21-04-17

Charlotte Brontë, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Charles den Tex, Michael Mann, Peter Schneider, Meira Delmar, Alistair MacLean, Gerrit Wustmann

 

De Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816. Zie ook alle tags voor Charlotte Brontë op dit blog.

Uit: Villette

"In the autumn of the year  —  —  I was staying at Bretton; my godmother having come in person to claim me of the kinsfolk with whom was at that time fixed my permanent residence. I believe she then plainly saw events coming, whose very shadow I scarce guessed; yet of which the faint suspicion sufficed to impart unsettled sadness, and made me glad to change scene and society.
Time always flowed smoothly for me at my godmother's side; not with tumultuous swiftness, but blandly, like the gliding of a full river through a plain. My visits to her resembled the sojourn of Christian and Hopeful beside a certain pleasant stream, with "green trees on each bank, and meadows beautified with lilies all the year round." The charm of variety there was not, nor the excitement of incident; but I liked peace so well, and sought stimulus so little, that when the latter came I almost felt it a disturbance, and wished rather it had still held aloof.
One day a letter was received of which the contents evidently caused Mrs. Bretton surprise and some concern. I thought at first it was from home, and trembled, expecting I know not what disastrous communication: to me, however, no reference was made, and the cloud seemed to pass.
The next day, on my return from a long walk, I found, as I entered my bedroom, an unexpected change. In, addition to my own French bed in its shady recess, appeared in a corner a small crib, draped with white; and in addition to my mahogany chest of drawers, I saw a tiny rosewood chest. I stood still, gazed, and considered.
"Of what are these things the signs and tokens?" I asked. The answer was obvious. "A second guest is coming: Mrs. Bretton expects other visitors."
On descending to dinner, explanations ensued. A little girl, I was told, would shortly be my companion: the daughter of a friend and distant relation of the late Dr. Bretton's. This little girl, it was added, had recently lost her mother; though, indeed, Mrs. Bretton ere long subjoined, the loss was not so great as might at first appear.

 

 
Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)
Cover

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21-04-16

Charlotte Brontë, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Charles den Tex, Michael Mann, Peter Schneider, Gerrit Wustmann

 

De Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816. Zie ook alletags voor Charlotte Brontë op dit blog.

Uit: Jane Eyre

"Wake! wake!" I cried. I shook him, but he only murmured and turned: the smoke had stupefied him. Not a moment could be lost: the very sheets were kindling, I rushed to his basin and ewer; fortunately, one was wide and the other deep, and both were filled with water. I heaved them up, deluged the bed and its occupant, flew back to my own room, brought my own water-jug, baptized the couch afresh, and, by God's aid, succeeded in extinguishing the flames which were devouring it.
The hiss of the quenched element, the breakage of a pitcher which I flung from my hand when I had emptied it, and, above all, the splash of the shower-bath I had liberally bestowed, roused Mr. Rochester at last. Though it was now dark, I knew he was awake; because I heard him fulminating strange anathemas at finding himself lying in a pool of water.
"Is there a flood?" he cried.
"No, sir," I answered; "but there has been a fire: get up, do; you are quenched now; I will fetch you a candle."
"In the name of all the elves in Christendom, is that Jane Eyre?" he demanded. "What have you done with me, witch, sorceress? Who is in the room besides you? Have you plotted to drown me?"
"I will fetch you a candle, sir; and, in Heaven's name, get up. Somebody has plotted something: you cannot too soon find out who and what it is."
"There! I am up now; but at your peril you fetch a candle yet: wait two minutes till I get into some dry garments, if any dry there be--yes, here is my dressing-gown. Now run!"
I did run; I brought the candle which still remained in the gallery. He took it from my hand, held it up, and surveyed the bed, all blackened and scorched, the sheets drenched, the carpet round swimming in water.
"What is it? and who did it?" he asked. I briefly related to him what had transpired: the strange laugh I had heard in the gallery: the step ascending to the third storey; the smoke,--the smell of fire which had conducted me to his room; in what state I had found matters there, and how I had deluged him with all the water I could lay hands on.”

 

 
Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)
Mia Wasikowska als Jane Eyre in de gelijknamige film uit 2011

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21-04-15

Charlotte Brontë, Michael Mann, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Peter Schneider, Gerrit Wustmann

 

Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816. Zie ook alle tags voor Charlotte Brontë op dit blog.

Uit: The Correspondence of Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte's reply to Robert Southey
16 March 1837
“SIR, I cannot rest till I have answered your letter, even though by addressing you a second' time I should appear a little intrusive ; but I must thank you for the kind and wise advice you have condescended to give me. I had not ventured to hope for such a reply ; so considerate in its tone, so noble in its spirit. I must suppress what I feel, or you will think me foolishly enthusiastic-
At the first perusal of your letter I felt only shame and regret that I had ever ventured to trouble you with my crude rhapsody ; I felt a painful heat rise to my face when I thought of the quires of paper I had covered with what once gave me so much delight, but which now was only a source of confusion ; but after I had thought a little, and read it again and again, the prospect seemed to clear. You do not forbid me to write ; you do not say that what I write is utterly destitute of merit. You only warn me against the folly of neglecting real duties for the sake of imaginative pleasures ; of writing for the love of fame ; for the selfish excitement of emulation. You kindly allow me to write poetry for its own sake, provided I leave undone nothing which I ought to do, in order to fureue that single, absorbing, exquisite gratification, I am afraid, sir, you think me very foolish. I know the first letter I wrote to you was all senseless trash from beginning to end ; but I am not altogether the idle dreaming being it would seem to denote. My father is a clergyman of limited though competent income, and I am the eldest of his children. He expended quite as much in my education as he could afford in justice to the rest. I thought it therefore my duty, when I left school, to become a governess. In that capacity I find enough to occupy my thoughts all day long, and my head and hands too, without  having a moment's time for one dream of the imagination. In the evenings, I confess, I do think, but I never trouble any one else with my thoughts. I carefully avoid any appearance of pre- occupation and eccentricity, which might lead those I live amongst to suspect the nature of my pursuits. Following my father's advice who from my childhood has counselled me, just in the wise and friendly tone of your letter I have endeavoured not only attentively to observe all the duties a woman ought to fulfil, but to feel deeply interested in them. I don't always succeed, for sometimes when I'm teaching or sewing I would rather be reading or writing ; but I try to deny myself ; and my father's approbation amply rewarded me for the privation.
Once more allow me to thank you with sincere gratitude. I trust I shall never more feel ambitious to see my name in print ; if the wish should rise, I'll look at Southey's letter, and suppress it. It is honour enough for me that I have written to him, and received an answer. That letter is consecrated ; no one shall ever see it but papa and my brother and sisters. Again I thank you. This incident, I suppose, will be renewed no more ; if I live to be an old woman, I shall remember it thirty years hence as a bright dream. The signature which you suspected of being fictitious is my real name.

