ohne dass man helfen kann, ja ohne dass der dokumentarische Hinweis dieser Gleichartigkeit auch nur zur Kenntnis genommen wird.
Peter fühlt sich erschöpft und völlig leer. Alles, was er, seit er denken kann, erlebt hat, alle Enttäuschung, alle Fragwürdigkeit seiner Existenz und der letzten Tage zumal, alles steigt auf, wächst unerträglich in ihm an und höhlt ihn aus. Kein Erlebnis kann ihn aus dieser Hoffnungslosigkeit reissen, was immer geschieht, wird sie nur bestätigen, falls es unerfreulich, wird sie doppelt grausam machen, wenn es erfreulich ist.“

 
Hans Weigel (29 mei 1908 – 12 augustus 1991)
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De Argentijnse dichteres Alfonsina Storni werd geboren in Sala Capriasca, Zwitserland op 29 mei 1892. Zie ook alle tags voor Alfonsina Storni op dit blog.

 

You Want Me White

You want me to be the dawn
You want me made of seaspray
Made of mother-of-pearl
That I be a lily
Chaste above all others
Of tenuous perfume
A blossom closed

That not even a moonbeam
Might have touched me
Nor a daisy
Call herself my sister
You want me like snow
You want me white
You want me to be the dawn

You who had all
The cups before you
Of fruit and honey
Lips dyed purple
You who in the banquet
Covered in grapevines
Let go of your flesh
Celebrating Bacchus
You who in the dark
Gardens of Deceit
Dressed in red
Ran towards Destruction

You who maintain
Your bones intact
Only by some miracle
Of which I know not
You ask that I be white
(May God forgive you)
You ask that I be chaste
(May God forgive you)
You ask that I be the dawn!

Flee towards the forest
Go to the mountains
Clean your mouth
Live in a hut
Touch with your hands
The damp earth
Feed yourself
With bitter roots
Drink from the rocks
Sleep on the frost
Clean your clothes
With saltpeter and water
Talk with the birds
And set sail at dawn
And when your flesh
Has returned to you
And when you have put
Into it the soul
That through the bedrooms
Became entangled
Then, good man,
Ask that I be white
Ask that I be like snow
Ask that I be chaste

 

Vertaald door Catherine Fountain

 
Alfonsina Storni (29 mei 1892 – 25 oktober 1938)

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Max Brand (eig. Frederick Schiller Faust) werd geboren op 29 mei 1892 in Seattle. Zie ook alle tags voor Max Brand op dit blog.

Uit: The Garden of Eden

By careful tailoring the broad shoulders of Ben Connor were made to appear fashionably slender, and he disguised the depth of his chest by a stoop whose model slouched along Broadway somewhere between sunset and dawn. He wore, moreover, the first or second pair of spats that had ever stepped off the train at Lukin Junction, a glowing Scotch tweed, and a Panama hat of the color and weave of fine old linen. There was a skeleton at this Feast of Fashion, however, for only tight gloves could make the stubby fingers and broad palms of Connor presentable. At ninety-five in the shade gloves were out of the question, so he held a pair of yellow chamois in one hand and in the other an amber-headed cane. This was the end of the little spur-line, and while the train backed off down the track, staggering across the switch, Ben Connor looked after it, leaning upon his cane just forcibly enough to feel the flection of the wood. This was one of his attitudes of elegance, and when the train was out of sight, and only the puffs of white vapor rolled around the shoulder of the hill, he turned to look the town over, having already given Lukin Junction ample time to look over Ben Connor.
The little crowd was not through with its survey, but the eye of the imposing stranger abashed it. He had one of those long somber faces which Scotchmen call “dour.” The complexion was sallow, heavy pouches of sleeplessness lay beneath his eyes, and there were ridges beside the corners of his mouth which came from an habitual compression of the lips. Looked at in profile he seemed to be smiling broadly so that the gravity of the full face was always surprising. It was this that made the townsfolk look down. After a moment, they glanced back at him hastily. Somewhere about the corners of his lips or his eyes there was a glint of interest, a touch of amusement–they could not tell which, but from that moment they were willing to forget the clothes and look at the man.
While Ben Connor was still enjoying the situation, a rotund fellow bore down on him.
“You’re Mr. Connor, ain’t you? You wired for a room in the hotel? Come on, then. My rig is over here. These your grips?”
He picked up the suit case and the soft leather traveling bag, and led the way to a buckboard at which stood two downheaded ponies.”

