Robert Graecen, Yordan Radichkov, Adrian Mitchell, Marghanita Laski, Dorothea von Schlegel, Sarah Josepha Hale, Hubert Aquin


De Ierse dichter en essayist Robert Greacen werd geboren op 24 oktober 1920 in Derry. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Greacen op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 24 oktober 2010

Uit: Captain Fox


We walked along the Alley of the Dead
Up to the plateau, on to the Peterskirche,
Three figures in smog-grey coats,
Carl Gustav Jung, Captain Fox, myself.
We came on a square, half-lit, desolate.
Where were we? Basle? Ziirich?
It was Switzerland and yet not Switzerland.
At last we saw a pool and in its centre
A tiny island sparkled diamond-bright
With one magnolia tree in blossom.
Fox swore at the fog, coughed out phlegm.
‘Isn’t it beautiful,’ Jung cried,
‘This pool of life, this light?
To Liverpool we have come/1oh so.”
I smiled at the pun.
‘Crazy old Swiss,’ Fox muttered.
Jung placed his hand on my shoulder,
We headed for the island.


The Fixer

Some say there never was a Captain Fox.
Well, then I’ll call a witness:
One Derek Stanford, poet, sage,
A citizen of London and the world.
He’ll swear on any Bible you can find
That he saw Fox as plain could be
In Brighton town with Lord Olivier,
Actors both and men of action too.
He caught some words of Fox:
‘Larry, the PM’s in a right old tizz.
I told him I could fix it.’
‘Quite 50’, said Lord Olivier,
‘You’re just the man, old chap.’
They talked a while, these Thespians,
Then laughed, embraced like Latins,
Parted, their business despatched
Stanford watched their ego-dance,
Knowing he lived in interesting times.


Robert Greacen (24 oktober 1920 – 13 april 2008)


De Bulgaarse schrijver Yordan Radichkov werd geboren op 24 oktober 1929 in het dorp Kalimanitza, in de provincie Montana. Zie ook alle tags voor Yordan Radichkov op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 24 oktober 2010

Uit: Container
“We were unaware of when the iron shutters had closed except that now we were immersed in darkness together with a few hundred poor souls, shivering in the chillness of winter. We could hear the dull pounding of the waves against the sides of the ship which to our ears sounded even duller and made us drowsy.
The walls of the container were pressing down on us and the air was stale and fetid. It was difficult to breathe and we gasped in fitful draughts. Many of us were ill and the coughing, spilling out in surges, rebounded against the walls and gushed back in our faces.
“I haven’t been home for twenty years,” he said. “I don’t know whether I’d be able to find my family.”
I felt for him. He was a native of one of the small and distant Asian islands from where years ago he had fled, leaving his whole life behind. The place he called home was so obscure to me I thought that even if we survived the journey and made it there alive I would never be able to fully understand it.
It was our second day of the voyage but we were not allowed out of the container. Not for anything in the world. It was all so illicit. No one was to know that on this ship hundreds of people of different backgrounds and origin were to be smuggled illegally into the country.
I had only heard of the containers packed with refugees. I had seen pictures, but never had I imagined that a day would come when I would be in one of those containers. That I would be amongst those people of no belonging and no background and together with them I would be heading for a country which I knew nothing about.
And then he began to speak of his family as of something sacred. At first I could not understand him, because it was all so unfamiliar to one like me who had never known a mother’s gentle touch.
The family to him was his whole life. As he spoke the words illuminated every corner of the container and darkness gave way to light. Everyone listened without a sound so as not to interrupt his tale.”