Again, therefore, I must sign myself C. BRONTE.”

 

 
Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)
Op een Engelse poster

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21-04-14

Charlotte Brontë, Michael Mann, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Gerrit Wustmann

 

Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816. Zie ook alle tags voor Charlotte Brontë op dit blog.

Uit: Shirley

“I allude to a rushing backwards and forwards, amongst themselves, to and from their respective lodgings: not a round--but a triangle of visits, which they keep up all the year through, in winter, spring, summer, and autumn. Season and weather make no difference; with unintelligible zeal they dare snow and hail, wind and rain, mire and dust, to go and dine, or drink tea, or sup with each other. What attracts them, it would be difficult to say. It is not friendship; for whenever they meet they quarrel. It is not religion; the thing is never named amongst them: theology they may discuss occasionally, but piety--never. It is not the love of eating and drinking: each might have as good a joint and pudding, tea as potent, and toast as succulent, at his own lodgings, as is served to him at his brother's. Mrs. Gale, Mrs. Hogg, and Mrs. Whipp--their respective landladies--affirm that "it is just for nought else but to give folk trouble." By "folk," the good ladies of course mean themselves; for indeed they are kept in a continual "fry" by this system of mutual invasion.
Mr. Donne and his guests, as I have said, are at dinner; Mrs. Gale waits on them, but a spark of the hot kitchen fire is in her eye. She considers that the privilege of inviting a friend to a meal occasionally, without additional charge (a privilege included in the terms on which she lets her lodgings), has been quite sufficiently exercised of late. The present week is yet but at Thursday, and on Monday, Mr. Malone, the curate of Briarfield, came to breakfast and stayed dinner; on Tuesday, Mr. Malone and Mr. Sweeting of Nunnely, came to tea, remained to supper, occupied the spare bed, and favoured her with their company to breakfast on Wednesday morning; now, on Thursday, they are both here at dinner, and she is almost certain they will stay all night.
"C'en est trop," she would say, if she could speak French. »

 

 
Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)
Cover

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21-04-13

Charlotte Brontë, Michael Mann, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Gerrit Wustmann

 

De Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816. Zie ook alle tags voor Charlotte Brontë op dit blog.

 

Uit: The Correspondence of Charlotte Brontë

 

Charlotte's reply to Robert Southey
16 March 1837

Sir—… At the first perusal of your letter I felt only shame and regret that I had ever ventured to trouble you with my crude rhapsody; I felt a painful heat rise to my face when I thought of the quires of paper I had covered with what once gave me so much delight, but which now was only a source of confusion; but after I had thought a little, and read it again and again, the prospect seemed to clear. You do not forbid me to write. You only warn me against the folly of neglecting real duties for the sake of imaginative pleasures; of writing for the love of fame... You kindly allow me to write poetry for its own sake, provided I leave undone nothing which I ought to do, in order to pursue that single, absorbing, exquisite gratification. . .
Following my father's advice—who from my childhood has counselled me, just in the wise and friendly tone of your letter—I have endeavoured not only attentively to observe all the duties a woman ought to fulfill, but to feel deeply interested in them. I don't always succeed, for sometimes when I'm teaching or sewing I would rather be reading or writing; but I try to deny myself; and my father's approbation amply rewarded me for the privation. Once more allow me to thank you with sincere gratitude. I trust I shall never more feel ambitious to see my name in print; if the wish should rise, I'll look at Southey's letter, and suppress it.”

 

 

 

Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)

Portret door haar broer Patrick Branwell Brontë

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21-04-12

Charlotte Brontë, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Peter Schneider, María Elena Cruz Varela

 

De Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816. Zie ook alle tags voor Charlotte Brontë op dit blog.

 

Uit: Jane Eyre

 

„This was a demoniac laugh-low, suppressed, and deep-uttered, as it seemed, at the very keyhole of my chamber door. The head of my bed was near the door, and I thought at first the goblin-laugher stood at my bedside- or rather, crouched by my pillow: but I rose, looked round, and could see nothing; while, as I still gazed, the unnatural sound was reiterated: and I knew it came from behind the panels. My first impulse was to rise and fasten the bolt; mynext, again to cry out, ‘Who is there?’ Something gurgled andmoaned. Ere long, steps retreated up the gallery towards the third- storey staircase: a door had lately been made to shut in that staircase; I heard it open and close, and all was still.
‘Was that Grace Poole? and is she possessed with a devil?’ thought I. Impossible now to remain longer by myself: I must go to Mrs.Fairfax. I hurried on my frock and a shawl; I withdrew the bolt and opened the door with a trembling hand. There was a candle burning just outside, and on the matting in the gallery. I was surprised at this circumstance: but still more was I amazed to perceive the air quite dim, as if filled with smoke; and, while looking to the right hand and left, to find whence these blue wreaths issued, I became further aware of a strong smell of burning.
Something creaked: it was a door ajar; and that door was Mr.Rochester’s, and the smoke rushed in a cloud from thence. I thought no more of Mrs. Fairfax; I thought no more of Grace Poole,or the laugh: in an instant, I was within the chamber. Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire. In the midst of blaze and vapour, Mr. Rochester lay stretched motionless, in deep sleep.“

 

 

Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)

 

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21-04-11

Charlotte Brontë, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Peter Schneider, María Elena Cruz Varela

 

 

Bij Witte Donderdag



Het laatste avondmaal door Vicente Juan Macip (1475– 1545)

 



Het Laatste Avondmaal (door María Elena Cruz Varela *)


