André Brink, Eduard Escoffet, G. K. Chesterton


De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.


Uit: Surprise Visit


He never really learnt to cope with that. The only constant in those years was Mum. His father was always more of an absence than a presence. But Mum, yes, she made the difference. Which was why he finally had to make the effort to come all this way to see her. For the last time? Before he went to the States he had already paid her a number of visits, of which each could have been the last. But she held on. Not without some perversity, he sometimes thought. Always a contrary old bird.

He walks down the passage, his rubber soles squeaking on the green linoleum. Down to the end, Jolene has said, then sharp left. Into a small, undefined kind of space which may once have been a storeroom, when the old red-brick building was still a girls’ school. He had actually come here two or three times during his university years, when the girls put on the plays indefatigably penned and produced by the Welshman who taught English and with whom he’d struck up some kind of easy-going friendship. It was mainly cricket that had brought the two of them together. But for some time, at least a year or so, the prof’s daughter had provided an additional attraction. She was still at this school then and acted in a couple of her father’s plays. A fiery little thing, provocatively pretty. And the plays, invariably crackling with Gaelic magic, heightened her attraction. What was the last one? Of course: The Isles of the Blest, when after the show he and she slipped along some corridor into a secluded lobby at the end, which might have been this very space, and briefly wrought their own magic until they were interrupted, at the critical moment, by the avenging fury of a principal.

Three doors lead from here. The middle one must be the one he is looking for, if Jolene is to be believed. Opening into what resembles the waiting room of a railway station. Even smelling like one. Except that this one, large and lugubrious, has darker undertones. What must undoubtedly be the smell of death. When one ends up here there are no further shifts or moves to be expected. It is the ultimate Waiting Room. From here there are only the few steps to the hearse at the door. Abandon all hope, ye who enter. Or something to that effect.”



André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)

Lees meer...


André Brink, G. K. Chesterton, Eduard Escoffet, Leah Goldberg, Mohsen Makhmalbāf, Hans Weigel

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008.en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2010.

Uit: A dry white season


„It all really began, as far as Ben was concerned, with the death of Gordon Ngubene. But from the notes he made subsequently, and from newspaper cuttings, it is obvious that the matter went back much further. At least as far as the death of Gordon's son Jonathan at the height of the youth riots in Soweto. And even beyond that, to the day, two years earlier -- represented in Ben's papers by a receipt with a brief note scribbled on it when he'd started contributing to the schooling of the then fifteen year old Jonathan.

Gordon was the black cleaner in the school where Ben taught History and Geography to the senior classes. In the older journals there are occasional references to "Gordon N." or just "Gordon"; and from time to time one finds, in Ben's fastidious financial statements, entries like "Gordon -- R5.oo"; or "Received from Gordon (repayment) -- R5.00", etc. Sometimes Ben gave him special instructions about notes on his blackboard; on other occasions he approached him for small personal jobs. Once, when some money disappeared from the classrooms and one or two of the teachers immediately blamed Gordon for it, it was Ben who took the cleaner under his wing and instituted inquiries which revealed a group of matric boys to be the culprits. From that day Gordon took it upon himself to wash Ben's car once a week. And when, after Linda's difficult birth, Susan was out ofaction for some time, it was Gordon's wife Emily who helped them out with housework.

As they came to know each other better Ben discovered more about Gordon's background. As a young boy he had arrived from the Transkei with his parents when his father had found employment in the City Deep Mine. And since he showed interest in reading and writing from an early age he was sent to school -- no cheap or easy undertaking for a man in his father's position. Gordon made steady progress until he'd passed Standard Two, but then his father died in a rockfall in the mine and Gordon had to leave school and start working to supplement his mother's meagre income as a domestic servant.“


André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)

Lees meer...


André Brink, G. K. Chesterton, Eduard Escoffet, Leah Goldberg, Mohsen Makhmalbāf, Hans Weigel, T. H. White

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008.en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009.


Uit: A Fork in the Road


“It is now more than forty years since Ingrid Jonker died, yet, through her poetry, there may be more people to whom she is a living presence than she was during her short lifetime. In other respects she may be more remote than ever. She was drowned in the night of 19 July, 1965 when she walked into the fiercely cold Atlantic Ocean at Three Anchor Bay in Cape Town, and moved straight into myth. The myth of the maligned, rejected, abused, misunderstood nymph of sea and sun who had foretold her death in her poetry since she’d been a teenager, finally canonised when Nelson Mandela read her poem ‘The Child’ at his inauguration in parliament in May 1994. How little could we, could anybody, have expected this life after death in that dark time when she opted out of the world?

Until recently, I have chosen not to be drawn into discussions or evocations of her life, notably in documentary films, some unforgivably bad. But precisely because of these I have begun to believe that perhaps I owe it to her at last to unfold, without drama or melodrama, some of the things I have kept to myself. Not the icon but the person. The woman I loved. And who nearly drove me mad. In some respects, it should be done to set the record straight; in others, simply to remember. To hold on.

There is a photo of that sad, obscene funeral, four days after her death, with family massed in a dour black bank on one side of the grave and windswept friends on the other. Her long-time lover Jack Cope tried to jump into the grave like a latter-day Laertes, and everything threatened to implode in low drama. What strikes me when I look at it today, is the realisation that almost everyone in that photo, in fact, everyone involved with Ingrid in one way or another, is now dead. Her father, the arrogant loser, followed her to the grave within a few months. Jack, who knew, as I did, the agony of being with her and constantly losing her, and who faced, long before I had to, the dread of growing old, is dead. Uys Krige, the perennial golden boy of South African letters and the one who averted the most vulgar of explosions on the day of the funeral, is dead too – unbelievable as it still seems to all of us who have heard him reciting poetry or talking non-stop in five languages. Jan Rabie, beachcomber and romantic, the first modern writer of Afrikaans fiction, is dead.”




André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)





De Engelse letterkundige, schrijver en journalist Gilbert Keith Chesterton werd geboren in Londen op 29 mei 1874. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009.


