09-11-16

Ivan Toergenjev, Jens Christian Grøndahl, Erika Mann, Jan Decker, Roger McGough, Anne Sexton, Michael Derrick Hudson

 

De Russische schrijver Ivan Sergejevitsj Toergenjev werd geboren op 9 november 1818 in Orjol, in de Oekraïne. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Ivan Toergenjev op dit blog.

Uit: Fathers and sons (vertaling Richard Hare)

"The peasants have given me a lot of trouble this year," went on Nikolai Petrovich, turning to his son. "They won't pay their rent. What is one to do?"
"And are you satisfied with your hired laborers?"
"Yes," said Nikolai Petrovich between his teeth. "But they're being set against me, that's the worst of it, and they don't really work properly; they spoil the tools. However, they've managed to plough the land. We shall manage somehow--there will be enough flour to go round. Are you starting to be interested in agriculture?"
"What a pity you have no shade," remarked Arkady, without answering the last question.
"I have had a big awning put up on the north side over the veranda," said Nikolai Petrovich; "now we can even have dinner in the open air."
"Won't it be rather too like a summer villa? . . . But that's a minor matter. What air there is here! How wonderful it smells. Really it seems to me no air in the world is so sweetly scented as here! And the sky too . . ." Arkady suddenly stopped, cast a quick look behind him and did not finish his sentence.
"Naturally," observed Nikolai Petrovich, "you were born here, so everything is bound to strike you with a special----"
"Really, Daddy, it makes absolutely no difference where a person is born."
"Still----"
"No, it makes no difference at all."
Nikolai Petrovich glanced sideways at his son, and the carriage went on half a mile farther before their conversation was renewed.
"I forget if I wrote to you," began Nikolai Petrovich, "that your old nurse Yegorovna has died."
"Really? Poor old woman! And is Prokovich still alive?"
"Yes, and not changed a bit. He grumbles as much as ever. Indeed, you won't find many changes at Maryino."
"Have you still the same bailiff?"
"Well, I have made a change there. I decided it was better not to keep around me any freed serfs who had been house servants; at least not to entrust them with any responsible jobs." Arkady glanced towards Pyotr. "Il est libre en effet," said Nikolai Petrovich in an undertone, "but as you see, he's only a valet. My new bailiff is a townsman--he seems fairly efficient. I pay him 250 rubles a year. But," added Nikolai Petrovich, rubbing his forehead and eyebrows with his hand (which was always with him a sign of embarrassment), "I told you just now you would find no changes at Maryino, . . . That's not quite true . . . I think it my duty to tell you in advance, though . . . ."

 

 
Ivan Toergenjev (9 november 1818 – 3 september 1883)
Toergenjev als jager. Portret door Nikolai Dmitriev-Orenburgsky, 1879

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09-11-15

Ivan Toergenjev, Erika Mann, Jens Christian Grøndahl, Jan Decker, Roger McGough, Anne Sexton

 

De Russische schrijver Ivan Sergejevitsj Toergenjev werd geboren op 9 november 1818 in Orjol, in de Oekraïne. Zie ook mijn blog van 9 november 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Ivan Toergenjev op dit blog.

Uit: Virgin Soil (Vertaald door R. S. Townsend)

“At one o'clock in the afternoon of a spring day in the year 1868, a young man of twenty-seven, carelessly and shabbily dressed, was toiling up the back staircase of a five-storied house on Officers Street in St. Petersburg. Noisily shuffling his down-trodden goloshes and slowly swinging his heavy, clumsy figure, the man at last reached the very top flight and stopped before a half-open door hanging off its hinges. He did not ring the bell, but gave a loud sigh and walked straight into a small, dark passage.
“Is Nejdanov at home?” he called out in a deep, loud voice.
“No, he’s not. I’m here. Come in,” an equally coarse woman’s voice responded from the adjoining room.
“Is that Mashurina?” asked the newcomer.
“Yes, it is I. Are you Ostrodumov?
“Pemien Ostrodumov,” he replied, carefully removing his goloshes, and hanging his shabby coat on a nail, he went into the room from whence issued the woman’s voice.
It was a narrow, untidy room, with dull green coloured walls, badly lighted by two dusty windows. The furnishings consisted of an iron bedstead standing in a corner, a table in the middle, several chairs, and a bookcase piled up with books. At the table sat a woman of about thirty. She was bareheaded, clad in a black stuff dress, and was smoking a cigarette. On catching sight of Ostrodumov she extended her broad, redhand without a word. He shook it, also without saying anything, dropped into a chair and pulled a half-broken cigar out of a side pocket. Mashurina gave him a light, and without exchanging a single word, or so much as looking at one another, they began sending out long, blue puffs into the stuffy room, already filled with smoke.
There was something similar about these two smokers, al- though their features were not a bit alike. In these two slov- enly figures, with their coarse lips, teeth, and nose.
Ostrodumov was even pock-marked), there was something honest and firm and persevering.
“Have you seen Nejdanov?” Ostrodumov asked.
“Yes. He will be back directly. He has gone to the library with some books.”

 

 
Ivan Toergenjev (9 november 1818 – 3 september 1883)
Portret door Vasily Perov, 1872

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09-11-14

Jens Christian Grøndahl

 

De Deense schrijver Jens Christian Grøndahl werd geboren in Lyngby op 9 november 1959. Grøndahl studeerde filosofie van 1977 tot 1979. Zijn eerste boek, het realistisch geschreven “Kvinden i midten”, verscheen in 1985. Daarna volgden met regelmatige intervallen een vijftiental andere romans. Hij schreef daarnaast echter ook essays, toneelstukken en teksten voor de radio. Liefde, en de relaties van moderne koppels, vormen de leidende thema's in zijn werk, dat in binnen- en buitenland werd genomineerd voor, en bekroond met verschillende literaire prijzen. Zo ontving hij onder meer De Gyldne Laurbær voor zijn roman “Lucca” (in 1999) en stond hij met zijn boek “An altered light” in 2006 op de shortlist voor de International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Uit:An Altered Light (Vertaald door Anne Born)

“The tree trunks move in time with the rhythm of her rubber soles on the wet path, where the air is still cool after the night rain. The woodland floor is white with anemones; in one place, growing close to the roots of an ancient tree, they make her think of an old, wrinkled hand. She could go on and on without getting tired, without meeting anyone or thinking of anything in particular, and without coming to the edge of the woods. As if the town did not begin just behind the trees, the leafy suburb with its peaceful roads and its houses hidden behind close-trimmed hedges. She doesn't want to think about anything, and almost succeeds; her body is no more than a porous, pulsating machine. The sun breaks through the clouds as she runs back, its light diffused on the gravel drive and the magnolia in front of the kitchen window. His car is no longer parked beside hers, he must have left while she was in the woods.
He hadn't stirred when she rose, and she'd already been in bed when he came home late last night. She lay with her back turned, eyes closed, as he undressed, taking care not to wake her. She leans against one of the pillars of the garage and stretches, before emptying the mailbox and letting herself into the house. She puts the mail on the kitchen table. The little light on the coffeemaker is on; she switches it off. Not so long ago, she would have felt a stab of irritation or a touch of tenderness, depending on her mood. He always forgets to turn off that machine. She puts the kettle on, sprinkles tea leaves into the pot, and goes over to the kitchen window. She observes the magnolia blossoms, already starting to open. They'll have to talk about it, of course, but neither of them seems able to find the right words, the right moment.”

 

 
Jens Christian Grøndahl (Lyngby, 9 november 1959)

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