De lucht ruikt duidelijk naar rampspoed. Ik speel met kaarten
die niet van mij zijn. Aan mijn rechterkant. Stijfjes. De Heilige Familie.
Als een strop om mijn nek. Mij omringend. Mij verstikkend.
En zij zijn zó zwaar. God. En zij doen mij zó'n pijn. En zij verlammen mij
met hun pathetische gezichten. Hun nobele gebaren. Onder hun lichte masker
en hun zwijgzaamheid vermoed ik zwarte plekken. De lucht ruikt naar mest.
Angstaanjagende heksensabbat die de zintuigen afstompt. En het doet zo pijn. God.
En zij drukken hun stempel van opgewonden hemelbewakers op ons.
De lucht voert geuren van messen aan na de ochtendstond te hebben doorkliefd.
De lucht ruikt naar schanddaad, Naar eenzaam kind. Naar grijs. Naar warme as.
De lucht ruikt nar avondmaal. Oneindig. Treurig. Natgeworden brood
van het laatste avondmaal. En zij drukken zo. God.
Het bestek dat in het krijtstaat, schraapt zo over de huid.
Ze genieten onverstoorbaar van jouw bloeddruppels die zich mengen met de wijn.
De lucht ruikt naar namen. Naar tijdloze namen. Voorspellers vereeuwigen de vrede in de vensters.
Aan mijn rechterkant. Eeuwig. Levert de Heilige Familie strijd om de resten
van de zoon die ik niet was. En zij krabben zo. God. En zij vinden zichzelf zo fantastisch.
De wind draait. Draagt de dobbelstenen met behulp van verbazing.
Het scherp van zijn blad snijdt de hoop af. De lucht ruikt naar roest.
Naar duidelijke rampspoed. En ik weet dat ik speel. God. En ik weet dat ik mezelf
voor de gek hou.

 

 

Vertaald door Mariolein Sabarte Belacortu

 

 

* Zie „Onafhankelijk van geboortedata“

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21-04-10

Charlotte Brontë, Patrick Rambaud, John Mortimer, Peter Schneider, Michael Mann, Meira Delmar, Népomucène Lemercier, Jamie McKendrick, Alistair MacLean


De Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816.

 

Uit: Villette

 

„My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town of Bretton. Her husband's family had been residents there for generations, and bore, indeed, the name of their birthplace—Bretton of Bretton: whether by coincidence, or because some remote ancestor had been a personage of sufficient importance to leave his name to his neighbourhood, I know not.

When I was a girl I went to Bretton about twice a year, and well I liked the visit. The house and its inmates specially suited me. The large peaceful rooms, the well-arranged furniture, the clear wide windows, the balcony outside, looking down on a fine antique street, where Sundays and holidays seemed always to abide--so quiet was its atmosphere, so clean its pavement--these things pleased me well.

One child in a household of grown people is usually made very much of, and in a quiet way I was a good deal taken notice of by Mrs. Bretton, who had been left a widow, with one son, before I knew her; her husband, a physician, having died while she was yet a young and handsome woman.

She was not young, as I remember her, but she was still handsome,  tall, well-made, and though dark for an Englishwoman, yet wearing always the clearness of health in her brunette cheek, and its vivacity in a pair of fine, cheerful black eyes. People esteemed it a grievous pity that she had not conferred her complexion on her son, whose eyes were blue--though, even in boyhood, very piercing--and the colour of his long hair such as friends did not venture to specify, except as the sun shone on it, when they called it golden. He inherited the lines of his mother's features, however; also her good teeth, her stature (or the promise of her stature, for he was not yet full- grown), and, what was better, her health without flaw, and her spirits of that tone and equality which are better than a fortune to the

possessor.“

 

 

 

char_bronte
Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)

 

 

 

 

De Franse schrijver Patrick Rambaud werd geboren op 21 april 1946 in Parijs.

 

Uit: L'Absent

 

„Octave s’inquiétait quand la porte de la chambre s’ouvrit d’un mouvement brusque, et l’Empereur parut sur le seuil, dans la pénombre. La ceinture dénouée de sa robe de chambre pendait comme une corde, il avait le corps pris de spasmes, se tenait le ventre d’une main et s’appuyait de l’autre à l’encadrement. Il avait le visage déformé, il grimaçait ;

il réussit à commander entre les hoquets violents qui le secouaient :

– Appelez le duc de Vicence et le duc de Bassano…

  Sire! Je vais d’abord vous aider à vous asseoir, bredouillait Octave.

– Appelez le duc de Vicence… insistait-il en s’adossant au battant de la porte comme s’il allait glisser et s’effondrer.

– Messieurs ! criait Octave, affolé, et il réveillait par des bourrades les autres valets de chambre et les officiers de garde, affaissés sur les canapés inconfortables des salons. Ils se lèvent, s’agitent, comprennent ; bientôt les interminables corridors du palais se repeuplent et des bougies s’allument partout. Les uns se précipitent à la chancellerie où loge Bassano, d’autres vont chercher  Caulaincourt et le docteur Yvan ; le grand maréchal Bertrand est sorti de son sommeil et s’habille en hâte ; ils sont tous dépeignés, au mieux en gilets, ils ont à peine le temps d’enfiler leurs souliers ou de se visser leur perruque sur le crâne, cols ouverts, sans cravates, portant des bougeoirs ou des quinquets. Octave est demeuré auprès de l’Empereur. Constant est accouru en entendant l’agitation, il prépare du thé pour apaiser son maître, tombé dans son fauteuil, abattu un moment, puis à nouveau nerveux, contracté, haletant.

Lorsque Caulaincourt arrive le premier, il repousse les garçons du palais qui gémissent ou sanglotent avec plus ou  moins de sincérité : les nouvelles se propagent et se déforment ; ils enterrent déjà l’Empereur.“

 

 

 

Rambaud
Patrick Rambaud (Parijs, 21 april 1946)

 

 

 

Zie voor de twee bovenstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 21 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009.

 

 

 

 

De Engelse schrijver John Mortimer werd geboren op 21 april 1923 in Londen. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009.

 

Uit: A voyage round John Mortimer (Biografie door Valerie Grove)

 

„As John insisted, their mutual attraction was a youthful crush, not a physical relationship, and looking back after 65 years, Edwards, by now a distinguished retired circuit judge in his 80th year, told me: “John and I had, I suppose, a crush on each other: it didn’t amount to more than that. It was all about nothing!

“We’d been to single-sex public schools, where people form romantic friendships, which are not really quite homosexual. I was not a homosexual, never have been, and neither, the truth is, was John, but he had this idea of romantic friendships. I like to think that what John felt about me was what Tennyson felt for Hallam – elevated, romantic – not what you’d call a homosexual relationship. When we met, it was 40 years since Oscar Wilde died, but something lingered in the Oxford air, and Waugh captured that atmosphere very well in Brideshead Revisited. We would tell stories about Brian Howard, and Ronald Firbank, who was a great one for pottery rings and long pale hands and floppy ties.”

