Geert van Istendael, Wim Brands, Eric Walz, Georg Klein, Ernst Jünger, Yvan Goll, R. S. Thomas


De Vlaamse prozaschrijver, dichter en essayist Geert van Istendael werd geboren in Ukkel op 29 maart 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Geert van Istendael op dit blog.



Kinderen zijn weke diertjes, zout


Kinderen zijn weke diertjes, zout
van snot en tranen, kinderen verduren
het grofste zand, het knarsen en het schuren:
met schuim en branding zijn zij vreemd vertrouwd.


Ze spartelen en komen aangedreven,
uit water losgewoeld, gegooid op land,
tot eb hen terugspoelt naar een overkant:
een onvoorspelbaar tij speelt met hun leven.


Bescherm de weerschijn van hun parelmoer,
het zijn geen schelpjes uit een oude zomer.
Dit zegt de dichter u, die ijle dromer:


zet als het moet de stad in rep en roer,
het gaat om nu, niet om een lief verleden.
Een kind heeft recht op diepe zekerheden.




In Memoriam Matris (Obiit 1.III.95)


Ze was al heel erg oud. Daar riep een meisje:
'Kijk, oma, het is winter!' En zij zei:
'Ik zou zo graag gaan spelen, weer spelen
in de sneeuw.' De lente kwam, een lente
later zou ze sterven. Maar ze zei:
'Ik zou zo graag gaan lopen, lopen door
de regen, al die druppels op mijn gezicht.'

De zomer was voorbij, voorbij. Ze zei:
'Die appeltjes rook ik zo graag, vooral
wat in het gras lag, in de grote tuin van
mijn pa. Dat rook zo goed, zo goed.' Haar rimpels
betoveren haar glimlach, het verleden
staat op een kier. Heel even kijkt een meisje
naar een oud meisje in een hof van Eden.




Geert van Istendael (Ukkel, 29 maart 1947)

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Jacques Brault, Denton Welch, Marcel Aymé, R. Dobru, Jenő Rejtő, Johann Musäus


De Canadese dichter, schrijver en vertaler Jacques Brault werd geboren op 29 maart 1933 in Montreal. Zie ook alle tags voor Jacques Brault op dit blog.



Je suis venue


Je suis venuefaiseur d'ombre

pour posséder seulement l'obscur de toi

mes jambes ceinturent ta noirceur et serrent

comme flammes du jour enserrent la nuit

elles cernent les ombres certaines que tu étales

sur ma peau et sur les fibres de mes nerfs noircis

sans ces ombres je serais dissoute

dans l'air vague unique de ruineuse lumière

et la nuit par nombreuses bouches se fermerait

sur ma courbe stérilesans fin

faiseur d'ombre porte-moi partout

dans les espaces sombres

(ton visage est mon dernier abîme)

car je ne suis venue oui que pour posséder l'obscur

de toiseulement l'obscur




Laissez-moi dans la nuit

Laissez-moi dans la nuit
écouter la vieille histoire
du vent et de la pluie
et l'histoire d'un amour
mêmement vieilli

La marée monte et les vagues
montrent à nouveau les dents
je suis assis sur la plage
parmi des épaves à demi rongées
j'attends mon tour j'attends

Je désire quitter ce monde
sur la pointe des pieds
comme on sort de son lit
pour ne pas éveiller les dormeurs
qui rêvent de sommeil sans fin

Quand je n'étais pas mort
j'allais de bon matin
balayer les ravines d'ombre
maintenant poussière de poussière
je prends soin de mes ombres


Jacques Brault (Montreal, 29 maart 1933)

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Joost de Vries


De Nederlandse schrijver Joost de Vries werd geboren op 28 maart 1983 in Alkmaar. Hij studeerde journalistiek en geschiedenis aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Vanaf het jaar 2005 schrijft hij voor De Groene Amsterdammen over literatuur en in 2007 versterkte hij de redeactie van het weekblad, waar hij werkte als kunstredacteur. Tegenwoordig schrijft hij ook nog voor De Gids en Tirade en heeft hij in nrc.next op dinsdag een eigen column. Zijn eerste boek en tot op heden enigste boek Clausewitz kwam in 2010 uit. Dit boek werd genomineerd voor de Selexyz Debuutprijs en ook ontving De Vries een C.C.S. Cronestipendium voor Clausewitz.


Uit: Clausewitz (Vertaald door Liz Waters)


“My doctoral research was still only a few months old when I happened upon a little book in a flea market in the south of France and immediately decided to plagiarize it.

