Alexander Stuart, Guy Vaes, Bernd Jentzsch, Ilja Ehrenburg, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Balduin Möllhausen, Samuel Foote


De Brits-Amerikaanse schrijver Alexander Stuart werd geboren op 27 januari 1955 in Brighton. Zie ook alle tags voor Alexander Stuart op dit blog.

Uit: The War Zone

“I'd be there now, getting soaked, if I wasn't so determined to speak to Jessica. If I can get her alone, there are a good few questions I'm going to ask, but it's as if she senses this. She's playing for time, Miss Florence Nightingale, helping Mum change the baby and scrub the vegetables for dinner. I'm in the doghouse, meanwhile, for dumping all the shopping in the rain. I watch Dad. I watch everyone. Suddenly I feel like a spy. I'm the one who's different, I'm the one with the knowledge — I wouldn't trust me, if I was them. What's changed? My mind is working overtime, reassessing everything. But Dad seems the same, snapping open a beer as he dumps himself into one of the cottage's chintzy armchairs to sort through a pile of unopened office mail. `How far would we have to go, do you think,' he ponders aloud, screwing his face up into a mask of weariness and disgust, `to get away from all this crap?' `Not much further,' Mum offers from the kitchen. 'Another phone call like yesterday's, and they'll probably take you at your word.' There's a long pause in which Dad seems to be replaying yesterday's phone call, enjoying the recollection of what was obviously a choice exchange. `They love it,' he says. 'Panics the accountants. They won't know what they've got unless they're made to sweat blood for it.' When it comes to work, Dad likes a bit of passion to enter into things. I don't think he's happy unless emotions are aroused, and certainly where his current scam is concerned — a bloody great steel and glass pyramid for a Korean bank in Docklands —he's played devil's advocate from day one. Bad enough that he has to work for these wankers, he says — no reason to make it easy for them. But I think it's a bluff. I think his work is what drives him, and coming down here to Devon has nothing to do with getting away from it all, it's just another way of giving them the finger. Dad peers in the direction of the kitchen, stuffing the torn envelopes he's been opening into one of the big manila ones.”


Alexander Stuart (Brighton, 27 januari 1955)
Cover DVD

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Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, James Grippando, Lewis Carroll, Alexander Stuart


De Duitse schrijver Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch werd geboren op 27 januari 1836 in Lemberg. Zie ook alle tags voor Leopold von Sacher-Masoch op dit blog.


Uit: Don Juan von Kolomea


“Wir fuhren aus der Kreisstadt Kolomea auf das Land. Es war Abend und am Freitag. Der Pole sagt: »Der Freitag ist ein guter Anfang,« aber mein deutscher Kutscher, ein Colonist aus Mariahilf, behauptete, der Freitag sei ein Unglückstag, denn an diesem Tage sei unser Herr am Kreuze gestorben und habe das Christenthum angefangen.

Diesmal behielt der Deutsche Recht, denn eine halbe Stunde von Kolomea wurden wir von einer Bauernwache angehalten.

»Steh! – den Paß!«

Wir standen. Aber der Paß! – Meine Papiere waren freilich in Ordnung, aber wer hatte an meinen Schwaben gedacht. Der saß auf seinem Kutschbock, als wenn die Erfindung des Passes noch zu machen wäre, schnalzte mit der Peitsche und legte frischen Schwamm in seine kurze Pfeife. Der konnte freilich ein Verschwörer sein. Sein unverschämt behagliches Gesicht forderte meine russischen Bauern heraus. Paß hatte er keinen, das war richtig; nun zuckten sie die Achseln, das war ebenso richtig.

»Ein Verschwörer,« hieß es.

»Aber Freunde bedenkt doch!« Alles umsonst.

»Ein Verschwörer!«

Mein Schwabe rückt verlegen auf seinem Brett und maltraitirt fruchtlos die russische Sprache. Alles umsonst. Die Bauernwache kennt ihre Pflichten. Wer wagt ihr eine Banknote anzubieten? Ich nicht. So werden wir denn zusammengepackt und einige hundert Schritte weit zu der nächsten Schenke geführt.

