19-01-18

Julian Barnes, Bert Natter, Edgar Allen Poe, Edwidge Danticat, Patricia Highsmith, Marie Koenen, Gustav Meyrink, Eugénio de Andrade, Thomas Gsella

 

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook alle tags voor Julian Barnes op dit blog.

Uit: Nothing to Be Frightened Of

“The change from teeth to dentures struck my brother and me as both grave and ribald. But my grandmother's life had contained another enormous change, never alluded to in her presence. Nellie Louisa Machin, daughter of a labourer in a chemical works, had been brought up a Methodist; while the Scoltocks were Church of England. At some point in her young adulthood, my grandmother had suddenly lost her faith and, in the smooth narration of family lore, found a replacement: socialism. I have no idea how strong her religious faith had been, or what her family's politics were; all I know is that she once stood for the local council as a socialist and was defeated. By the time I knew her, in the 1950s, she had progressed to being a communist. She must have been one of the few old-age pensioners in suburban Buckinghamshire who took the Daily Worker and—so my brother and I insisted to one another—fiddled the housekeeping to send donations to the newspaper's Fighting Fund.
In the late 1950s, the Sino-Soviet Schism took place, and com-munists worldwide were obliged to choose between Moscow and Peking. For most of the European faithful, this was not a difficult decision; nor was it for the Daily Worker, which received funding as well as directives from Moscow. My grandmother, who had never been abroad in her life, who lived in genteel bungalowdom, decided for undisclosed reasons to throw in her lot with the Chinese. I welcomed this mysterious decision with blunt selfinterest, since her Worker was now supplemented by China Reconstructs, a heretical magazine posted direct from the distant continent. Grandma would save me the stamps from the biscuity envelopes. These tended to celebrate industrial achievement—bridges, hydroelectric dams, lorries rolling off production lines—or else show various breeds of dove in peaceful flight.
My brother did not compete for such offerings, because some years previously there had been a Stamp-Collecting Schism in our home. He had decided to specialize in the British Empire. I, to assert my difference, announced that I would therefore specialize in a category which I named, with what seemed like logic to me, Rest of the World. It was defined solely in terms of what my brother didn't collect. I can no longer remember if this move was aggressive, defensive, or merely pragmatic. All I know is that it led to some occasionally baffling exchanges in the school stamp club among philatelists only recently out of short trousers. "So, Barnesy, what do you collect?" "Rest of the World."

 
Julian Barnes (Leicester, 19 januari 1946)
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19-01-17

Julian Barnes, Bert Natter, Edgar Allen Poe, Edwidge Danticat, Patricia Highsmith, Marie Koenen, Gustav Meyrink, Eugénio de Andrade, Thomas Gsella

 

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook alle tags voor Julian Barnes op dit blog.

Uit:Het tumult van de tijd (Vertaald door Ronald Vlek)

“Het gebeurde midden in de oorlog, op een perron, even vlak en stoffig als de eindeloze steppe die het omringde. De wachtende trein was twee dagen geleden uit Moskou vertrokken, in westelijke richting; nog twee of drie dagen te gaan, afhankelijk van kolenvoorraad en troepenbewegingen. Het was kort na zonsopgang, maar de man – in werkelijkheid maar een halve man – was al bezig zich op een platte lorrie met houten wielen naar de slaaprijtuigen te stuwen. Er was geen andere manier om het geval voort te bewegen dan aan de voorkant te wrikken, en om te voorkomen dat hij zijn evenwicht verloor had hij een touw onder de lorrie door gehaald en door zijn broeksband gestoken. De handen van de man waren omzwachteld met smerige repen stof en zijn huid was gehard door het bedelen op straten en stations.
Zijn vader was een overlevende geweest van de vorige oorlog. Hij was vertrokken met de zegen van de dorpspriester om te gaan vechten voor het vaderland en de tsaar. Toen hij terug was gekomen waren de priester en de tsaar inmiddels verdwenen, en was zijn vaderland niet meer hetzelfde geweest. Zijn vrouw had gegild toen ze zag wat de oorlog met haar man had gedaan. Nu woedde er opnieuw een oorlog, en was dezelfde indringer weer terug, al waren de namen veranderd; de namen aan beide kanten.
Maar verder was er niets veranderd: jonge mannen werden nog steeds door kanonnen aan flarden geschoten en vervolgens door chirurgen ruw opengesneden. Zijn eigen benen waren afgezet in een veldhospitaal te midden van kapotgeschoten bomen. Allemaal voor een hoger doel, zoals dat de vorige keer ook het geval was geweest. Het liet hem koud. Laat anderen daar maar over twisten; zijn enige zorg was het einde halen van de volgende dag. Hij was verworden tot een techniek om te overleven. Beneden een bepaald niveau werden alle mannen dat: een techniek om te overleven.
Enkele passagiers waren uitgestapt om zich even te vertreden in de stoffige lucht; andere zaten met hun gezicht voor de ramen van de rijtuigen. Terwijl de bedelaar naderbij kwam, hief hij luidkeels een obsceen soldatenlied aan. Sommige passagiers zouden hem misschien een paar kopeken toewerpen als dank voor het vertier; andere hem betalen om zich te verwijderen.”