John has never made a secret of his homosexual inclinations at school, even at the Dragon prep school; and “Horatian” activities were rife at single-sex public schools. (When a writer speculated that John might have had “an unpleasant homosexual experience” at Harrow, “which might explain. . . his wariness of men and his adoration of women”, I read this out to John. He gave a whinnying laugh and said: “But I had perfectly pleasant homosexual experiences at Harrow!”)“

 

 

 

John Mortimer
John Mortimer (21 april 1923 – 16 januari 2009)

 

 

 

 

De Duitse schrijver Peter Schneider werd geboren in Lübeck op 21 april 1940. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009.

 

Uit: Rebellion und Wahn

 

„Nur einmal habe ich zu Hause – nach einem Hausmusikkonzert am Sonntag, bei dem ich die zweite Geige spielte – eine peinliche Frage gestellt. Der erste Geiger des Quartetts war ein Psychiatrieprofessor, der weniger durch sein Spiel als durch sein teures Instrument – eine Stradivari – einen starken Eindruck in mir hinterlassen hat. Einmal hatte ich seine Geige in der Hand halten und ein paar Läufe und Akkorde darauf spielen dürfen. Beim Tee nach dem Konzert nahm der Professor einen Apfel aus der Schale, biß hinein und gab dann die folgende Geschichte zum besten: Während eines sonntäglichen Spaziergangs habe er sich, einer alten, in den Hungerjahren der Nachkriegszeit erworbenen Gewohnheit folgend, nach dem Fallobst unter einem Apfelbaum gebückt. Er sei erschrocken, als er von einer Stimme, deren Besitzerin er nicht ausmachen konnte, mit seinem Namen und Titel angerufen wurde. Im Wipfel des Apfelbaums habe er schließlich eine ältere Frau entdeckt, die ihm heftig zuwinkte. Erst als die Frau herabgeklettert sei, habe er seine ehemalige Hausangestellte wiedererkannt. Sie habe seine Hand ergriffen und nicht mehr losgelassen. Endlich einmal müsse sie ihm sagen, so habe sie unter vielen rührenden, wenn auch wirren Dankesworten hervorgebracht, wie tief sie ihm verpflichtet sei. Denn in den »schlimmen Jahren« habe er, damals Arzt in der psychiatrischen Heilanstalt Emmendingen, ihr das Leben gerettet. Er habe ihr einen »Persilschein« über ihre geistige Gesundheit ausgestellt und sie damit vor dem sicheren Tod bewahrt.
    Das »Ulkige« an der Szene sei gewesen, fuhr der immer noch Apfel essende Erzähler fort, daß er sich an das fragliche, nach damaligen Maßstäben sicher falsche Gutachten, mit dem er seinen Ruf als Psychiater aufs Spiel gesetzt hatte, gar nicht mehr erinnern konnte.“

 

 

 

peter_schneider
Peter Schneider (Lübeck, 21 april 1940)

 

 

 

 

De Duitse literatuurwetenschapper en musicus Michael Mann werd als jongste kind van Thomas en Katia Mann geboren op 21 april 1919 in München. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009.

 

Uit: Achterbahn (door Frido Mann)

 

Frühjahr oder Frühsommer 1940. Ein Vergnügungspark im einige hundert Meilen nördlich von Los Angeles gelegenen San Francisco. Ein seit einem Jahr glücklich verheiratetes, junges Emigrantenpaar, das Anfang des Jahres auf einem Flüchtlingsschiff unversehrt den deutschen Torpedos und Minen im Atlantik entkam und bald an die kalifornische Westküste zog. Das Paar schiebt sich richtungslos durch die Menschenmasse und lässt sich vom Lärm der Drehorgelmusik, von Marktschreiern, Schlangenbeschwörern und Schießbuden betäuben. Die beiden bleiben vor einer Achterbahn stehen. Sie beobachten, wie sich die durchgeschüttelten und benommenen Fahrgäste mit noch käsebleichen Gesichtern aus den Waggons herausschälen. Das junge Ehepaar löst an der Kasse zwei Karten. Der Kassierer blickt etwas irritiert auf den deutlich vorgewölbten Bauch der Frau und schaut den beiden kopfschüttelnd hinterher. Ja, er hat ganz richtig gesehen. Die Frau ist schwanger, hochschwanger. Vielleicht zwanzig Jahre später erzählt mir mein Vater Michael lachend von dieser Achterbahnfahrt in San Francisco.

«Als dich die Mama damals erwartete, waren wir jung und unerfahren» (er war 21, sie 24), um dann, immer noch lachend, hinzuzufügen: «Und darum bist du ja auch so missraten.»

 

 

MichaleMann

Michael (l) met zijn moeder en zijn zus Elisabeth, 1925

 

 

 

Am 31. Juli 1940 notiert Thomas Mann in seinem Tagebuch:

 

… Telegramm von Bibi aus Carmel, dass das Kind, ein Knabe, glücklich zur Welt gekommen. Die Großvaterschaft kommt spät und macht mir geringen Eindruck. Der erste Enkel, Amerikaner von Geburt, hat deutsches, brasilianisches, jüdisches und schweizerisches Blut, vom letzteren sogar noch von meiner Großmutter.“

 

 

 

mann-michael

Michael Mann (21 april 1919  - 1 januari 1977)

 

 

 

 

De Columbiaanse dichteres Meira Delmar (eig. Olga Isabel Chams Eljach) werd geboren in  Barranquilla op 21 april 1922. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009.

 

 

Promise

 

Some blue and flowered morning

we shall sweetly go, hand in hand

 

to listen to the stories the brook whispers

before the amazement of the bare stones . . .

 

We shall say, love, just one word:

our eyes will speak in their language of magic,

 

and the curious breeze will arrive quite still

without breaking the spell of the enchanted tour . . .

 

Afterwards . . . like a bunch of beautiful new grapes

cut from the grapevine by inexpert hands-

 

I will leave in your mouth with some fear

the ignored flavor of my first kisses . . .

 

 

 

 

The Splendor

 

I never knew its name

 

It could

have been love, a bit

of happiness, or simp-

ly nothing.

 

But it lighted up

the day in such a way

that its glow

endures.

 

It endures.

And it burns.

 

 

 

 

Vertaald door Nicolás Suescún

 

 

 

 

meira_del_mar
Meira Delmar (21 april 1922 - 18 maart 2009)

 

 

 

 

De Franse dichter en schrijver Népomucène Lemercier werd geboren op 21 april 1771 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009.