On the black dust jacket was written in small white letters Les politiques de FLF. Aside from that there was nothing on the front or the back. Quite why I’d picked it up I didn’t know, since although I’d been professionally engaged with the prose of Ferdynand LeFebvre for six months by then, I’d never heard anyone refer to him by anything so familiar as ‘FLF’. I quickly leafed through to the title page, where the subject was rendered more explicitly as Les politiques de Ferdynand LeFebvre.

Underneath was the name of the author: Pierre-Marc Brissot. It meant nothing to me, but given that I hadn’t yet taken proper hold of my research project, that might have been a bibliographical oversight on my part. The book seemed to have the same chapter breakdown as I was planning to use.I couldn’t see the name of a publisher, and the way the text was laid out, simply, soberly, led me to suspect it was a hobbyist’s project. I felt hotter and hotter. I did find a year of publication, 1989, and saw that Mr

Brissot had dedicated the text to the memory of his beloved wife Jeanette, 21 May 1921–14 May 1988. I could picture this Mr Brissot, an elderly, bald academic, slumped in a chair beside his dying wife’s hospital bed, his head full of the camouflaged political messages of Ferdynand LeFebvre.

When I noticed that the book had the very subtitle I was intending to give my dissertation, Sleuth on the steppe, a feeling crept over me of having slipped through a hole in time into a parallel universe where I had a firm grip on my own future. I paid (four euros) and took the book back with me to my parents’ holiday home.”



Joost de Vries (Alkmaar, 28 maart 1983)

19:23 Gepost door Romenu in Literatuur | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: joost de vries, romenu |  Facebook |

Mario Vargas Llosa, Walter van den Broeck, Nelson Algren, Chrétien Breukers, Lauren Weisberger


De Peruviaanse schrijver Mario Vargas Llosa werd geboren op 28 maart 1936 in Arequipa. Zie ook alle tags voor Mario Vargas Llosa op dit blog.


Uit: Conversation in the Cathedral (Vertaald door Gregory Rabassa)



Popeye Arévalo had spent the morning on the beach at Miraflores. You look toward the stairs in vain, the neighborhood girls tell him, Teté’s not coming. And as a matter of fact, Teté didn’t go swimming that morning. Defrauded, he went home before noon, but while he was going up the hill on Quebrada he could see Teté’s little nose, her curls, her small eyes, and he grew emotional: when are you going to notice me, when Teté? He reached home with his reddish hair still damp, his freckled face, burning from the sun. He found the senator waiting for him: come here, Freckle Face, they would have a little chat. They shut themselves up in the study and the senator, did he still want to study architecture? Yes, papa, of course he wanted to. Except that the entrance exam was so hard, a whole bunch took it and only a small few got in. But he’d grind and he’d probably get in. The senator was happy that he’d finished high school without failing any courses and since the end of the year he’d been like a mother to him, in January he’d increased his allowance from twenty to forty soles. But even then Popeye didn’t expect so much: well, Freckled Face, since it was hard to get into Architecture, it would be better not to take a chance this year, he could enrol in the prep course and study hard, and that way you’ll get in next year for sure: what did Freckled Face think? Wild, papa, Popeye’s face lighted up even more, his eyes glowed. He’d grind, he’d kill himself studying and the next year he’d get in for sure. Popeye had been afraid of a deadly summer, no swimming, no matinees, no parties, days and nights all soaked up in math, physics and chemistry, and in spite of so much sacrifice, I won’t get in and my vacation will be completely wasted.“



Mario Vargas Llosa (Arequipa, 28 maart 1936)


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Russell Banks, Maksim Gorki, Marianne Fredriksson, Bohumil Hrabal


De Amerikaanse schrijver Russell Banks werd geboren op 28 maart 1940 in Newton, Massachusetts. Zie ook alle tags voor Russell Banks op dit blog.


