Bart Chabot, T. S. Eliot, Thomas van Aalten, Jerry Hormone, Luís Fernando Veríssimo, Mark Haddon, William Self, Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj

De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Bart Chabot werd geboren in Den Haag op 26 september 1954. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Bart Chabot op dit blog.

Bij de ondergrondse

aprilwarmte —dit markeerde het prille begin van de lente
en betekende voor de leden van de ondergrondse
dat het de hoogste tijd was
om tot actie over te gaan

op de kerkhoven en begraafplaatsen van het koninkrijk
krioelden de doden dooreen;
werkelijk overal waren zij gemobiliseerd
en van heinde en verre opgetrommeld —
vele handen maakten licht werk
en aan werk was geen gebrek

de sfeer onderling was opgeruimd
om niet te zeggen: levendig
wie goed naar het aardoppervlak keek
kon soms iets zien bewegen,
een signaal dat vlak onder de grond
met man en macht werd doorgewerkt

allerwegen werd het gras zonder pardon
uit de grond gedrukt
bloemen werden omhooggeduwd
en opgestoten in de vaart der volkeren
en stads- en parkbomen kregen het groene licht;
waarop zij hun takken lieten ontbotten

dat de doden zich zonder enige hinder
door materie konden verplaatsen
kwam bij de uitvoering van de werkzaamheden
goed van pas


Milky Way

ik keek omhoog
de nachthemel in
en zag de melkweg,
althans een flink stuk ervan
de melkweg, waar ik zelf
deel van uitmaakte —
een radertje; een van de vele
ik was doordrongen van
een besef van nietigheid
waar ik persoonlijk
heel wel mee uit de voeten kon

beter kijkend viel me op
dat nogal wat sterren me met enigszins
verwijtende blik aanstaarden
ik pijnigde mijn hoofd
wat de reden van hun ergernis
zou kunnen zijn
had ik hen iets misdaan?
bij mijn weten niet —
maar 100% zeker daarvan
was ik niet

tot ik me realiseerde
dat ik hen, tot op heden, niet
of nauwelijks aan bod had laten komen
in mijn gedichten
het was waar: de melkweg
c.q. de individuele sterren
hadden mijn poëzie
tot nog toe niet gehaald;
niets onoverkomelijks

Bart Chabot (Den Haag, 26 september 1954)

Continue reading “Bart Chabot, T. S. Eliot, Thomas van Aalten, Jerry Hormone, Luís Fernando Veríssimo, Mark Haddon, William Self, Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj”

Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj, Cyprian Ekwensi, Peter Turrini, Joseph Furphy, Edwin Keppel Bennett

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jane Smiley werd geboren op 26 september 1949 in Los Angeles. Zie ook alle tags voor Jane Smiley op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2010

Uit: A Thousand Acres

“Acreage and financing were facts as basic as the name and gender in Zebulon County. Harold Clark and my father used to argue at our kitchen table about who should get the Ericson land when they finally lost their mortgage. I was aware of this whenever I played with Ruthie Ericson, whenever my mother, my sister Rose, and I went over to help can garden produce, whenever Mrs. Ericson brought over some pies or doughnuts, whenever my father loaned Mr. Ericson a tool, whenever we ate Sunday dinner in the Ericson’s kitchen. I recognized the justice of Harold Clark’s opinion that the Ericson’ land was on his side of the road, but even so, I thought it should be us. For one thing, Dinah Ericson’s bedroom had a window seat in the closet that I coveted. For another, I thought it appropriate and desirable that the great circle of the flat earth spreading out from the T intersection of County Road 686 and Cabot Street be ours. A thousand acres. It was that simple.
It was 1951 and I was eight when I saw the farm and the future in this way. That was the year my father bought his first car, a Buick sedan with prickly gray velvet seats, so rounded and slick that it was easy to slide off the backseat into the footwell when we went over a stiff bump or around a sharp corner. That was also the year my sister Caroline was born, which was undoubtedly the reason my father bought the car. The Ericson Children and the Clark children continued to ride in the back of the farm pickup, but the Cook children kicked their toes against a front seat and stared out the back windows, nicely protected from the dust.
The car was the exact measure of six hundred forty acres compared to three hundred or five hundred. »

Jane Smiley (Los Angeles, 26 september 1949)

Continue reading “Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj, Cyprian Ekwensi, Peter Turrini, Joseph Furphy, Edwin Keppel Bennett”

Mark Haddon, William Self, Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj, Cyprian Ekwensi, Peter Turrini, Edwin Keppel Bennett, Joseph Furphy

De Engelse schrijver Mark Haddon werd geboren op 26 september 1962 in Northampton. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2010


Uit: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

„My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057.
Eight years ago, when I first met Siobhan, she showed me this picture
[sad face]
and I knew that it meant ‘sad,’ which is what I felt when I found the dead dog.
Then she showed me this picture
[smiley face]
and I knew that it meant ‘happy’, like when I’m reading about the Apollo space missions, or when I am still awake at 3 am or 4 am in the morning and I can walk up and down the street and pretend that I am the only person in the whole world.
Then she drew some other pictures
[various happy, sad, confused, surprised faces]
but I was unable to say what these meant.
I got Siobhan to draw lots of these faces and then write down next to them exactly what they meant. I kept the piece of paper in my pocket and took it out when I didn’t understand what someone was saying. But it was very difficult to decide which of the diagrams was most like the face they were making because people’s faces move very quickly.
When I told Siobhan that I was doing this, she got out a pencil and another piece of paper and said it probably made people feel very
[confused face]
and then she laughed. So I tore the original piece of paper up and threw it away. And Siobhan apologised. And now if I don’t know what someone is saying I ask them what they mean or I walk away.“


Mark Haddon (Northampton, 26 september 1962)

Continue reading “Mark Haddon, William Self, Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj, Cyprian Ekwensi, Peter Turrini, Edwin Keppel Bennett, Joseph Furphy”

T. S. Eliot, Bart Chabot, Thomas van Aalten, Christoph W. Bauer, Mark Haddon, William Self, Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj, Cyprian Ekwensi, Peter Turrini, Edwin Keppel Bennett, Joseph Furphy

De Engels-Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver T. S. Eliot werd op 26 september 1888 geboren in St.Louis, Missouri. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2006. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2007 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.

The Waste Land

“Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.”

  1. The Burial Of The Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
        Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
“They called me the hyacinth girl.”
––Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed’ und leer das Meer.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!
“You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
“That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
“Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
“Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
“Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
“Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
“You! hypocrite lecteur! – mon semblable, – mon frere!”