 

Uit: Pinto, ou la Journée d'une conspiration

 

“MADAME DOLMAR.

Tenez, la maîtresse d'un roi...

LE DUC.

Est souvent celle du royaume. Ainsi, que je règne jamais, vous régnerez : mais en vérité, je préfère au sceptre de Lisbonne mon duché de Bragance et le nom de votre amant.

MADAME DOLMAR.

Vous ne le porterez point.

LE DUC.

Osez donc parler encore de ma puissance ! Moi, l'humble rival de mon secrétaire Pinto, que vous me préférez.

MADAME DOLMAR.

Sans doute. C'est un homme ennemi des cabales, loyal, uni, bon, qui n'aime que moi, ne songe qu'à moi, et n'a pas la moindre malice dans le cœur. Mais vous ! je rougis de répéter les contes que l'on débite : que vous nourrissez des projets ambitieux ; que vous tirerez de la poussière de vieux titres pour vous faire roi ; que l'on souffle la discorde en votre nom; que, peu content de plaire et de jouir, de vivre au milieu d'amis qui ne vous flattent point, et de femmes qui vous choisissent pour vous-même, vous sacrifierez ces avantages au frivole orgueil de porter un sceptre bien lourd, de vous casser la tête dans les affaires, de vous entourer de graves menteurs qui vous courtisent, de pédans qui vous conseillent, et de femmes qui vous cèdent par vanité, par peur ou par avarice.

LE DUC

Vains bruits que tout cela ! Ne m'accusez pas de courir après les faveurs de la fortune, quand je ne soupire qu'après les vôtres.

MADAME DOLMAR.

Arrêtez, arrêtez ! voici Alvare.”

 

 

 

lemercier
Népomucène Lemercier (21 april 1771 – 7 juni 1840)

 

 

 

 

Onafhankelijk van geboortedagen:

 

 

De Engelse dichter en vertaler Jamie McKendrick werd geboren in 1955 in Liverpool. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009.

 

Uit: On Seamus Heaney

 

„Let me take some examples. You quote Heaney saying “And yet, limber and absolved as linguistic inventiveness may seem in poetry, it is not disjunct from or ever entirely manumitted by the critical intelligence.” Like it or not, Heaney has taken pains in the way he’s expressed this tension (“not disjunct from or ever entirely manumitted by”) only to have you flatly ‘translate’ his argument into a “distrust of linguistic ingenuity” and to claim “he places reason above artifice and content before form”. This is a travesty of scholarship — it’s like saying, regardless of what the author actually writes, he means what I want him to mean. Heaney gives due weight to both claims and you say he’s dismissing one of them. You start from a rigid, aprioristic position and blindly ignore even the evidence you adduce.

Your account of Heaney’s dealings with Clare is similarly garbled, and keeps presuming Heaney is promoting his own poetry. You accuse him of arguing “disingenuously” when he claims that “there is more than mere description in Clare’s poetry”. Why should this uncontroversial claim be disingenuous? (Everyone who reads Clare can see there’s a large freight of description, but most of us easily perceive that the description, at least in his best poems, adds up to something a great deal more.)

In your reply to me you refer to Heaney’s “sometimes, dismissive evaluations of other poets”, presumably referring to his account of Dylan Thomas, about which you say he is “again, favouring content over poetic language”. Heaney’s essay is full of praise for Thomas, but there are occasions in which he sees Thomas carried away by the “extravagance of imagery and diction”.

 

 

JamieMcKendrick
Jamie McKendrick (Liverpool, 1955)

 

Rectificatie

De Schotse schrijver Alistair Stuart MacLean werd geboren op 21 april (en niet 28 april) 1922 in Glasgow. Zie ook mijn blog van 28 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009.

 

Uit: Island

 

There are times even now, when I awake at four o'clock in the morning with the terrible fear that I have overslept; when I imagine that my father is waiting for me in the room below the darkened stairs or that the shorebound men are tossing pebbles against my window while blowing their hands and stomping their feet impatiently on the frozen steadfast earth. There are times when I am half out of bed and fumbling for socks and mumbling for words before I realize that I am foolishly alone, that no one waits at the base of the stairs and no boat rides restlessly in the waters by the pier.
At such times only the grey corpses on the overflowing ashtray beside my bed bear witness to the extinction of the latest spark and silently await the crushing out of the most recent of their fellows. And then because I am afraid to be alone with death, I dress rapidly, make a great to-do about clearing my throat, turn on both faucets in the sink and proceed to make loud splashing ineffectual noises. Later I go out and walk the mile to the all-night restaurant.
In the winter it is a very cold walk, and there are often tears in my eyes when I arrive. The waitress usually gives a sympathetic little shiver and says, "Boy, it must be really cold out there; you got tears in your eyes."
"Yes," I say, "it sure is; it really is."
And then the three or four of us who are always in such places at such times make uninteresting little protective chit-chat until the dawn reluctantly arrives. Then I swallow the coffee, which is always bitter, and leave with a great busy rush because by that time I have to worry about being late and whether I have a clean shirt and whether my car will start and about all the other countless things one must worry about when one teaches at a great Midwestern university. And I know then that that day will go by as have all the days of the past ten years, for the call and the voices and the shapes and the boat were not really there in the early morning's darkness and I have all kinds of comforting reality to prove it.“

 

 

 

Alistair_Maclean
Alistair MacLean (21 april 1922 - 2 februari 1987)

Karikatuur van David Gray

 

 

21-04-09

Charlotte Brontë, Patrick Rambaud, Jamie McKendrick, John Mortimer, Meira Delmar, Peter Schneider, Michael Mann, Népomucène Lemercier


De Britse schrijfster Charlotte Brontë werd geboren in Thornton op 21 april 1816. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2008.

 

Uit: Shirley

 

Yet even in those days of scarcity there were curates: the precious plant was rare, but it might be found. A certain favoured district in the West Riding of Yorkshire could boast three rods of Aaron blossoming within a circuit of twenty miles. You shall see them, reader. Step into this neat garden-house on the skirts of Whinbury, walk forward into the little parlour--there they are at dinner. Allow me to introduce them to you:--Mr. Donne, curate of Whinbury; Mr. Malone, curate of Briarfield; Mr. Sweeting, curate of Nunnely. These are Mr. Donne's lodgings, being the habitation of one John Gale, a small clothier. Mr. Donne has kindly invited his brethren to regale with him. You and I will join the party, see what is to be seen, and hear what is to be heard. At present, however, they are only eating; and while they eat we will talk aside.
These gentlemen are in the bloom of youth; they possess all the activity of that interesting age--an activity which their moping old vicars would fain turn into the channel of their pastoral duties, often expressing a wish to see it expended in a diligent superintendence of the schools, and in frequent visits to the sick of their respective parishes. But the youthful Levites feel this to be dull work; they prefer lavishing their energies on a course of proceeding, which, though to other eyes it appear more heavy with ennui, more cursed with monotony, than the toil of the weaver at his loom, seems to yield them an unfailing supply of enjoyment and occupation.”

