30-11-14

Mark Twain, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, John McCrae, Jonathan Swift, Philip Sidney

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Mark Twain (pseudoniem van Samuel Langhorne Clemens) werd geboren op 30 november 1835 te Florida. Zie ook alle tags voor Mark Twain op dit blog.

Uit:The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

“Tom he made a sign to me — kind of a little noise with his mouth — and we went creeping away on our hands and knees. When we was ten foot off Tom whispered to me, and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun. But I said no; he might wake and make a disturbance, and then they'd find out I warn't in. Then Tom said he hadn't got candles enough, and he would slip in the kitchen and get some more. I didn't want him to try. I said Jim might wake up and come. But Tom wanted to resk it; so we slid in there and got three candles, and Tom laid five cents on the table for pay. Then we got out, and I was in a sweat to get away; but nothing would do Tom but he must crawl to where Jim was, on his hands and knees, and play something on him. I waited, and it seemed a good while, everything was so still and lonesome.
As soon as Tom was back we cut along the path, around the garden fence, and by and by fetched up on the steep top of the hill the other side of the house. Tom said he slipped Jim's hat off of his head and hung it on a limb right over him, and Jim stirred a little, but he didn't wake. Afterwards Jim said the witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again, and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it.
And next time Jim told it he said they rode him down to New Orleans; and, after that, every time he told it he spread it more and more, till by and by he said they rode him all over the world, and tired him most to death, and his back was all over saddle-boils. Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he wouldn't hardly notice the other niggers. Niggers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country. Strange niggers would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he was a wonder.”

 

 
Mark Twain (30 november 1835 – 21 april 1910)
Jeff East (Huckleberry Finn) en Paul Winfield (Jim) in de film Huckleberry Finn, 1974

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30-11-13

Mark Twain, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, John McCrae, Jonathan Swift, Philip Sidney

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Mark Twain (pseudoniem van Samuel Langhorne Clemens) werd geboren op 30 november 1835 te Florida. Zie ook alle tags voor Mark Twain op dit blog.

Uit:The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

“If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain't sleepy—if you are anywheres where it won't do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a thousand places. Pretty soon Jim says:
"Say, who is you?  Whar is you?  Dog my cats ef I didn' hear sumf'n. Well, I know what I's gwyne to do:  I's gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears it agin."
So he set down on the ground betwixt me and Tom.  He leaned his back up against a tree, and stretched his legs out till one of them most touched one of mine.  My nose begun to itch.  It itched till the tears come into my eyes.  But I dasn't scratch.  Then it begun to itch on the inside. Next I got to itching underneath.  I didn't know how I was going to set still. This miserableness went on as much as six or seven minutes; but it seemed a sight longer than that.  I was itching in eleven different places now.  I reckoned I couldn't stand it more'n a minute longer, but I set my teeth hard and got ready to try.  Just then Jim begun to breathe heavy; next he begun to snore—and then I was pretty soon comfortable again.“ 

 

 
Mark Twain (30 november 1835 – 21 april 1910)
Scene uit de film Huckleberry Finn and His Friends, 1979

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30-11-11

David Nicholls, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, Reinier de Rooie

 

De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2009.en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2010.

 

Uit: The Understudy

 

„Stephen C McQueen had two C.Vs.

Alongside the real-life resumé of all the things he had actually achieved, there was the Nearly CV. This was the good-luck version of his life, the one where the close-shaves and the near-misses and the second-choices had all worked-out; the version where he hadn’t been knocked off his bike on the way to that audition, or come down with shingles during the first week of rehearsal; the one where they hadn’t decided to give the role to that bastard off the telly.

This extraordinary phantom career began with Stephen almost-but-not-quite winning huge praise for his show-stealing Malcolm in Macbeth in Sheffield, then consequently very nearly giving his heart-breaking Biff in Death of a Salesman on a nationwide tour. Soon afterwards, the hypothetical reviews that he would probably have received for his might-have-been King Richard II had to be read to be believed. Diversifying into television, he had come oh-so-close to winning the nations hearts’ as cheeky, unorthodox lawyer Todd Francis in hit TV series Justice For All, and a number of successful film roles, both here and abroad, had quite conceivably followed.