T. S. Eliot (26 september 1888 – 4 januari 1965)
Buste door Celia Scott


De Nederlandse  Dichter en schrijver Bart Chabot werd geboren in Den Haag op 26 september 1954. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2006. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2007 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.


disneyland paris bestaat vijf jaar
er valt confetti uit de wolken

we zitten aan de lunch
in het new york hotel
sebastiaan en ik lopen naar het buffet
ik til het deksel op
van een enorme vleesschotel
– pap – vraagt sebas – is dat kip?
van de damp beslaat mijn bril
– that’s duck sir – schiet een ober ons te hulp
het tafelzilver hangt plotseling
op eigen kracht in de lucht
– you mean donald? – vraag ik
wijzend op de eendenborstjes
stilte daalt over de tafels
dan stijgt homerisch gelach op

sebastiaan kijkt niet blij


Hoe ik de herfst uitstelde

het was een van de eerste dagen van september
een vrijdag
honderd procent in orde
strakblauwe hemel
niks op af te dingen
deze lucht was voor mij bestemd

tot om een uur of vier
een vloot regenwolken
de boel kwam zieken
-o nee, daar komt niks van in-

ik bedacht me geen moment
en pakte een vuilniszak
uit het keukenkastje
liep het balkon op
knappe jongen die me tegenhield)
trok de zak open
en deed er één voor één
de wolken in

ziezo, dat was dat


Bart Chabot (Den Haag, 26 september 1954)


De Nederlandse schrijver Thomas van Aalten werd geboren in Huissen bij Arnhem op 26 september 1978. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2007 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.

Uit: Stervende diva’s

“Two hearts under a skyscraper
Suede, Stay Together

Terwijl mijn relatie met Candy voortreutelde bleef ik Lorraine bezoeken. In het geheim, diep in de nacht. Zwervend van bed naar bed, in het late verkeer van de buitenstad, het geloei van sirenes. In de verte hoorde ik de goederentreinen razen terwijl de rest van de stad vooral bezig was met slapen. Behalve in het centrum, waar nachtclubs en bordelen rokerig en donker verscholen lagen tussen de gesloten winkels. De rest van de stad had niets door. Zelfs de rest van het land niet.

Hier, buiten de stad, lag het domein. Het stadsdeel waar Lorraine woonde, lag nabij de snelweg. Als het ’s nachts twee uur was geweest, verliet ik het huis van Candy, gelegen in het drukke centrum van de hoofdstad, en vertrok ik naar Lorraine. Lorraine was de nachtelijke engel, de bewaakster van de duistere liefde.

Met mijn Citroën DS was ik precies achttien minuten kwijt om er te komen, veel sneller dan te voet. Lorraine wist meestal niet precies wanneer ik aankwam, het hing er maar net van af. Soms kwam ik nachten achtereen niet. Soms kwam ik nachten achterelkaar.

En als ik er dan was, stonden we meestal uit het raam te kijken naar de vele lichtjes, zij tegen me aangedrukt. In het donker vielen we niet op voor anderen. Metershoog in een flat. We hielden elkaar vast. Dat was iets wat we altijd deden. We huiverden alletwee en het enige dat hielp was elkaar vasthouden. Dan leek het alsof onze bloedsomloop één werd en dat was zeer prettig te noemen. Twee harten die tegelijk klopten, waar zag je dat nog. In de winter, wanneer de sneeuw op het kozijn bleef liggen, zei Lorraine: ‘Kijk, suiker. Er ligt suiker op de rand.’ De suiker kwam uit de lucht vallen, speciaal voor de zwijgende sterren achter het raam. Want ik voelde me een filmster. Een stille filmster.


Thomas van Aalten (Huissen, 26 september 1978)


De Oostenrijkse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Christoph W. Bauer werd geboren in Kolbnitz op 26 september 1968. Zie ook mijn blog van 8 juni 2009



vorausschauend auch nur revuen sie sahen
was auf sie zu kam waren krummgelaufene
absätze und gerieten im schuhwerk der
geschwister auf die schiefe bahn
erkannten die rückstrahler der zukunft in
elternreden bremslichtern und gaben gas
auf ihren klapprädern strampelten sich aus
fotoalben dem ballast der augenerde
in luftreflexionen verborgen vor sich selbst
als gäbe es sie gar nicht abgeworfen von
predigten ums taschengeld betrogen matthai
am letzten sei dank hörten sie in der messe
wer sein leben findet wird es verlieren


Christoph W. Bauer (Kolbnitz, 26 september 1968)


De Engelse schrijver Mark Haddon werd geboren op 26 september 1962 in Northampton. Hij volgder een opleiding aan de Uppingham School en het Merton College, Oxford, waar hij studeerde Engels. In 2003 won Haddon de Whitbread Book of the Year Award en in 2004 de Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Overall Best First Book voor zijn roman The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, een boek dat is geschreven vanuit het perspectief van een jongen met het syndroom van Asperger. Zijn tweede roman, A Spot of Bother, werd gepubliceerd in september 2006. Mark Haddon is ook bekend om zijn reeks van Agent Z boeken. Van een ervan, Agent Z en de Pinguïn van Mars, werd in 1996 een BBC sitcom voor kinderen gemaakt.

Uit: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

It was 7 minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shears’ house. Its eyes were closed. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog. The points of the fork must have gone all the way through the dog and into the ground because the fork had not fallen over. I decided that the dog was probably killed with the fork because I could not see any other wounds in the dog and I do not think you would stick a garden fork into a dog after it had died for some other reason, like cancer for example, or a road accident. But I could not be certain about this.
I went through Mrs Shears’ gate, closing it behind me. I walked onto her lawn and knelt beside the dog. I put my hand on the muzzle of the dog. It was still warm.
The dog was called Wellington. It belonged to Mrs Shears who was our friend. She lived on the opposite side of the road, two houses to the left.
Wellington was a poodle. Not one of the small poodles that have hairstyles but a big poodle. It had curly black fur, but when you got close you could see that the skin underneath the fur was a very pale yellow, like chicken.
I stroked Wellington and wondered who had killed him, and why.“


 Mark Haddon (Northampton, 26 september 1962)


De Engelse schrijver, criticus en columnist William Self werd geboren in Londen op 26 september 1961. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2007 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008. en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.