Uit: The Wisdom of Father Brown


„The consulting-rooms of Dr Orion Hood, the eminent criminologist and specialist in certain moral disorders, lay along the sea-front at Scarborough, in a series of very large and well-lighted french windows, which showed the North Sea like one endless outer wall of blue-green marble. In such a place the sea had something of the monotony of a blue-green dado: for the chambers themselves were ruled throughout by a terrible tidiness not unlike the terrible tidiness of the sea. It must not be supposed that Dr Hood's apartments excluded luxury, or even poetry. These things were there, in their place; but one felt that they were never allowed out of their place. Luxury was there: there stood upon a special table eight or ten boxes of the best cigars; but they were built upon a plan so that the strongest were always nearest the wall and the mildest nearest the window. A tantalum containing three kinds of spirit, all of a liqueur excellence, stood always on this table of luxury; but the fanciful have asserted that the whisky, brandy, and rum seemed always to stand at the same level. Poetry was there: the left-hand corner of the room was lined with as complete a set of English classics as the right hand could show of English and foreign physiologists. But if one took a volume of Chaucer or Shelley from that rank, its absence irritated the mind like a gap in a man's front teeth. One could not say the books were never read; probably they were, but there was a sense of their being chained to their places, like the Bibles in the old churches. Dr Hood treated his private book-shelf as if it were a public library. And if this strict scientific intangibility steeped even the shelves laden with lyrics and ballads and the tables laden with drink and tobacco, it goes without saying that yet more of such heathen holiness protected the other shelves that held the specialist's library, and the other tables that sustained the frail and even fairylike instruments of chemistry or mechanics.

Dr Hood paced the length of his string of apartments, bounded-- as the boys' geographies say--on the east by the North Sea and on the west by the serried ranks of his sociological and criminologist library. He was clad in an artist's velvet, but with none of an artist's negligence; his hair was heavily shot with grey, but growing thick and healthy; his face was lean, but sanguine and expectant. Everything about him and his room indicated something at once rigid and restless, like that great northern sea by which (on pure principles of hygiene) he had built his home.“





G. K. Chesterton (29 mei 1874 - 14 juli 1936)





De Catalaanse dichter, schrijver en vertaler Eduard Escoffet werd geboren op 29 mei 1979 in Barcelona in 1979. Zie ook mijn blog van 11 juni 2009.



tag der unschuldigen kinder


ist die liebe erst einmal gewonnen, rührt sie nicht einmal der liebe gott an.

du kannst eine dornenhecke um sie herumziehen und schon sieht das

häuschen hübsch individuell aus. so zweisam, dass sobald der eine fehlt,

nur noch ein halber übrig ist und das geschirr in der spüle stehen bleibt.

immer noch in der spüle: hast du denn nicht gesehen, dass das geschirr

auf deine hände wartet und darauf, dass du es gleiten lässt in

seifenschaum und sauberkeit? das schon, die liebe rührt nicht mal der liebe

gott an. nur das ganze jahr lang der pausenlose nieselregen:

schmeicheleien und hochgezogene schultern, geheilt durch ein wenig

distanz. flüsse hinter den fensterläden. hast du die liebe gewonnen,

versüßen dir die wurmigsten würmer mit verachtung dein gärtchen. und

das, aber immerhin, ist schon alles.




Vertaald door Roger Friedlein





Eduard Escoffet (Barcelona, 29 mei 1979)





De Hebreeuwse dichteres, schrijfster en letterkundige Leah Goldberg werd geboren in Königsberg (Pruisen) op 29 mei 1911. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009.



Un pin


Ici je n’entendrai plus le chant du coucou.

Ici l’arbre ne se couvrira pas d’un manteau de neige,

Et pourtant c’est à l’ombre de ces pins

que mon enfance a ressuscité


au son des aiguilles: il était une fois…

J’appellerai patrie l’étendue des neiges,

la glace verdâtre entourant le cours d’eau

la langue du poème dans un pays étranger.


Peut-être que seuls les oiseaux migrateurs connaissent

lorsqu’ils sont suspendus entre ciel et terre

la douleur de deux patries


avec vous j’ai été plantée deux fois

avec vous les pins j’ai poussé

et mes racines, dans deux paysages différents.




Vertaald door Esther Orner





A Night Song


All the stars were hidden away
The moon is wrapped in black
From the North to Yemen in the South
There is no ray of light


The morning is a faithful widower
On its hips it wears a grey bag
From the North to Yemen in the South


There is no ray of light


Please light a white candle in my heart's black tent
From the North to Yemen in the South
The light will shine






Leah Goldberg (29 mei 1911 –  15 januari 1970)





De Iraanse filmregisseur en schrijver Mohsen Makhmalbāf werd geboren op 29 mei 1957 in Teheran. Zijn familie was arm en tussen zijn 8e en zijn 17e levensjaar had Moshen al 13 verschillende baantjes gehad. In 1974 werd hij gearresteerd omdat hij geprobeerd had een politieagent te ontwapenen. Pas na de revolutie van 1979 werd hij vrijgelaten. Hij bemoeide zich niet meer met de politiek en begon boeken te schrijven en films te maken. Sindsdien heeft hij zevenentwintig boeken gepubliceerd. Zijn films zijn in meer dan veetig landen vertoond. In Iran zijn diverse films echter verboden.


Uit: Limbs of no body (Artikel in The Iranian, 20 juni 2001)


„Afghanistan is a country with no images, for various reasons. Afghan women are faceless which means 10 million out of the 20 million population don't get a chance to be seen. A nation, half of which is not even seen by its own women, is a nation without an image.

During the last few years there has been no television broadcasting. There are only a few two-page newspapers by the names of Shariat, Heevad and Anise that have only text and no pictures. This is the sum total of the media in Afghanistan. Painting and photography have also been prohibited in the name of religion. In addition, no journalists are allowed to enter Afghanistan, let alone take pictures.

In the dawn of the 21st century there are no film productions or movie theatres in Afghanistan. Previously there were 14 cinemas that showed Indian movies and film studios had small productions imitating Indian movies but that too has vanished.