Von weitem schien es vor derselben von Zeit zu Zeit aufzublitzen. Es war die aufwärts genagelte Sense eines Bauers, der vor der Thüre Wache hielt, und gerade über dem Rauchfang der Schenke stand der Mond und blickte auf den Bauer und seine Sense. Er blickte durch das kleine Fenster der Schenke und warf seine Lichter wie Silbermünzen hinein, und füllte die Pfützen vor dem Hause mit Silber, um den geizigen Juden zu ärgern. Ich meine den Schenkwirth, der uns auf der Schwelle empfing und seine lebhafte Freude über die vornehmen Gäste dadurch ausdrückte, daß er eine Art monotones Jammergeschrei ausstieß.

Er wackelte mit dem Körper auf und ab wie eine Ente, küßte auf meinen rechten Aermel einen Schmutzfleck, und der Symmetrie wegen auch auf den linken, und schalt dabei die Bauern, daß sie »einen solchen Herren,« »einen solchen« – er wußte keine bezeichnendere Eigenschaft an mir zu finden – »einen solchen Herren arretirt, und einen solchen durch und durch schwarzgelben Herren, einen Herren, dessen Gesicht schon ganz schwarzgelb sei und dessen Seele ganz schwarzgelb sei, das möchte er auf die Thora beschwören«, und schalt und gebärdete sich, als hätten sie ihm das ärgste Unrecht zugefügt.”



Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (27 januari 1836 – 9 maart 1895)

Lithografie door Eduard Kaiser, 1855

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Alexander Stuart, Eliette Abécassis, Mordecai Richler, Ethan Mordden


De Brits-Amerikaanse schrijver Alexander Stuart werd geboren op 27 januari 1955 in Brighton. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2010 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2011.


Uit: The War Zone


"There is a moment which is so beautiful it makes everything else worthwhile. You stand on the cliff above the village, early in the morning or late in the evening, and you gaze out at the sea – a huge, changing wash of light and movement, bigger than any of us, a joker with a patience longer than any one life and an inconceivable strength that can snap your back against the rocks as easily as you

might flick a fly off your nose.

I can feel how cold it is, even when it’s warm. Even when the water’s not skimmed with a purple film of oil, and the pebbles and seaweed are stewed in the sun, I can sense the ocean’s cold heart further out, out by the skyline. Jessie’s tried to paint it, but she can’t get close. Either the beauty is there or the darkness, but not both...

It’s not just the color, it’s the color of light, it’s the mood of the sky and your own cross-wired soul. Down on the beach, it’s the druggy thunder-hiss of the surf dragging at thousands of pebbles, as if the sea’s in training for the greatest glue-sniffing contest on earth. Up here, with a view of the sheep and the cottages and the coastline, there’s just the image, no sound, and a faint tang of brine in the air, like a taunt or a memory."

It’s more than a moment. It’s repeatable, though it’s never the sametwice. It’s where I go to stay sane down here, it’s where I go when Imiss London, when I want to work out what the fuck I’m doing with
my life."



Alexander Stuart (Brighton, 27 januari 1955)

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James Grippando, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, Lewis Carroll, Eliette Abécassis, Alexander Stuart


De Amerikaanse schrijver James Grippando werd geboren op 27 januari 1958 in Waukegan, Illinois. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2010.


Uit: The Abduction


„Allison could feel her heart pounding. Her lungs burned as she fought forair. The treadmill's digital display told her she was passing the two-milemark. She punched the speed button to slow the pace and catch her breath.Perspiration soaked her, pasting the nylon sweat pants and extra-large T-shirtto her trim forty-eight-year-old body. It was her favorite T-shirt, whitewith bright red and blue lettering.

It read, "Leahy for President--A New Millennium."

After nearly four years as the United States attorney general, Allison wasjust fifteen days away from the historic date on which voters would decidewhether the nation's "top cop" would become its first woman president.The race was wide-open and without an incumbent, as her boss--DemocraticPresident Charlie Sires--was at the end of his second and final four-yearterm. Allison was his second-term attorney general, part of the president'sshake-up of his own cabinet upon reelection in 1996. Eight months ago, Allisondidn't consider herself a serious presidential contender. But when the Republicansnominated Lincoln Howe, the nation's most beloved black man, the polls madeit clear that the only Democrat who could beat him was a charismatic whitewoman.