 

 

 

 

charlotte_bronte
Charlotte Brontë (21 april 1816 – 31 maart 1855)

Portret door Evert A. Duyckinck

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Franse schrijver Patrick Rambaud werd geboren op 21 april 1946 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2008.

 

Uit: Chronique du règne de Nicolas Ier

 

“Le petit marquis de Benamou possédait la science des courbes et parvenait à enjôler. Il fut cependant confiné dans une annexe du Château, face aux appartements privés en réfection, de l'autre côté de la rue. Aussitôt posé, il gonfla ses plumes et bomba son bréchet à la façon des dindonneaux. Il couvrit de médailles et de rubans l'acteur et le réalisateur d'un film tiré de son ouvrage sur le défunt monarque qu'il avait adulé en nécrophage, puis, dans la foulée, dix journalistes convenables aux yeux du Prince puisqu'ils passaient fort bien le cirage et la brosse. Notre petit marquis savait, pour l'éprouver lui-même, que les gens de peu savourent la gloriole sous forme de hochets, autant que les enfants leurs sucreries. Ces cérémonies n'empêchaient pas le petit marquis de progresser dans la goujaterie et le paraître. Il se rendit un jour à l'hôtel Raphaël où il faisait bon se montrer, s'installa de son propre chef à la meilleure table. M. Bertrand, célèbre maître des cocktails, mondialement connu et que saluaient les habitués de l'établissement, osa s'approcher et signifia avec déférence que cette place était ré­servée depuis le matin à un autre illustre. Quoi? Qu'y avait-il? De quel droit? Notre petit marquis étouffa de colère: ne l'avait-on pas reconnu? Savait-on quel il était? Son rôle influent, sa puissance? Comment osait-on lui demander de changer de fauteuil mou? Comment? Un malotru voulait l'asseoir à la table voisine, qu'il n'avait pas élue? Outrecuidance! Manque de tact! Il lança au visage de M. Bertrand une pleine écuelle de cacahuètes, sortit sur une colère qui résonna dans ces lieux feutrés, menaça de féroces représailles; rentré dans son annexe avec ses gardes du corps qui cachaient leur amusement, il tempêta, cria, se roula sur la moquette et, entre deux hoquets, voua l'insolent barman aux flammes de l'Enfer. »

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick_Rambaud
Patrick Rambaud (Parijs, 21 april 1946)

 

 

 

 

 

Onafhankelijk van geboortedagen

 

 

De Engelse dichter en vertaler Jamie McKendrick werd geboren in 1955 in Liverpool. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2008.

 

 

Good Hedges

 

He wants the holly tree cut down to size,
the holly tree where the birds are sound, and safe
from his cat whose snickering impersonation
of birdsong - more like the din a mincer makes -
fools no-one, and charms nothing out of the trees.

 

He wants us to tidy up the pyracantha sprouting
its fire-thorns and berry-laden fractals, and clip
the brambles, the lilacs, everything wild.
Next he'll want the hedgehog's spikes filed down,
the moles claws bound up with green twine

 

— already he's replaced his own hair with ginger nylon.
His light he says is being blocked. It's dark
where he is. He has a point — so many deaths
in these few houses, it's like something
loosed from the bible. One lucky escape, though:

 

the bearded roofer, one along, who lost
his footing, high on the scaffolding, and fell,
with his deck of tiles, on his shoulder and skull.
Sometimes tears come to his eyes for no reason
he can think of, but now the sun's out he sits again

 

on the patio, plucking from his banjo
some Appalachian strand of evergreen bluegrass
then an Irish reel where his fingers scale
a glittering ladder like a waterfall
so even the songbirds hush in the holly tree.

 

 

 

 

 

On/Off

 

The switch stuck through the lampstand's neck

like an arrow shaft of walrus ivory

in a Welsh epic

has lost its feathers and its head.

Peacock feathers and a gold head.

Its Fiat Lux

with a length of flex,

its shift, its crick has made me

blink like a lemur at the lack

of the moon or a star

or a thing between. But it's good

how someone takes off their earrings

with the motion of shelling a pea.

A tiny snap. Like the hasp-click

of a calyx

at the press of a picker's thumb.

A sound like lifting an airtight lid

or a pin dropping in a pyramid.

Then the lobe's set free

and breathes with delight

to shed the slight weight

of the earrings.

Earrings that might be twin filaments,

a pair of ball-bearings

or a hammock-faced moon and a tarnished star.

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie McKendrick
Jamie McKendrick (Liverpool, 1955)

 

 

 

 

 

De Engelse schrijver John Mortimer werd geboren op 21 april 1923 in Londen. Hij studeerde aan de Universiteit van Oxford, Brasenose College. Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog schreef hij scenario's voor draaiboeken voor propagandafilms. In 1948 begon hij te werken als advocaat en ongeveer tegelijkertijd begon hij zijn carrière als schrijver. Hij schreef talrijke romans, korte verhalen, theaterstukken en scenario's. Mortimers bekendste schepping is de figuur van de excentrieke advocaat Horace Rumpole, die in 1975 voor het eerst verscheen in Rumpole of the Bailey. Rumpoles avonturen werden ongeveer gelijktijdig uitgebracht als kort verhaal en als televisieserie, met de Australische acteur Leo McKern in de titelrol. Na McKerns dood in 2002, kwam er een vervolg met Timothy West. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 januari 2009.

 

Uit: Rumpole and the Brave New World

 

“At my age I'm about as far from childhood as it's possible to be. I'm nearer toppling off the peg than joining in adolescent games, but there was one case which gave me an alarming and, I hope, interesting insight into the world of the youth of today.