 

 
Julian Barnes (Leicester, 19 januari 1946)

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19-01-16

Julian Barnes, Edgar Allen Poe, Edwidge Danticat, Patricia Highsmith, Marie Koenen, Gustav Meyrink

 

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook alle tags voor Julian Barnes op dit blog.

Uit: Levels of Life

“You put together two things that have not been put together before; and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Pilâtre de Rozier, the first man to ascend in a fire balloon, also planned to be the first to fly the Channel from France to England. To this end he constructed a new kind of aerostat, with a hydrogen balloon on top, to give greater lift, and a fire balloon beneath, to give better control. He put these two things together, and on the 15th of June 1785, when the winds seemed favourable, he made his ascent from the Pas-de-Calais. The brave new contraption rose swiftly, but before it had even reached the coastline, flame appeared at the top of the hydrogen balloon, and the whole, hopeful aerostat, now looking to one observer like a heavenly gas lamp, fell to earth, killing both pilot and co-pilot.
You put together two people who have not been put together before; and sometimes the world is changed, sometimes not. They may crash and burn, or burn and crash. But sometimes, something new is made, and then the world is changed. Together, in that first exaltation, that first roaring sense of uplift, they are greater than their two separate selves. Together, they see further, and they see more clearly.
Of course, love may not be evenly matched; perhaps it rarely is. To put it another way: how did those besieged Parisians of 1870-71 get replies to their letters? You can fly a balloon out from the Place St.-Pierre and assume it will land somewhere useful; but you can hardly expect the winds, however patriotic, to blow it back to Montmartre on a return flight. Various stratagems were proposed: for example, placing the return correspondence in large metal globes and floating them downstream into the city, there to be caught in nets. Pigeon post was a more obvious idea, and a Batignolles pigeon fancier put his dovecote at the authorities' disposal: a basket of birds might be flown out with each siege balloon, and return bearing letters. But compare the freight capacity of a balloon and a pigeon, and imagine the weight of disappointment. According to Nadar, the solution came from an engineer who worked in sugar manufacture. Letters intended for Paris were to be written in a clear hand, on one side of the paper, with the recipient's address at the top. Then, at the collecting station, hundreds of them would be laid side by side on a large screen and photographed. The image would be micrographically reduced, flown into Paris by carrier pigeon, and enlarged back to readable size..”

 

 
Julian Barnes (Leicester, 19 januari 1946)

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19-01-14

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

 

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook alle tags voor Julian Barnes op dit blog.

Uit: The Sense of an Ending

„I remember, in no particular order:
– a shiny inner wrist;
– steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;
– gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house;
– a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams;
– another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;
– bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door. This last isn’t something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.
We live in time – it holds us and moulds us – but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I’m not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing – until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.

***

I’m not very interested in my schooldays, and don’t feel any nostalgia for them. But school is where it all began, so I need to return briefly to a few incidents that have grown into anecdotes, to some approximate memories which time has deformed into certainty. If I can’t be sure of the actual events any more, I can at least be true to the impressions those facts left. That’s the best I can manage.
There were three of us, and he now made the fourth. We hadn’t expected to add to our tight number: cliques and pairings had happened long before, and we were already beginning to imagine our escape from school into life. His name was Adrian Finn, a tall, shy boy who initially kept his eyes down and his mind to himself. For the first day or two, we took little notice of him: at our school there was no welcoming ceremony, let alone its opposite, the punitive induction. We just registered his presence and waited.”

 

 
Julian Barnes (Leicester, 19 januari 1946)

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19-01-13

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

 

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook alle tags voor Julian Barnes op dit blog.

 

Uit: Alsof het voorbij is (Vertaald door Ronald Vlek)

 

