Yann Martel, Michel Tremblay, Nicholas Mosley, Ingeborg Bachmann, Arseny Tarkovsky, George Orwell, Claude Seignolle
Uit:Life of Pi
„I still smart a little at the slight. When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling. My life is like a memento mori painting from European art: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at it and I say, “You’ve got the wrong fellow. You may not believe in life, but I don’t believe in death. Move on!” The skull snickers and moves ever closer, but that doesn’t surprise me. The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity—it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud. The pink boy also got the nod from the Rhodes Scholarship committee. I love him and I hope his time at Oxford was a rich experience. If Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, one day favours me bountifully, Oxford is fifth on the list of cities I would like to visit before I pass on, after Mecca, Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris.
Scene uit de film “Life of Pi” uit 2012
I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he’s not careful.
I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the house lizards on the walls, the musicals on the silver screen, the cows wandering the streets, the crows cawing, even the talk of cricket matches, but I love Canada. It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos. Anyway, I have nothing to go home to in Pondicherry.
Richard Parker has stayed with me. I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.”
Yann Martel (Salamanca, 25 juni 1963)
Uit: Crossing the Continent (Vertaald door Sheila Fischman)
“Her grandmother hugged her tight, unable to say a word; her grandfather swallowed his tears; only her sisters let themselves go and cried, copiously. With her big suitcase beside her, she herself hasn’t moved, her lips quivering slightly but not too much. Strangely enough, no goodbyes have been exchanged though both grandparents and granddaughter know that they’ll probably never see one another again. Don’t say things. Avoid them or arrange so that they don’t exist. A calculated chill instead of outpourings, though they are necessary.
She did not turn around when she climbed into the buggy so she hasn’t seen the dejection in the eyes of Josephine and Meo from whom one-third of what is left of their reason for living is being taken away this morning while they wait for the rest to be cut off. Will the other two leave on the same day or will they have to live twice more through this intolerable scene that should be taking place amid heartbreaking sorrow and cries but is actually Image: cover of "Crossing the Continent" by Michel Tremblayhappening in a terrifying silence? Will they be able to bear three departures, three times on the same train?
When Monsieur Sanschagrin’s whistle echoed in the early morning chill, Rheauna held out her ticket to the tall man with a moustache who had just asked her if she was Rheauna Rathier due to leave for Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal. He spoke each name in a resonant voice as if they were all exotic destinations on the other side of the world. The door of the car closed with a gruesome bang, she ran to the first window, pressed her nose against the glass and then, as the train was starting to move, her sisters and her grandparents on the wooden platform waved desperately, she allowed herself to weep, to cry, to pound her fist. She wished that the other four wouldn’t see her collapse, that she could wait for the train to pull away from the station."
Michel Tremblay (Quebec, 25 juni 1942)
Uit: Children of Darkness and Light
“You know the story of the children in Yugoslavia who said they had seen the Virgin Mary: she appeared to them on the side of a hill and went on talking to them in the village church in the evenings; the hillside and the church became a shrine. I did a piece on this for the newspaper I was working for at the time — about the susceptibilities and projections of adolescent children, the local political situation from which the authorities might welcome a diversion, church rivalries in which the Franciscans might be using the children in their battle with the state-backed clergy. My editor said `But people don't want this analytical stuff; they want a piece about children who say they've seen the Virgin Mary.'
I said `But people don't believe that, do they?'
`Part of them will want to believe. Part of them will think it's rubbish.'
`So they won't have to think at all.'
So I went and wrote a piece about the wonderment of the children on the side of the hill; the ruthlessness of church and state authorities in their treatment of the children. I managed to make the harassment of the children seem vaguely sexual.
My editor said `You're learning.'
I said `But the interesting thing is what the Virgin Mary seemed to be saying. She said that humans, with their greed and violence, are in danger of destroying themselves: this is the last time she's going to appear to give warning.'
The editor said `You don't believe that, do you?'
`She goes on and on about the need for prayer and fasting. But people have been trying that for centuries, and it doesn't seem to work.' I added `I mean, I think this language is some sort of metaphor.'
Nicholas Mosley (Londen, 25 juni 1923)
Wie soll ich mich nennen ?
Einmal war ich ein Baum und gebunden,
dann entschlüpft ich als Vogel und war frei,
in einen Graben gefesselt gefunden,
entließ mich berstend ein schmutziges Ei.
Wie halt ich mich? Ich habe vergessen,
woher ich komme und wohin ich geh,
ich bin von vielen Leibern besessen,
ein harter Dorn und ein flüchtendes Reh.
Freund bin ich heute den Ahornzweigen,
morgen vergehe ich mich an dem Stamm . . .
Wann begann die Schuld ihren Reigen,
mit dem ich von Samen zu Samen schwamm?
Aber in mir singt noch ein Beginnen
- oder ein Enden – und wehrt meiner Flucht,
ich will dem Pfeil dieser Schuld entrinnen,
der mich in Sandkorn und Wildente sucht.
Vielleicht kann ich mich einmal erkennen,
eine Taube einen rollenden Stein . . .
Ein Wort nur fehlt! Wie soll ich mich nennen,
ohne in anderer Sprache zu sein.