Uit: The Book of Dave

 „The little kids who’d left the manor with Carl had run on ahead, up the slope towards the Layn, the avenue of trees that formed the spine of Ham. These thick-trunked, stunted crinkleleafs bordered the cultivated land with a dark, shimmering froth. Carl saw brown legs, tan T-shirts and mops of curly hair flashing among the trunks as the young Hamsters scattered into the woodland. Reedy whoops of joy reached Carl’s ears, and he wished he could go with them into Norfend, galumphing through the undergrowth, sloshing into the boggy hollows to flush out the motos, then herd them towards their wallows.
Up from the manor in a line behind Carl came the older lads – those between ten and fourteen years old – whose graft it was to oversee the motos’ wallowing, before assigning the beasts their day’s toil. Despite everything, Carl remained the acknowledged gaffer of this group, and, as he swerved off the path along one of the linchets dividing the rips, the other eight followed suit, so that the whole party were walking abreast, following the bands of wheatie as they rolled up the rise.“


William Self (Londen, 26 september 1961)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jane Smiley werd geboren op 26 september 1949 in Los Angeles. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.

Uit: A Thousand Acres

At sixty miles per hour, you could pass our farm in a minute, on County Road 686, which ran due north into the T intersection at Cabot Street Road. Cabot Street Road was really just another country blacktop, except that five miles west it ran into and out of the town of Cabot. On the western edge of Cabot, it became Zebulon County Scenic Highway, and ran for three miles along the curve of the Zebulon River, before the river turned south and the Scenic continued west into Pike. The T intersection of CR 686 perched on a little rise, a rise nearly as imperceptible as the bump in the center of an inexpensive plate.
From that bump, the earth was unquestionably flat, the sky unquestionably domed, and it seemed to me when I was a child in school, learning about Columbus, that in spite of what my teacher said, ancient cultures might have been onto something. No globe or map fully convinced me that Zebulon County was not the center of the universe. Certainly, Zebulon County, where the earth was flat, was one spot where a sphere (a seed, a rubber ball, a ballbearing) must come to perfect rest and once at rest must send a taproot downward into the ten-foot-thick topsoil.
Because the intersection was on this tiny rise, you could see our buildings, a mile distant, at the southern edge of the farm. A mile to the east, you could see three silos that marked the northeastern corner, and if you raked your gaze from the silos to the house and barn, then back again, you would take in the immensity of the piece of land my father owned, six hundred forty acres, a whole section, paid for, no encumbrances, as flat and fertile, black, friable, and exposed as any piece of land on the face of the earth.
If you looked west from the intersection, you saw no sign of anything remotely scenic in the distance. That was because the Zebulon River had cut down through topsoil and limestone, and made its pretty course a valley below the level of the surrounding farmlands. Nor, except at night, did you see any sign of Cabot. You saw only this, two sets of farm buildings surrounded by fields. In the nearer set lived the Ericsons, who had daughters the ages of my sister Rose and myself, and in the farther set lived the Clarks, whose sons, Loren and Jess, were in grammar school when we were in junior high. Harold Clark was my father’s best friend. He had five hundred acres and no mortgage. The Ericsons had three hundred seventy acres and a mortgage.“


Jane Smiley (Los Angeles, 26 september 1949)


De Russische schrijver en dissident Vladimir Nikolajevitsj Vojnovitsj werd geboren in Doesjanbe op  26 september 1932. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.

Uit: Die denkwürdigen Abenteuer des Soldaten Iwan Tschonkin (Vertaald door Alexander Kaempfe)

„Ob das auf den Seiten dieses Buches Erzählte wirklich geschehen ist oder nicht, kann man heute nicht mehr mit Sicherheit sagen. Der Vorfall, mit dem die ganze Geschichte (die sich fast bis in unsere Tage hinzieht) ihren Anfang nahm, spielte sich im Dorf Krassnoje vor so langer Zeit ab, daß fast keine Augenzeugen übriggeblieben sind. Diese wenigen erzählen die Geschichte verschieden und einige können sich überhaupt nicht mehr daran erinnern. Um die Wahrheit zu sagen, war dieser Vorfall auch nicht wichtig genug, um ihn so lange im Gedächtnis zu behalten. Ich jedoch habe alles zusammengetragen, was ich zu dieser Sache in Erfahrung brachte. Dann habe ich von mir aus noch einiges hinzugefügt, vielleicht mehr als ich hörte. Zuletzt erschien mir die Geschichte so unterhaltsam, daß ich mich dazu entschloß, sie aufzuschreiben. Sollte sie Ihnen uninteressant, langweilig oder gar dumm erscheinen, sind Sie natürlich berechtigt, so zu tun, als hätte ich nichts erzählt.
Das nachfolgend Berichtete geschah unmittelbar vor dem Krieg: so etwa Ende Mai oder Anfang Juni 1941.
Es war an einem ganz gewöhnlichen, für die Jahreszeit typischen heißen Tag. Alle Kolchosbauern arbeiteten auf den Feldern, während Njura Beljaschowa, die bei der Post angestellt war und nicht in direkter Beziehung zum Kolchos stand, ihren freien Tag damit verbrachte, im Gemüsegarten Kartoffeln anzuhäufeln.
Es war so heiß, daß Njura schon völlig außer Atem war, als sie drei Beete hinter sich hatte. Ihr Kleid war auf dem Rücken und unter den Achselhöhlen durchgeschwitzt und wurde beim Wiedertrocknen salzig, weiß und hart. Der Schweiß rann ihr in die Augen. Njura richtete sich auf, um das widerspenstige Haar unters Kopftuch zu schieben. Bei dieser Gelegenheit blickte sie zur Sonne hoch, um festzustellen, ob bald Mittag sein würde. Doch Njura bekam die Sonne nicht zu sehen. Ein großer eiserner Vogel mit einem gekrümmten Schnabel hatte sich vor die Sonne und den Himmel geschoben und stürzte direkt auf sie herab.
»O weh!« rief Njura entsetzt, schlug die Hände vors Gesicht und ließ sich wie tot in eine Furche fallen.
Der Eber Borjka, der damit beschäftigt war, die Erde neben dem Haus aufzuwühlen, sprang zur Seite, vergewisserte sich indessen, daß ihm keine Gefahr drohte, und kehrte an seinen alten Platz zurück.“


 Vladimir Vojnovitsj (Doesjanbe, 26 september 1932)


De Nigeriaanse schrijver Cyprian Ekwensi werd op 26 september 1921 in Nigeria geboren in Minna. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2006 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.

Uit: Jagua Nana

„The sigh was a prayer to God to stay back the years and a challenge to herself to employ all the coquettish arts to help Him. She did not often remember that if her son had lived he would today be roughly as old as her lover. Freddie was hardly more than a boy, with his whole ambitious life before him. He was a teacher at the Nigerian National College who badly wanted to travel overseas to complete his law studies. He had applied for a Government Scholarship, but did not pin his faith on

being selected. She knew Freddie deserved a good girl to marry him, raise his children and ‘shadow’ him in all his ambitions. But Jagua was too much in love with him to make a reasonable exit. And she wanted Freddie as her husband because only a young man would still be strong enough to work and earn when she would be on the decline. Men would not be wanting her in six years’ time, when – even

now – girls of eighteen could be had. At forty-five, she had her figure and her tact to guide her.