It began when one of Hilda's innumerable relatives, her niece Cynthia, a student at Oxford, was taking part in a performance of The Messiah and sent an invitation to Hilda saying that she wished we would both come. Naturally I did my best to have an important legal fixture on the date specified, but work was as plentiful as Manhattan cocktails in the desert. When I told Hilda that my practice was more important than the concert she went down to my chambers and checked up with Henry, my clerk, in the most treacherous manner. I was therefore condemned to the oratorio. So I was to be found on that particular Thursday, not in number one court in the Old Bailey, or even before the Snaresbrook magistrate, but in the vast auditorium which is the Sheldonian theatre in Oxford. It was there, many years ago, that I had taken my degree, kneeling and being bumped on the head with a Bible.”

I can remember my days at Keble College as peaceful and untroubled, and I can't say that I was taught anything that would help me to become known throughout the Temple as one of the deadliest cross-examiners in the trade. Instead, the tutors and lecturers wanted to discuss property laws, the more obscure provisions of banking acts and rights of way.”

 

 

 

 

Mortimer
John Mortimer (21 april 1923 – 16 januari 2009)

 

 

 

 

 

De Columbiaanse dichteres Meira Delmar (eig. Olga Isabel Chams Eljach) werd geboren in  Barranquilla op 21 april 1922. Meira del Mar (studeerde muziek aan het conservatorium Pedro Biava van de universiteit van Atlántico en kunstgeschiedenis en literatuur in Rome. Gedurende 36 jaar was zij hoofd van de Biblioteca Pública Departamental del Atlántico. Voor haar werk ontving zij diverse onderscheidingen, zols een eredoctoraat van de universiteit van Atlanticó, het "Simón Bolívar"-ereteken van het ministerie van nationale opvoeding en de nationale prijs voor poëzie.

 

 

The flowering tree

 

Against the blue of the sky – the sky so clean

that seems to be washed by the hands of God –

How well the tree looks , softly inclined

under the rosy weight of his flowering branches!

 

I see him leaning his forehead on the white panes

of the window; and he reminds me,

all full of flowers, butterflies and trills¸

of a small poem he used to recite . . .

 

Who knows of the things the moon tells him

when she comes at night to talk with him!

Many a time I’ve seen him ecstatic listening to her

strangely peaceable until dawn comes . . .

 

And the breeze no longer runs naked through the fields!

He, every morning, when he sees her walk by,

throws such a pretty satin cape

over her shoulder, in a gentle gesture.

 

We have been, for some time, the best of friends!

And I, who never tell anybody of my secret love,

have let his soul come near to my lips . . .

and have given everything to the good, flowering tree!

 

 

 

 

Death, in Venice,

 

they take on a trip

like a bride.

 

Between two blues

the mournful gondola

glides,

covered by slow velvets,

and you hardly perceive

the light thud

of one dip of an oar and then another.

 

Slowly, follows

like a floating garden,

the one carrying the farewell

made of roses

from friends.

 

And the mourners close

the cortège,

that is lost in the sea.

Accompanying them,

with its finger on its lips,

silence.

 

Not far off, the island waits.

 

Behind the rosy wall

that encloses it

cypresses ascend, tall

and dark.

 

 

 

 

Vertaald door Nicolás Suescún

 

 

 

 

 

 

meiraDelmar
Meira Delmar (21 april 1922 - 18 maart 2009)

 

 

 

 

 

De Duitse schrijver Peter Schneider werd geboren in Lübeck op 21 april 1940. Van 1945 tot 1950 woonde hij in Grainau nabij Garmisch-Partenkirchen en daarna in Freiburg im Breisgau. Hij studeerde germanistiek, geschiedenis en filosofie in Freiburg en München. In 1962 ging hij in Berlijn verder studeren. Hij werd een van de woordvoerders van de Berlijnse studentenbeweging. Zijn roman Lenz werd in 1973 een cultboek van teleurgesteld links. Het beschreef het falen van de utopie en de revolte.  Naast verhalen schrijft Schneider ook verhalen, hoorspelen en essays.

 

Uit: Skylla

 

“Damals, als ich zum ersten Mal auf dem Hügel stand, habe ich mir gewünscht, auf ihm alt zu werden. Jetzt bin ich so alt, wie ich nie werden wollte, und frage mich, was ich mir damals gewünscht habe.

Wenn ich am Nachmittag vom Meer zurückkehre und die Sonne sich dort im Nussbaum fängt, sich in der Baumkrone rot aufbläht und den ganzen Horizont zum Glühen bringt, und dann in ungeheurem Tempo – man kann gerade mal bis zwanzig zählen!

– in dem dunstigen Gewaber zwischen Meer und Himmel verschwindet, ist alles wieder wie am Anfang. Ja, du hast gut gewählt. Mit der gleichen Gewissheit, mit der du die Frau deines Lebens erkannt hast, als du ihr zum ersten Mal begegnet bist, hast du dich für dieses Stück Erde entschieden. Und dann kommen die ersten Enttäuschungen, die kleinen und großen Katastrophen,

die Kompromisse und Betrügereien: die übliche Enttäuschung des Wunsches durch seine Erfüllung. Aber die Euphorie des ersten Blicks, sie stellt sich immer wieder ein. Es ist der schönste Punkt im Umkreis von hundert Quadratkilometern. Hinten die kahlen, elefantengrauen Bergrücken, vorn das ungeheure Meer.

Die Zeit vergeht hier oben anders als in den Städten. Ich sehe die weiß schimmernden Bugwellen, die die Passagierdampfer und Containerschiffe in die Wasserfl äche schneiden, die von hier aus wie blaues, gehämmertes Metall aussieht, und weiß, dass schon vor Jahrtausenden anders geformte Schiffe, von Seeleuten einer anderen Art gelenkt, ähnliche Bugwellen erzeugt haben.

Dort, hinter der Mauer an der Stirnseite des Hügels, mögen vor fünfhundert Jahren Mönche gekniet und ihre Gebete zum Himmel geschickt haben. Womöglich waren sie die letzten, aber ganz sicher nicht die ersten Besiedler des Hügels, denn unter den mittelalterlichen Ruinen kommen römische Mauern zum Vorschein und unter diesen wieder andere, die von noch früheren Generationen zeugen. Vor den Menschen müssen Adler hier gehaust haben.”