Unfortunately, all these great triumphs had taken place in other, imaginary worlds, and there were strict professional rules about submitting your parallel-universe resumé. This unwillingness to take into account what had taken place in other space-time dimensions meant that Stephen was left with his real-life C.V, a document that reflected both his agent’s unwillingness to say no, and Stephen’s extraordinary capacity, his gift almost, for bad luck. It was this real-life version of events that brought him here, to London’s glittering West End.

At the age of eight, visiting London for the first time with his Mum and Dad, Piccadilly Circus had seemed like the centre of the Universe, an impossibly glamorous, alien landscape, the kind of place where, in an old British Sixties musical, a dance-routine might break-out at any moment. That was twenty-four years ago. It had since become his place-of-work, and coming up from the hot, soupy air of the tube station into the damp November evening, all Stephen saw was a particularly garish and treacherous roundabout. Nearby an adenoidal busker was doggedly working his way through the Radiohead song-book, and the chances of a dance-routine breaking out seemed very slight indeed. Stephen barely even noticed Eros these days, surely the most underwhelming landmark in the world. If he bothered to look up at all, it was only to check the digital clock under the Coca-Cola sign, to see if he was late.“

 

 

David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)

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30-11-10

David Nicholls, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah, Reinier de Rooie

 

De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 30 november 2009.

 

Uit: One Day

 

„Friday 15TH July 1988
Rankeillor Street, Edinburgh
'I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference,' she said. 'You know, actually change something.'
'What, like "change the world", you mean?'
'Not the whole entire world. Just the little bit around you.'
They lay in silence for a moment, bodies curled around each other in the single bed, then both began to laugh in low, pre-dawn voices. 'Can't believe I just said that,' she groaned. 'Sounds a bit corny, doesn't it?'
A bit corny.'
'I'm trying to be inspiring! I'm trying to lift your grubby soul for the great adventure that lies ahead of you.' She turned to face him. 'Not that you need it. I expect you've got your future nicely mapped out, ta very much. Probably got a little flow-chart somewhere or something.'
'Hardly.'
'So what're you going to do then? What's the great plan?'
'Well, my parents are going to pick up my stuff, dump it at theirs, then I'll spend a couple of days in their flat in London, see some friends. Then France-'
Very nice-'
'Then China maybe, see what that's all about, then maybe onto India, travel around there for a bit-'
'Traveling,' she sighed. 'So predictable.'
'What's wrong with travelling?'
'Avoiding reality more like.'
'I think reality is over-rated,' he said in the hope that this might come across as dark and charismatic.
She sniffed. 'S'alright, I suppose, for those who can afford it. Why not just say "I'm going on holiday for two years"? It's the same thing.'
'Because travel broadens the mind,' he said, rising onto one elbow and kissing her.
'Oh I think you're probably a bit too broad-minded as it is,' she said, turning her face away, for the moment at least. They settled again on the pillow. 'Anyway, I didn't mean what are you doing next month, I meant the future-future, when you're, I don't know...' She paused, as if conjuring up some fantastical idea, like a fifth dimension. '...Forty or something. What do you want to be when you're forty?'
'Forty?' He too seemed to be struggling with the concept. 'Don't know. Am I allowed to say "rich"?'
'Just so, so shallow.'
'Alright then, "famous".' He began to nuzzle at her neck. 'Bit morbid, this, isn't it?'
'It's not morbid, it's...exciting.'

 

 

 

 

David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)

 

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30-11-09

Lee Klein, David Nicholls, Sergio Badilla Castillo, David Mamet, Wil Mara, Adeline Yen Mah


De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en essayist Lee Klein werd geboren op 30 november 1965 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.