Yordan Radichkov (24 oktober 1929 - 21 januari 2004)



De Engelse dichter , dramaturg en schrijver Adrian Christopher William Mitchell werd geboren in Hampstead Heath op 24 oktober 1932. Zie ook alle tags voor Adrian Mitchell op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 24 oktober 2010


To All In The So-Called Defence Industry

Arms trade workers, here's an early warning
You might wake up tomorrow morning
And find that this is the glorious day
When all your jobs will just melt away
Because the people of the world are going to make sure
There'll be no more, no more, no more war
So now's the time to switch your occupation
From dealing in death and desolation
Don't hang around now you've been told
The international murder trade's about to fold
You won't have to maim, you won't have to kill,
You can use your brain and use your skill.
Peace needs workers of all kinds-
Make artificial limbs instead of landmines.
Tricycles instead of tridents,
Violins instead of violence,
Lifeboats, hospitals, medicine, drains,
Food and toys and buses and trains-
Come on, there's plenty of work to be done
If we're going to make peace for everyone.



What Is Poetry?

Look at those naked words dancing together!
Everyone’s very embarrassed.
Only one thing to do about it –
Off with your clothes
And join in the dance.
Naked words and people dancing together.
There’s going to be trouble.
Here come the Poetry Police!

Keep dancing.


Adrian Mitchell (24 oktober 1932 – 20 december 2008)
Portret door Tom Phillips, 1987-88



De Engelse schrijfster en journaliste Marghanita Laski werd geboren op 24 oktober 1915 in Manchester. Zie ook alle tags voor Marghanita Laski op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 24 oktober 2010

Uit:What Every Woman Knows By Now

“It is as much a source of amazement as of income to me that readers of the women's magazines have such an insatiable thirst for reading the same information over and over again, despite the fact that any one year's reading must inevitably give enough information about the technique of being a woman to see one through a lifetime. I have, then, no fear of spoiling the market, either for myself or others. Every subject in this symposium, given a snappy title and an angle that appeals to the editor, will still be worth a substantial fee.

The simplest are in the best taste.
Men like women to be in the best taste.

Find a new interest
Time cures all.
Men don't like women to ring them up.

Remove old make-up with cream (dry skins), lotion (oily skins), or superfatted soap (if you must).
Then dab face with an astringent lotion.
Then pat in nourishing cream.
Blackheads are frequently due to internal causes. Drink lots of water.
Men are repelled by pimples.


Marghanita Laski (24 oktober 1915 - 6 februari 1988)



De Duitse schrijfster Dorothea von Schlegel werd geboren op 24 oktober 1764 in Berlijn. Zie ook alle tags voor Dorothea von Schlegel op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 24 oktober 2010

Uit: Florentin

„Schön ist's hier im Wald! hier möchte ich bleiben,... O hier, hier sollte ich bleiben!... allein?... ach, nicht allein!... mit ihr!... noch hat mein Auge sie nicht gesehn, aber ich kenne sie,... o sie wird alles verlassen, was sie halten will, und hat sie mich gefunden, mir hierher folgen, und hier mit mir der Liebe leben. Laß dich in meine Arme fassen! komm, ruhe hier aus an diesem Herzen, das harte Schläge des Schicksals erlitten hat wie deines; laß mich deine Tränen trocknen, blick um dich. Was du verließest, war nicht die Welt: Fesseln, enge Mauern, nanntest du das die freie schöne Welt?... Schwer hast du geträumt, o erwache, erkenne hier, was du suchtest!...«
Nicht weit von ihm fiel ein Schuß, und bald darauf hörte man ein Rufen nach Hülfe. Im Augenblicke hatte er Sattel und Bügel wieder in Ordnung gebracht, seine Träume, des Schimmels Müdigkeit, so wie seine eigne vergessen, sich aufs Pferd geschwungen und nach der Gegend hingespornt, von wo er die Stimme vernahm; er kam auf einen kleinen runden dicht umschloßnen Platz im dicksten Teil des Waldes; hier sprengte ihm hastig ein reichgekleideter Jockei entgegen, der ein gesatteltes Handpferd führte. »Retten Sie meinen gnädigen Herrn!« rief der Knabe. Unser Reisender sah nach der Gegend hin, wo der Knabe mit ängstlicher Gebärde hinzeigte, und erblickte einen ältlichen Mann, der eben im Begriff war, ein wildes Schwein abzufangen; er sah eben, wie der Mann noch einen Schritt zurücktrat, um sich mit dem Rücken an einen Baum lehnen zu können, sah ihn an eine Baumwurzel stoßen, rücklings niederfallen, und in der größten Gefahr, von der gereizten Sau zerfleischt zu werden. Im Moment sprang er vom Pferde und feuerte sein Pistol auf das Tier, wodurch er, ohne es zu treffen, seine ganze Wut auf sich zog: das war seine Absicht. Das erboste Tier kehrte um und rannte auf ihn los, er zog sein Jagdmesser und fing es mit Besonnenheit und Geistesgegenwart auf. Währenddessen war der alte Herr aufgestanden, näherte sich dem Reisenden und ergoß sich in Danksagungen und Lob wegen seines Mutes und seiner Geschicklichkeit. Dieser lehnte mit Anstand beides von sich ab, erkundigte sich freundlich, ob der Gefallne keinen Schaden genommen, und da dieser mit Nein antwortete, wandte er sich nach seinem Schimmel, der noch ruhig da stand, wo er ihn gelassen. Der Mann wunderte sich über die Demut eines sonst so mutig aussehenden Pferdes.“


