20-11-16

Viktoria Tokareva, Don DeLillo, Sheema Kalbasi, Nadine Gordimer, Thomas Chatterton, Zinaida Hippius, Selma Lagerlöf, Ursula Ziebarth

 

De Russische schrijfster en scenariste Viktoria Tokareva werd geboren op 20 november 1937 in Leningrad (Sint Petersburg). Zie ook alle tags voor Viktoria Tokareva op dit blog.

Uit: Leise Musik hinter der Wand (Vertaald door Angelika Schneider)

„In seiner Jugend hatte der Großvater gesungen: ›Gott, schütze den Zaren‹, als Erwachsener musste er singen: ›Wir stammen alle aus dem Volke‹. Aber was war schon dabei? Der Großvater hatte ein gutes Gehör und eine schöne Stimme und wurde sogar zum Vorsänger bestimmt.
Die Eltern der Großmutter waren Großgrundbesitzer gewesen. Nach der Revolution sagte die Großmutter immer, dass sie Landwirte waren. Das war gelogen, aber nicht ganz. Ein gut ausgebildeter Großgrundbesitzer kannte sich mit Landwirtschaft aus, und so waren sie, in gewissem Maße, tatsächlich Landwirte. Den Familiennamen Scheremetjew verkürzten sie um ein Drittel, so entstand der Name Schermet. Ein guter Name, der in den Arbeiter- und Bauernstaat passte.
Ariadna wurde auf den Nachnamen Schermet eingetragen, da der biologische Vater nicht anwesend war.
Es hatte ihn natürlich einmal gegeben, aber man hatte ihn, da er aus dem einfachen Volk war, aus der Familie gedrängt.
Der Vater hieß Alik. Jedes Mal, wenn sie sich zu Tisch setzten, hatte Alik den Platz des Großvaters eingenommen. Die Großmutter hatte sich darüber aufgeregt und gesagt: »Setzen Sie sich auf Ihren Platz«, worauf Alik verwundert die Brauen hochgezogen und gefragt hatte: »Ist es denn nicht völlig egal, wo man sich hinhockt?«
Die Großmutter hatte schwer aufgeseufzt. Ihr war klar geworden, dass es in Aliks Familie keinerlei Traditionen gab und dass Alik selbst ohne anständige Herkunft, sozusagen ohne Stammbaum, war. Anständig essen konnte er auch nicht. Er wusste mit dem Besteck nicht richtig umzugehen und verschlang das Essen derart schnell, als hätte er Angst, dass man es ihm wegnähme. Zudem trank er den Tee aus der Untertasse, ja er schlürfte ihn geradezu wie aus einer Pfütze.“

 

 
Viktoria Tokareva (Leningrad, 20 november 1937)

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20-11-15

Viktoria Tokareva, Don DeLillo, Sheema Kalbasi, Nadine Gordimer, Thomas Chatterton, Zinaida Hippius, Selma Lagerlöf

 

De Russische schrijfster en scenariste Viktoria Tokareva werd geboren op 20 november 1937 in Leningrad (Sint Petersburg). Zie ook alle tags voor Viktoria Tokareva op dit blog.

Uit:Alle meine Feinde und andere Erzählungen (Vertaald door Angelika Schneider)