In the world of cinema where thousands of films are made every year, nothing is forthcoming from Afghanistan. Hollywood, however, produced "Rambo" about war in Afghanistan. The whole movie was filmed in Hollywood and not one Afghan was included. The only authentic scene was Rambo's presence in Peshawar, Pakistan, thanks to the art of back projection! It was merely employed for action sequences and creating excitement. Is this Hollywood's image of a country where 10 percent of the people have been decimated and 30 percent have become refugees and where currently one million are dying of hunger?

The Russians produced two films concerning the memoirs of Russian soldiers during the occupation of Afghanistan. The Mujahedin made a few films after the Russian retreat, which are essentially propaganda movies and not a real image of the situation of the past or present-day Afghanistan. They are basically a heroic picture of a few Afghans fighting in the deserts.

Two feature films have been produced in Iran on the situation of Afghan immigrants, "Friday" and "Rain". I made two films "The Cyclist" and "Kandahar". This is the entire catalogue of images about Afghans in the Iranian and world media. Even in TV productions worldwide there are a limited number of documentaries. Perhaps, it is an external and internal conspiracy or universal ignorance that maintains Afghanistan as a country without an image.“




Mohsen Makhmalbāf (Teheran, 29 mei 1957)





De Oostenrijkse schrijver en theatercriticus Hans Weigel werd geboren op 29 mei 1908 in Wenen. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009.


Uit: Sympathieadresse ans Volk der Hirten (Bespreking van “Lern dieses Volk der Hirten kennen” door Walter Widmer in Die Zeit)


“Was hülfe es diesen Unbelehrbaren, wenn sie erführen, daß in der Schweiz die Bundesräte, also die Minister, mit der Straßenbahn fahren, daß ein Kompetenzstreit der Minister um die Größe eines Standers ein gesamtschweizerisches Gelächter auslösen würde? Was sagt es deutschen Juristen, wenn sie hören, daß ein hochgeachteter, sehr beliebter Gerichtspräsident zurücktreten mußte, weil er aus Versehen ein Päckchen Zigaretten eingesteckt hatte und die Verkäuferin — freilich eine Pfundskuh! — ihn des Diebstahls bezichtigte? Was hilft es zu wissen, daß ein Nationalrat und Chefredakteur einer großen Zeitung unbarmherzig ins Kittchen flog, weil er in angeheitertem Zustand einen Verkehrsunfall verursachte, sich dann auf seinen Titel und Stand berief und den Polizisten frech kam?

Ich fürchte, unser — der Schweizer — Verhältnis zum Staat wird bei deutschen Lesern mancherorts auf Unverständnis stoßen, obschon Hans Weigel es trefflich formuliert hat: „Die Schweizer sehen den Staat nicht als ein dräuendes Feindseliges irgendwo oben. Wenn sie sich, mit ihm auseinandersetzen, dann auf gleicher Ebene, sofern sie nicht auf ihn hinabsehen, ganz echt, aus Überzeugung. Der Staat, nämlich seine legislativen und exekutiven Organe, das ist nur ein notwendiges Übel, nicht ein Moloch, der sie beherrscht, sondern ihr Untertan. Die Schweizer haben keinen Respekt vor den Repräsentanten des Staats. Solche muß es geben, aber das ist kein Grund, ihnen zu huldigen, sie zu verehren oder Angst vor ihnen zu empfinden." Oder: „Demokratie besteht nicht im Vermeiden, sondern im fairen Austragen von Konflikten und Skandalen.. Die Demokratie ist nicht unvollkommen, wenn etwas passiert, sondern erst dann, wenn -daraus nicht die entsprechenden Konsequenzen gezogen werden." Es ist keine Kapuzinerpredigt, sondern eine nüchterne Bilanz der Fakten, die in der Schweiz gelten.”





Hans Weigel (29 mei 1908 – 12 augustus 1991)





De Engelse schrijver Terence Hanbury White werd geboren op 29 mei 1906 in Bombay (Mombai). Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2009.


Uit: The Sword in the Stone


"How does one get hold of a sword?" he continued. "Where can I steal one? Could I waylay some knight, even if I am mounted on an ambling pad, and take his weapons by force? There must be some swordsmith or armorer in a great town like this, whose shop would still be open."

He turned his mount and cantered off along the street.

There was a quiet churchyard at the end of it, with a kind of square in front of the church door. In the middle of the square there was a heavy stone with an anvil on it, and a fine new sword was struck through the anvil.

"Well," said the Wart, "I suppose it's some sort of war memorial, but it will have to do. I am quite sure nobody would grudge Kay a war memorial, if they knew his desperate straits."

He tied his reins round a post of the lych-gate, strode up the gravel path, and took hold of the sword.

"Come, sword," he said. "I must cry your mercy and take you for a better cause."

"This is extraordinary," said the Wart. "I feel queer when I have hold of this sword, and I notice everything much more clearly. Look at the beautiful gargoyles of this church, and of the monastery which it belongs to. See how splendidly all the famous banners in the aisle are waving. How nobly that yew holds up the red flakes of its timbers to worship God. How clean the snow is. I can smell smothing like fetherfew and sweet briar - and is that music that I hear?"

It was music, whether or pan-pipes or of recorders, and the light in the churchyard was so clear, without being dazzling, that you could have picked a pin out twenty yards away.

"There is something in this place," said the Wart. "There are people here. Oh, people, what do you want?"

Nobody answered him, but the music was loud and the light beautiful.”





T. H. White (29 mei 1906 – 17 januari 1964)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 29e mei ook
mijn vorige blog van vandaag.


André Brink, G. K. Chesterton, Leah Goldberg, Till Mairhofer, Hans Weigel, T. H. White, Bernard Clavel, Anne d'Orléans de Montpensier, Reinout Verbeke

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008.