“We waren met zijn drieën, en nu was hij er als vierde bij gekomen. We hadden niet verwacht ons vaste aantal ooit nog uit te breiden: kliek- en paarvorming hadden al lang geleden plaatsgevonden, en wij begonnen onze ontsnapping van school naar leven al voor ons te zien. Hij heette Adrian Finn, een lange, verlegen jongen die in het begin zijn ogen neergeslagen en zijn ideeën voor zich hield. De eerste dagen namen we weinig notitie van hem: onze school kende geen welkomstceremonieel, laat staan het andere uiterste: de ontgroening. We registreerden slechts zijn aanwezigheid en wachtten af.
De leraren waren meer in hem geïnteresseerd dan wij. Ze moesten zijn intelligentie en werkhouding peilen, uitvinden hoe hij hiervoor les had gehad, en of hij mogelijk ‘studiebeurswaardig’ zou blijken. Op de derde ochtend van dat najaarstrimester hadden we geschiedenis van Ouwe Joe Hunt, droogkomisch innemend in zijn driedelig pak, een leraar wiens systeem van orde berustte op het in stand houden van voldoende maar niet buitensporige landerigheid.
‘Jullie weten nog dat ik jullie gevraagd heb alvast iets te lezen over het koningschap van Hendrik VIII.’ Colin, Alex en ik loerden even naar elkaar, in de hoop dat de vraag niet, zoals de uitgeworpen kunstvlieg van een hengelaar, op een van onze hoofden zou neerdalen. ‘Wie zou die periode eens willen karakteriseren?’ Hij trok zijn eigen conclusies uit onze afgewende blikken. ‘Marshall misschien. Hoe zou jij het koningschap van Hendrik viii willen omschrijven?’
Onze opluchting was groter dan onze nieuwsgierigheid, want Marshall was een voorzichtig stuk onbenul dat de inventiviteit van de ware onwetendheid miste. Hij zocht eerst naar mogelijk verborgen haken en ogen in de vraagstelling voordat hij ten slotte ergens een antwoord wist op te diepen.”

 

 

Julian Barnes (Leicester, 19 januari 1946)

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19-01-12

Edgar Allen Poe, Julian Barnes, Edwidge Danticat, Gustav Meyrink, Eugénio de Andrade, Patricia Highsmith, Marie Koenen

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Edgar Allen Poe werd geboren op 19 januari 1809 in Boston. Zie ook alle tags voor Edgar Allen Poe op dit blog

 

Uit: The Gold Bug

 

„Many years ago I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want. To avoid the mortification consequent upon his disasters, he left New Orleans, the city of his forefathers, and took up his residence at Sullivan's Island, near Charleston, South Carolina.

This Island is a very singular one. It consists of little else than the sea sand, and is about three miles long. Its breadth at no point exceeds a quarter of a mile. It is separated from the main land by a scarcely perceptible creek, oozing its way through a wilderness of reeds and slime, a favorite resort of the marsh-hen. The vegetation, as might be supposed, is scant, or at least dwarfish. No trees of any

magnitude are to be seen. Near the western extremity, where Fort Moultrie stands, and where are some miserable frame buildings, tenanted, during summer, by the fugitives from Charleston dust and fever, may be found, indeed, the bristly palmetto; but the whole island, with the exception of this western point and a line of hard white beach on the sea-coast, is covered with a dense undergrowth of the sweet myrtle so much prized by the horticulturists of England. The shrub here often attains the height of fifteen or twenty feet, and forms an almost impenetrable coppice, burthening the air with its fragrance.

In the inmost recesses of this coppice, not far from the eastern or more remote end of the island, Legrand had built himself a small hut, which he occupied when I first, by mere accident, made his acquaintance. This soon ripened into friendship — for there was much in the recluse to excite interest and esteem. I found him well educated, with unusual powers of mind, but infected with misanthropy, and subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy. He had with him many books, but rarely employed them.”

 

 


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

 

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19-01-11

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

 

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

 

Uit: The Black Cat

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

Portret door de moderne Duitse schilder Anton Henning

 

 

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19-01-10

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


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

 

Uit: The Oval Portrait Analysis

 

Long- long I read- and devoutly, devotedly I gazed. Rapidly and gloriously the hours flew by and the deep midnight came. The position of the candelabrum displeased me, and outreaching my hand with difficulty, rather than disturb my slumbering valet, I placed it so as to throw its rays more fully upon the book.
But the action produced an effect altogether unanticipated. The rays of the numerous candles (for there were many) now fell within a niche of the room which had hitherto been thrown into deep shade by one of the bed-posts. I thus saw in vivid light a picture all unnoticed before. It was the portrait of a young girl just ripening into womanhood. I glanced at the painting hurriedly, and then closed my eyes. Why I did this was not at first apparent even to my own perception. But while my lids remained thus shut, I ran over in my mind my reason for so shutting them. It was an impulsive movement to gain time for thought- to make sure that my vision had not deceived me- to calm and subdue my fancy for a more sober and more certain gaze. In a very few moments I again looked fixedly at the painting.
That I now saw aright I could not and would not doubt; for the first flashing of the candles upon that canvas had seemed to dissipate the dreamy stupor which was stealing over my senses, and to startle me at once into waking life.
The portrait, I have already said, was that of a young girl. It was a mere head and shoulders, done in what is technically termed a vignette manner; much in the style of the favorite heads of Sully. The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow which formed the back-ground of the whole. The frame was oval, richly gilded and filigreed in Moresque. As a thing of art nothing could be more admirable than the painting itself. But it could have been neither the execution of the work, nor the immortal beauty of the countenance, which had so suddenly and so vehemently moved me. Least of all, could it have been that my fancy, shaken from its half slumber, had mistaken the head for that of a living person. I saw at once that the peculiarities of the design, of the vignetting, and of the frame, must have instantly dispelled such idea- must have prevented even its momentary entertainment. Thinking earnestly upon these points, I remained, for an hour perhaps, half sitting, half reclining, with my vision riveted upon the portrait. At length, satisfied with the true secret of its effect, I fell back within the bed. I had found the spell of the picture in an absolute life-likeliness of expression, which, at first startling, finally confounded, subdued, and appalled me. With deep and reverent awe I replaced the candelabrum in its former position. The cause of my deep agitation being thus shut from view, I sought eagerly the volume which discussed the paintings and their histories. Turning to the number which designated the oval portrait, I there read the vague and quaint words which follow:
"She was a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee. And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter.”