 

 

THE  SHOPPPINGTOWN DOWN UNDER

In the diving bell-Boschian eggshell
   This shopping mall poet descends-
   Into the eucalyptus forest in dream time
   So as if to be an under cover parker
   In an Oceanic "Shoppingtown"

Donning a blazer,
   Sporting pins of pewter
   Sculpted to be as a bas-relief of a continent in releaf
   Purchased from purveyors of
   Plaques and memorabilia
   Commemorating the games of the twenty seventh Olympiad
   "The Olympic store"

Snorkel in mouth sinking
    To the escalator
    Driving the hive
    Foot traffic converging
    During the Olympic fortnight surging
    Down on the ground
   Grownups dressed as mascots are waving
   Swimming through the atrium aquarium
   Aqueous torch burning
   Green and white of cask
   For the flame lit by jet action
   And through the microphone
   Comes forth
   These words

Out in the Outback
   The Outbacks’ the Outback
   But out of the Outback the Outback's a steakhouse
   And down under they build Westfield Shoppingtowns
  from which you may need to backdown

Back out to back down to be out of the Outback
   I might as well be back out or back out form the Outback
   Well at least I am out -out of the Outback

And that's life in a shoppingtown
   Un hey un bamba and de night
    Na na nanna na
    Life in a Shoppingtown

Paramatta, Sydney, Western Suburbs, New South Wales
    A sliding glass door through a parquet meridian
    Of a Thomas Cook branch
    Here in the commonwealth
    To punch up the numbers
    To take you on a round trip
    Round trip one-day only
    Round trip one-day only round trip
     Is the impish man formerly working in a travel agency
     Now presently working at another travel agency
     This Thomas Cook
     He has a chestnut head of hair and sideburns
     The latter graying
    And as he is saying
     But he is having difficulty
    With his computer
    And so he punches the keys grimacing
   Then he is up Walking to the exchange window
   To get change from travel fares
   He is showing them printed receipts
   From downloads on his computer portal
   Into the Thomas Cook hub
  Wearing yellow and blue
  What can he do? Flub!

 

 

 

 

 

Lee_klein
Lee Klein (New York,.30 november 1965)

 

 

 

 

De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Hampshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.

 

Uit: Starter For Ten

 

“ALL young people worry about things, it’s a natural and inevitable part of growing-up, and at the age of sixteen my greatest anxiety in life was that I’d never again achieve anything as good, or pure, or noble, or true, as my O-level results.

I didn’t make a big deal about them at the time of course; I didn’t frame the certificates or anything weird like that, and I won’t go into the actual grades here, because then it just gets competitive, but I definitely liked having them; Qualifications. Sixteen years-old, and the first time I’d ever felt qualified for anything.

Of course, all that was a long, long time ago. I’m nineteen now, and I like to think I’m a lot wiser and cooler about these things. So my A-levels are, comparatively, no big deal. And besides, the idea that you can somehow quantify intelligence by some ridiculous, antiquated system of written examinations is obviously ridiculous. Having said that, they were Langley Street Comprehensive School’s best A-level results of 1985, the best for fifteen years in fact, 3 As and a B, that’s 19 points – there, I’ve said it now - but I really, honestly don’t believe that’s particularly relevant or impressive or anything, I just mention them in passing, that’s all. And besides, compared to other qualities, like physical courage, or popularity, or grace, or good health, or good looks, or clear skin, or a rich, varied and rewarding sex-life, just knowing loads of stuff isn’t actually that important. Unless of course you don’t have any of those other qualities, in which case you’re frankly just grateful for what you’ve got.

But like Dad used to say, the important thing about an education is the opportunity that it brings, the doors it opens. Because otherwise knowledge, in and of itself, is a blind alley, especially from where I’m sitting, here, on a late September Wednesday afternoon, in a factory that makes toasters.

I’ve spent the holiday working in the despatch department of Ashworth Electricals, which means I’m responsible for putting the toasters in their boxes before they’re sent out to the retailers. Of course, there are only so many ways you can put a toaster in a box, so it’s been a pretty dull couple of months over all, but on the plus side it’s £1.85 an hour, which isn’t bad, as much toast as you can eat of course, and there’s the radio to listen to, and I like to think I’ve got on pretty well with my fellow members of staff.”

 

 

 

 

david
David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)

 

De Chileense dichter en schrijver Sergio Badilla Castillo werd geboren in Valparaíso op 30 november 1947. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.