De havens waren geopend
De havens waren geopend. We scheepten ons in,
de zeilen voor de wind, de droom overboord,
staal aan de knieën en lachen rond onze haren,
Want onze riemen kliefden de zee, sneller dan God.
Onze riemen versloegen de spanen van God en deelden de vloed;
vóór was het dag, en achter bleven de nachten,
boven was onze ster, en onder verzonken de anderen,
buiten verstomde de storm, en binnen groeide onze vuist.
Pas toen een regen ontbrandde, luisterden we weer;
speren vielen neer en engelen traden te voorschijn,
richtten zwartere ogen op ónze zwarte ogen.
Vernietigd stonden we daar. Ons blazoen vloog omhoog;
Een kruis in het bloed en een groter schip boven het hart.
Vertaald door Paul Beers en Isolde Quadflieg
Ingeborg Bachmann (25 juni 1926 – 17 oktober 1973)
I tailored the age to fit me.
We walked to the south, raising dust above the steppe;
The tall weeds fumed; the grasshopper danced,
Touching its antenna to the horse-shoes - and it prophesied,
Threatening me with destruction, like a monk.
I strapped my fate to the saddle;
And even now, in these coming times,
I stand up in the stirrups like a child.
I'm satisfied with deathlessness,
For my blood to flow from age to age.
Yet for a corner whose warmth I could rely on
I'd willingly have given all my life,
Whenever her flying needle
Tugged me, like a thread, around the globe.
Arseny Tarkovsky (25 juni 1907 – 27 mei 1989)
Hier met zoontje Andrei in de jaren 1930
De Britse schrijver George Orwell (pseudoniem van Eric Arthur Blair) werd op 25 juni 1903 geboren in Motihari, India. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 juni 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor George Orwell op dit blog.
“Winston glanced across the hall. In the corresponding cubicle on the other side a small, precise-looking, dark-chinned man named Tillotson was working steadily away, with a folded newspaper on his knee and his mouth very close to the mouthpiece of the speakwrite. He had the air of trying to keep what he was saying a secret between himself and the telescreen. He looked up, and his spectacles darted a hostile flash in Winston’s direction.
Winston hardly knew Tillotson, and had no idea what work he was employed on. People in the Records Department did not readily talk about their jobs. In the long, windowless hall, with its double row of cubicles and its endless rustle of papers and hum of voices murmuring into speakwrites, there were quite a dozen people whom Winston did not even know by name, though he daily saw them hurrying to and fro in the corridors or gesticulating in the Two Minutes Hate. He knew that in the cubicle next to him the little woman with sandy hair toiled day in day out, simply at tracking down and deleting from the Press the names of people who had been vaporized and were therefore considered never to have existed. There was a certain fitness in this, since her own husband had been vaporized a couple of years earlier. And a few cubicles away a mild, ineffectual, dreamy creature named Ampleforth, with very hairy ears and a surprising talent for juggling with rhymes and metres, was engaged in producing garbled versions — definitive texts, they were called — of poems which had become ideologically offensive, but which for one reason or another were to be retained in the anthologies. »
George Orwell (25 juni 1903 – 21 januari 1950)
Scene uit de film “1984” uit 1984
Uit: Le meneur de loups
“C'est sur la fin d'une journée de ce terrible hiver 1870, frappé d'un triple malheur : l'invasion, la famine et le froid, qui enfantent à leur tour cent et mille autres peines.
Ses grands doigts de glace profondément enfoncés dans la terre, le froid se cramponne sur la Sologne et s'attarde à pondre son frimas sur l'échine du pauvre monde. Visible en buées au contact des bouches, il ballotte son grand corps fluide au gré des vents mordants. Sa souveraineté sur les mois d'hiver a des exigences cruelles. Il se roule, se prélasse sur tout. Dans les bois, ses jeux font naître les douleurs sourdes des grands arbres aux branches déjà blessées par la foudre des jours d'été et brisées par les colères des vents automne. Les jeunes sapins à la chair tendre éclatent à cris secs, sonores. L'homme entend cette annonce de ruine et blêmit, impuissant.
Chez les pauvres gens, cet hiver a achevé bien des vieillards et repris les quelques jours de vie de bien des nouveau-nés. Les fossoyeurs doivent appuyer de toutes leurs forces sur les membres raidis, ces branches d'homme, pour les coucher dans le cercueil de sapin au parfum de printemps. En ouvrant le sol durci, ils jurent contre le froid qui, pour se gausser, mord les oreilles et leur met de ridicules glaçons dans les moustaches. La terre prend un peu de repos entre ses deux peines d'automne et de printemps, avant que la charrue ne vienne déchirer, en longues et fines lanières, son ventre à nouveau mou. Les bonnes bêtes gisent flanc à flanc, sur un épais lit de paille souple, dans la douce chaleur des étables aux murs crépis de bouses. Les bêtes sauvages viennent rôder près des fermes, poussées par la faim qui leur noue les entrailles comme le froid noue le mal dans les poitrines.
Et les bûcherons n'osent guère s'aventurer à des abattages lointains, dans la crainte de rencontrer le loup qui jette la terreur en déchirant ses hurlements sur ses crocs avides d’entrailles et de chair.”
Claude Seignolle (Périgueux, 25 juni 1917)