 

 

 

 

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

Portret door Eric Allshouse

 

 

 

 

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.

 

Uit: East Wind

 

„The previous November, a row of wooden beach huts, their paintwork lifted and flaked by the hard east wind, had burned to the ground. The fire brigade came from twelve miles away, and had nothing to do by the time it arrived. “YOBS ON RAMPAGE,” the local paper decided, though no culprit was ever found. An architect from a more fashionable part of the coastline told the regional TV news that the huts had been part of the town’s social heritage and must be rebuilt. The council announced that it would consider all options, but since then had done nothing. Vernon had moved to the town only a few months before, and had no feelings about the beach huts. If anything, their disappearance improved the view from the Right Plaice, where he sometimes had lunch. From a window table, he now looked out across a strip of concrete to damp shingle, a bored sky, and a lifeless sea. That was the east coast: for months on end you got bits of bad weather and lots of no weather. This was fine by him: he’d moved here to have no weather in his life.

“You are done?”

He didn’t look up at the waitress. “All the way from the Urals,” he said, still gazing at the long, flat sea.

“Pardon?”

“Nothing between here and the Urals. That’s where the wind comes from. Nothing to stop it. Straight across all those countries.” Cold enough to freeze your knob off, he might have added in other circumstances.

“Oorals,” she repeated. As he caught the accent, he looked up at her. A broad face, streaked hair, chunky body, and not doing any waitressy number in hope of a bigger tip. Must be one of those Eastern Europeans who were all over the country nowadays. Building trade, pubs and restaurants, fruit picking. Came over here in vans and coaches, lived in rabbit warrens, made themselves a bit of money. Some stayed; some went home. Vernon didn’t mind one way or the other. That’s what he found more often than not these days: he didn’t mind one way or the other.“



 

julian_barnes
Julian Barnes (Leicester,  19 januari 1946)

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Edwidge Danticat werd geboren in Port-au-Prince op Haïti op 19 januari 1969. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.

 

Uit: Brother, I'm Dying

 

On Sunday, October 24, 2004, nearly two months after he left New York, Uncle Joseph woke up to the clatter of gunfire. There were blasts from pistols, handguns, automatic weapons, whose thundering rounds sounded like rockets. It was the third of such military operations in Bel Air in as many weeks, but never had the firing sounded so close or so loud. Looking over at the windup alarm clock on his bedside table, he was startled by the time, for it seemed somewhat lighter outside than it should have been at four thirty on a Sunday morning.
During the odd minutes it took to reposition and reload weapons, you could hear rocks and bottles crashing on nearby roofs. Taking advantage of the brief reprieve, he slipped out of bed and tiptoed over to a peephole under the staircase outside his bedroom. Parked in front of the church gates was an armored personnel carrier, a tank with mounted submachine guns on top. The tank had the familiar circular blue and white insignia of the United Nations peacekeepers and the letters UN painted on its side. Looking over the trashstrewn alleys that framed the building, he thought for the first time since he’d lost Tante Denise that he was glad she was dead. She would have never survived the gun blasts that had rattled him out of his sleep. Like Marie Micheline, she too might have been frightened to death.
He heard some muffled voices coming from the living room below, so he grabbed his voice box and tiptoed down the stairs. In the living room, he found Josiane and his grandchildren: Maxime, Nozial, Denise, Gabrielle and the youngest, who was also named Joseph, after him. Léone, who was visiting from Léogâne, was also there, along with her brothers, Bosi and George.”

 

 

 

 

danticat_edwidge
Edwidge Danticat (Port-au-Prince, 19 januari 1969)

 

 

 

 

 

De Oostenrijkse schrijver Gustav Meyrink werd op 19 januari 1868 te Wenen geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.

 

Uit: Walpurgisnacht

 

„Ein Hund schlug an.

Einmal. Ein zweitesmal.

Dann lautlose Stille, als ob das Tier in die Nacht hinein horche, was geschehen werde.