Confession on a street corner in Madrid close to O'Donell

Where is the little marchioness of Avila in all the length and breadth of Spain?
when the fire of the night escapes my hands
and in every corner of this green room, a secret loses its intimate words
because there is nobody with the desire to discover us here, inside
in this hotel in Calle O’Donell.
So here we are, my dear Santa Teresa,
with a reality that has driven us crazy for more than a week
and I awake me , and I awake you my marchioness, for telling you
that the city still exists beyond the tired dawn
with its faded petals in this interminable calm.
Madrid winks at us, hiding itself like we
In the autumnal foliage of El Retiro.
the Gate of Alcalá will let us pass like other lovers
before
and behind the Prado museum I will tell you that you are only mine,
regardless the wasps that skilfully move and sting
or the peacocks in the neighbouring botanical garden
shouting their existence.
When the clock heralds the morning the suitcases will compel
departure
and you will accompany me as we turn our backs on the day
to avoid what will come,
you will smile nervously like respectful lady, with a faint tremble
in those my Spanish lips.
We will be happy, dear lady, I will say with a hint of sadness  
even in the texture of many dreams,
in the endless happenings in so many other places,
perhaps in another hotel in Calle O’Donell.

 

 

 

 

BADILLA
Sergio Badilla Castillo (Valparaíso, 30 november 1947)

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse toneelschrijver en filmregisseur David Mamet werd geboren op 30 november 1947 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.

 

The Diary of Anne Frank

 

​Peter: Goddamned fucking Nazis.

Anne: You want a potato?

Peter: No, I don't want a potato.

Anne: Take a potato.

Peter: I don't want a fucking potato.

Anne: Go on, take a potato.

Peter: What do I want with a fucking potato?

Anne: We're starving.

Peter: (pause) What the hell, I'll take a potato. (takes potato, eats)

Anne: I kinda like it without salt.

Peter: Salt. That shit'll kill you.

Anne: Okay.

Peter: I'm trying to make light of a fuckin' situation here.

Anne: Okay.

Peter: Like when you spilled milk on that cunt's fur coat.

Anne: That was an accident.

Peter: (Monologue on how there are no accidents)

Anne: Hey, kiss me.

Peter: Why the fuck not?

 

 

 

 

 

DavidMamet
David Mamet (Chicago, 30 november 1947)

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Wil Mara werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in de buurt van Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.

 

Uit: The Cut

 

Barry Sturtz finally ran out of patience.

“T. J.’s numbers for the last two years have been incredible,” he said for the third time. “No one here can debate that. Last year alone—eighty-seven receptions for eleven hundred and forty-four yards and thirteen touchdowns. The best stats for any tight end in the whole damn league!” He pounded his fist on the burnished mahogany table to underscore the last three words.

“No one’s denying his value, Barry,” Palmer responded. “We all know he’s one of the best at his position.” Thirty-six-year-old Chet Palmer had been the Giants’ general manager for the last three seasons. With his thinning hair, dark suit, and tortoiseshell glasses, he looked more like a corporate accountant.

“No, Chet,” Sturtz corrected, almost out of breath, “he is the best at his position.”

“Okay, okay,” Palmer said, hands up defensively. He didn’t have much of a stomach for confrontation. “But we have a contract already, and we expect him to honor it. He’s got one year left. After that, we’ll be happy to discuss a renegotiation.” The third man in the conference room remained silent, as he had throughout most of the meeting.

Sturtz shook his head. “No, we’re discussing it now. T. J. has put up the best stats of any tight end in the league for the last two seasons, and what has he been getting for it? League minimum—this year he’ll make less than five hundred grand. Dinkins, meanwhile, will get two point seven million from the Cardinals, Schaefer will get two point one from Denver, and Barone will get one point eight in Miami. T. J. is performing better than all of them.”

“Barry,” Palmer said calmly, as if his greatest concern during this exercise in organizational thievery was to remain civil, “we took him in the sixth round. We gave him sixth-round money and a sixth-round contract. He didn’t have to take it, but he d—”

“He’s being ripped off!” Sturtz screamed. An icy silence followed, during which the ticking of the wall clock became noticeably louder. Palmer seemed a little nervous now, whereas head coach Alan Gray continued to appear unaffected.“

 

 

 

 

Mara

Wil Mara (Long Beach Island, 30 november 1966)

 

 

 

 

De Chinese schrijfster Adeline Yen Mah werd geboren op 30 november 1937 in Tianjin. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 november 2008.