Uit: Surprise Visit


“There is no one at the reception desk to welcome him. This suits him perfectly. One can only assess the standard of care-giving in an old-age home if they aren’t alerted to your coming. Even more important is that he wants to surprise her. He has something to tell her, something he has spent a lifetime looking for and which he must share with her. It is now almost two years since his last visit. One doesn’t feel good about these long intervals, but what else can one do? Princeton is not exactly round the corner from Cape Town. And, anyway, his sister Jolene is living right here in the city, close by, in Claremont, and since her husband’s death she hasn’t had much to occupy her. In any case, it isn’t as if Mum is really aware of what is going on around her. For at least three years now, since the last stroke, she has just been lying here. Waiting. For ‐ well. Still has some lucid moments, says Jolene, but fewer and further between. Hardly ever recognises anybody.

He goes through the reception area to the corridor, where he quickly makes sure that nobody is approaching from either end. Then, following Jolene’s instructions, he turns right. The last time he visited her was with his family, just before they left the country. Her room was to the left then, three doors down. But the home likes to shift them around. A change of scenery? Hardly. His own feeling is that the old people ‐ Mum, undoubtedly ‐ find these shifts deeply distressing. Every time it becomes a radical displacement. As bad as those moves in his youth, from one town to the next, as the bank authorities in their wisdom transferred them across the map of the country. Every time a new school, new friends, new teachers, new everything.”





André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)






De Engelse letterkundige, schrijver en journalist Gilbert Keith Chesterton werd geboren in Londen op 29 mei 1874. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008.


Uit: Father Brown. The Essential Tales


Between the silver ribbon of morning and the green glittering ribbon of sea, the boat touched Harwich and let loose a swarm of folk like flies, among whom the man we must follow was by no means conspicuous—nor wished to be. There was nothing notable about him, except a slight contrast between the holiday gaiety of his clothes and the official gravity of his face. His clothes included a slight, pale grey jacket, a white waistcoat, and a silver straw hat with a grey-blue ribbon. His lean face was dark by contrast, and ended in a curt black beard that looked Spanish and suggested an Elizabethan ruff. He was smoking a cigarette with the seriousness of an idler. There was nothing about him to indicate the fact that the grey jacket covered a loaded revolver, that the white waistcoat covered a police card, or that the straw hat covered one of the most powerful intellects in Europe. For this was Valentin himself, the head of the Paris police and the most famous investigator of the world; and he was coming from Brussels to London to make the greatest arrest of the century.
Flambeau was in England. The police of three countries had tracked the great criminal at last from Ghent to Brussels, from Brussels to the Hook of Holland; and it was conjectured that he would take some advantage of the unfamiliarity and confusion of the Eucharistic Congress, then taking place in London. Probably he would travel as some minor clerk or secretary connected with it; but, of course, Valentin could not be certain; nobody could be certain about Flambeau.

It is many years now since this colossus of crime suddenly ceased, keeping the world in a turmoil; and when he ceased, as they said after the death of Roland, there was a great quiet upon the earth. But in his best days (I mean, of course, his worst) Flambeau was a figure as statuesque and international as the Kaiser. Almost every morning the daily paper announced that he had escaped the consequences of one extraordinary crime by committing another. He was a Gascon of gigantic stature and bodily daring; and the wildest tales were told of his outbursts of athletic humour; how he turned the juge d’instruction upside down and stood him on his head, “to clear his mind”; how he ran down the Rue de Rivoli with a policeman under each arm.“





G. K. Chesterton (29 mei 1874 - 14 juli 1936)






De Hebreeuwse dichteres, schrijfster en letterkundige Leah Goldberg werd geboren in Königsberg (Pruisen) op 29 mei 1911. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008.





He who carried my golden autumn,
Swept away my blood with the leaf fall,
He who shall see my spring when it returns
To him with the turning of the year.


My brother, the river, who is forever lost,
New each day and different and one,
My brother the stream between his two shores
Who flows as I do between spring and fall.


For I am the bud and I am the fruit,
I am my future and I am my past,
I am the solitary tree trunk,
And you — you are my time and my song.







To where will the stream carry my small face?
Why is he tearing my eyes?
My home is far away in a pine grove,
Sad is the swishing of my pines.


The river seduced me with a joyous song
Caroled and called me by my name,
I went to him, following the sound,
I abandoned my mother's house.

I am her only child, tender in years
And a cruel river is before me —
To where is he carrying my small face?
Why is he tearing my eyes?






Leah Goldberg (29 mei 1911 –  15 januari 1970)






De Oostenrijkse dichter, schrijver en uitgever Till Mairhofer werd geboren op 29 mei 1958 in Steyr. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2008.





w o h i n
sich die wortlosen wenden
weiß auch die nacht nicht
die sie verliert

denn diese nacht
reicht für ihr dunkel nicht aus
auch ist kein morgen
welcher sie ruft

fliehend erhellt
von der gegenwart schein
stürzen sie
durch die zeit





Till Mairhofer (Steyr, 29 mei 1958)






De Oostenrijkse schrijver en theatercriticus Hans Weigel werd geboren op 29 mei 1908 in Wenen. De jaren tussen 1938 en 1945 bracht hij door in ballingschap in Zwitserland. Samen met Friedrich Torberg was hij jarenlang verantwoordelijk voor een boycot van Bertold Brecht in de Oostenrijkse theaters omdat hij diens communistische wereldbeschouwing afwees. Tussen 1951 en 1954 gaf hij een serie bloemlezingen uit, waarin hij jonge schrijvers als Ingeborg Bachmann en Gerhard Fritsch introduceerde.


Uit: Niemandsland


“Österreich nimmt den Untergang Österreichs nicht zur Kenntnis. Man hört hier auch schon das verhängnisvolle Wort vom "kleineren Übel", das in Deutschland geprägt worden ist, so lange, bis die Betonung von dem "kleiner" unerheblich immer mehr auf "Übel" gewechselt hatte, so lange, bis das Übel unversehens immer grösser und schliesslich das ganz grosse geworden war. Peter versucht vergeblich darzutun, dass man jedes Übel bekämpfen müsse, ob es nun kleiner oder grösser sei.