 
Max Brand (29 mei 1892 – 12 mei 1944)
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De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en publicist Joel Benton werd geboren op 29 mei 1832 in het kleine stadje Amenia, in county New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Joel Benton op dit blog.

 

The Scarlet Tanager

A all of fire shoots through the tamarack
In scarlet splendor, on voluptuous wings;
Delirious joy the pyrotechnist brings,
Who marks for us high summer’s almanac.
How instantly the red-coat hurtles back!
No fiercer flame has flashed beneath the sky.
Note now the rapture in his cautious eye,
The conflagration lit along his track.
Winged soul of beauty, tropic in desire,
Thy love seems alien in our northern zone;
Thou giv’st to our green lands a burst of fire
And callest back the fables we disown.
The hot equator thou mightst well inspire,
Or stand above some Eastern monarch’s throne.

 
Joel Benton (29 mei 1832 – 15 september 1911)

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 29e mei ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2016 deel 2.

André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, T. H. White, Hans Weigel, Alfonsina Storni

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.

Uit: A dry white season

“I had never been so close to death before.
For a long time, as I lay there trying to clear my mind, I couldn’t think coherently at all, conscious only of a terrible, blind bitterness. Why had they singled me out? Didn’t they understand? Had everything I’d gone through on their behalf been utterly in vain? Did it really count for nothing? What had happened to logic, meaning and sense?
But I feel much calmer now. It helps to discipline oneself like this, writing it down to see it set out on paper, to try and weigh it and find some significance in it.
Prof Bruwer: There are only two kinds of madness one should guard against, Ben. One is the belief that we can do everything. The other is the belief that we can do nothing.
I wanted to help. Right. I meant it very sincerely. But I wanted to do it on my terms. And I am white, and they are black. I thought it was still possible to reach beyond our whiteness and blackness. I thought that to reach out and touch hands across the gulf would be sufficient in itself. But I grasped so little, really: as if good intentions from my side could solve it all. It was presumptuous of me. In an ordinary world, in a natural one, I might have succeeded. But not in this deranged, divided age. I can do all I can for Gordon or scores of others who have come to me; I can imagine myself in their shoes, I can project myself into their suffering.
But I cannot, ever, live their lives for them. So what else could come of it but failure?
Whether I like it or not, whether I feel like cursing my own condition or not — and that would only serve to confirm my impotence — I am white. This is the small, final, terrifying truth of my broken world.
I am white. And because I am white I am born into a state of privilege. Even if I fight the system that has reduced us to this I remain white, and favored by the very circumstances I abhor“.

 
André Brink (29 mei 1935 – 6 februari 2015)
Hier met J.M. Coetzee (links)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, T. H. White, Hans Weigel, Alfonsina Storni”

André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, Leah Goldberg, T. H. White

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.

Uit: De bidsprinkhaan (Vertaald door Rob van der Veer).