 

Uit: Chinese Cinderella

 

AUTUMN 1941
As soon as I got home from school, Aunt Baba noticed the silver medal dangling from the left breast pocket of my uniform.
She was combing her hair in front of the mirror in our room when I rushed in and plopped my schoolbag down onto my bed.
"What's that hanging on your dress?"
"It's something special that Mother Agnes gave me in front of the whole class this afternoon.
She called it an award."
My aunt looked thrilled. "So soon? You only started kindergarten a week ago. What is it for?"
"It's for leading my class this week. When Mother Agnes pinned it on my dress, she said I could wear it for seven days. Here, this certificate goes with it." I opened my schoolbag and handed her an envelope as I climbed onto her lap.
She opened the envelope and took out the certificate. "Why, it's all written in French or English or some other foreign language. How do you expect me to read this, my precious little treasure?" I knew she was pleased because she was smiling as she hugged me. "One day soon," she continued, "you'll be able to translate all this into Chinese for me. Until then, we'll just write today's date on the envelope and put it away somewhere safe. Go close the door properly and put on the latch so no one will come in."
I watched her open her closet door and take out her safe-deposit box. She took the key from a gold chain around her neck and placed my certificate underneath her jade bracelet, pearl necklace and diamond watch, as if my award were also some precious jewel impossible to replace.“

 

 

 

 

adeline_Yen_mah
Adeline Yen Mah (Tianjin, 30 november 1937)

 

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 30e november ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

 

 

30-11-08

Sergio Badilla Castillo, David Mamet, John McCrae, David Nicholls, Wil Mara, Lee Klein, Adeline Yen Mah


De Chileense dichter en schrijver Sergio Badilla Castillo werd geboren in Valparaíso op 30 november 1947. Hij studeerde journalistiek in Chili en studeerde af in 1972. Daarna studeerde hij antropologie aan de universiteit van Stockholm. Men beschouwt hem als een dichter die wordt beïnvloed door het werk van Scandinavische schrijvers, zoals Edith Södergran, Elmer Diktonius, Paavo Haavikko, Pentti Saarikoski, Gunnar Ekelöf, Tomas Tranströmer en Lars Gustavsson. Sergio Badilla Castillo schrijft in het Spaans en in het Engels. Zijn eerste gedichtenbundel, Entre el cemento y el pasto , werd gepubliceerd in 1971. In 1980 bracht hij Más abajo de mi rama uit, en in 1997 publiceerde hij Saga Nórdica, (Noordse Saga) een van zijn bekendste werken. Castillo is de grondlegger van het transrealisme in de hedendaagse poëzie.

 

Sweet Young Lady

A last-chance love has ended.
Such storming—no shelter reached.
Such inclemency—no refuge had.
Night wears its darkest face tonight
In the small hours agony itself becomes a whirlwind
            Sorrowful young lady
so doleful, most sad
her heart beats, yielding rough splinters
with its sudden throbbings
In the depths of her silence she is damaged
and her eyelids cede to the force of her tears:
    perverse    unlucky    shameless
The celebration has ended for now and perhaps forever
biting are the fractured writings of the scoundrel
who torments her soul.
She is blind.    The light of the timid courtesan
is out
after the repeated false faces
of her sullen lover
the feigned charms of a bachelor passionate
and trapped among the beggars with a look of penitence
he remains to ask forgiveness for his audacity
        Off the mast last trip’s dirty sails still hang
The wind hisses
radiance cannot pass through the sea of hanging sails
the prayer repeats itself like a crystal voice in a familiar tongue
and is lost in the squall
Our maid
frail and old      a hurricane crosses her face
cracking her careful manners    her pleasant gestures
The estuary is distant    opposite the reef
Nevertheless it is she who succumbs while the ship stays afloat
and the ocean rises up portside to her thoughts    Rimbaud and
maybe only Rimbaud starboard to her
struggling in his drunken boat
Motherhood never knotted her womb
never pressed upon it the legitimacy of the sapling
not in deepest love or idle chance
    there sensation stayed untouched
        the seed of marble and the progenitor, sterile

 