Peter kann solche Gespräche nicht mehr hören. Es ist gespenstisch, höllisch, dass man hier das selbe erleben muss wie draussen, einen Staat auf dem selben Weg in den Untergang sehen und ein Volk die selben selbstbetrügerischen Phrasen dazu sagen hören muss, ohne dass man helfen kann, ja ohne dass der dokumentarische Hinweis dieser Gleichartigkeit auch nur zur Kenntnis genommen wird.

Peter fühlt sich erschöpft und völlig leer. Alles, was er, seit er denken kann, erlebt hat, alle Enttäuschung, alle Fragwürdigkeit seiner Existenz und der letzten Tage zumal, alles steigt auf, wächst unerträglich in ihm an und höhlt ihn aus. Kein Erlebnis kann ihn aus dieser Hoffnungslosigkeit reissen, was immer geschieht, wird sie nur bestätigen, falls es unerfreulich, wird sie doppelt grausam machen, wenn es erfreulich ist.”




Hans Weigel (29 mei 1908 – 12 augustus 1991)






De Engelse schrijver Terence Hanbury (Tim) White werd geboren op 29 mei 1906 in Bombay (Mombai). Hij studeerde in Cheltenham en Cambridge. Hij is bekend geworden met zijn verhalenepos rond Koning Arthur, The Once and Future King, voor het eerst gepubliceerd in 1958. Het is in het Nederlands vertaald door Max Schuchart onder de titel "Arthur, Koning voor eens en altijd". Een ander boek van White is "The Goshawk" (1951), een roman over het temmen en trainen van een havik voor de valkenjacht, gebaseerd op echte gebeurtenissen.


Uit: The Once and Future King


“When God had manufactured all the eggs out of which the fishes and the serpents and the birds and the mammals and even the duck-billed platypus would eventually emerge, He called the embryos before him, and saw that they were good.

Perhaps I ought to explain,' added the badger, lowering his papers nervously and looking at Wart over the top of them, 'that all embryos look very much the same. They are what you are before you are born - and, whether you are going to be a tadpole or a peacock or a cameleopard or a man, when you are an embryo you just look like a peculiarly repulsive and helpless human being. I continue as follows:

The embryos stood in front of God, with their feeble hands clasped politely over their stomachs and their heavy heads hanging down respectfully, and God addressed them.”




T. H. White (29 mei 1906 – 17 januari 1964)






De Franse schrijver Bernard Charles Henri Clavel werd geboren op 29 mei 1923 in Lons-le-Saunier. Clavel is een autodidact die diverse baantjes had totdat hij in de jaren vijftig als journalist begon te werken. Na de oorlog werkte hij voor een verzekering en pas in 1964 kon hij zich geheel wijden aan het schrijven. Zijn eerste roman L'Ouvrier de la nuit verscheen in 1956.


Uit: Les roses de Verdun


« Ce soir-là, j'ai senti qu'il serait plus convenable de ma part de laisser mes patrons en famille. Vers sept heures, j'ai demandé si je pouvais disposer.

- Mais il faut que vous mangiez, Laubier, a tonné Monsieur. Vous n'allez pas me laisser tomber. C'est indigne d'un poilu!

- Je n'ai pas faim, Monsieur, et j'aimerais aller au cinéma. J'ai vu qu'on donne Les gueux au paradis. J'aime bien Fernandel et Raimu.

Monsieur m'a lancé:

- C'est parfait, mon petit. Mais n'allez pas courir la gueuse. Ça ne mène pas au paradis et je veux vous avoir en forme demain matin.

Je crois qu'ils ont compris que je me retirais par discrétion et apprécié mon attitude.

Il ne pleuvait plus. Il faisait beaucoup plus froid. Une bise aigre prenait la rue en enfilade. Le cinéma n'était pas loin, mais j'étais très en avance. Je suis entré dans un café où j'ai bu un canon de rouge en mangeant une curieuse petite tarte salée achetée dans la charcuterie voisine. Il n'y avait pas grand monde dans ce bistro. Seulement des habitués. Ils parlaient au patron, gros homme rouge qui boitait bas. Quatre vieux jouaient aux cartes en se chamaillant. Quand le patron m'a servi, il a regardé ma boutonnière.

- Alors, on vient revoir les anciens?

Il m'a demandé dans quel régiment j'avais servi, j'ai répondu, et deux hommes sont entrés, qu'il a rejoints. J'étais soulagé qu'il me laisse tranquille. Il ne pouvait pas mieux dire quand il parlait de revoir les anciens. Depuis que j'avais quitté l'hôtel, ils étaient tous après moi, mes copains. Surtout les morts. C'était curieux, car ils ne faisaient pratiquement rien. Ils se contentaient d'être des visages sous des képis ou des casques. Et sous pas mal de boue brune aussi. »




Bernard Clavel (Lons-le-Saunier, 29 mei 1923)






De Franse schrijfster Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, hertogin van Montpensier, werd geboren op 29 mei 1627 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007.




“Le commencement du malheur de ma maison arriva peu après ma naissance (29 mai 1627), puisqu'elle fut suivie de la mort de ma mère 1 : ce qui a bien diminué de la bonne fortune que le rang que je tiens me devoit faire attendre. Les grands biens que ma mère a laissés à sa mort, et dont je suis seule héritière, pouvoient bien, dans l'opinion de la plupart du monde, me consoler de l'avoir perdue. Pour moi, qui conçois aujourd'hui de quel avantage m'auroient été ses soins dans mon éducation, et son crédit, joint à sa tendresse, dans mon établissement, je ne saurois assez regretter sa perte.