 

 

 

 

pschneider
Peter Schneider (Lübeck, 21 april 1940)

 

 

 

 

 

De Duitse literatuurwetenschapper en musicus Michael Mann werd als jongste kind van Thomas en Katia Mann geboren op 21 april 1919 in München. De familie noemde hem “Bibi”. Vanaf 1933 leefde hij met zijn familie eerst in Zwitserland, daarna in de VS. Hij trouwde in 1939 met de Zwitserse Grete Moser. Het echtpaar had twee zonen, Frido en Tony, en een adoptiefdochter Raju. Michael Mann studeerde in Zürich, Parijs en New York viool en altviool en was tussen 1942 en 1947 verbonden aan het symfonieorkest van San Francisco. In 1951 ging hij met de pianiste Yaltah Menuhin, zus van Yehudi, op toernee..Deze moest afgebroken worden omdat er geruchten waren over een verhouding tussen de twee. In 1957 besloot Mann zijn viool aan de wilgen te hangen en ging hij aan de universiteit van Harvard germanistiek studeren. Vervolgens was hij van 1964 tot 1977 professor voor Duitse literatuur aan de universiteit van Berkeley. In 1968 ontving hij de Schubart-Literaturpreis.

 

Uit: Die Tagebücher: Thomas Mann (4 november 1951)

 

Yaltas Ehemann betrachtet Biibi als ‘mental case’ und lässt über Fortstzung des ausgedehten Konzertprogramms […] nicht mit sich reden. Die Lage sehr schwierig ohne dass der Zügellose und durch extreme Anstrengungen Überreizte sich schon Rechenschaft davon gäbe. Auch die Frau verängstigt. Ratlosigkeit.

[..] Was soll mit dem jungen Menschen werden, dessen ganze nächste Zukunft auf die Zusammenarbeit mit der ‘sister of’ gestellt war, der es aber, verwildert durch die Huldigungen, die ihm von der Familie Menuhin, selbst von Yehudi, entgegengebracht wurden, unglaublich an Berherrschung hat fehlen lassen. Aber ich redete ihm bei Tische gut zu und sagte, er brache die Verbindung mit Yalta nicht.” 

 

 

 

Michael_Mann
Michael Mann (21 april 1919  - 1 januari 1977)

V.l.n.r.: Michael Mann, Monika Mann, de kleine Frido, Gret Mann, Katia Mann, Thomas Mann

 

 

 

 

 

De Franse dichter en schrijver Népomucène Lemercier werd geboren op 21 april 1771 in Parijs. Beroemd werd hij in 1797 met zijn drama Agamemnon. Zijn openhartigheid leverde hem moeilijkheden met Napoleon op toen deze eerste consul was. Het gedenkwaardigste is het filosofische gedicht La Panhypocrisiade, ou la Comédie infernale du XVI. Siècle (in zestien zangen) uit 1819.

 

 

La panhypocrisiade (Fragment)

 

RABELAIS :

 

C'est Carême-Prenant, que l'orgueil mortifie :

Son peuple, ichtyophage, efflanqué, vaporeux,

A l'oreille qui tinte et l'esprit rêve-creux.

Envisage non loin ces zélés Papimanes,

Qui, sur l'amour divin, sont plus forts que des ânes,

Et qui, béats fervents, engraissés de tous biens,

Rôtissent mainte andouille et maints luthériens.

Ris de la nation des moines gastrolâtres :

Aperçois-tu le dieu dont ils sont idolâtres ?

Ce colosse arrondi, grondant, sourd, et sans yeux,

Premier auteur des arts cultivés sous les cieux,

Seul roi des volontés, tyran des consciences,

Et maître ingénieux de toutes les sciences,

C'est le ventre ! le ventre ! Oui, messire Gaster

Des hommes de tout temps fut le grand magister,

Et toujours se vautra la canaille insensée

Pour ce dieu, dont le trône est la selle percée.

 

 

 

Lemercier
Népomucène Lemercier (20 april 1771 – 7 juni 1840)

 

 

17-01-09

In Memoriam John Mortimer



In Memoriam John Mortimer

 

 

Gisteren is in Turville Heath de Engelse schrijver en advocaat Sir John Clifford Mortimer overleden.

 

John Mortimer werd geboren in Londen op 21 april 1923. Hij studeerde aan de Universiteit van Oxford. Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog schreef hij scenario's en draaiboeken voor propagandafilms. In 1948 begon hij te werken als advocaat en ongeveer tegelijkertijd begon hij zijn carrière als schrijver. Hij schreef talrijke romans, korte verhalen, theaterstukken en scenario's. Mortimers bekendste schepping is de figuur van de excentrieke advocaat Horace Rumpole, die in 1975 voor het eerst verscheen in Rumpole of the Bailey. Rumpoles avonturen werden ongeveer gelijktijdig uitgebracht als kort verhaal en als televisieserie, met de Australische acteur Leo McKern in de titelrol. Na McKerns dood in 2002, kwam er een vervolg met Timothy West. Mortimer bewerkte ook de roman Brideshead Revisited van Evelyn Waugh voor de gelijknamige televisieserie.

 

Uit: Rumpole Misbehaves

 

'The North Pole is melting, Rumpole. The seas are rising all over the world. The Thames will probably overflow the Embankment and there is a real possibility of the ground-floor rooms in our chambers being submerged. And you occupy a downstairs room, Rumpole.' He added the final sentence with, I thought, a sort of morbid glee.

'What am I expected to do about it?' I felt I had to ask. 'Stand in the Temple car park and order the tide to turn back? My name's not Canute, you know.'

'We know exactly what your name is, Rumpole.' Sam Ballard was giving me one of his least pleasant looks. 'And we have identified you as a source of pollution.'

'Well,' I said, adopting the reply sarcastic, 'that's nice of you.'

'You pollute the atmosphere, Rumpole, with those dreadful little brown things you smoke.'

'Cigarillos,' I told him. 'Available from the tobacconist just outside the Temple gate. Can I offer you one?'

'No, Rumpole, you certainly cannot. And I would ask you to consider your position with regard to the environment very carefully. That is all I have to say. For the moment.'

With that, our Head of Chambers gave a final sniff to the atmosphere surrounding me and then withdrew, closing the door carefully behind him. In a moment of exaggerated concern, I wondered if he was chalking a fatal cross on the other side of my door to warn visitors and prospective clients of the source of plague and pollution to be found within.

Dismissing such thoughts, I lit another small cigar and wondered if, as I struck the match, I could hear the distant sound of an iceberg melting, or at least the Thames lapping at the door. All was quiet, however. But then the telephone rang with news that put the environment firmly back into second place among my immediate concerns.

'There you are, Bonny Bernard, and it's good to hear from you,' I said, giving my favourite and most faithful solicitor a polite welcome. 'What are you bringing me? A sensational murder?'

 

 

 

 

 

Mortimer
John Mortimer (21 april 1923 - 16 januari 2009)