Vertaald door Deborah Moore

 

 

 

Castillo
Sergio Badilla Castillo (Valparaíso, 30 november 1947)

 

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse toneelschrijver en filmregisseur David Mamet werd geboren op 30 november 1947 in Chicago, Hij studeerde aan het Goddard College in Vermont en de Neighorhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York. In 1976 maakte hij zijn Newyorkse debuut met een dubbelvoorstelling van 'The duck variations', met twee oude mannen pratend op een bank in het park en 'Sexual perversity in Chicago', over twee jongemannen op vrouwenjacht (in 1986 verfilmd als 'About Last Night'). Verder schreef hij 'American Buffalo' (1975), over de gangstermentaliteit van de zakenwereld, 'Glengarry Glen Ross' (1983), zijn met de Pulitzer Prize bekroonde nachtmerrie uit de Onroerend Goed Makelaardij, 'Speed-the-Plow' (1987), over de verschrikkingen van Hollywood, en 'Oleanna' (1993). Mamet wordt vaak vergeleken met Samuel Becket en Harold Pinter. In 1994 debuteerde hij als romanschrijver met 'The Village', over de zwarte achterkant van het hedendaagse Amerikaans dorpsleven. Vanaf 1981 schreef Mamet ook filmscenario's, beginnend met de nieuwe versie van Cain's 'The Postman Always Rings Twice', 'The Untouchables' (1987) en 'House of Games' (1987), een film die hij ook regisseerde. Recent schreef en regisseerde hij 'Homicide' (1991).

Mamet staat bekend om zij Mametspeak, een halfrealistische straattaal die zijn stukken over de machistische mannenwereld (American Buffalo, Speed the plow) een bijzonder realisme verleende, terwijl hij vaak een kritische noot liet horen bij recente ontwikkeingen in de Amerikaanse maatschappij.

 

Uit: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'

 

“I wrote a play about politics (November, Barrymore Theater, Broadway, some seats still available). And as part of the "writing process," as I believe it's called, I started thinking about politics. This comment is not actually as jejune as it might seem. Porgy and Bess is a buncha good songs but has nothing to do with race relations, which is the flag of convenience under which it sailed.

But my play, it turned out, was actually about politics, which is to say, about the polemic between persons of two opposing views. The argument in my play is between a president who is self-interested, corrupt, suborned, and realistic, and his leftish, lesbian, utopian-socialist speechwriter.

The play, while being a laugh a minute, is, when it's at home, a disputation between reason and faith, or perhaps between the conservative (or tragic) view and the liberal (or perfectionist) view. The conservative president in the piece holds that people are each out to make a living, and the best way for government to facilitate that is to stay out of the way, as the inevitable abuses and failures of this system (free-market economics) are less than those of government intervention.

I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.

As a child of the '60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart.”

 

 

 

mamet
David Mamet (Chicago, 30 november 1947)

 

 

 

 

 

De Canadese dichter, arts, auteur, kunstenaar, militair John Alexander McCrae werd geboren in Guelph (Ontario) op 30 november 1872. Hij had zich onderscheiden in de Boerenoorlog (1899-1902) waaraan hij als arts-vrijwilliger had deelgenomen. In 1901 nam hij ontslag uit militaire dienst en wijdde zich aan een medische carrière tot op 4 augustus 1914 de Eerste Wereldoorlog uitbrak en hij zich opnieuw meldde als vrijwilliger. Hij werd benoemd tot arts bij de First Brigade van de Canadian Field Artillery. McCrae schreef met een zekere regelmaat gedichten waarvan ook een aantal in literaire bladen werd geplaatst. Op 22 april 1915 werden de eerste aanvallen met  chloorgas ingezet te Boezinge, de plaats waar McCrae als arts frontdienst verrichtte tijdens de gevechten. Diep onder de indruk van de gebeurtenissen schreef hij op 3 mei het gedicht In Flanders Field, misschien wel het meest bekende gedicht uit deze oorlog:

 

 

In Flanders Field

  

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

 

 

 

 

The Anxious Dead

  

O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear

Above their heads the legions pressing on:

(These fought their fight in time of bitter fear,

And died not knowing how the day had gone.)