„Ich sagte zu ihr: »Heirate den bloß nicht.«
»Er hat mich auch gar nicht gefragt«, beruhigte mich Lisa.
Das hieß, das Kind würde bei mir aufwachsen. Und Lisa wäre frei wie der Wind.
Aber ich fand eine Kinderfrau. Sie hieß Anna Fjodorowna Strelzowa. Anna Fjodorowna, Rufname: Anka.
Sie erledigte alles schnell und zuverlässig, war einfach wie geschaffen für diese Dinge. Ich bin Künstlerin. Und nur das. Hausarbeit deprimiert mich, ja sie bringt mich um.
Das, wofür ich einen ganzen Tag brauchen würde, erledigte Anka in vierzig Minuten. Wenn sie nur erschien, wurde es sonniger ringsum. Mit leichten, schnellen Bewegungen legte sie die Dinge an ihren Platz zurück. Sie schaffte Sauberkeit und Ordnung, schon allein durch ihre Anwesenheit Und erst ihre Krautwickel – das waren echte Kunstwerke.
Es tat einem geradezu leid, sie aufzuessen. Klein, sorgfältig zubereitet, schön anzusehen, mit einer besonderen Soße übergossen. Meine Krautwickel wurden immer groß wie ein Handteller. Ich drehte schon durch bei dieser Vielzahl von Vorbereitungen: erst das Hackfleisch anbraten, die Kohlblätter blanchieren, Reis kochen, Zwiebeln andünsten …
Wie viel lieber würde ich in dieser Zeit eine flirrende Birke malen, mit geflecktem Stamm …
Aber das Kochen war nur die eine Hälfte. Die Hauptsache war die Enkelin. Anka liebte meine Enkelin mit überirdischer Hingabe, und diese erwiderte ihre Liebe. Mein ganzes Haus war vom Boden bis zum Dach angefüllt mit idealer, gegenseitiger Liebe. Nur Anka konnte die Kleine füttern, beschäftigen, trösten, heilen und ihr etwas beibringen.
Eines Tages wurde meine Enkelin krank. Das Fieber wollte einfach nicht sinken. Das ging so eine ganze Woche lang. Das Mädchen lag apathisch da und lutschte am Daumen. Da versank Anka in eine Depression, ja sie wollte nicht mehr leben. Aber dann, von einem Tag auf den anderen, fiel das Fieber, und Anka fasste frischen Mut, ihre Augen funkelten wieder wie zwei grüne Edelsteine. Das Leben kehrte ins Haus zurück.“

 

 
Viktoria Tokareva (Leningrad, 20 november 1937)

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20-11-14

Sheema Kalbasi , Nadine Gordimer, Viktoria Tokareva, Thomas Chatterton, Don DeLillo, Zinaida Hippius

 

De Iraanse dichteres, vertaalster en mensenrechten-advocate Sheema Kalbasi werd geboren op 20 november 1972 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Sheema Kalbasi op dit blog.

 

Middle East

I dreamt that I was innocent
my naked skin
in touch with reality
and my soul was in search
to hear your -worldly- murmur: Peace

I offered you my love
wrapped in honesty
(pure to catch up with you)
shrunk with disbelief

I -asking you: Know me

with your gorgeousness
as you played with the waves
breaking one after another
taking them into your hands
touching them one after another

I wanted to be called with your name: just

what color was Peace?
the one you chose to paint me?
the one you narrowed into my heart and nested in my grave,
what color was it?

I am longing in my grave
to receive the flowers
with your hand written note: rest-in-peace- Middle East

 

 

5.7

I don’t care if you are you and I am I. I am not some exotic flower. Whatever coat you have on, I will put it on to warm me… and the shoes however small… I will walk in them to balance our height difference. You don’t need to convert for me; I have already converted to you. You see I never had a religion to begin with. I was born naked from all religions but your love.

I know that was not the point. I know there is no conversion. There is no coat, no balance, no shoes but the naked truth of me finding you first, not you finding me. You, whom will never know who I was when I was sitting on the white sheets.

Y o u, not b e s i d e m e.

And the words that are already written. The words that are already said, are already felt, and are already gone.

And I try to take them back into my empty bowl of hands. To put my hands on the chest. The chest into rest. The rest in to the heart. The beat back to the soul. The soul, back to what it was before you.

Alas! I am 5.7

 

 
Sheema Kalbasi (Teheran, 20 november 1972)

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20-11-13

Sheema Kalbasi , Nadine Gordimer, Viktoria Tokareva, Thomas Chatterton, Don DeLillo

 

De Iraanse dichteres, vertaalster en mensenrechten-advocate Sheema Kalbasi werd geboren op 20 november 1972 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Sheema Kalbasi op dit blog.

 

Aging in the Words of a World

The sounds of spring,
Flying birds!
The Mud,
covering the ears!
Number of points.
Tears falling
suffering,
Not seeing Life,
Living in self pity!
Later to learn,
To realize:
It is called a journey of souls!