She knew that, seen under the dim lights of her favourite night spot, the

Tropicana – from a distance – her face looked beautiful. In any light she was proud of her body, which could model for any painter or sculptor. When she walked down a street, male eyes followed the wiggle of her hips which came with studied unconsciousness. Sometimes she was ashamed of her too passionate love-making, but Freddie did not seem so embarrassed now as he used to be at first. When she painted her face and lifted her breasts and exposed what must be concealed and concealed what must be exposed, she could out-class any girl who did not know what to do with her God-given female talent.“


Cyprian Ekwensi (26 september 1921 – 4 november 2007)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Peter Turrini werd geboren op  26. September 1944 in St. Margarethen im Lavanttal. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2009.

Uit: Die Verhaftung des Johann Nepomuk Nestroy

„Nestroy geht schnell durch das Bühnentürl des Theaters an der Wien, einige Begeisterte stürzen auf ihn zu und bitten ihn, Witze aus dem Stück zu wiederholen. Nestroy antwortet, er könne nur gegen Bezahlung lustig sein, ohne Gage falle ihm nichts ein, und läuft zu einer wartenden Equipage. Er steigt in die Equipage, sie fährt weg. In der Equipage sitzt eine junge, schöne Frau, sein Frau, Wilhemine, geborene Wilhelmine Phillipine von Nespiensi. Sie ist ein paar Jahre jünger als Nestroy, hat volles, rotes Haar, das von einer Kopfhaube kaum gebändigt wird. Die Eheleute haben sich sechs Jahre lang nicht gesehen. Sie werden von der schnellen Fahrt der Equipage durchgerüttelt und starren einander an. Nestroy geht in Gedanken das ganze Arsenal seiner Vorwürfe durch: “Warum hast du mich verlassen?” wird er sie fragen.


Nestroy sitzt im Kaffeehaus an seinem Stammtisch und trinkt. Der Besitzer des Kaffehauses, Herr Anselm Weidinger, den sie “die Amsel” nennen, schenkt Nestroy aus einer Weinflasche nach. Nestroy trinkt das Glas in einem Zug aus. “Das wievielte war das?” fragt Nestroy den Besitzer. “Das Vierte”, sagt dieser. “Nach meiner Berechnung hab’ ich erst drei getrunken”, sagt Nestroy. “Ich verlaß mich ganz und gar auf die Berechnungen des Herrn Nestroy”, sagt Herr Anselm Weidinger und schenkt ihm das nächste Glas ein. “Erst nach einem Dutzend kann ich vergessen, was für ein Mißerfolg der heutige Abend war”, sagt Nestroy. “Aber Herr von Nestroy”, antwortet Weidinger lachend, “Sie reden von einem Mißerfolg und das Publikum jubelt. Sie sind wirklich der g’spaßigste Mensch von Wien”. Er schenkt ihm ein weiteres Glas ein. Einige Gäste prosten Nestroy zu.“


Peter Turrini (St. Margarethen im Lavanttal, 26. September 1944)


De Engels schrijver, dichter en germanist Edwin Keppel Bennett werd geboren op 26 september 1887 in Wareham, Dorset. Hij werd opgeleid aan Elm House School, Wareham en aan de Universiteit van Straatsburg. Hij ging in 1914 naar het Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, en behaalde zijn BA in 1919 en zijn MA in 1923. In 1923 werd hij ‘onofficiële fellow’ van het college en een Cambridge University lector voor Duits. Officiële fellow werd hij in 1926, in 1931 werd hij Senior Tutor. Dat bleef hij tot hij in 1952 voorzitter van het College werd. Tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog diende Bennett in een inlichtingen-eenheid van het Britse leger in de rang van tweede luitenant (1916-1918), vooral in Palestina. Bennetts eerste boek, Built in Jerusalem’s Wall: A Book in praise of Jerusalem, werd gepubliceerd onder het pseudoniem ‘Francis Keppel’ in 1920. Zijn A History of the German “Novelle” from Goethe to Thomas Mann verscheen bij de Cambridge University Press in 1934

The Stranger

The room grows silent, and the dead return:
Whispering faintly in the corridor,
They try the latch and steal across the floor
Towards my chair; and in the hush I turn
Eagerly to the shadows, and discern
The ghosts of friends whom I shall see no more,
Come back, come back from some Lethean shore
To the old kindly life for which they yearn.

How still they are! O, wherefore can I see
No sign of recognition in the eyes
That gaze in mine? Have they forgotten me
Who was their friend? They fade into the gloom;
And on my heart their plaintive murmur dies:
“A stranger now, a stranger fills his room.


Edwin Keppel Bennett (26 september 1887 – 13 juni 1958)
Wareham, Dorset (Geen portret beschikbaar)


De Australische dichter en schrijver Joseph Furphy werd geboren op 26 september 1843 in Yering, een voorstad van Melbourne Yering. Furphy schreef meestal onder het pseudoniem Tom Collins. Zijn vader, een pachter, was in 1840 geëmigreerd uit Tande Ragee in Ierland naar Australië. In 1905 verhuisde Furphy naar West-Australië, waar zijn zonen woonden. Hij bouwde een huis in Swanbourne, een voorstad van Perth, waar nu het hoofdkantoor is van Fellowship of Australian Writers Zijn bekendste werk is Such Is Life, een fictief verhaal over het leven van de plattelandsbevolking, met inbegrip van veedrijvers, krakers en rondtrekkende reizigers in het zuiden van New South Wales en Victoria tijdens de jaren 1880. Het boek bevat een reeks losjes verwante verhalen van verschillende mensen die de verteller ontmoet op zijn reis door het land. De titel zou zijn afgeleid van de laatste woorden van de beroemdste straatrover van Australë: Ned Kelly.

Uit: Such is Life

„Unemployed at last!


Scientifically, such a contingency can never have befallen of itself. According to one theory of the Universe, the momentum of Original Impress has been tending toward this far-off, divine event ever since a scrap of fire-mist flew from the solar centre to form our planet. Not this event alone, of course; but every occurrence, past and present, from the fall of captured Troy to the fall of a captured insect. According to another theory, I hold an independent diploma as one of the architects of our Social System, with a commission to use my own judgment, and take my own risks, like any other unit of humanity. This theory, unlike the first, entails frequent hitches and cross-purposes; and to some malign operation of these I should owe my present holiday.