 

O flashing muzzles, pause, and let them see

The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar;

Then let your mighty chorus witness be

To them, and Caesar, that we still make war.

 

Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their call,

That we have sworn, and will not turn aside,

That we will onward till we win or fall,

That we will keep the faith for which they died.

 

Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,

They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence deep;

Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn,

And in content may turn them to their sleep.

 

 

 

 

McCrae
John McCrae (30 november 1872 - 28 januari 1918)

 

 

 

 

 

De Engelse schrijver David Nicholls werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in Hampshire. Hij werd opgeleid tot acteur en heeft ook als zodanig gewerkt. Hij trad o.a. op in het West Yorkshire Playhouse en het Royal National Theatre, daarbij gebruik makend van het pseudoniem David Holdaway. Als romanschrijver debuteerde hij in 2003 met Starter for Ten.

 

Uit: A Question of Attraction

 

„QUESTION: Stepson to Robert Dudley and onetime favorite of Elizabeth I, which nobleman led a poorly planned and unsuccessful revolt against the queen, and was subsequently executed in 1601?
ANSWER: Essex. All young people worry about things, it’s a natural and inevitable part of growing up, and at the age of sixteen my greatest anxiety in life was that I’d never again achieve anything as good, or pure, or noble, or true, as my O-level exam results.
I didn’t make a big deal about them at the time, of course; I didn’t frame the certificates or anything weird like that, and I won’t go into the actual grades here, because then it just gets competitive, but I definitely liked having them: qualifications. Sixteen years old, and the first time I’d ever felt qualified for anything.
Of course, all that was a long, long time ago. I’m eighteen now, and I like to think I’m a lot wiser and cooler about these things. So my A-levels are, comparatively, no big deal. Besides, the notion that you can somehow quantify intelligence by some ridiculous, antiquated system of written examinations is obviously specious. Having said that, they were Langley Street Comprehensive School’s best A-level results of 1985, the best for fifteen years in fact, three As and a B, that’s nineteen points—there, I’ve said it now—but I really, honestly don’t believe that’s particularly relevant, I just mention them in passing. And, anyway, compared to other qualities, like physical courage, or popularity, or good looks, or clear skin, or an active sex life, just knowing a whole load of stuff isn’t actually that important.““

 

 

 

David_Nicholls
David Nicholls (Hampshire, 30 november 1966)

 

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Wil Mara werd geboren op 30 november 1966 in de buurt van Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Hij schrijft zowel fictie als non-fictie. Hij won de 2005 New Jersey Notable Book Award voor Wave, waarin de reactie van een eilandbevolking op een tsunami wordt beschreven. Hij voltooide het boek al in 2004. De uitgave werd uitgesteld toen Zuidoost-Azië in december 2004 door een echte tsunami werd getroffen.

 

Uit: Blown Away!

„The train stopped at Islamorada right on time, and Dad was there with the truck to meet us. I'll never forget the look on his face when we paraded Jewel and Rudy down the ramp and onto the dirt road.

"Am I seeing right?" Dad asked.

"You're seeing right, Dad!" I yelled, pushing the tipsy wheelbarrow, with the dog trotting along behind me. "Sharkey bought a mule and a dog in Key West!" Sharkey led Jewel nicely this time. The mule was probably tired of the train ride and eager to keep Rudy in her sights.

"She's a pretty thing, isn't she?" Sharkey said proudly as Jewel nuzzled his arm.

"Her name's Jewel," I told Dad. "The dog came with her. His name's Rudy."

"My game leg's been bothering me, and I thought the mule could help pull the boats in when they need work -- that kind of thing," Sharkey explained.

"I suppose a mule could come in handy," Dad agreed.

"Mules have put this whole country together," Sharkey went on, somewhat defensively, as if he had to explain that he wasn't totally crazy to have come home with Jewel. "They took the pioneers out West, they built the Erie Canal..."