»Mir scheint, der Brock hat gebellt«, sagte der alte Baron Konstantin Elsenwanger, »wahrscheinlich kommt der Herr Hofrat.«

»Das ist doch, meiner Seel’, kein Grund nicht zum Bellen «, warf die Gräfin Zahradka, eine Greisin mit schneeweißen Ringellocken, scharfer Adlernase und buschigen Brauen über den großen, schwarzen, irrblickenden Augen, streng hin, als ärgere sie sich über eine solche Ungebührlichkeit, und mischte einen Stoß Whistkarten noch schneller, als sie es ohnehin bereits eine halbe Stunde hindurch getan

hatte.

»Was macht er eigentlich so den ganzen, lieben Tag lang?« fragte der Kaiserliche Leibarzt Taddäus Flugbeil, der mit seinem klugen, glattrasierten, faltigen Gesicht über dem altmodischen Spitzenjabot wie ein schemengleicher Ahnherr der Gräfin gegenüber in einem Ohrenstuhl kauerte, die unendlich

langen, dürren Beine affenhaft fast bis zum Kinn emporgezogen.

Den »Pinguin« nannten ihn die Studenten auf dem Hradschin und lachten immer hinter ihm drein, wenn er Schlag 12 Uhr mittags vor dem Schloßhof in eine geschlossene Droschke stieg, deren Dach erst umständlich auf- und wieder zugeklappt werden mußte, bevor seine fast 2 Meter hohe Gestalt

darin Platz gefunden hatte. – Genau so kompliziert war der Vorgang des Aussteigens, wenn der Wagen sodann einige hundert Schritt weiter vor dem Gasthaus »Zum Schnell« halt machte, wo der Herr Kaiserliche Leibarzt mit ruckweisen vogelhaften Bewegungen ein Gabelfrühstück aufzupicken

pflegte. – –

»Wen meinst du«, fragte der Baron Elsenwanger zurück, – »den Brock oder den Herrn Hofrat?«

»Den Herrn Hofrat natürlich. Was macht er so den ganzen Tag?«

»No. Er spielt sich halt mit den Kindern in den Choteks- Anlagen.«

»Mit ›die‹ Kinder«, verbesserte der Pinguin.

»Er – spielt – sich – mit – denen – Kindern«, fiel die Gräfin verweisend ein und betonte jedes Wort mit Nachdruck. Die beiden alten Herrn schwiegen beschämt.“

 

 

 

 

Gustav_Meyrink
Gustav Meyrink (19 januari 1868 – 4 december 1932)

 

 

 

 

 

De Portugese dichter Eugénio de Andrade (eig. José Fontinhas) werd geboren op 19 januari 1923 in Póvoa de Atalaia. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2009.

 

 

 

Silence

 

When tenderness

seems tired at last of its offices

 

and sleep, that most uncertain vessel,

still delays,

 

when blue bursts from

your eyes

 

and searches

mine for steady seamanship,

 

then it is I speak to you of words

desolate, derelict,

 

transfixed by silence.

 

 

 

 

Fruit

 

Peaches, pears, oranges,

strawberries, cherries, figs,

apples, melon, honey dew,

oh, music of my senses,

pure pleasure of the tongue;

let me speak now

of fruit that fascinate,

with the flavour, with the hues,

with the fragrance of their syllables:

oh tangerine, oh tangerine.

 

 

 

 

Vertaald door Alexis Levitin

 

 

 

andrade
Eugénio de Andrade (19 januari 1923 – 13 juni 2005)

 

 

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 19e januari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.

19-01-09

Edgar Allen Poe, Julian Barnes, Patricia Highsmith, Edwidge Danticat, Thomas Gsella, Paul-Eerik Rummo, Eugénio de Andrade, Marie Koenen, Gustav Meyrink


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

 

 

The Raven (fragment)

 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
” ‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more.”

 

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,.
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,
Nameless here forevermore.

 

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
” ‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more.”

 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you.” Here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there, and nothing more.

 

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word,
Lenore?, This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word,
“Lenore!” Merely this, and nothing more.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

De Engelse schrijver Julian Barnes werd geboren op 19 januari 1946 in Leicester. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2008.