Ironically, thirty minutes of walking in place on the treadmill had actuallyput Allison thirty miles closer to her afternoon rally in Philadelphia.She was on the last leg of a two-day bus tour through Pennsylvania, a criticalswing state with twenty-four electoral college votes. Her campaign bus hadlogged nearly ten thousand miles in the past six months.”



James Grippando (Waukegan, 27 januari 1958)   



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Lewis Carroll, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre, Eliette Abécassis, James Grippando, Alexander Stuart

De Engelse dichter en schrijver Lewis Carroll werd op 27 januari 1832 in Daresbury. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2009.


Uit: Alice in Wonderland


„The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves: here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled "ORANGE MARMALADE," but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody underneath, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.
"Well!" thought Alice to herself. "After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!" (Which was very likely true.)
Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? "I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?" she said aloud. "I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down. I think-" (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) "-yes, that's about the right distance-but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?" (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)“





Lewis Carroll (27 januari 1832 – 14 januari 1898)





De Duitse schrijver Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre werd op 27 januari 1975 in Bremen geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2009.


Uit: Soloalbum


Auf Fotos sehe ich immer scheiße aus. Dies zu erklären ist nicht allzu vertrackt: Das kommt daher, weil ich ja nun mal scheiße aussehe, ganz einfach. Denn Fotos sind Fotos, die bilden den Ist-Zustand ab, da gibt es nichts dran zu rütteln, Pech gehabt, Arschloch. Natürlich gibt’s es „nicht fotogen, nicht mein Tag, ach guck – noch mit der doofen Frisur“ und solche Ausreden. Aber die braucht man ja nicht mehr sich selbst, schon lange nicht mehr, bloß für die allgegenwärtigen Fotosammler, die dauernd alles abziehen und verdoppeln wollen, weil sie ihr jämmerliches Dasein gar nicht fassen können, so toll finden sie diese Einfalt, und das wollen sie minuziös festgehalten wissen, damit sie dann eine Woche später schon da sitzen können wie der Opa mit seinen Kriegstagebuchnotizen. Vorzeigen zu können, wie aufregend und pulsierend die Soße aus Pauschalurlaub, Wohngemeinschaft, Elterngeld und neuer Hose (neuer Freundin, neuer Wohnung, alter Scheiße) ist, das ist diesen Pennern alles. Ich hebe überhaupt keine Fotos auf. Die wenigen schönen, die mit den Frauen, musste ich ja dann immer verbrennen, weil man sich ja nun mal so kindisch verhält, wie es gerade geht, wenn mal wieder alles den Bach runter gegangen ist.“





Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre (Bremen, 27 januari 1975)






De Franse schrijfster Eliette Abécassis werd geboren op 27 januari 1969 in Straatsburg. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2009.


Uit: La répudiée


"Tous les mois, c'est la même chose. Je pleure. Je soupire. J'attends. Que le linge au-dessous de moi ne soit point taché de rouge. Et tous les mois, mon ventre me fait mal. Le sang s'échappe, je saigne, je prie, je pleure. Mes larmes mouillent le mur occidental. Telle une brebis abandonnée, ainsi j'erre dans les rues. Mes paupières tremblent, mes jambes vacillent, mes yeux brillent de douleur. Je regarde autour de moi, je ne vois personne pour m'aider.

Ma mère, qui est la gardienne du mikvé, le bain rituel, a honte de ma stérilité. Chaque mois, je viens me tremper dans l'eau de pluie car, à la fin des sept jours sans tache, la femme doit s'immerger dans le mikvé à la nuit tombée, après que trois étoiles ont été visibles.

Il me semble que j'expie quelque chose. Je souffre, je vomis, je me traîne par terre, je cogne ma tête contre les murs. Toute la journée, je reste couchée. Nathan a trouvé un nom pour les jours impurs. Il me demande quand sera finie "ma maladie". Il n'a pas pas tort. L'impureté mensuelle, c'est la maladie de la femme stérile.

Mais on ne peut devenir pure que parce que l'on est impure. C'est pourquoi la femme, chaque mois, s'élève en se purifiant. Quand tout est fini, je me rends au bain rituel, je me déshabille, et, aidée par ma mère Hanna, je plonge dans le bassin d'eau froide, tête comprise : c'est une naissance.