Orthodoxly, we are reduced to one assumption: namely, that my indomitable old Adversary has suddenly called to mind Dr. Watts’s friendly hint respecting the easy enlistment of idle hands.

Good. If either of the two first hypotheses be correct, my enforced furlough tacitly conveys the responsibility of extending a ray of information, however narrow and feeble, across the path of such fellow-pilgrims as have led lives more sedentary than my own—particularly as I have enough money to frank myself in a frugal way for some weeks, as well as to purchase the few requisites of authorship.

If, on the other hand, my supposed safeguard of drudgery has been cut off at the meter by that amusingly short-sighted old Conspirator, it will be only fair to notify him that his age and experience, even his captivating habits and well-known hospitality, will be treated with scorn, rather than respect, in the paragraphs which he virtually forces me to write; and he is hereby invited to view his own feather on the fatal dart.

Whilst a peculiar defect—which I scarcely like to call an oversight in mental construction—shuts me out from the flowery pathway of the romancer, a co-ordinate requital endows me, I trust, with the more sterling, if less ornamental qualities of the chronicler. This fairly equitable compensation embraces, I have been told, three distinct attributes: an intuition which reads men like sign-boards; a limpid veracity; and a memory which habitually stereotypes all impressions except those relating to personal injuries.

Submitting, then, to the constitutional interdict already glanced at, and availing myself of the implied license to utilise that homely talent of which I am the bailee, I purpose taking certain entries from my diary, and amplifying these to the minutest detail of occurrence or conversation. This will afford to the observant reader a fair picture of Life, as that engaging problem has presented itself to me.“


Joseph Furphy (26 september 1843 – 13 september 1912)


De Braziliaanse schrijver Luís Fernando Veríssimo werd geboren op 26 september 1936 in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Veríssimo is de zoon van de Braziliaanse schrijver Erico Veríssimo en woonde in zijn jeugd samen met zijn vader in de Verenigde Staten. Veríssimo is een grote fan van jazz, en speelt zelf saxofoon in een band genaamd Jazz 6. Net als veel andere Braziliaanse intellectuelen geniet hij van de cultuur van Rio de Janeiro. Veríssimo is een criticus van rechtse politici, vooral van de voormalige president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Verder is Veríssimo dol op voetbal en heeft hij ook veel teksten geschreven over deze passie.

Uit: Borges and the Eternal Orangutans (Vertaald door Jull Costa)

„I will try to be your eyes, Jorge. I am following the advice you gave me when we said goodbye: “Write, and you will remember.” I will try to remember, with more exactitude this time, so that you can see what I saw, so that you can unveil the mystery and arrive at the truth. We always write in order to remember the truth. When we invent, it is only in ordeto remember the truth more exactly.

Geography is destiny. If Buenos Aires were not so close to Porto Alegre, none of this would have happened, but I did not see that I was being subtly summoned or that this story needed me in order to be written. I did not see that I was being plunged headfirst into the plot, like a pen into an inkwell.

The circumstances of my visit to Buenos Aires were, as I now know, planned with all the care of someone setting a trap for a particular animal. At the time, however, enthusiasm blinded me to this. I did not realise that I had been chosen as an accessory to a crime, as neutral and innocent as the mirrors in a room.

The 1985 Israfel Society Conference, the first meeting of Edgar Allan Poe specialists to be held outside the northern hemisphere, was to take place in Buenos Aires, less than a thousand kilometres from my apartment in Bonfim, and was, therefore, within the budget of a poor translator and teacher of English (which, as you know, is what I am). One of the invited speakers was to be Joachim Rotkopf, who was to lecture on the origins of European surrealism to be found in Poe’s work, precisely the topic that had provoked the controversy with Professor Xavier Urquiza from Mendoza, and that had kept me so amused in the pages of The Gold-Bug, the Society journal. All this seemed to me a mere accumulation of happy and irresistible coincidences. I decided not to resist. At least, I thought I decided.“


Luís Fernando Veríssimo (Porto Alegre, 26 september 1936)

Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj, Cyprian Ekwensi, Peter Turrini

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jane Smiley werd geboren op 26 september 1949 in Los Angeles. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008.


Uit: Ten Days in the Hills


„Max was still sleeping, neatly, as always, his head framed by the sunny white of his rectangular pillow, his eyelids smooth over the orbs of his eyes, his lips pale and soft, his bare shoulders square on the bed. While Elena was gazing at him, he sighed. Sometime in the night, he had turned back the white comforter; its fold crossed him diagonally between the hip and the knee. The morning sunlight burnished his hands (right on top of left), and sparkled through his silvery chest hair. His cock lay to one side, nonchalant. Elena smoothed the very tips of his chest hair with her hand so that she could just feel it tickling her palm, and then circled his testicles with her index finger. She was sleepy herself, probably from dreaming of the Oscars. What she could remember were more like recurring images of the bright stage as she had seen it from their seats, smiling figures walking around on it, turning this way and that, breasting the audience suddenly as if jumping into surf—not unhappy images, but not restful. The bright figures had stayed with her all night, sometimes actually looking frightened, or turning toward her so that she had to remind herself in her dream that they were happy, well fed, successful.

She sat up quietly, so as not to disturb him. She saw that all of their clothes—his tux and her vintage gold silk-velvet flapper dress—were draped neatly over the backs of a couple of chairs. Her silver sandals and her silver mesh evening bag lay on the windowsill where she had set them when she walked in the bedroom door. He had taken her to the Oscars and then to the Governor’s Ball, because she, of course, had never been, though he himself had an invitation every year—his movie Grace had won Best Screenplay in the 1970s (and in fact was listed on three “hundred best films of the twentieth century” lists that she had looked up on the Internet: seventy-seventh on one, eighty-third on another, and eighty-fifth best on the third). At fifty-eight, Max had a certain sort of fame in Hollywood: most people had heard of him, but lots of younger ones assumed he was dead.“



Jane Smiley (Los Angeles, 26 september 1949)


De Russische schrijver en dissident Vladimir Nikolajevitsj Vojnovitsj werd geboren in Doesjanbe op  26 september 1932. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008.


Uit: Monumental Propaganda (Vertaald door Andrew Bromfield)


But Bochkareva had misunderstood Aglaya. Her words about filth had indeed been intended in a figurative sense, and not the one in which Bochkareva had taken them.

When she got home, Aglaya was absolutely beside herself. No
, it was not Stalin’s crimes but the criticism of him that was what had astounded her most of all. How dare they? How dare they? She walked around all three rooms of her flat, beating her tough little fists against her tough little hips and repeating aloud the same words, addressed to her invisible opponents, over and over again: “How did you dare? Who do you think you are? Who are you to raise your hand against him?”