 

Rebecca

The whole world
is a metaphor
for something else!
the sea, the sand, the voice of soft drinks.
Quiet voices.
The dark curly hair, long, black, soft
playing with the rhythm
remedy,
remedy.
 
Suddenly I saw her
In front of me, standing brown and tall,
and as I watched her walk through me,
Her eyes asked: What's up? Haven't seen me before?
and I fell in love
with her mouth, with her sight.
I blushed.
 
My inspiration
what to do?
         to do?
Talk? Walk? Make love?
The wind, the wind.
 
Looking at her,
The moon, the moon.
 
The face, her face
Spreading like a vine.
 
Sublime idea!
Cold dust, sweat.
 
To write a poem, a world of words
the shore of love.
Shalom.

 

 


Sheema Kalbasi (Teheran, 20 november 1972)

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20-11-12

Sheema Kalbasi , Nadine Gordimer, Viktoria Tokareva, Thomas Chatterton

 

De Iraanse dichteres, vertaalster en mensenrechten-advocate Sheema Kalbasi werd geboren op 20 november 1972 in Teheran. Zie ook alle tags voor Sheema Kalbasi op dit blog.

 

 

Dark Moods

 

Words attack

in gray letters

while sitting behind a desk,

arrive hanging from the robe,

the hands, and the thoughts.

Every part is injured

with no cure

and nothing to

swing open the mind.

 

The motionless floors

Cannot cover the pain that is

Dropping from the walls

-blood and the songs that are hammered

to the loneliness of a poet

And the multiplication of Sheema.

 

I am sure death has pierced your motionless body by now

Is your hair growing in gold?

 

 

 

Golden anything

 

My fragile nights bathed

in Wisteria

Freshened by Eucalyptus

Pools of anything but Sorrow

 

Thee my love, thee

Angels and wings of dreamy shadows

Kneeling

 

Waves of desire

Floating essences, flooding rivers

 

I am trembling, tremble

Oceans of passion, desire

My fragile nights.

 

Thundering anything

Waking from mirrors

In the corner of my eye

razors flooding to enter.

 

I ask my heart: Why?

And the pain becomes a rare visitor.

 

 

Sheema Kalbasi (Teheran, 20 november 1972)

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20-11-11

Nadine Gordimer, Viktoria Tokareva, Don DeLillo, Thomas Chatterton

 

De Zuidafrikaanse schrijfster Nadine Gordimer werd geboren op 20 november 1923 in Springs. Zie ook alle tags voor Nadine Gordimer op dit blog.

Uit: The Moment Before the Gun Went Off

 

“Marais Van der Vyver shot one of his farm labourers, dead.

An accident. There are accidents with guns every day of the week: children playing a fatal game with a father's revolver in the cities where guns are domestic objects, and hunting mishaps like this one, in the country. But these won't be reported all over the world. Van der Vyver knows his will be. He knows that the story of the Afrikaner farmer - a regional Party leader and Commandant of the local security commando - he, shooting a black man who worked for him will fit exactly their version of South Africa. It's made for them. They'll be able to use it in their boycott and divestment campaigns. It'll be another piece of evidence in their truth about the country. The papers at home will quote the story as it has appeared in the overseas press, and in the back-and-forth he and the black man will become those crudely-drawn figures on anti-apartheid banners, units in statistics of white brutality against the blacks quoted at United Nations - he, whom they will gleefully call 'a leading member' of the ruling Party.People in the farming community understand how he must feel. Bad enough to have killed a man, without helping the Party's,the government's, the country's enemies, as well.They see the truth of that. They know, reading the Sunday papers, that when Van der Vyver is quoted saying he is 'terribly shocked', he will 'look after the wife and children', none of those Americans and English, and none of those people at home who want to destroy the white man's power will believe him. And how they will sneer when he even says of the farm boy (according to one paper, if you can trust any of those reporters), 'He was my friend. I always took him hunting with me: Those city and overseas people don't know it's true: farmers usually have one particular black boy they like to take along with them in the lands: you could call it a kind of friend, yes, friends are not only your own white people, like yourself, you take into your house, pray with in church and work with on the Party committee. But how can those others”

 

 

Nadine Gordimer (Springs. 20 november 1923)

 

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20-11-10

Nadine Gordimer, Don DeLillo, Thomas Chatterton, Sheema Kalbasi

 

De Zuidafrikaanse schrijfster Nadine Gordimer werd geboren op 20 november 1923 in Springs. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2007 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2009.