- Toujours rien ? demande ma mère.

- Toujours rien.

- Cela va bientôt faire dix ans.

- Je sais. S'il le veut, Nathan peut me répudier."




Eliette Abécassis (Straatsburg, 27 januarri 1969)





De Amerikaanse schrijver James Grippando werd geboren op 27 januari 1958 in Waukegan, Illinois. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 januari 2009.


Uit: Leapholes


„Ryan Coolidge did not want to go to prison.
He'd been going to prison every Saturday for the past eleven months. Without fail, his mother would wake him, she'd put him in the car, and off they'd go. He didn't like the smell of prison, didn't like the feel of prison. He didn't like the drab beige walls, the cold concrete floors, the countless pairs of dark, soulless eyes that stared out from between iron prison bars. He didn't like anything about prison.
The thing he liked least of all was visiting his father there.
"Do we have to go, Mom?" Ryan was holding up his head with his hands, elbows on the kitchen table, a soggy raft of cornflakes floating in the bowl of milk before him.
"You should want to go."
"I don't." He dropped a piece of toast on the floor. His Golden Retriever pounced on it like a half-starved wolf. It was gone in one bite, and then Sam laid his huge head in Ryan's lap, begging for more. Sam was a smart and beautiful purebred, but his table manners had gone right out the door with Ryan's dad.
"A boy should want to see his father," said Dr. Coolidge.
"I don't."
"Your father loves you."
"Well, I don't love him."
"Never say that about your father. Never. Do you hear me?"
The dog sighed, as if wondering if that next piece of toast would ever drop. Ryan stroked the back of Sam's neck.“




James Grippando (Waukegan, 27 januari 1958)






De Brits-Amerikaanse schrijver Alexander Stuart werd geboren op 27 januari 1955 in Brighton. In de jaren negentig verhuisde hij naar Miami Beach waar hij screenwriting doceerde aan de University of Miami. In 2006 werd hij Amerikaans staatsburger. Zijn meest opzienbarende roman was The War Zone uit 1989, waarin hij de dood van zijn zoon verwerkte, maar dat ook het verhaal was van een familie die verscheurd wordt door incest. Het boek werd in 1999 verfilmd door Tim Roth. Ander werk van hem: Tribes, Life On Mars en Five And A Half Times Three.


Uit: Life on Mars


"Jesus," I say, stunned by the anger and passion I recognize from my own flailing emotions during my son's, Joe's, struggle with cancer. I look at Brian, sitting there by the highway in front of this nowhere motel. "Maybe there is life in Tampa, after all?"

Brian, who has read the whole thing with a high degree of passion himself, stares at it again and says, "It's incredible! 'Those people, those poor people....Them and us, us means you.'" He slams the newspaper down in his lap, turns to me and grins with a terrifying, twisted intensity. "Happy trails, you fuckers."

I take the paper from him and read the poem again, the morning sun scorching my neck, a strange buzz of birdsong and rocket-powered traffic assaulting my brain . "John Imboden," I say , "can write!"

"And he's right about the red ribbon bullshit,"declares Brian. "They've tried to make AIDS just another fucking charity bonanza."' His eyes burn with the ferocity of John Imboden's words; among his friends on South Beach, Brian has seen plenty of the reality of AIDS. He grabs the paper back and reads: "'We are living in hell and there are plenty of seats on the meat wagon...'"

I could not speak to John Imboden that day, wherever we were outside Tarpon Springs, but I tracked him down later by phone, and with all the invisibility and anonymity and static and false silence afforded by AT&T's long distance lines between Miami and Tampa, we talked about his poetry and his life, about AIDS and the prospect of death.

I feel guilty--it was his body and soul we were discussing, but I had been there, as much as anyone can who does not have AIDS themselves. I had lived through two years, with Joe Buffalo and his mother, of spending months in hospital and out: two years of living with the possibility of death every day and every night; of lying next to Joe in bed and smelling the fevered salt sweat in his hair and begging some greater force--whatever was out there--that we might not lose the child we loved above anyone or anything in the world; two years of making the most painful and horrifying choices for his body, not our own.“





Alexander Stuart (Brighton, 27 januari 1955)

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 27e januari ook mijn twee vorige blogs van vandaag.