“And you, disdainful descendants . . .”—Lermontov’s line, which she thought she had forgotten long ago, came drifting out from some dark corner of her memory . . .

She had never believed in God, but she would not have been surprised in the least if Porosyaninov’s tongue had withered or his nose had fallen off or he had been paralyzed by a stroke in the middle of giving his speech. The words he had uttered in the House of the Railroad Worker had been too absolutely blasphemous.

She had never believed in a God in heaven, but her earthly god was Stalin. His portrait, the famous one with him lighting up his pipe, holding a lighted match close to the slightly singed mustache, had hung over her writing desk since the times before the war, and during the war it had traveled the partisan forest trails with her and then returned to its place. A modest portrait in a simple limewood frame. In moments of doubt over her most startlingly dramatic actions, Aglaya would raise her eyes to the portrait, and Comrade Stalin seemed to screw up his own eyes slightly and urge her on with his kind and wise smile: Yes, Aglaya, you can do that, you must do it, and I believe that you will do it. Yes, she had been forced to make some difficult decisions in her life—harsh, even cruel, decisions concerning various people—but she had done it for the sake of the Party, the country, the people and the future generations. Stalin had taught her that for the sake of the sublime idea it was worth sacrificing everything, and no one could be pitied.

Of course, she respected the other leaders as well, the members of the Politburo and the secretaries of the Central Committee, but nonetheless she thought of them as just people. Very clever and bold, utterly devoted to our ideals, but people. They could make mistakes in their thoughts, words and actions, but only he was ineffably great and infallible, and his every word and every action expressed such transcendent genius that his contemporaries and the generations to come should accept them as unconditionally correct and absolutely binding.”



Vladimir Vojnovitsj (Doesjanbe, 26 september 1932)


De Nigeriaanse schrijver Cyprian Ekwensi werd op 26 september 1921 in Nigeria geboren in Minna. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2006 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2008.


Uit: Jagua Nana


„Jagua had just had a cold bath, and, in the manner of African women, she sat on a low stool with a mirror propped between her bare knees, gazing at her wet hair. Only one cloth – a flowered cotton print – concealed her nakedness, and she had wound it over her breasts and under her armpits. Her arms and shoulders were bare, and she sat with the cloth bunched between her thighs so that the mirror bit into the skin between her knees.

She raised her arm and ran the comb through the wiry kinks, and her breasts swelled into a sensuous arc and her eyes tensed with the pain as the kinks straightened. From the skin on her long arms and beautiful shoulders the drops of speckled water slid down chasing one another. She saw Freddie pass by her door just then, saw him hesitate when he caught a glimpse of the dark naked hair under her armpits. Then he hurried past into his own room on the floor below, ca
lling as he went:

‘Jagwa!. … Jagwa Nana!…’

She knew he was teasing. They called her Jagua because of her good looks and stunning fashions. They said she was Ja-gwa, after the famous British prestige car.

‘I’m comin’ – jus’ now!…Call me when you ready!’

She could sense the irritation in his voice. As always when she did not like where they were going she delayed her toilet, and Freddie must know by now that

she disliked intellectual groups, especially the British Council groups which she thought false and stiff. On the other hand, Freddie could never do without them. He said they were a link with Britain from which stemmed so much tradition. Like Freddie she was an Ibo from Eastern Nigeria, but when she spoke to him she always used pidgin English, because living in Lagos City they did not want too many embarrassing reminders of clan or custom. They and many others were practically strangers in a town where all came to make fast money by faster means, and greedily to seek positions that yielded even more money.

She heard the clatter of Freddie’s shoes as he hurried down the steps to his own room on the floor below. She waited for him to come up, and when he would not come she went on combing her hair. By an odd tilt of the mirror she saw, suddenly revealed, the crow’s-feet at the corners of her eyes and the tired dark rings beneath.

‘I done old,’ she sighed. ‘Sometimes I tink say Freddie he run from me because

I done old. God ‘ave mercy!’ she sighed again.“



Cyprian Ekwensi (26 september 1921 –  4 november 2007)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Peter Turrini werd geboren op  26. September 1944 in St. Margarethen im Lavanttal (Wolfsberg) en groeide op in Maria Saal in Kärnten. Van 1963 tot 1971 had hij verschillende beroepen. Sinds 1971 woont en werkt hij als zelfstandig schrijver in Wenen en Retz. Hij schrijft o.a. theaterstukken, gedichten, essays en draaiboeken. Turrini werd bekend door Rozznjogd (1971), Sauschlachten (1972) en de televisieserie Alpensaga (1974–1979).


Uit: Die Liebe in Madagaskar


“Die Schauspielerin:

Ich habe gehört, die Österreicher essen alle so wahnsinnig gern Mozartkugeln. Stimmt das?


Auch nicht mehr als die Japaner.


Die Schauspielerin:

Dieser tolle Film, den Sie da drehen, kann man dazu noch etwas sagen, ich meine zum Inhalt?


Der Film? Welcher Film?

Die Schauspielerin:

Die Liebe in Madagaskar.


Das Drehbuch ist noch nicht ganz fertig.

Die Schauspielerin:

Wenn der Mann mit der Frau in die Oper geht, und sie ihm nahher sagt, daß
sie krank ist …



Die Schauspielerin:

Könnte sie diese Krankheit nicht erfunden haben?


Wieso erfunden?

Die Schauspielerin:

Sie möchte das Maß seiner Liebe erkunden. Frauen haben Angst, schreckliche Angst, daß man sie aus irgendwelchen Gründen nicht mehr lieben könnte. Sie brauchen ständig Beweise der Liebe. Auch wenn sie diese bekommen, jeden Tag, sind sie keineswegs zufrieden. Es nährt nur ihre Sehnsucht nach immer häufigeren, immer größeren Beweisen.”



Peter Turrini (St. Margarethen im Lavanttal, 26. September 1944)

T. S. Eliot, Bart Chabot, William Self, Thomas van Aalten, Jane Smiley, Vladimir Vojnovitsj

De Engels-Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver T. S. Eliot werd op 26 september 1888 geboren in St.Louis, Missouri. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2006 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2007.



(No. 1 of ‘Four Quartets’)

T.S. Eliot


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?

Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.




Death by water


Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.





To you particularly, and to all the Volscians
         Great hurt and mischief.
Subterrene laughter synchronous
With silence from the sacred wood
And bubbling of the uninspired
Mephitic river.
The accents of the now retired
Profession of the calamus.