Uit: Trailerpark


Even her eyes, which happened to be pale blue, looked red, as if she smoked too much and slept too little, which, as it later turned out, happened to be true. Her body was a little strange, however, and people remarked on that. It was blocky and squareshaped, not exactly feminine and not exactly masculine, so that while she could almost pass for either man or woman, she was generally regarded as neither. Shewore mostly men's clothing, a long, dark blue, wool overcoat or else overalls and workshirts and ankle-high workboots, which again, except for the overcoat, was not all that unusual among certain women who worked outside a lot and didn't do much socializing. But with Flora, because of the shape of her body, or rather, its shapelessness, her clothing only contributed to what you might call the vagueness of her sexual identity. Privately, there was probably no vagueness at all, but publicly there was. People elbowed one another and winked and made not quite kindly remarks about her when she passed by them on the streets of Catamount or when she passed along the trailerpark road on her way to or from town. The story, which came from Marcelle Chagnon, who rented her the trailer and who therefore ought to know, was that Flora was retired military and lived off a small pension, and that made sense in one way, given people's prejudices about women in the military, and in another way too, because at that time Captain Dewey Knox (U.S. Army, ret.) was already living at number 6 and so people at the park had got used to the idea of someone living off a military pension instead of working for a living.”



Russell Banks (Newton, 28 maart 1940)

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Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Léon-Gontran Damas, Schack von Staffeldt, Arsène Houssaye, Martien Beversluis


De Franse schrijver en dramaturg Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt werd geboren op 28 maart 1960 in Lyon. Zie ook alle tags voor Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt op dit blog.


Uit: Odette Toulemonde und andere Geschichten (Vertaald door Inés Köbel)


“Ruhig, Odette, ruhig.
In ihrer überschwenglichen, brennenden Ungeduld war ihr, als flöge sie auf und davon, weg aus Brüssel, aus seinen Straßenschluchten, hoch hinaus über die Dächer, hin zu den Tauben am Himmel. Jeder, der ihre zarte Gestalt den Mont des Arts hinabeilen sah, spürte, daß diese Frau, deren lockiges Haar eine Feder schmückte, etwas von einem Vogel hatte...
Bald schon sah sie ihn! Wirklich und wahrhaftig ... Ging auf ihn zu ... Berührte ihn – vielleicht –, wenn er ihr die Hand hinhielt ...
Ruhig, Odette, ruhig.
Sie war über Vierzig, und doch hüpfte ihr das Herz wie einem jungen Mädchen. Bei jedem Fußgängerüberweg, an dem sie auf dem Trottoir warten mußte, kribbelte es sie in den Beinen, und ihre Fersen drohten abzuheben, sie mußte sich beherrschen, um nicht über die Autos zu springen.
Als sie die Buchhandlung endlich erreichte, hatte sich dort bereits eine lange Warteschlange gebildet, und sie mußte sich, wie man ihr sagte, wohl fünfundvierzig Minuten gedulden, ehe sie vor ihm stehen würde.
Sie griff nach dem neuen Buch, aus dessen Exemplaren die Buchhändler eine Pyramide, prächtig wie ein Weihnachtsbaum, errichtet hatten, und begann mit den Frauen zu plaudern, die gemeinsam mit ihr anstanden. Alle waren sie Leserinnen von Balthazar Balsan, doch nicht eine war so eifrig, so leidenschaftlich und gut informiert wie Odette.
»Ich habe eben alles von ihm gelesen, alles, und alles hat mir gefallen«, entschuldigte sie sich für ihr Wissen.”



Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt (Lyon, 28 maart 1960)

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Heinrich Mann, Golo Mann, Carolina Trujillo, Patrick McCabe, Bob den Uyl, Dubravka Ugrešić, Shusaku Endo


De Duitse schrijver Heinrich Mann werd geboren op 27 maart 1871 in Lübeck. Zie ook alle tags voor Heinrich Mann op dit blog.


Uit: Der Untertan


„Diederich Heßling war ein weiches Kind, das am liebsten träumte, sich vor allem fürchtete und viel an den Ohren litt. Ungern verließ er im Winter die warme Stube, im Sommer den engen Garten, der nach den Lumpen der Papierfabrik roch und über dessen Goldregen- und Fliederbäumen das hölzerne Fachwerk der alten Häuser stand. Wenn Diederich vom Märchenbuch, dem geliebten Märchenbuch, aufsah, erschrak er manchmal sehr. Neben ihm auf der Bank hatte ganz deutlich eine Kröte gesessen, halb so groß wie er selbst! Oder an der Mauer dort drüben stak bis zum Bauch in der Erde ein Gnom und schielte her!

Fürchterlicher als Gnom und Kröte war der Vater, und obendrein sollte man ihn lieben. Diederich liebte ihn. Wenn er genascht oder gelogen hatte, drückte er sich so lange schmatzend und scheu wedelnd am Schreibpult umher, bis Herr Heßling etwas merkte und den Stock von der Wand nahm. Jede nicht herausgekommene Untat mischte in Diederichs Ergebenheit und Vertrauen einen Zweifel. Als der Vater einmal mit seinem invaliden Bein die Treppe herunterfiel, klatschte der Sohn wie toll in die Hände worauf er weglief.