 

Uit: Beethoven was One-Sixteenth Black

 

“GREGOR

Anyone who is a reader knows that what you have read has influenced your life. By ‘reader’ I mean one from the time you began to pick out the printed words, for yourself, in the bedtime story. (Another presumption: you became literate in some era before the bedtime story was replaced by the half-hour before the Box.) Adolescence is the crucial period when the poet and the fiction writer intervene in formation of the sense of self in sexual relation to others, suggesting – excitingly, sometimes scarily – that what adult authority has told or implied is the order of such relations, is not all. Back in the Forties, I was given to understand: first, you will meet a man, both will fall in love, and you will marry; there is an order of emotions that goes with this packaged process. That is what love is.

For me, who came along first was Marcel Proust. The strange but ineluctable disorder of Charles Swann’s agonising love for a woman who wasn’t his type (and this really no fault of her own, he fell in love with her as what she was, eh?); the jealousy of the Narrator tormentedly following a trail of Albertine’s evasions.

Swept away was the confetti. I now had different expectations of what experience might have to take on. My appren­ticeship to sexual love changed; for life. Like it or not, this is what love is. Terrible. Glorious.

But what happens if something from a fiction is not interiorised, but materialises? Takes on independent exist­ence?

It has just happened to me. Every year I re-read some of the books I don’t want to die without having read again. This year one of these is Kafka’s Diaries, and I am about halfway through. It’s night-time reading of a wonderfully harrowing sort.

A few mornings ago when I sat down at this typewriter as I do now, not waiting for Lorca’s duende but getting to work, I saw under the narrow strip of window which displays words electronically as I convey them, a roach. A smallish roach about the size and roach-shape of the nail of my third finger – medium-sized hand. To tell that I couldn’t believe it is understatement. But my immediate thought was practical: it was undoubtedly there, how did it get in. I tapped the glass at the place beneath which it appeared. It confirmed its existence, not by moving the body but wavering this way and that two whiskers, antennae so thin and pale I had not discerned them.”

 

 

 


Nadine Gordimer (Springs. 20 november 1923)

 

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20-11-09

Nadine Gordimer, Don DeLillo, Thomas Chatterton, Sheema Kalbasi, Selma Lagerlöf, Yevgenia Ginzburg


De Zuidafrikaanse schrijfster Nadine Gordimer werd geboren op 20 november 1923 in Springs. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2007 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008.

 

Uit: Get A Life

 

„His mother fetched him from the hospital. He opened a door of the rear seat of the car, to sit in there, right from the start he must begin to follow a certain conduct of himself, make it a habit for the time being, but his mother is like him (if that’s not a reverse order of inherited characteristics), she has decided on her own code of conduct in response to the threat he represents. She leans to open the door of the passenger seat beside her and pats it authoritatively.
He has a wife and child.
Whose life, whose risk is worth less than these?
Parents are responsible for bringing into the world their progeniture whether deliberately or carelessly and theirs is an unwritten covenant that the life of the child, and by descent the child’s child, is to be valued above that of the original progenitors.
So Paul—that’s him, the son—he has come home—oh differently, for the time being, yes—to the old home, that of his parents.
Lyndsay and Adrian are not old.
The ladder of ageing has extended since medical science, sensible exercise, healthy diet have enabled people to linger longer and younger before ascending to disappear in the mystery at the top. (‘Passing away’ is the euphemism, but to where?) Unthinkable that the son is preceding, ahead of them, up there. His father is about to retire at a vigorous sixty-five from managing directorship of an agricultural vehicle and equipment plant. His mother, fifty-nine looking forty-nine, a longtime natural beauty with no wish for face-lifts, is considering whether or not she should leave her partnership in a legal practice and join her other partner in this new phase of existence.
The dog jumps and paws at him, sniffs the cold hospital pungency of his bulging hold-all and the delivered suitcase with what his wife anticipated his needs might be here, in this phase of his existence.—Which room?—It is not his old room, it’s his sister’s that has been turned into a study where his father will follow whatever interests he’s supposed to have in readiness for retirement. This sister and brother born only twelve months apart due to excessive youthful passion or a mistaken reliance on the contraceptive efficacy of breast-feeding—Lyndsay still laughs at her ignorance and the opportunism of quick breeding! There are two other sisters, better biologically spaced. He has no brother.
He’s unique.“