When the bridegroom smoothed his hair
There was blood upon the bed.
Morning was already late.
Children singing in the orchard
(Io Hymen, Hymenaee)
Succuba eviscerate.

By arrangement with Perseus
The fooled resentment of the dragon
Sailing before the wind at dawn
Golden apocalypse. Indignant
At the cheap extinction of his taking-off.
Now lies he there
Tip to tip washed beneath Charles’ Wagon.



T. S. Eliot (26 september 1888 – 4 januari 1965)
Portret door Gerald Kelly, 1962



De Nederlandse  Dichter en schrijver Bart Chabot werd geboren in Den Haag op 26 september 1954. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2006 en ook mijn blog van 26 september 2007.



De dood accepteer ik niet

De dood accepteer ik niet
op een dag
ging het mis
het regende herfst
een uitgelezen dag om jezelf
te verhangen
op zich misschien
niet zo bijzonder
je hebt allemaal weleens
zulk soort dagen?
maar dit was anders

voor mijn hoofdpersoon
mijn ik
want dit was de zoveelste dag
van het zoveelste jaar
de zóveelste keer
ik voel me januari
de zon heeft de kracht van een waakvlammetje
goed genoeg voor deze planeet
maar niet voor mij


wij liepen aan zee


wij liepen aan zee
mijn vader mijn moeder en ik
zomer 1958
ik was vier

– de wind
mijn h

schoon – schijn ik
te hebben gezegd

– godallemachtig – riep mijn vader uit
hij keek mijn moeder aan
– het zal toch geen dichter
wezen, he? –


Bart Chabot (Den Haag, 26 september 1954)


De Engelse schrijver, criticus en columnist William Self werd geboren in Londen op 26 september 1961. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2007.


Uit: The Principle


Still, this particular evening, walking into Gary’s Place, I was struck by change. The DJ had just segued in a new track. It was a high-energy number I recognized from way back in the late 1980s, from the time before I was called. Or rather, it was that old synth racket done in the new way, to an inexorably slow beat, with a full orchestra and choir. Still, the clientele reacted just as the pumped-up poseurs of the last century would’ve done; pulling themselves upright, preening and parading into the center of the dance floor, where they separated into groups of eight and began to dance the quadrille. Retro-classicism — now who’d ever have imagined that was going to happen?
    It was then that I saw her — and she saw me. Absurd, that with her come-hither eyes, tossing her horsehair locks, she should think she was so unique. But then I guess young women of her age are always the same, lost in the high noon of their own good looks. She was without a partner and beckoned to me, calling out “C’mon old timer, you look spry enough to turn a calf!” Almost to spite her, I walked out on to the floor and took her hand. “Hi,” she breathed. “I’m Tina.” And then we whirled away beneath the little galaxy of the mirrored ball.
    I confess, I danced all night with Tina. Under her pompadour wig, pancake makeup and hooped skirt, she was a devilishly attractive girl. She also flattered me, saying “You’re mighty spry for a big ol’ bear, aren’tcha?” And giving my upper arm a squeeze, breathed in my ear “You must do a lotta work out on the range to keep up a build like that.” I could see where she was coming from right away. Still, I preferred to dance, because when we stopped and went to the bar for refreshments, Tina began to talk the most fearful, narcissistic trash.

Despite all the many important advances we’ve made in my lifetime — from the first woman president, to the first woman to walk on the moon — there remain hordes of young women like Tina. Will they ever learn that their youthful beauty is just that? A garment to be put on for a few, brief seasons, then torn away by Nature herself? Will they ever understand that neither a whale-spermaceti plunge bath in Aspen, nor a golden-monkey-gland injection in Shanghai, will guard them forever from the ravages of time? I doubt it, and so Tina prattled on, about this lover who was big in Hollywood, and that one who owned a hair salon in London, and the other one who absolutely swore blind that he was going to put Tina on the cover of the Wall Street Journal.
    The only time Tina stopped talking about herself was when, on our eighth trip to the bar, she noticed that I was drinking mineral water. “Are you on something?” she leered into my ear, and when I denied this she tittered manically and trilled, “Oooh! I geddit, you must be a goddamn Mormon or something” — a remark I studiously ignored. And so the night went on, with quadrille after waltz after foxtrot, until, with the lights of Vegas looking pallid against the sharp, lemon light of morning, the bewigged revelers tumbled out of Gary’s and onto the Strip.



William Self (Londen, 26 september 1961)


De Nederlandse schrijver Thomas van Aalten werd geboren in Huissen bij Arnhem op 26 september 1978. Hij debuteerde op 18-jarige leeftijd met een verhaal in het ter ziele gegane literaire tijdschrift ZOETERMEER.. Daarna volgden vier romans ( Sneeuwbeeld (2000), Tupelo (2001), Sluit Deuren en Ramen (2003) en Coyote (2006). In januari 2009 is bij Nieuw Amsterdam de vijfde roman gepland: De Onderbreking. Van Aalten werkte ook korte tijd voor VPRO TV ( Waskracht! 2000 – 2002). Schreef artikelen voor VARA TV-Magazine, Vrij Nederland en 3VOOR12 deed lezingen en voordrachten. Hij interviewde Denis Johnson (Crossing Border) en David Lynch (VARA TV-Magazine). Van Aalten schreef scenario’s voor twee films: Dum Dum Boys (2002 VPRO TV, regie: Marcel Visbeen) en L’Amour Toujours (2008 Ultravista Productions, regie: Edwin Brienen).


Uit: De Onderbreking


Wat doet u met mijn map?’
‘U hebt hem zelf op de balie laten liggen. Daar kan ik niks aan doen. Ik zag het als een hint, alsof u wilde dat ik de verhalen las.’
‘Natuurlijk niet.’
De bruine map ligt te smeken om door mij opgepakt te worden, maar de ijzig koude hand van de receptionist weerhoudt me. Het lijkt of de vingers aan het leer vastgevroren zitten. De man legt met de andere hand zijn peuk op de rand van de asbak en kijkt dwars door me heen.
‘U wilde dat ik de verhalen las, zo simpel is het, meneer de schrijver.’
‘Hoe komt u daarbij?’
‘Het heeft zo moeten zijn. Laten we eerlijk zijn, er klopt iets niet.’
‘Wat klopt er niet?’ Ik voel dat ik rood word.
‘Alsof het normaal is dat een nacht zo lang duurt, vol sneeuwstormen en ruisende radio’s. Daar… de verhalen… U wilt dat wij ze samen lezen.’
‘In de ruis liggen de verhalen verscholen?’
‘Doet u mij een plezier en leest u uw verhalen voor. Het zal ons helpen.’
Ik denk na over alle lezingen die ik heb gegeven waar geen hond geïnteresseerd was in mijn verhalen. Deze eenzame man is een liefhebber van mijn werk en is nieuwsgierig. Bovendien: ik kan toch niet slapen.”