 

Uit: Nothing to Be Frightened Of

 

„I don't believe in God, but I miss Him. That's what I say when the question is put. I asked my brother, who has taught philosophy at Oxford, Geneva, and the Sorbonne, what he thought of such a statement, without revealing that it was my own. He replied with a single word: "Soppy."
The person to begin with is my maternal grandmother, Nellie Louisa Scoltock, nee Machin. She was a teacher in Shropshire until she married my grandfather, Bert Scoltock. Not Bertram, not Albert, just Bert: so christened, so called, so cremated. He was a headmaster with a certain mechanical dash to him: a motorcycle-and-sidecar man, then owner of a Lanchester, then, in retirement, driver of a rather pompously sporty Triumph Roadster, with a three-person bench seat in front, and two bucket seats when the top was down. By the time I knew them, my grandparents had come south to be near their only child. Grandma went to the Women's Institute; she pickled and bottled; she plucked and roasted the chickens and geese that Grandpa raised. She was petite, outwardly unopinionated, and had the thickened knuckles of old age; she needed soap to get her wedding ring off. Their wardrobe was full of home-knitted cardigans, Grandpa's tending to feature more masculine cable stitch. They had regular appointments with the chiropodist, and were of that generation advised by dentists to have all their teeth out in one go. This was a normal rite of passage then: from being rickety-gnashered to fully porcelained in one leap, to all that buccal sliding and clacking, to social embarrassment and the foaming glass on the bedside table.

 

 

 

 

JulianBarnes
Julian Barnes (
Leicester,  19 januari 1946)

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Uit: Der talentierte Mr Ripley (Vertaald door Melanie Walz)

 

“Das erste Risiko und das Schlimmste, was ihm passieren konnte, war die Möglichkeit, dass er unter Freddies Gewicht zusammenbrach, bevor er den Wagen erreichte. Er hatte sich vorgenommen, auf der Treppe nicht innezuhalten, und er tat es nicht. Niemand kam aus einer der Wohnungen, niemand kam zur Haustür herein. Während der Stunden des Wartens hatte Tom Folterqualen gelitten bei der Vorstellung, was alles geschehen könnte – dass Signora Buffi oder ihr Ehemann aus ihrer Wohnung kamen, während er gerade das Erdgeschoß erreichte, oder dass er ohnmächtig wurde und man ihn und Freddie nebeneinander reglos auf der Treppe fand oder dass er Freddie nicht wieder hochzustemmen vermochte, nachdem er ihn abgesetzt hatte, um zu verschnaufen –, und er hatte sich all das so lebhaft ausgemalt und sich dabei vor Entsetzen gewunden, dass er nun, als er die Treppe bewältigt hatte, ohne eine einzige seiner Befürchtungen wahr werden zu sehen, den Eindruck gewann, er stehe unter einem überirdischen Schutz und bewege sich deshalb trotz des enormen Gewichts auf seinen Schultern mit verblüffender Leichtigkeit.”

 

 

 

 

Pat_highsmith
Patricia Highsmith (19 januari 1921 - 4 februari 1995)

 

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Edwidge Danticat werd geboren in Port-au-Prince op Haïti op 19 januari 1969. Zij verhuisde op twaalfjarige leeftijd naar de Verenigde Staten. Haar debuutroman Adem, ogen, herinnering werd direct een bestseller, en daarna publiceerde zij onder andere de roman De dauwbreker. Danticat werd door Granta uitverkoren tot een van de twintig beste jonge Amerikaanse schrijvers. In 1999 ontving ze de American Book Award. Vaarwel, broer werd door de National Book Critics Circle Critics bekroond als de beste autobiografie van 2007. Danticat woont in Miami met haar man en dochter.

 

Uit: The Dew Breaker

 

„My father is gone. I’m slouched in a cast-aluminum chair across from two men, one the manager of the hotel where we’re staying and the other a policeman. They’re both waiting for me to explain what’s become of him, my father.
The hotel manager—mr. flavio salinas, the plaque on his office door reads—has the most striking pair of chartreuse eyes I’ve ever seen on a man with an island Spanish lilt to his voice.
The police officer, Officer Bo, is a baby-faced, short, white Floridian with a potbelly.
"Where are you and your daddy from, Ms. Bienaimé?" Officer Bo asks, doing the best he can with my last name. He does such a lousy job that, even though he and I and Salinas are the only people in Salinas’ office, at first I think he’s talking to someone else.
I was born and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and have never even been to my parents’ birthplace. Still, I answer "Haiti" because it is one more thing I’ve always longed to have in common with my parents.
Officer Bo plows forward with, "You all the way down here in Lakeland from Haiti?"
"We live in New York," I say. "We were on our way to Tampa."
"To do what?" Officer Bo continues. "Visit?"
"To deliver a sculpture," I say. "I’m an artist, a sculptor."
I’m really not an artist, not in the way I’d like to be. I’m more of an obsessive wood-carver with a single subject thus far—my father.“

 

 

 

danticat
Edwidge Danticat (Port-au-Prince, 19 januari 1969)

 

 

 

 

 

De Duitse dichter en satiricus Thomas Gsella werd geboren op 19 januari 1958 in Essen. Van 1992 tot 2008 werkte hij als redacteur en hoofdredacteur voor het datirische tijdschrift Titanic. Daarnaast schreef en schrijft hij voor verschillende kranten en tijdschriften.  Hij staat vooral bekend als schrijver van komische gedichten. In 2004 kreeg hij de Joachim-Ringelnatz-Preis.