"They work in the coal mines," an unfamiliar girl's voice piped up. "I've seen them down there hauling the coal cars. Some of them have never seen the light of day." The girl was sitting on the steps of the train station. Beside her was a battered cardboard suitcase that looked as though it might fall apart at any moment. I wondered if she was traveling by herself.“

 

 

 

wilmara
Wil Mara (
Long Beach Island, 30 november 1966)

 

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en essayist Lee Klein werd geboren op 30 november 1965 in New York. Hij is o.a de schrijver van "World's Biggest Shopping Mall Poem"dat in 1997 verscheen, gevolgd door "Financial Surrealists Take the Train" in 1999. Hij schrijft o.a voor Performing Arts Journal (formerly Johns Hopkins now MIT Press). 

 

Uit: Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World

 

She walks out of the airport terminal bathroom, her posture worthy of balancing sacks of grain on her head. She looks around where she last saw me. I’ve hidden myself behind a soda machine. I just barely catch a glance of her. She doesn’t seem abandoned. She stops, stands still. I have her half-packed duffel tucked out of sight. She’s alone in the Philadelphia airport with only what she has in her pockets. She stands there, a solid figure just a few strides in front of the women’s bathroom. A barely perceptible glow on the side of her cheek. I’d jump out if I sensed the least distress. But she just stands there, not moving, probably expecting me to emerge from the men’s room any second. She reaches into her well-worn jeans, pulls out a dollar, tries to smooth it on her thigh. Then she uses the edge of a pay-phone encasement, working over the creases in Washington’s portrait until he looks much younger, more amendable to the soda machine’s discerning dollar-bill mechanism. She starts moving toward me. I duck back against the wall. Then I realize it’d be better if I continued observing her from point-blank range. I position myself so a sliver of my eye can just see the least outline of her jacket. I hear the dollar-bill mechanism inhale her bill. A moment of choice. She presses one of the rectangular glowing logos. I feel the soda machine’s internal mechanisms process her order. There’s a second between her pressing and the drop of the can, a hesitancy, and in that second I wonder if the machine’s considering whether it should honor its side of the bargain (since it already has the money), or maybe there’s something else going on: like it’s thinking how can I give this one a can of my precious soda? I feel a glass-hanging moment of potential rejection that shatters when the can drops.“

 

 

 

lee_klein
Lee Klein (New York,.30 november 1965)

 

 

 

 

 

De Chinese schrijfster Adeline Yen Mah werd geboren op 30 november 1937 in Tianjin. Zij groeide op in Tianjin, Shanghai en Hong Kong met een oudere zus, drie jongere broers en een jongere halfbroer en half zuster. Toen zij zeven was stierf haar moeder en haar vader verweet haar dit overlijden zijn leven lang.Tegen de achtergrond van de Chinese geschiedenis beschreef zij in Falling Leaves het familieverhaal.

 

Uit: Falling Leaves

 

“My own memories of Tianjin are nebulous. Early photographs show a solemn little girl with clenched fists, pressed lips and serious eyes, dressed in pretty western frocks decorated with ribbons and bows. I enjoyed school and looked forward to going there. Lydia and I were pulled there and back daily in Grandmother's black, shiny rickshaw. It had a brass lamp on each side and a bell operable by foot. When I revisited Tianjin in 1987, I was surprised to find that it took only seven minutes to walk from our house to St Joseph's.

I remember Lydia as an imposing, rather intimidating figure. Between us there were three brothers and a gap of six and a half years. We were a world apart.

Lydia liked to exercise her authority and flex her muscles by quizzing me on my homework, especially catechism. Her favourite question was, 'Who made you?'To this, I always knew the answer. Like a parrot I would trot out the well worn phrase, 'God made me.' Then came the twister. A gleam came into her eyes. 'Why did God make you?' I never could answer because teacher never taught us beyond the first question. Lydia would then give me a resounding slap with her powerful right hand, and call me stupid. During our daily rickshaw rides, she liked to keep me waiting and was invariably late. On the rare occasions when I was delayed in class she simply rode the rickshaw home alone but would send the puller back to get me. She tended to be stocky, even as a child. Her physical deformity gave her a characteristic posture, with her semi-paralysed left arm hanging limply by her side and her face perpetually tilted slightly forwards and to the left. From my four-year-old perspective, she was a fearsome figure of authority.”

 

 

 

adelineyenma
Adeline Yen Mah (Tianjin, 30 november 1937)

 

 

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 30e november ook mijn vorige bericht.