Qurratulain Hyder, Raymond Roussel, Michiel de Swaen, Edeltraud Eckert


De Indiaase schrijfster Qurratulain Hyder werd geboren op 20 januari 1927 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 20 januari 2010.


Uit: Fireflies in the Mist 


“The bearded skipper pricked his ears and moved a bit closer to hear the conversation.

"Isn't he the ancient spirit of the river?" she whispered.

“Donít romanticise everything. He may be the Ancient Mariner and all that. What interests me right now is that he may be a staunch follower of the Muslim League, hoping that soon these Indian rivers would turn into Pakistani rivers. Geography is changed by human beings.

The shipmaster turned round and was greeted by an enthusiastic

Assalam Aleikum by the young man. He was now telling his companion,

"Bengal is a Muslim majority province and the Muslim masses are waiting for progressive leadership."

"The nawabs of Bengal are Muslim League leaders. And they are so reactionary," she hotly replied. With his keen river-eye the captain noticed that the heathen woman was very much in love with this upright follower of the Lord Prophet. But it distressed the Ole Man of the River when the fellow declared, "We, the communists, shall have to come close to the Muslim League. We shall provide progressive leadership to our masses."



Arjumand Manzil was no Gothic castle. It was quite a normal household.

But why didn't Jehan Ara ever mention him? Why didn't he ever talk about her? This man is a double-crosser. A two-timing crook. Sudden tears filled her eyes. She bent over the railing and stared hard at the dark waves. She remembered the nightmare she had had in Santiniketan. On waking up she had decided never to meet him again. She had not answered his letters.

Still, he had chased her down the Ganges and here he was, smiling away so cheekily.”




Qurratulain Hyder (20 januari 1927 – 21 augustus 2007)


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Edgar Allen Poe, Julian Barnes, Edwidge Danticat, Gustav Meyrink, Eugénio de Andrade


De Amerikaanse schrijver Edgar Allen Poe werd geboren op 19 januari 1809 in Boston. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2010.


Uit: The Black Cat


„For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not --and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified --have tortured --have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror --to many they will seem less terrible than baroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place --some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.

From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiar of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.“




Edgar Allen Poe (19 januari 1809 – 7 oktober 1849)

Portret door de moderne Duitse schilder Anton Henning



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Patricia Highsmith, Thomas Gsella, Paul-Eerik Rummo, Marie Koenen


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Patricia Highsmith werd geboren als Mary Patricia Plangman in Fort Worth (Texas) op 19 januari 1921. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2010.


Uit: The Talented Miss Highsmith (Biografie door Joan Schenkar)


„On 16 November, 1973, a damp, coldish, breaking day in the tiny French village of Moncourt, France,  Patricia Highsmith, a fifty-two year old American writer living an apparently quiet life beside a branch of the Loing Canal, lit up another Gauloise jaune, tightened her grip on her favorite Parker fountain pen, hunched her shoulders  over her roll-top desk — her oddly-jointed arms and enormous hands were long enough to reach the back of the  roll while she was still seated –- and jotted down in her writer's notebook a short list of helpful activites "which small children" might do "around the house."

It's a casual little list, the kind of list Pat liked to make when she was emptying out the  back pockets of her mind, and it has the tossed-off quality of an afterthought. But as any careful reader of Highsmith knows, the time to pay special attention to her is when she seems to be lounging, negligent, or (God forbid) mildly relaxed. There is a beast crouched in every "unconcerned" corner of her writing mind and, sure enough, it springs out at us in her list's discomfiting title. "Little Crimes for Little Tots," she called it.  And then for good measure she added a subtitle: "Things around the house which small children Can do..."

Pat had recently filled in another little list –- it was for the comics historian Jerry Bails back in the U.S. –- with some diversionary information about her work on the crime-busting comic book adventures of Black Terror and Sgt. Bill King, so perhaps she was  still counting up the ways in which small children could be slyly associated with crime. In her last writer's journal, penned from the same perch in semi-suburban France, she had also spared a few thoughts for children.“




Patricia Highsmith (19 januari 1921 - 4 februari 1995)



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Rubén Darío, Peter Stamm, Robert Anton Wilson, Arno Schmidt, Franz Blei


De Nicaraguaanse schrijver Rubén Darío werd geboren in Metapa, tegenwoordig Ciudad Darío, op  18 januari 1867. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2010.



Lichtwärts die mysteriöse Rose


Lichtwärts die mysteriöse Rose,

Wo sie just begraben

Ist dies Tat dreizehn, welche große

Herkul hat zu wagen.


Mond, dein frohes Gleißen,

säumst, Fels, die Stunde.

Doch tausend Blanktopps reisen

Am Himmelsrunde.


Es trägt meine Schaluppe

achtern goldne Sonnen,

Erspäh auf Stieres Kruppe

Ich nun Europas Wonnen.