Bientôt après qu'elle fut morte, on fit ma maison, et l'on me donna un équipage bien plus grand que n'en a jamais eu aucune fille de France, même pas une de mes tantes, les reines d'Espagne2 et d'Angleterre3 et la duchesse de Savoie4, avant que d'être mariées. La reine, ma grand'mère5, me donna pour gouvernant madame la marquise de Saint-Georges6, de qui le mari étoit de la maison de Clermont d'Amboise ; elle étoit fille de madame la marquise de Montglat, qui avoit été gouvernant du feu roi, de Monsieur, de feu mon oncle7 le duc d'Orléans, et de toutes mes tantes ; et c'étoit une personne de beaucoup de vertu, d'esprit et de mérite, qui connoissoit parfaitement bien la cour. »




Anne d'Orléans de Montpensier
(29 mei 1627 – 5 april 1693)






Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:


De Vlaamse dichter Reinout Verbeke werd geboren in 1981. Hij won al heel jong de Anton Van Wilderodeprijs en daarna nog diverse prijzen. Gedichten van hem werden opgenomen in tijdschriften als  Dietsche Warande en Belfort, Gierik, De Brakke Hond, KFV-Mededelingen, Ambrozijn  en in de bloemlezing " Op het oog. 21 dichters voor de 21e eeuw ".  Hij is de organisator van het poëziefestival Literaire Living en treedt sinds 2007 onder de naam Reinout met Nevenwerking op met muziek en poëzie.  Professioneel werkt hij bij het maandblad EOS, waarvan hij enkele jaren eindredacteur is geweest en nu ' Nieuwscoördinator on line'





ik heb een zwemster in mijn lijf

ze peddelt traag mijn lichaam


tikt randen die geen randen zijn

maar volgehouden



bloedgeil word ik daarvan

ze is mijn onderhuidse gast

ze is een zenuw op de tast

een axon zonder plan


zwemmen is niet het water


maar altijd verliezen van


ik heb een zwemster in mijn lijf


ze zwom de gedachte los

aan een rand, spoelde aan in een






Reinout Verbeke (1981)




André Brink, G. K. Chesterton, Leah Goldberg, Till Mairhofer, Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007.


Uit: The blue door


“‘A strange book,’ she says without looking at me. ‘I don’t think it’s entirely convincing, but it’s very disturbing.’ Now she settles squarely on her back and turns her head to look at me. ‘In the key episode of the story the young Japanese woman – what’s her name?’ She flips through a few pages. ‘Yes: Miu. She gets stuck at the top of a Ferris wheel at a fair in the middle of the night. And when she looks around, she discovers that she can see into her own apartment in the distance. And there’s a man in there, a man who has recently tried to get her into bed. While Miu is looking at him, she sees a woman with him. And the woman is she herself, Miu. It is a moment so shocking that her black hair turns white on the spot.’ Her black eyes look directly into mine. ‘Can you imagine a thing like that happening? Shifting between dimensions, changing places with herself…?’

‘I think that happens every day,’ I say with a straight face.

‘What do you mean?’

‘When one makes love. Don’t you think that’s a way of changing places with yourself? The world becomes a different place. You are no longer the person you were before.’

‘You’re still an incorrigible romantic.’

I am not sure if that is meant as criticism, cynicism, or gentle approval.

‘Shall we try?’ I ask quietly. This time I put out my hand and fold it over the gentle roundness that moulds the angularity of her bare shoulder.

There is a tense moment. Everything, I realise, hinges on this. Everything. Not just the choice between yes or no, between making love or turning away, but who we are, where we are, what we are, what may become of us.

At least she doesn’t make an attempt to turn away. A moment later, with a small sigh, she closes her eyes. I take the book from her and put it aside. Then I kiss her shoulder.

‘David,’ she says, as if it is not a name but the introduction to something longer and more complicated. Monologue, soliloquy, poem, reminiscence, memoir, prophecy. Or all of it together. But whatever the rest might be, is left unspoken.

I push myself up on an elbow and pull the sheet from her. She is wearing a very thin cotton nightdress, full-length, but rucked up to her thighs. I bend over, down, to kiss her knees. She utters a small sound and raises her hips so that I can pull the nightdress up to bare her pubic mound. It is very small and dense, smooth as a sable paintbrush; I touch it with the tip of my tongue.

I speak her name as she has spoken mine. But I have no idea of what it means. ‘Sarah.’ I do not even recognise my voice.

And so we move through the undulations of our lovemaking, reaching out to a necessary conclusion. But it continues to elude us, staying just beyond our reach.

Exhausted, covered in sweat, my throat parched, my fingers numb, I remain a dead weight on her, my face in the fragrance of her hair.

You are my wife, I think. You are my wife. But who are you? Who am I?…”




André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)





De Engelse letterkundige, schrijver en journalist Gilbert Keith Chesterton werd geboren in Londen op 29 mei 1874. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007.


Uit: The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare


The Two Poets of Saffron Park

The suburb of Saffron Park lay on the sunset side of London, as red and ragged as a cloud of sunset. It was built of a bright brick throughout; its skyline was fantastic, and even its ground plan was wild. It had been the outburst of a speculative builder, faintly tinged with art, who called its architecture sometimes Elizabethan and sometimes Queen Anne, apparently under the impression that the two sovereigns were identical. It was described with some justice as an artistic colony, though it never in any definable way produced any art. But although its pretensions to be an intellectual centre were a little vague, its pretensions to be a pleasant place were quite indisputable. The stranger who looked for the first time at the quaint red houses could only think how very oddly shaped the people must be who could fit in to them. Nor when he met the people was he disappointed in this respect. The place was not only pleasant, but perfect, if once he could regard it not as a deception but rather as a dream. Even if the people were not “artists,” the whole was nevertheless artistic. That young man with the long, auburn hair and the impudent face—that young man was not really a poet; but surely he was a poem. That old gentleman with the wild, white beard and the wild, white hat—that venerable humbug was not really a philosopher; but at least he was the cause of philosophy in others That scientific gentleman with the bald, egg-like head and the bare, bird-like neck had no real right to the airs of science that he assumed. He had not discovered anything new in biology; but what biological creature could he havediscovered more singular than himself? Thus, and thus only, the whole place had properly to be regarded; it had to be considered not so much as a workshop for artists, but as a frail but finished work of art. A man who stepped into its social atmosphere felt as if he had stepped into a written comedy”.




G. K. Chesterton (29 mei 1874 - 14 juli 1936)




De Hebreeuwse dichteres, schrijfster en letterkundige Leah Goldberg werd geboren in Königsberg (Pruisen) op 29 mei 1911. Zie ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007.