 

 

Der Lehrer

 

Der Lehrer geht um sieben raus

Und ruft vier Stunden: „Leiser!“

Um kurz nach eins ist er zuhaus:

Nicht ärmer, aber heiser.

Bis vier fläzt er im Kanapee

Mit Sekt und Stör und Brötchen.

Dann nimmt er’s Taxi hin zum See,

Dort steht sein Segelbötchen.

Er legt sich rein und gibt sich hin

Und schaukelt bis zum Morgen.

So ist sein Leben frei von Sinn,

Von Arbeit und von Sorgen.

 

 

 

 

 

Vater und Kind

 

Ahm... ähh... Papa-a?“

„Ja, mein Kind?“

„Wenn von frühlingsgrünen Zweigen

zitternd sich zur Sonne neigen

zarte junge Frühlingsrosen;

Wenn statt grauer Winterlüfte

frühlingsbunte Frühlingsdüfte

streichelnd unsre Sinne kosen –

Steckt anstelle Herbst und Winter

da vielleicht der Frühling hinter?“

„Kannst Du die Frage noch mal wiederholen?"

 

 

 

 

Gsella
Thomas Gsella (Essen,19 januari 1958)

 

 

 

 

 

De Estlandse dichter, schrijver en politicus Paul-Eerik Rummo werd geboren op 19 januari 1942 in Tallinn. Van 1959 tot 1965 studeerde hij literatuurwetenschap aan de universiteit van Tartu, waarna hij bij verschillende theaters werkte. Tegenwoordig is hij zelfstandig schrijver en vertaler. Daarnaast werkt hij als politicus en zit hij in het parlement van Estland. Hij was ook al tweemaal minister.

 

 

Crooning

I am so fleeting
sighed the girl to the sea
oh, what can I do
you are eternal

I am transparent like you
sighed the girl to the window
oh, what can I do
my heart’s in full view

I open like you
sighed the girl to the door
oh, what can I do
the sun steps in

I am so small
sighed the girl to the sun
oh, what can I do
you are so large

I am so foolish
sighed the girl to the wise man
of, what can I do
everyone is so wise

***

The world did not invade my soul, it seeped into it
it did not break into my heart, it ate into it.
It spent long wakeful nights in the corner of my room,
a radiance round its head like a halo.
Did it want to comfort or torment me,
deliberately trimming the wick of my sleep-lamp?
Lull me? Rile me? Soothe me? Upset me?
Bind me in any way? Did it even want
anything at all? Perhaps at an hour
when my pupils shrank to pinpoints,
it entered like a passer-by in search of shelter,
rested a while, then sensing it was time to go,
braced itself and left without further ado –
as simply as it had come.
It left me to breathe its uncloying kindness,
its unbiting freshness¸ a steady flame –
a fire that does not destroy; a colourful sobriety;
a voice that is everywhere a brother, a sister;
a vivid indifference; wholeness is indeed
one – only one – oneness.

 

 

 

 

 

Rummo
Paul-Eerik Rummo (Tallinn, 19 januari 1942)

 

 

 

 

 

De Portugese dichter Eugénio de Andrade (eig. José Fontinhas) werd geboren op 19 januari 1923 in Póvoa de Atalaia. Toen hij in de jaren dertig in Lissabon woonde begon hij gedichten te schrijven en de eerste bundel verscheen in 1942. In 1946 kwam de doorbraak met As Mãos e os Frutos. Daarna volgden er nog meer gedichten, proza en vertalingen van Federico García Lorca. In 2001 ontving hij de hoogste literaire prijs, de Prémio Camões.

 

 

Penniless Lovers

 

 

They had faces open to whoever passed.

They had legends and myths

and a chill in the heart.

They had gardens where the moon strolled

hand in hand with the water.

They had an angel of stone for a brother.

 

They had like everyone

the miracle of every day

dripping from the roofs;

and golden eyes

glowing with a wilderness of dreams.

 

They were hungry and thirsty like animals,

and there was silence

around their steps.

But at every gesture they made,

a bird was born from their fingers

and, dazzled, vanished into space.

 

 

 

 

Animals

 

Far off I see my docile animals.

They are tall and their manes are burning.

They run, searching for a spring,

and sniff the purple among broken rushes.

 

Slowly they drink the very shade.

Now and then they lift their heads.

They gaze in profile, happy almost

at the lightness of the air.

 

They place their muzzles close beside your loins,

where the body’s grass is most confused,

and like a creature basking in the sun,

slowly they breathe, soothed and calm.

 

 

 

 

Vertaald door Alexis Levitin

 

 

 

 

Andrade
Eugénio de Andrade (19 januari 1923 - 13 juni 2005)

 

 

 

 

 

De Nederlandse schrijfster Marie Koenen werd geboren in ’s-Hertogenbosch op 19 januari 1879. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 januari 2008.