Rosen und Lilien


Wider alle Qualen, wider Traurigkeiten

Wenn auf bare Häupter schnei'n die rauhen Zeiten

Und die Ängste tosen:

Dies sind die Momente für die roten Rosen.


Doch für Augenblicke schwang'rer Illusionen,

Die sich müh'n dem Herzen Blumen einzuthronen

- Liebliche Delirien -:

Weiße, weiße Lilien.




Vertaald door Martin von Arndt




Rubén Darío (18 januari 1867 - 6 februari 1916) 

Standbeeld in Buenos Aires


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Alan A. Milne, Paul Léautaud, Roger Bésus, Montesquieu, Jon Stallworthy


De Britse schrijver Alan Alexander Milne werd geboren op 18 januari 1882 in Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2010. 


Uit: Pooh Goes Visiting


„Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o'clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, 'Honey or condensed milk with your bread?' he was so exited that he said, 'Both' and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, 'But don't bother about the bread, please.'

And for a long time after that he said nothing...until at last, humming to himself in a rather sticky voice, he got up, shook Rabbit lovingly by the paw, and said that he must be going on. 'Must you?' said Rabbit politely. 'Well,' said Pooh, 'I could stay a little longer if it-if you-' and he tried very hard to look in the direction of the larder. 'As a matter of fact,' said Rabbit, 'I was going out myself directly.' 'Oh well, then, I'll be going on. Good bye.' 'Well good bye, if you're sure you won't have any more.' 'Is there any more?' asked Pooh quickly. Rabbit took the covers of the dishes, and said 'No, there wasn't.' 'I thought not,' said Pooh, nodding to himself. 'Well Good-bye, I must be going on.'

So he started to climb out of the hole. He pulled with his front paws, and pushed with his back paws, and in a little while his nose was in the open again ... and then his ears ... and then his front paws ... and then his shoulders ... and then-'Oh, help!' said Pooh, 'I'd better go back,' 'Oh bother!' said Pooh, 'I shall have to go on.' 'I can't do either!' said Pooh, 'Oh help and bother!' ...



Alan Alexander Milne (18 januari 1882 - 31 januari 1956)


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Henry A. Dobson, Ioan Slavici, Saint-Martin, Madame de Lafayette


De Engelse dichter en essayist Henry Austin Dobson werd geboren op 18 januari 1840 in Plymouth. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 18 januari 2010. 



Fame Is A Food That Dead Men Eat


Fame is a food that dead men eat,—

I have no stomach for such meat.

In little light and narrow room,

They eat it in the silent tomb,

With no kind voice of comrade near

To bid the banquet be of cheer.


But Friendship is a nobler thing,—

Of Friendship it is good to sing.

For truly, when a man shall end,

He lives in memory of his friend,

Who doth his better part recall,

And of his faults make funeral.




Henry Austin Dobson (18 januari 1840 – 2 september 1921)


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Sascha Kokot


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Sascha Kokot werd geboren op 18 januari 1982 in Osterburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 juli 2009 en ook mijn blog van 23 juli 2010.



Der gute Herr an der Autobahn


Der gute Herr an der Autobahn
streut jeden Tag Gras in die offenen Brüche,
so als wäre es seine Schuld,
dass die Platten nicht sauber vernietet sind
und die Konserven vor der Stadt liegen,
blau und gelb angestrichen.
Abends kommt die Tochter Kräuter pflanzen
für den nächtlichen Tee,
dass der Alte die Kettenglieder wenig später
nicht mahlen hört.





Der Himmel liegt in Fetzen


Der Himmel liegt in Fetzen
Häuser eng in Bombenlücken
gestellt den Fenstern
gegenüber kein Licht
für die rußigen Zimmer
bleibt nur das Elektrische
nackt auf die Haut gestrahlt
wenn niemand anwesend ist
knackt es laut in den Leitungen.




Sascha Kokot (Osterburg, 18 januari 1982)

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Ib Michael, Raoul Schrott, Lukas Moodysson, Jörg Bernig, Frank Geerk, Anne Brontë


De Deense schrijver Ib Michael (eig. Ib Michael Rasmussen) werd geboren op 17 januari 1945 in Roskilde. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2010.