Kam er nach einer Abstrafung mit gedunsenem Gesicht und unter Geheul an der Werkstätte vorbei, dann lachten die Arbeiter. Sofort aber streckte Diederich nach ihnen die Zunge aus und stampfte.
Er war sich bewußt: "Ich habe Prügel bekommen, aber von meinem Papa. Ihr wäret froh, wenn ihr auch Prügel von ihm bekommen könntet. Aber dafür seid ihr viel zuwenig."



Heinrich Mann (27 maart 1871 – 12 maart 1950)

Grafmonument in Berlijn

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Alfred de Vigny, Žarko Petan, Hansjörg Schneider, Kenneth Slessor, Francis Ponge, Marie Under


De Franse dichter en schrijver Alfred de Vigny werd geboren op 27 maart 1797 te Loches (departement Indre-et-Loire). Zie ook alle tags voor Alfred de Vigny op dit blog.



Paris (Fragment)


- Prends ma main, Voyageur, et montons sur la Tour. -
Regarde tout en bas, et regarde à l'entour.
Regarde jusqu'au bout de l'horizon, regarde
Du nord au sud. Partout où ton oeil se hasarde,
Qu'il s'attache avec feu, comme l'oeil du serpent
Qui pompe du regard ce qu'il suit en rampant,
Tourne sur le donjon qu'un parapet prolonge,
D'où la vue à loisir sur tous les points se plonge
Et règne, du zénith, sur un monde mouvant,
Comme l'éclair, l'oiseau, le nuage et le vent.
Que vois-tu dans la nuit, à nos pieds, dans l'espace,
Et partout où mon doigt tourne, passe et repasse ?

- " Je vois un cercle noir, si large et si profond
" Que je n'en aperçois ni le bout ni le fond.
" Des collines, au loin, me semblent sa ceinture,
" Et, pourtant, je ne vois nulle part la nature,
" Mais partout la main d'homme et l'angle que sa main
" Impose à la matière en tout travail humain.
" Je vois ces angles noirs et luisants qui, dans l'ombre,
" L'un sur l'autre entassés, sans ordre ni sans nombre
" Coupent des murs blanchis pareils à des tombeaux.
" - Je vois fumer, brûler, éclater des flambeaux,
" Brillant sur cet abîme où l'air pénètre à peine,
" Comme des diamants incrustés dans l'ébène.



Alfred de Vigny (27 maart 1797 – 17 september 1863)


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Louis Simpson, Lajos Zilahy, Andon Zako Çajupi, Harry Rowohlt, Sophie Mereau, Carlo Dossi


De Jamaicaanse dichter Louis Simpson werd geboren op 27 maart 1923 in Jamaica. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 maart 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 maart 2011.



Carentan O Carentan


Trees in the old days used to stand

And shape a shady lane

Where lovers wandered hand in hand

Who came from Carentan.


This was the shining green canal

Where we came two by two

Walking at combat-interval.

Such trees we never knew.


The day was early June, the ground

Was soft and bright with dew.

Far away the guns did sound,

But here the sky was blue.


The sky was blue, but there a smoke

Hung still above the sea

Where the ships together spoke

To towns we could not see.


Could you have seen us through a glass

You would have said a walk

Of farmers out to turn the grass,

Each with his own hay-fork.


The watchers in their leopard suits

Waited till it was time,

And aimed between the belt and boot

And let the barrel climb.


I must lie down at once, there is

A hammer at my knee.

And call it death or cowardice,

Don't count again on me.


Everything's all right, Mother,

Everyone gets the same

At one time or another.

It's all in the game.


I never strolled, nor ever shall,

Down such a leafy lane.

I never drank in a canal,

Nor ever shall again.


There is a whistling in the leaves

And it is not the wind,

The twigs are falling from the knives

That cut men to the ground.


Tell me, Master-Sergeant,

The way to turn and shoot.

But the Sergeant's silent

That taught me how to do it.


O Captain, show us quickly

Our place upon the map.

But the Captain's sickly

And taking a long nap.


Lieutenant, what's my duty,

My place in the platoon?

He too's a sleeping beauty,

Charmed by that strange tune.


Carentan O Carentan

Before we met with you

We never yet had lost a man

Or known what death could do.