 

Uit: Een eenvoudige ziel van Gustave Flaubert, vertaald door Marie Koenen

 

„Mevrouw Aubain had een knappen jongen getrouwd zonder geld, die in 't begin van 1809 stierf, haar twee heel jonge kinderen nalatend en veel schulden. Ze verkocht toen haar vaste goederen, op de hoeve van Toucques en de hoeve van Geffosses na, die hoogstens 5,000 franken rente opbrachten, en ze verliet haar huis te Saint-Melaine voor een voordeeliger, dat had toebehoord aan haar familie en gelegen was achter de hallen. Dit huis, met zijn leien dak, lag tusschen een open gang en een steegje, uitloopend op de rivier. Binnen struikelde men er over het hoog-en-laag der ongelijke vloeren. Een enge vestibuul scheidde de keuken van de zaal, waar mevrouw Aubain den dag lang

in een rieten fauteuil bij het openslaand raam zat. Tegen het wit geverfde beschot stonden in een rij acht mahoniehouten stoelen.

Een oude piano torste, onder een barometer, een pyramide van opeengestapelde bussen en kartonnen doozen. Twee trijpen armzetels stonden ter weerszijden van den geel marmeren schoorsteen in stijl Louis XV. De pendule, in het midden, stelde een vestaalschen tempel voor,--en heel het vertrek rook wat duf, daar de plankenvloer lager lag dan de tuin.“

 

 

 

 

Koenen
Marie Koenen  (19 januari 1879 - 11 juli 1959)

 

 

 

 

 

De Oostenrijkse schrijver Gustav Meyrink werd op 19 januari 1868 te Wenen geboren als Gustav Meyer, onwettige zoon van de jonge actrice Maria Meyer en baron Varnbüler von und zu Hemmingen, toentertijd een reeds op leeftijd zijnde, gehuwde minister te Würtemberg. Tot aan zijn dood in 1932 bestond zijn leven uit een aaneenschakeling van opvallende, mysterieuze en soms zelfs turbulente gebeurtenissen. Hij was bankier in Praag, werkte tevens als vertaler van werken van Rudyard Kipling en Charles Dickens en verhuisde in 1911 naar Starnberg, waar hij ook stierf. In 1927 bekeerde hij zich van het christendom naar het Boeddhisme. Meyrink schreef fantastische of magisch realistische vertellingen over buitenzintuiglijke fenomenen en de metafysische zin van het leven (Der Golem, Das Grüne Gesicht, Der weiße Dominikaner).

 

Uit: Der Golem

 

Die Hände gefesselt, hinter mir ein Gendarm mit aufgepflanztem Bajonett, mußte ich durch die abendlich beleuchteten Straßen gehen.

Gassenjungen zogen in Scharen johlend links und rechts mit, Weiber rissen die Fenster auf, drohten mit Kochlöffeln herunter und schimpften hinter mir drein.

Schon von weitem sah ich den massigen Steinwürfel des Gerichtsgebäudes mit der Inschrift auf dem Giebel herannahen:

»Die strafende Gerechtigkeit ist die Beschirmung aller Braven.«

Dann nahm mich ein riesiges Tor auf und ein Flurzimmer, in dem es nach Küche stank.

Ein vollbärtiger Mann mit Säbel, Beamtenrock und -mütze, barfuß und die Beine in langen, um die Knöchel zusammengebundenen Unterhosen, stand auf, stellte die Kaffeemühle, die er zwischen den Knien hielt, weg und befahl mir, mich auszuziehen.

Dann visitierte er meine Taschen, nahm alles heraus, was er darin fand, und fragte mich, ob ich - Wanzen hätte.

Als ich verneinte, zog er mir die Ringe von den Fingern und sagte, es sei gut, ich könnte mich wieder ankleiden.

Man führte mich mehrere Stockwerke hinauf und durch Gänge, in denen vereinzelt große, graue, verschließbare Kisten in den Fensternischen standen.

Eiserne Türen mit Riegelstangen und kleinen, vergitterten Ausschnitten, über jedem eine Gasflamme, zogen sich in ununterbrochener Reihe die Wand entlang.

Ein hünenhafter, soldatisch aussehender Gefangenwärter –das erste ehrliche Gesicht seit Stunden - sperrte eine der Türen auf, schob mich in eine dunkle, schrankartige, pestilenzialisch stinkende Öffnung und schloß hinter mir ab.

Ich stand in vollkommener Finsternis und tappte mich zurecht.

Mein Knie stieß an einen Blechkübel.

Endlich erwischte ich - der Raum war so eng, daß ich mich kaum umdrehen konnte - eine Klinke, und stand in - einer Zelle.“

 

 

 

Gustav-Meyrink
Gustav Meyrink (19
januari 1868 – 4 december 1932)