The Shortest Journey


Tel Aviv, 1935


The flagpoles on the roofs of homes

were like the masts of Columbus’s ship

and each crow that perched on them                           

conjured another continent.                


Travelers’ knapsacks walked through the streets

and the language of a foreign land

was thrust like the cold blade of a knife

into the hot desert wind.


How did the air of that small city

find a way to bear                                        

memories of childhood, lovers shed,                 

rooms emptied somewhere?                                         


Like pictures blackening inside a camera,

clear winter nights were reversed,                                 

with rainy summers across the sea,                        

and foggy mornings of capital cities.


As the sound of marching behind your back

drums a foreign army’s songs,

it seems, as you turn your head to the sea,                   

your city’s church is floating.





An Evening in a Café


The city’s in the colored coat

of awnings over balconies,

clear wine shining in lanterns

and light in the drinks blurring.


Scraps of a squabble and a rush

of chatter, cutlery. High in the sky,

lights have erased from the blackboard       

an old accounting of the stars.


Short-tempered and severe,

the sea behind our backs

tracks and charts our beating hearts

in a secret pact with my watch.                          


Only the very young can grasp

the value and meaning of time,

with its nights gone astray                  

and all we give away                

each moment vainly passing. 


And like an incredible nightmare

there across the street, an old

man passes, slowly:

he has no reason to hurry.





Rainy Autumn Night and a Clear Morning


Into a dark, opaque night

whose alleys

only the jackals know,

the city was thrown:


dressed in white,


from lashes of rain,

the rebuke of thunder,                       

an old sea’s stolen caress.              


Our little city

together with us                                                            

and our lives—


but the bright morning opened her prison        

and here—


black circles beneath her damp lashes—                         

white she is, and not fair

without a past or prideful air—

how beautiful was her youth!





Leah Goldberg (29 mei 1911 –  15 januari 1970)







De Oostenrijkse dichter, schrijver en uitgever Till Mairhofer werd geboren op 29 mei 1958 in Steyr. Als zestienjarige al bracht de jonge kunstenaar in zijn geboortestad Nestroys sprookje Der Veschwender op de planken. Tegenwoordig schrijft hij gedichten, romans, verhalen en essays. Ook is hij mede-oprichter van uitgeverij „Edition Wehrgraben“. Als docent ziet hij zich zelf als literatuurpedagoog en verzorgt hij literaire wandelingen en theatervoorstellingen op school.



an optimisten


wir haben wirklich alles
was wir brauchen
wir brauchen nichts
wir sind wirklich alles
was wir sind
denn wir sind nichts

ein blick
in die sterne genügt
und alles ist klar




morgen auch abend lied


dieser april
immer wieder ein schnee da
runter die knospen
platzen nicht auf


kein thema hier
zulande derzeit


nur die amseln
schon unermüdlich am first
singen zum kometen
der untergeht







Till Mairhofer (Steyr, 29 mei 1958)




Zie voor onderstaande schrijfster ook mijn blog van 29 mei 2007.


De Franse schrijfster Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, hertogin van Montpensier, werd geboren op 29 mei 1627 in Parijs.




André Brink, G. K. Chesterton, Leah Goldberg, Anne d'Orléans de Montpensier

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. In de jaren '60 van de vorige eeuw was hij samen met Breyten Breytenbach een sleutelfiguur in de Afrikaanse literaire beweging die bekend werd onder de naam "de Zestigers". De tot deze beweging behorende schrijvers gebruikten het Afrikaans als taal om te ageren tegen de apartheid in Zuid-Afrika. Sommige boeken van André Brink werden door het apartheidsregime gecensureerd. Dientengevolge heeft Brink zijn eigen uitgeverij opgericht onder de naam Taurus, welke uitgeverij de boeken direct naar de lezers stuurde. De bekendste roman van André Brink is waarschijnlijk 'n Droë wit seisoen/A Dry White Season, doordat het boek is verfilmd.

In het begin van Brinks schrijverschap hadden de boeken met name betrekking op de politiek van de apartheid. Zijn recentere werk geldt als postkoloniaal. André Brink heeft drie maal de belangrijkste Zuid-Afrikaanse literatuurprijs gewonnen, de CNA Award. Ook is hij twee maal genomineerd voor de Booker Prize, te weten in 1976 en 1978. In 1980 ontving hij de Martin Luther King Prize en in Frankrijk de Prix Médicis Étranger.


Uit: De bidsprinkhaan


‘Cupido Kakkerlak werd niet op de gewone manier uit zijn moeders lichaam geboren, maar uitgebroed uit de verhalen die ze vertelde. Deze verhalen namen vele vormen aan. Volgens een ervan was zijn moeder een maagd, smalletjes en dun als een riem, en had iedereen pas in de gaten dat ze zwanger was toen de nietige boreling ter wereld kwam. In een andere versie was ze juist zichtbaar en kolossaal zwanger, een bizar lange tijd, wel drie tot vier jaar, voordat de berg een muis baarde.’



André Brink (Vrede, 29 mei 1935)


De Engelse letterkundige, schrijver en journalist Gilbert Keith Chesterton werd geboren in Londen op 29 mei 1874. Hij verdedigde in zijn geschriften de waardigheid van de menselijke persoon tegen alle mogelijke 'ismen'. Zijn scherpe, met humor geladen aanvallen bezorgden hem grote populariteit, maar ook talrijke vijanden. Hij is ook de auteur van Father Brown.

Chesterton is "de prins van de paradox” genoemd. Hij schreef een nonchalant, geestig proza dat afgeladen was met verbluffende formuleringen.Hij is een van de weinige christelijke schrijvers die evenveel bewonderd en geciteerd wordt door vrijzinnige als conservatieve christenen en ook door veel niet-christenen. De religieuze en politieke opvattingen van Chesterton zelf waren trouwens zo genuanceerd dat ze niet goed onder de vrijzinnige of conservatieve vlag onder te brengen zijn.