“Kupido Kakkerlak werd niet op de gewone manier uit zijn moeders lichaam geboren, maar uitgebroed uit de verhalen die ze vertelde. Deze verhalen namen vele vormen aan.
Volgens een ervan was zijn moeder een maagd, zo smal en dun als een leren riempje, en had iedereen pas in de gaten dat ze zwanger was toen de nietige boreling ter wereld kwam. In een andere versie was ze juist zichtbaar en kolossaal zwanger, een bizar lange tijd, wel drie tot vier jaar, voordat de berg een muis baarde. Afhankelijk van haar luim en de stand van de maan beweerde ze dat hij juist niet een kind van haar was, maar gewoon in haar hut was achtergelaten, pasgeboren en met de navelstreng nog aan de nageboorte, door een vreemdeling die toevallig ’s nachts voorbij was gekomen en wiens gezicht ze geen moment te zien had gekregen. (Het enige wat ze met zekerheid kon zeggen, was dat de vreemdeling anders dan zij geen contractarbeider was, maar ‘een vrij man’ die kon gaan en staan waar hij wou, net als de wind.) Van deze weergave was het maar een kippeneindje naar de uitspraak dat de bezoeker helemaal geen mens was geweest, maar een nachtloper, een van de soba khoin of schaduwmensen die bij de levenden komen spoken, of een fantoom uit een droom. Veel van haar toehoorders prefereerden de versie waarin Kupido de ene helft van een tweeling was geweest en ergens in het vrije veld was neergelegd omdat hij heel duidelijk de zwakste van het stel was, volgens de oeroude gewoonten van de Khoikhoi (oftewel de Hottentotten, zoals ze algemeen bekend waren aan het eind van de achttiende eeuw, toen dit alles gebeurde).
Op een gegeven moment, zo gaat het verhaal, dook er een bateleur uit de hemelen, een prachtige buitelarend uit de verre bergen, die het amper wriemelende wurm in zijn klauwen greep om het vervolgens te verliezen – of te laten vallen – op de manier waarop deze vogels een schildpad doden, een heel eind verderop, in de godverlaten, hoger gelegen streken van de Grote Karoo, bekend als de Koup, waar afstand alle betekenis verliest en slechts pure ruimte heerst. De baby kwam terecht op de schoot van een vrouw die daar op de vlakte zat te slapen, en toen ze wakker werd, was het kind er, en van haar. Het enige wat ze wist – hoe, dat zou niemand kunnen zeggen – was dat de arend ooit eens weerom zou komen om het schepseltje mee terug te nemen naar waar hij vandaan gekomen was.”

 
André Brink (29 mei 1935 – 6 februari 2015)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, Leah Goldberg, T. H. White”

André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, Leah Goldberg, T. H. White

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. André Brink overleed op 6 februari jongstleden. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.

Uit: A Fork in the Road

“It was in the late afternoon of a blue and golden late summer’s day, Thursday 18 April, 1963, that Ingrid walked into my ordered existence and turned it upside down. Until that moment I was ensconced in an ultimately predictable life as husband and father, lecturer in literature; dreaming about a future as a writer after the early surprising shock of a novel, Lobola vir die lewe (Dowry for Life) that caught the Afrikaans literary establishment unprepared, but painfully aware of the claims and the curtailments of domesticity, the threat of bourgeois complacency, of being a small fish in a small pond. And afterwards? A world in which nothing would ever be sure and safe again, and in which everything, from the most private to the public, from love to politics, was to be exposed to risk and uncertainty and danger.
We were in the dusky, dusty front room of the rambling old house in Cheviot Place, Green Point, were Jan and Marjorie lived, perhaps the only truly bohemian artist’s house in the Cape – a group of writers gathered to plan a protest against the new censorship bill which was then taking shape in parliament. Several of us had already launched individual attacks on the proposed onslaught on the arts sponsored by a prominent right-wing parliamentarian, Abraham Jonker, whose own early forays into realist fiction had failed to live up to their initial promise, and who had become notorious for proclaiming that even Shakespeare could do with some censoring. But it was now time for organised resistance on a larger scale. The discussion was energetic and passionate, but there was nothing yet to mark the day as exceptional.
And then she came in, small and quiet, but tense, her blonde curly hair unruly, her dark eyes guarded but smouldering. The daughter of the would-be chief censor, Abraham Jonker. She was wearing a white, loose man’s shirt several sizes too big for her, and tight green pants, a size or two too small. She was smoking. Her bare feet were narrow and beautiful. I would never again meet a woman without looking at her feet.”

 
André Brink (29 mei 1935 – 6 februari 2015)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, Leah Goldberg, T. H. White”

André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, Leah Goldberg, T. H. White

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.