Louis Simpson (Jamaica, 27 maart 1923)

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Gregory Corso, Tennessee Williams, Hwang Sun-won, Martin McDonagh, Bettina Galvagni, Hai Zi


De Amerikaanse dichter Gregory Corso werd geboren in New York op 26 maart 1930. Zie ook alle tags voor Gregory Corso op dit blog.





Uncomprising year—I see no meaning to life.
Though this abled self is here nonetheless,
either in trade gold or grammaticness,
I drop the wheelwright’s simple principle—
Why weave the garland? Why ring the bell?

Penurious butchery these notoriously human years,
these confident births these lucid deaths these years.
Dream’s flesh blood reals down life’s mystery—
there is no mystery.
Cold history knows no dynastic Atlantis.
The habitual myth has an eagerness to quit.

No meaning to life can be found in this holy language
nor beyond the lyrical fabricator’s inescapable theme
be found the loathed find—there is nothing to find.

Multitudinous deathplot! O this poor synod—
Hopers and seekers paroling meaning to meaning,
annexing what might be meaningful, what might be meaningless.

Repeated nightmare, lachrymae lachrymae—
a fire behind a grotto, a thick fog, shredded masts,
the nets heaved—and the indescribable monster netted.
Who was it told that red flesh hose be still?
For one with smooth hands did with pincers
snip the snout—It died like a yawn.
And when the liver sack was yanked
I could not follow it to the pan.

I could not follow it to the pan—
I woke to the reality of cars; Oh
the dreadful privilege of that vision!
Not one antique faction remained;

Egypt, Rome, Greece,
and all such pedigree dreams fled.
Cars are real! Eternity is done.
The threat of Nothingness renews.
I touch the untouched.
I rank the rose militant.
Deny, I deny the tastes and habits of the age.
I am its punk debauche .... A fierce lampoon
seeking to inherit what is necessary to forfeit.

Lies! Lies! Lies! I lie, you lie, we all lie!
There is no us, there is no world, there is no universe,
there is no life, no death, no nothing—all is meaningless,
and this too is a lie—O damned 1959!
Must I dry my inspiration in this sad concept?
Delineate my entire stratagem?
Must I settle into phantomness
and not say I understand things better than God?




Gregory Corso (26 maart 1930 – 17 januari 2001)

Hier met Allen Ginsberg (links)


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Robert Frost, Erica Jong, Patrick Süskind, A. E. Housman, Artur Landsberger


De Amerikaanse dichter Robert Lee Frost werd geboren op 26 maart 1874 in San Francisco. Zie ook alle tags voor Robert Frost op dit blog.


A Brook In The City


The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square
With the new city street it has to wear
A number in. But what about the brook
That held the house as in an elbow-crook?
I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength
And impulse, having dipped a finger length
And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed
A flower to try its currents where they crossed.
The meadow grass could be cemented down
From growing under pavements of a town;
The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame.
Is water wood to serve a brook the same?
How else dispose of an immortal force
No longer needed? Staunch it at its source
With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown
Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone
In fetid darkness still to live and run --
And all for nothing it had ever done
Except forget to go in fear perhaps.
No one would know except for ancient maps
That such a brook ran water. But I wonder
If from its being kept forever under,
The thoughts may not have risen that so keep
This new-built city from both work and sleep.




Robert Frost (26 maart 1874 – 29 januari 1963)

Portret door John McCormick


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Flannery O'Connor, Jacques Bens, Jaime Sabines, Peter Van Straaten,Toni Cade Bambara


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Flannery O'Connor werd geboren op 25 maart 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. Zie ook alle tags voor Flannery O'Connor op dit blog.


Uit: The Life You Save May Be Your Own


„The old woman and her daughter were sitting on their porch when Mr. Shiftlet came up their road for the first time. The old woman slid to the edge of her chair and leaned forward, shading her eyes from the piercing sunset with her hand. The daughter could not see far in front of her and continued to play with her fingers. Although the old woman lived in this desolate spot with only her daughter and she had never seen Mr. Shiftlet before, she could tell, even from a distance, that he was a tramp and no one to be afraid of.His left coat sleeve was folded up to show there was only half an arm in it and his gaunt figure listed slightly to the side as if the breeze were pushing him. He had on a black town suit and a brown felt hat that was turned up in the front and down in the back and he carried a tin tool box by a handle. He came on, at an amble, up her road, his face turned toward the sun which appeared to be balancing itself on the peak of a small mountain.