Uit: Prince (Vertaald door Barbara Haveland) 


„In Which the Ship Comes to Light It begins in mist. Far up on the top of the world, where no one sees, the ice splits with a crack that rings out over white fjords. The sea shows blue between the floes; the night that has lasted half the year, with the sun lying below the horizon, is over. The ice-foot creaks and groans, fissure chases fissure, as a mountain of glass - the size of the palace of fairy-tale, with turrets and crenellations and windows long hidden by the snow - breaks off and puts out to sea. The long day has returned. It rocks on seas that are running south, is tossed by storms which wash its sides smooth once more while its turrets taper into awls and drip under a sun that ascends the heavens, climbing a little higher with each day. The palace is buoyed up by a bed of aquamarine shadows. Little by little, as the heat makes itself felt, the ice grows brittle. The water starts to undermine it, outside and in, small lacunae appear, drop by drip it is whittled away. In certain lights it resembles a cathedral with stained-glass windows, round and tall, as the ice forms prisms and splits the light. Or it twirls gently in the current to reveal a mosque with onion domes. Everything is floating and the sun turns in its course. The cracks cut right through; with an echo of the fjord which, after more than half a century"s slumber set the iceberg free, it, too, calves. A shape comes to light at the heart of it, a darker pattern, suggestive of tattered cobwebs in the palace halls. Relentlessly the process of erosion continues. The salt of the sea, days of sunlight, the temperature steadily rising. As with other fairy-tale palaces this one is, in fact, porous; ever so slowly, as it nears human habitation, it is trickling away of its own accord. But the structure at its heart is still there, the cobwebs hanging now from beams; the palace has shifted shape and turrets no longer pierce the sky. By the time it leaves the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic winds take over it has become a shadow of itself; a crystal formation, all sharp edges.“ 




Ib Michael (Roskilde, 17 januari 1945)



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Klaus M. Rarisch, Einar Schleef, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Roel Houwink, William Stafford


De Duitse dichter Klaus M. Rarisch werd geboren op 17 januari 1936 in Berlijn. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2010.



Zynische Zitate

Zum Zauber Satanischer Verse


Zitierend einen Kaiser von Byzanz –

hat so der Papst das Christentum verteidigt,

auf dessen Heilsparolen er vereidigt?

Entkleidete er sich des Amtsgewands,


entledigend sich eigenen Verstands,

hat er die Stimme wölfisch nur bekreidigt,

bestreitend, daß er den Islam beleidigt?

Vielleicht aus Neid auf fremden Glaubens Glanz?


Entehrt das Schwert der Mensch, der Frieden lehrt?

Verdient der Gläubige das Paradies

als Mörder, wie es der Prophet verhieß?


Die Heiden, die ein Märtyrer bekehrt,

sind sie vor der Verdammnis nun bewahrt?

Und bleibt dem Teufel schließlich nichts erspart?






Der Garten ist zwar winzig, doch autark.

Nur Wasser geb ich ihm, bin ich zu Hause

in dieser alten Hütte, meiner Klause,

Da sitze ich allein und fühl mich stark,


und kommt der Tod, sei er nicht allzu arg.

Ich zögre: schreib ich oder mach ich Pause,

doch dann ergötz ich mich am kargen Schmause.

Und über mir hängt licht ein Kindersarg.


Seit langem, glaub ich, birgt er teure Seelen,

birgt Goethe, Platen, Benn und Arno Holz.

In ihrem Schutz und Trutz kann mir nichts fehlen.


Mag auch die Welt mir Ruhm und Würde stehlen –

was liegt daran? Ich bleibe schwach, doch stolz,

und muß mich vor mir selbst nicht mehr verhehlen.




Klaus M. Rarisch (Berlijn, 17 januari 1936)



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Jan Van Droogenbroeck, Dorothee Wong Loi Sing, Nevil Shute, Mrs Henry Wood, George Lyttelton, Hella Eckert


De Vlaamse dichter en schrijver Jan Van Droogenbroeck werd geboren te Sint-Amands op 17 januari 1835. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2010.



De Pen


Op twee beenen,

Zonder voeten

Loopt zij over 't witte blad:

Zonder tonge

Kan zij spreken,

Deftig, sierlijk, rad en glad.


Met den bek, den


Wroet zij in vergiftig nat;

Jongens, jongens,

Dat is wonder!

Zeg mij, wat een dier is dat?


Loopen kan zij;

Maar bestieren,

Moet gij zelf, mijn slimme snaak;

Spreken kan zij,

Ja; maar denken,

Dat is weerom uwe zaak.


Wroet zij in den

Zwarten koker,

Wordt zij gansch besmeurd aldaar:

- Uw' gedachten

Blijven helder;

Wat gij schrijft zij klaar en waar!





Jan Van Droogenbroeck (17 januari 1835 - 27 mei 1902)



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Inger Christensen, Susan Sontag, Reinhard Jirgl, Uwe Grüning


De Deense dichteres, schrijfster en essayiste Inger Christensen werd geboren op 16 januari 1935 in de stad Vejle aan de oostkust van Jutland. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 16 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 januari 2010.



If I stand


If I stand

alone in the snow

it is clear

that I am a clock


how else would eternity

find its way around




Light: Winter


Winter is out for a lot this year

the beach already is stiff

all will be one will be one this year

wings and ice will be one in the world

all will be changed in the world:

the boat will hear its steps on the ice

the war will hear its war on the ice

the woman will hear her hour on the ice

the hour of birth in the ice of death

winter is out for a lot.