Uit: The innocence of Father Brown


“If I have in any degree conveyed the atmosphere of this appalling hotel, the reader may feel a natural wonder as to how I came to know anything about it, and may even speculate as to how so ordinary a person as my friend Father Brown came to find himself in that golden galley. As far as that is concerned, my story is simple, or even vulgar. There is in the world a very aged rioter and demagogue who breaks into the most refined retreats with the dreadful information that all men are brothers, and wherever this leveller went on his pale horse it was Father Brown's trade to follow. One of the waiters, an Italian, had been struck down with a paralytic stroke that afternoon; and his Jewish employer, marvelling mildly at such superstitions, had consented to send for the nearest Popish priest. With what the waiter confessed to Father Brown we are not concerned, for the excellent reason that that cleric kept it to himself; but apparently it involved him in writing out a note or statement for the conveying of some message or the righting of some wrong. Father Brown, therefore, with a meek impudence which he would have shown equally in Buckingham Palace, asked to be provided with a room and writing materials. Mr. Lever was torn in two. He was a kind man, and had also that bad imitation of kindness, the dislike of any difficulty or scene. At the same time the presence of one unusual stranger in his hotel that evening was like a speck of dirt on something just cleaned. There was never any borderland or anteroom in the Vernon Hotel, no people waiting in the hall, no customers coming in on chance. There were fifteen waiters. There were twelve guests. It would be as startling to find a new guest in the hotel that night as to find a new brother taking breakfast or tea in one's own family. Moreover, the priest's appearance was second-rate and his clothes muddy; a mere glimpse of him afar off might precipitate a crisis in the club.”



G. K. Chesterton (29 mei 1874 - 14 juli 1936)


De Hebreeuwse dichteres, schrijfster en letterkundige Leah Goldberg werd geboren in Königsberg (Pruisen) op 29 mei 1911.Ze woonde later in Kaunas (Litouwen) en studeerde aldaar en in Duitsland, waarbij ze zich toelegde op filosofie en Semitische talen. Zij studeerde af aan de Universiteit van Bonn in 1933, vlak voordat ze vertrok naar het toenmalig Britse mandaatgebied Palestina in 1935. Aanvankelijk werkte ze als literair adviseur voor het nationale theater Habimah en als redactrice voor uitgeverij Sifriat Hapo'aliem ('de arbeidersbibliotheek'). In 1954 werd ze hoogleraar literatuur aan de Hebreeuwse Universiteit van Jeruzalem. Vanaf 1963 was ze het hoofd van het departement van vergelijkende literatuur aan dezelfde universiteit.




Here I will not hear the voice of the cuckoo.
Here the tree will not wear a cape of snow.
But it is here in the shade of these pines
my whole childhood reawakens.

The chime of the needles: Once upon a time –
I called the snow-space homeland,
and the green ice at the river's edge -
was the poem's grammar in a foreign place.

Perhaps only migrating birds know -
suspended between earth and sky -
the heartache of two homelands.

With you I was transplanted twice,
with you, pine trees, I grew -
roots in two disparate landscapes.





Your picture is so calm.  You are other:

Proud, a bit, and embarrassed at being - my mother.

Accompanying me with a tear and a yielding smile

You never ask: "Who?"


You never wondered, never raged, when I came

To you daily demanding: "I need!"

With your own hands you gave all

Only because I am - me.


More than I, you remember today

My childhood's sorrows, and what your soul knew then:

The day your grown daughter would come to you,

She would bring with her grief that had grown up too.


Yes.  I'll come broken, and not ask how you are.

I'll not cry in your arms, not whisper: "Mama!"

You'll know then:

        He who left me was dearer to me than you,

And you'll never ask: "Who?"




Vertaald door Rachel Tzvia Back





Leah Goldberg (29 mei 1911 –  15 januari 1970)


De Franse schrijfster Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, hertogin van Montpensier, werd geboren op 29 mei 1627 in Parijs. Zij was de erfgename van een rijk hertogdom en na de dood van haar moeder niet alleen de welvarendste vrouw van Frankrijk, maar ook de vrouw met de hoogste rang in Frankrijk, na de koningin. Zij kreeg de bijnaam La Grande Mademoiselle. Diverse keren verzette zij zich tegen huwelijksplannen die zowel haar ouders als de koninklijke familie voor haar beraamden. Tweemaal werd zij in de ban gedaan. Pas toen zij 57 was kon zij eindelijk trouwen met de man van haar keuze, maar het huwelijk bleek niet het gedroomde paradijs en na drie jaar scheidde zij weer. In haar laatste levensjaren wijdde zij zich aan het voltooien van haar memoires, waarmee zij dertig jaar eerder begonnen was en die na haar dood in 1729 in Amsterdam werden uitgegeven. Deze bestrijken een groot deel van het leven en de regeerperiode van Lodewijk XIV.




«  La cour étoit fort agréable alors : les amours du roi pour madame de Hautefort,1 qu'il tâchoit de divertir tous les jours, y contribuoient beaucoup. La chasse étoit un des plus grands plaisirs du roi ; nous y allions souvent avec lui : madame de Beaufort [sc. Hautefort(?)], Chemeraut2 et Saint-Louis, filles de la reine, d'Escars,3 sœur de madame de Hautefort, et Beaumont4 venoient avec moi. Nous étions toutes vêtues de couleur, sur de belles haquenées richement caparaçonnées, et, pour se garantir du soleil, chacune avoit un chapeau garni de quantité de plumes. L'on disposoit toujours la chasse du côté de quelques belles maisons, où l'on trouvoit de grandes collations, et au retour le roi se mettoit dans mon carrosse entre madame de Hautefort et moi. Quand il étoit de belle humeur, il nous entretenoit fort agréablement de toutes choses. Il souffroit dans ce temps-là qu'on lui parlât avec assez de liberté du cardinal de Richelieu ; et une marque que cela ne lui déplaisoit pas, c'est qu'il en parloit lui-même ainsi. »



Anne d'Orléans de Montpensier
(29 mei 1627 – 5 april 1693)