Dorothea von Schlegel (24 oktober 1764 – 3 augustus 1839)
Portret door Anton Graff, rond 1790



De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sarah Josepha Buell Hale werd geboren op 24 oktober 1788 in Newport, New Hampshire. Zie ook alle tags voor Sarah Josepha Hale op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 24 oktober 2010



If ever I see,
On bush or tree,
Young birds in a pretty nest,
I must not, in my play,
Steal the birds away,
To grieve their mother's breast.

My mother I know,
Would sorrow so,
Should I be stolen away
So I '11 speak to the birds,
In my softest words,
Nor hurt them in my play.



The pleasant Spring has come again,
The pretty birds are here,
The grass grows in the gentle rain,
And buds and flowers appear

I love to see the sky so clear,
And all things look so gay
The fairest month in all the year
Is sweet and sunny May.

And well I know the cold deep snow
And winter storms are past,
And merrily now to school I’ll go,
Nor fear the chilling blast

I love the sun, the gentle wind,
And bird, and flower, and bud,
And well I love my teacher kind,
But best I love my God.


Sarah Josepha Hale (24 oktober 1788 – 30 april 1879)
Portret door  James Reid Lambdin, rond 1831



De Canadese schrijver, politiek activist, essayist en filmmaker Hubert Aquin werd geboren 24 oktober 1929, in Montreal, Quebec. Zie ook alle tags voor Hubert Aquin op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 24 oktober 2010.

Uit:Next Episode (Vertaald door Sheila Fischman)

Cuba is sinking in flames in the middle of Lac Léman while I descend to the bottom of things. Packed inside my sentences, I glide, a ghost, into the river’s neurotic waters, discovering as I drift the underside of surfaces and the inverted image of the Alps. Between the anniversary of the Cuban revolution and the date of my trial, I have time enough to ramble on in peace, to open my unpublished book with great care, and to cover this paper with the key-words that won’t set me free. I’m writing on a card table next to a window looking out on grounds enclosed by a sharp iron fence that marks the boundary between what’s unpredictable and what is locked up. I won’t get out before the day of reckoning. That’s written in several carbon copies as decreed, following valid laws and an unassailable royal judge. There are no distractions then, nothing to replace the clockwork of my obsession or make me deviate from the written record of my journey. Basically, only one thing really concerns me and it’s this: how should I set about writing a spy novel? My wish is complicated by the fact that I long to do something original in a genre that has so many unwritten rules and laws. Fortu nately, though, a certain laziness leads me to give up any idea about breathing new life into the tradition before I even get started. I may as well admit it – making myself comfortable in a literary form that’s already so well defined makes me feel very secure. And so without hesitation I decide to integrate my work within the main lines of the traditional spy novel. And since I want to set it in Lausanne, that’s taken care of.”


Hubert Aquin (24 oktober 1929 - 15 maart 1977)

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