The old woman didn't change her position until he was almost into her yard; then she rose with one hand fisted on her hip. The daughter, a large girl in a short blue organdy dress, saw him all at once and jumped up and began to stamp and point and make excited speechless sounds.

Mr. Shiftlet stopped just inside the yard and set his box on the ground and tipped his hat at her as if she were not in the least afflicted; then he turned toward the old woman and swung the hat all the way off. He had long black slick hair that hung flat from a part in the middle to beyond the tips of his ears on either side. His face descended in forehead for more than half its length and ended suddenly with his features just balanced over a jutting steel‑trap jaw. He seemed to be a young man but he had a look of composed dissatisfaction as if he understood life thoroughly.

"Good evening," the old woman said. She was about the size of a cedar fence post and she had a man's gray hat pulled down low over her head.“



Flannery O'Connor (25 maart 1925 – 3 augustus 1964)

Zelfportret, 1953

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Pol Hoste, Jacques Audiberti, Filip De Pillecyn, Evliya Çelebi, Anne Fanshawe


De Vlaamse schrijver Pol Hoste werd geboren in Lokeren op 25 maart 1947. Zie ook alle tags voor Pol Hoste op dit blog..


Uit: Vier Scabreuze


De volgende


'Ik houd mij,' deelde mij een dame mee, 'maar even vast aan uw geslacht.' We stonden op de tram. 'Het is hier zo druk.'
'Het weze mij een aangename plicht, mevrouw,' sprak ik, gehecht aan openbaar vervoer, 'reizigers als u voor onvoorziene schokken te behoeden.'
'Hoe zwelt uw lid! Bedrieg ik mij?' wilde ze weten.
'Ik haak,' sprak ik, 'mij ook maar even vast in uw geslacht.'
'Het subtiele past bij u,' zei zij. 'Ik merk het aan uw duim en mond.'
'Althans tenminste het tactiele,' zei ik. 'Het verbale ligt mij minder. Wat dat betreft verkies ik snijbranders.'
'En zo,' vroeg zij, 'mijn andere hand zich aan uw tong vasthouden wilde?'
'Daarvoor heeft u twee handen,' zei ik, 'en ik waar u om vraagt.'
'Laat dit uw laatste woord zijn!' klonk haar stem.
Ze bracht vier vingers in, ik hijgde.
'Geen halte, ik ben nat,' riep ze. Mijn taal bleef stokken. Ik beet. Zij sloot.
Als men zich stevig vastklampt aan elkaar hoeft het leven niet slechts onaangenaam te zijn. Een witte vloed! Ballonnen! Men komt behouden thuis.“


Pol Hoste (Lokeren, 25 maart 1947)

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Antonio Fogazzaro, Daniel Schiebeler, Mary Webb, Erica Pedretti


De Italiaanse schrijver Antonio Fogazzaro werd geboren op 25 maart 1842 in Vicenza. Zie ook alle tags voor Antonio Fogazzaro op dit blog.


Uit: The Saint


„The Dessalles, brother and sister, had spentthe preceding summer at Maloja. Jeannestriving to make herself a pleasant companion,and hiding as best she could her incurablewound ; Carlino searching out traces of Nietzsche in mystic hours round Sils Maria or in worldlymoments flitting like a butterfly from one womanto another, frequently dining at St. Moritz, or atPontresina, making music with a military attache"of the German Embassy at Rome, or with Noemid'Arxel, and discussing religious questions withNoemi's sister and brother-in-law The twod'Arxel sisters, orphans, were Belgian by birth, but of Dutch and Protestant ancestry. Theelder, Maria, after a peculiar and romantic court-ship, had married the old Italian philosopherGiovanni Selva, who would be famous in hisown country, did Italians take a deeper interestin theological questions; for Selva is perhapsthe truest representative of progressive Catholicism in Italy. Maria had become a Roman Catholic before her marriage. The Selvas spent thewinter in Rome, the rest of the year at Subiaco.
Noemi, who had remained true to the faith of her
fathers, divided her time between Brussels and
Italy. Only a month before, at the end of March,at Brussels, death had claimed the old governess,
with whom she had lived. Neither GiovanniSelva nor his wife had been able to come to Noemiat this great crisis, for Selva was seriously ill atthe time. Jeanne Dessalle, who had become muchattached to Noemi, persuaded her brother toundertake the journey to Belgium, a countrywith which he was hitherto unacquainted, andthen offered to take the Selvas' place in Brussels.“




Antonio Fogazzaro (25 maart 1842 – 7 maart 1911)


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