Thomas van Aalten (Huissen, 26 september 1978)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jane Smiley werd geboren op 26 september 1949 in Los Angeles en groeide op in een voorstad van St. Louis. Zij studeerde o.a aan de universiteit van Iowa. Haar eerste roman Barn Blind verscheen in 1980. In 1985 won zij de O. Henry Award voor haar verhaal “Lily” en in 1992 de Pulitzer Prize for Fiction voor haar bestseller A Thousand Acres, gebaseerd o[ Shakespeares King Lear. Haar novelle The Age of Grief werd in 2002 verfilmd als The Secret Lives of Dentists. Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel (2005) is een studie over geschiedenis en aard van de roman, in de traditie van E. M. Forster’s seminal Aspects of the Novel. Van 1981tot 1996 doceerde zij creatief schrijven aan de Iowa State University.


Uit: Good Faith


“THIS WOULD BE ’82. I was out at the Viceroy with Bobby Baldwin. Bobby Baldwin was my one employee, which made us not quite friends, but we went out to the Viceroy almost every night. My marriage was finished and
his hadn’t started, so we spent a lot of time together that most everyone else we knew was spending with their families. I didn’t mind. My business card had the Viceroy’s number in the corner, under “may also be reached at.” Buyers called me there. It was a good sign if they wanted to see a house again in what you might call the middle of the night. That meant they couldn’t wait till morning. And if they wanted to see it again in the middle of the night–well, I did my best to show it to them. That was the difference between Bobby and me. He always said, “Their motivation needs to be tested, that’s what I think. Let ‘em wait a little bit.”

Bobby was not my brother, but he might as well have been. Sally, his sister, had been my girlfriend in high school for about a year and a half. She was the first person I ever knew who had a phone of her own. She used to call me up and tell me what to do. “Now, Joey,” she would say, “tomorrow wear those tan pants you’ve got, and the blue socks with the clocks on them, and your white shirt, and that green sweater I gave you, and I am going to wear my blue circle skirt with the matching cashmere sweater, and I’ll meet you on the steps. We’ll look great. Have you done your algebra problems? When you get to number four, the variable is seven, and x equals half of y. If you remember that, then you won’t have a problem with it. Did you wash your face yet? Don’t forget to use that stuff I bought you. Rub it in clockwise, just a little tiny dab, about the size of the tip of your pencil eraser. Okay?”


Jane Smiley (Los Angeles, 26 september 1949)


De Russische schrijver en dissident Vladimir Nikolajevitsj Vojnovitsj werd geboren in Doesjanbe op  26 september 1932. Vojnovitsj is beroemd vanwege zijn satirische proza, maar heeft ook poëzie geschreven. Toen hij in het begin van de jaren 1960 voor de Moskouse radio werkte, schreef hij ook de tekst voor een kosmonautenlied, “Veertien minuten voor de start”. Tussen 1951 en 1955 diende Vojnovitsj in het leger van de Sovjet-Unie.

Zijn magnum opus, Het leven en de buitengewone avonturen van soldaat Ivan Tsjonkin speelt zich af tijdens de WO II en beschrijft op satirische wijze de alledaagse absurditeiten van het leven onder een totalitair regime. “Tsjonkin” is tegenwoordig een bekend personage in de Russische populaire cultuur en het boek werd verfilmd door de Tsjechische regisseur Jiří Menzel. In het werk Moskou 2042 schetst hij met veel zwarte humor een satirisch toekomstbeeld van de uitwassen van het totalitaire communistische sovjetregime diep in de 21e eeuw.

Tijdens de periode van stagnatie onder Leonid Brezjnev werd besloten Voinovitsj’ werk niet meer uit te geven, maar de schrijver werd wel zeer populair in de samizdat en in het Westen. Vanwege zijn werk en zijn activiteiten binnen de mensenrechtenbeweging werd Vojnovitsj in 1974 uit de schrijversbond van de Sovjet-Unie gezet. In 1980 werd hij gedwongen naar het Westen te emigreren en vestigde hij zich in München. Gorbatsjov gaf Vojnovitsj in 1990 zijn Russische staatsburgerschap terug en sindsdien bezoekt de schrijver zijn vaderland regelmatig. Vojnovitsj heeft vele internationale prijzen gewonnen, waaronder de Staatsprijs van Russische Federatie en de Sacharovprijs. Sinds 1995 is hij ook actief als beeldend kunstenaar. Het werk van Vojnovitsj is inmiddels in dertig talen vertaald, waaronder het Nederlands.


Uit: Monumental Propaganda


Porosyaninov read slowly, smacking his lips together loudly as though he were eating cherries and spitting out the pits. At the same time, he lisped and stammered over every word, especially if it was a foreign one.

As Porosyaninov read, the core of Party activists listened in silence, their faces tense, their thick necks and the backs of their skulls shorn in semi–crew cuts.

Then they asked the speaker questions: Would there be a purge of the Party? And what should they do with the portraits of Stalin, take them off the walls and rip them out of the books as they had done many times before with former leaders of the Revolution and heroes of the Civil War? Porosyaninov involuntarily turned his head and squinted sidelong at the portrait of Lenin, then shivered and said that no purge was expected and there was no need to go overboard with the portraits. Although a certain number of individual actions taken by Stalin had been incorrect, he was and remained a distinguished member (that was the phrase the speaker used) of our Party and the world communist movement, and no one intended to deny him due recognition for his services.

Aglaya Revkina, who had been through so much in her life, proved to be unprepared for a blow like this. As they were leaving the club, several people heard her declare loudly, without addressing anyone in particular: “Such filth! Such terrible filth!”

Since on that particular evening the street was not covered in filth—in fact, it was cold and there was a blizzard swirling the snow about, so that everything could more accurately have been described as pure white—no one took Aglaya’s words literally.

“Yes, yes,” said Valentina Semenovna Bochkareva, the planner from the Collective Farm Technical Unit, backing her up. “What people we put our faith in!”

Elena Muravyova (secret-agent alias “Mura”) reported this fleeting dialogue to the local department of the Ministry of State Security, and her report was confirmed by Bochkareva herself during an interview of a prophylactic nature that was conducted with her.”


Vladimir Vojnovitsj (Doesjanbe, 26 september 1932)


De Nigeriaanse schrijver Cyprian Ekwensi werd op 26 september 1921 in Nigeria geboren in Minna. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 september 2006.