Out for the houses the cities

out for the forests the clouds

the mountains the valleys fear

the heart the children peace.


Winter is out for a lot this year

the hand already is stiff

the crying of children is heard in the house

one will we be one life

I hear my house slip with the world

and scream all that has been screamed

the heart rams its boat into ice

shells rustling in the hull

winter is out for as much.


If I freeze fast in the ice

if you freeze fast my child

my great forest next summer

my great fear as I come

if you freeze fast my life:

then I am a vulture of wings and ice

tearing my liver, my living life

awake in eternity.


This winter is in for a lot.




Vertaald door Susanna Nied



Inger Christensen (16 januari 1935 – 2 januari 2009)



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Brian Castro, José Soares, Anthony Hecht, Aleksandar Tisma, Franz Tumler


De Australische schrijver en essayist Brian Castro werd geboren op 16 januari 1950 in Hongkong. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 januari 2010.


Uit: The Garden Book


„Sometimes when you walk down to the cairn they've erected in memory of the crash you feel a bit ghoulish - wun gwai, as they say amibiguously in Chinese, 'hunting phantoms' which also means 'looking for nothing'. A daft undertaking. You wouldn't want to die on the side of this mountain, overcome by smoke. There is a stony track leading from the lookout, littered with shattered bourbon bottles and flattened beer cans. Beneath that there are the burnt remains of other times; layers and older layers. For a forensic collector, everything has its sombre significance. You may be looking at the last moments of a human gesture.

A gale blows, circling up from the flats, making the wires whistles. Stringybarks rasp. At times the ground shudders when a giant eucalypt falls and then the air is thick with the smell of leaf and loam. They fall without warning; roots in soft volcanic soil, heavy branches swooning in gusts, swollen with leaves. Every limb a sword of Damocles. You are broaching a former wilderness here. The hills are studded with orchards and nurseries now, but seventy years ago huge mountain ash rose up hundreds of feet and cool, dark forests formed a blue wall against the creeping city. The wind rakes through them, tearing down bark, rending memory with enfilading fire. In a cutting off Ridge Road there is a clearing and the ground is covered by little mounds of cigarette butts where people have emptied their car ashtrays. Countless cairns of long-dead anxieties, burnt-out lusts, charred moments of fear. Ice cubes of broken windshield glass. Two syringes. Seven used condoms. You suspect French letters despoited in such a way archive a particular system which is part sociological, part psychological. Seven is an anxious number.“





Brian Castro (Hongkong, 16 januari 1950)



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Jules Supervielle, Robert W. Service, Kálmán Mikszáth, Saint-Simon, Nel Benschop


De Franstalige dichter en schrijver Jules Supervielle werd geboren op 16 januari 1884 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Zie ook mijn blog van 16 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 16 januari 2010. 



C'est vous quand vous êtes partie


C'est vous quand vous êtes partie,
L'air peu à peu qui se referme
Mais toujours prêt à se rouvrir
Dans sa tremblante cicatrice
Et c'est mon âme à contre-jour
Si profondément étourdie
De ce brusque manque d'amour
Qu'elle n'en trouve plus sa forme
Entre la douleur et l'oubli.
Et c'est mon cœur mal protégé
Par un peu de chair et tant d'ombre
Qui se fait au goût de la tombe
Dans ce rien de jour étouffé
Tombant des autres, goutte à goutte,
Miel secret de ce qui n'est plus
Qu'un peu de rêve révolu.




Jules Supervielle (16 januari 1884 – 17 mei 1960)



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Osip Mandelstam, Mihai Eminescu, Johannes Beilharz, Molière, Franz Grillparzer


De Russische dichter Osip Mandelstam werd geboren op 15 januari 1891 in Warschau. Zie ook mijn blog van 15 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 15 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 15 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 15 januari 2010.



Zärtlicher als zärtlich 


Zärtlicher als zärtlich
Ist dein Gesicht,
Weißer als Weißes
Ist deine Hand,
Stets bliebst du fern
Der Welt, der gesamten,
Allem, was dein ist,
Niemand entkam.

All deiner Trauer
Niemand entkam,
Auch den nie erkaltenden
Fingern der Hand,
Auch dem nie verzagenden
Ruhigen Klang
Im Fernen
Der Reden
Und Augensterne.




Vertaald door Erich Boerner




A flame is in my blood


A flame is in my blood

burning dry life, to the bone.

I do not sing of stone,

now, I sing of wood.


It is light and coarse:

made of a single spar,

the oak’s deep heart,

and the fisherman’s oar.


Drive them deep, the piles:

hammer them in tight,

around wooden Paradise,

where everything is light. 



Vertaald door A. S. Kline





Osip Mandelstam (15 januari 1891 – 27 december 1938)


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