Uit: The blue door

“She is already in bed when I arrive, lying on her side, reading, her back turned to me, the outline of her body gracefully traced by the sheet, one smooth brown shoulder exposed.
But it is quite an obstacle course before I get there. First there is the bathroom. Automatically I go to the one where I bathed the children, but it is immediately evident that this is meant for the children only, or possibly for guests. Playing Blind Man’s Buff, I have to feel my way along the main passage where the lights have already been turned off, past the bedroom where the children have been tucked up for the night, towards a glimmer halfway to the left. From the passage door I can see another door leading from the bedroom, to my right, opposite the bed. To my great relief it turns out to be the en-suite bathroom. But this is by no means the end of my problems. I decide to spend a few minutes under the shower first: although I have already had a bath with the children, that was a rather hurried affair, and furthermore I need time to reflect on my immediate challenges. Which of the two toothbrushes – one blue, one red – am I supposed to use, which towel is mine? And afterwards, should I proceed to the bedroom naked, or with a towel around my waist, or wearing pyjamas? (Which will be where?)
In the end I decide not to aggravate the situation by wondering about what her expectations may be but simply to follow my inclination, doing what comes naturally to me.
So I am naked when I come into the bedroom and furtively slide in behind her back, trying to hide the evidence of my state of anticipation.
She glances over her shoulder and says, ‘Oh.’ Which may mean anything.
Fortunately there is a pile of books beside the lamp on what I take to be my bedside table, and I take the top one to page through. It is Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World. I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time, but something has always intervened. Perhaps this is as good an opportunity as any of getting through it. But I soon put it down, all too aware of the gentle undulation of the woman’s body next to me.”

 
André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)
Hier met Salman Rushdie (rechts)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton, Bernard Clavel, Leah Goldberg, T. H. White”

Bernard Clavel, T. H. White, Max Brand, Anne d’Orléans de Montpensier, Alfonsina Storni, Till Mairhofer

De Franse schrijver Bernard Charles Henri Clavel werd geboren op 29 mei 1923 in Lons-le-Saunier. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2010.

 

Uit:Le seigneur du fleuve

Tandis qu’il bourrait le tabac, le vieux eut un ricanement.

– Toi aussi, tu as les mains qui tremblent, remarqua-t-il, mais ça n’est pas à cause de l’âge. C’est parce que tu es furieux… Et je vais te dire, parce que je te connais bien, c’est après toi que tu es furieux.

– Ecoutez, père…

– Non, laisse-moi dire. Tu es furieux. Et je te connais bien parce que j’ai été exactement comme tu es. L’âge m’a fait passer tout ça. Sinon, en entrant ici, je te calottais comme tu as calotté ce pauvre Adrien. Il ne pouvait rien faire parce que tu es plus fort que lui ! toi, tu ne pouvais rien faire parce que je suis ton père.

– Mais enfin, père…

Philibert essayait d’interrompre le vieux, et pourtant, si le vieux l’avait laissé parler, il n’aurait probablement rien dit de censé.

– Je te connais tellement bien que je vais dire ce que tu penses en ce moment. Tu penses : J’ai foutu le camp parce que tout le monde me mettait mal à l’aise. Après ce que j’avais fait, j’ai préféré foutre le camp. Mais j’ai fait une connerie de plus. Les autres me respectent. Ils m’auraient regardé de travers, mais ils m’auraient foutu la paix. Le vieux, c’est pas pareil. Il va m’emmerder pendant une heure d’horloge… Voilà ce que tu penses. En ce moment. Maintenant. Là. En bourrant ta pipe et en me reluquant par-dessous comme un sournois. Voilà ce que tu penses !… Je le sais. Et je sais que tu n’oseras pas prétendre le contraire… Allons, dis… dis si je me trompe ?

A mesure que le père parlait, sa voix avait changé . De la colère mal contenue, il avait viré sur la moquerie, et, en finissant, il donnait l’idée d’un homme qui a envie de rigoler un bon coup.“

 

Bernard Clavel (29 mei 1923 – 5 oktober 2010)

Doorgaan met het lezen van “Bernard Clavel, T. H. White, Max Brand, Anne d’Orléans de Montpensier, Alfonsina Storni, Till Mairhofer”