 

 

 

 

Gordimer-Nadine
Nadine Gordimer (Springs. 20 november 1923)

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Don DeLillo werd op 20 november 1936 geboren in New York City als zoon van Italiaanse immigranten. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008.

 

Uit: The Body Artist

 

Time seems to pass. The world happens, unrolling into moments, and you stop to glance at a spider pressed to its web. There is a quickness of light and a sense of things outlined precisely and streaks of running luster on the bay. You know more surely who you are on a strong bright day after a storm when the smallest falling leaf is stabbed with self-awareness. The wind makes a sound in the pines and the world comes into being, irreversibly, and the spider rides the wind-swayed web.

It happened this final morning that they were here at the same time, in the kitchen, and they shambled past each other to get things out of cabinets and drawers and then waited one for the other by the sink or fridge, still a little puddled in dream melt, and she ran tap water over the blueberries bunched in her hand and closed her eyes to breathe the savor rising.

He sat with the newspaper, stirring his coffee. It was his coffee and his cup. They shared the newspaper but it was actually, unspokenly, hers.

"I want to say something but what."

She ran water from the tap and seemed to notice. It was the first time she'd ever noticed this.

"About the house. This is what it is," he said. "Something I meant to tell you."

She noticed how water from the tap turned opaque in seconds. It ran silvery and clear and then in seconds turned opaque and how curious it seemed that in all these months and all these times in which she'd run water from the kitchen tap she'd never noticed how the water ran clear at first and then went not murky exactly but opaque, or maybe it hadn't happened before, or she'd noticed and forgotten.

She crossed to the cabinet with the blueberries wet in her hand and reached up for the cereal and took the box to the counter, the mostly brown and white box, and then the toaster thing popped and she flipped it down again because it took two flips to get the bread to go brown and he absently nodded his acknowledgment because it was his toast and his butter and then he turned on the radio and got the weather.

The sparrows were at the feeder, wing-beating, fighting for space on the curved perches.

She reached into the near cabinet for a bowl and shook some cereal out of the box and then dropped the berries on top. She rubbed her hand dry on her jeans, feeling a sense somewhere of the color blue, runny and wan.

What's it called, the lever. She'd pressed down the lever to get his bread to go brown.

It was his toast, it was her weather. She listened to reports and called the weather number frequently and sometimes stood out front and looked into the coastal sky, tasting the breeze for latent implications.

"Yes exactly. I know what it is," he said.

She went to the fridge and opened the door. She stood there remembering something.

She said, "What?" Meaning what did you say, not what did you want to tell me.

She remembered the soya granules. She crossed to the cabinet and took down the box and then caught the fridge door before it swung shut. She reached in for the milk, realizing what it was he'd said that she hadn't heard about eight seconds ago.“

 

 

 

 

delillopp
Don DeLillo (New York City, 20 november 1936)

 

 

 

 

 

De Engelse dichter en schrijver Thomas Chatterton werd geboren op 20 november 1752 in Bristol als zoon van een koster. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008.

 

 

The Resignation

 

O God, whose thunder shakes the sky,

Whose eye this atom globe surveys,

To thee, my only rock, I fly,

Thy mercy in thy justice praise.

 

The mystic mazes of thy will,

The shadows of celestial light,

Are past the pow'r of human skill,--

But what th' Eternal acts is right.

 

O teach me in the trying hour,

When anguish swells the dewy tear,

To still my sorrows, own thy pow'r,

Thy goodness love, thy justice fear.

 

If in this bosom aught but Thee

Encroaching sought a boundless sway,

Omniscience could the danger see,

And Mercy look the cause away.

 

Then why, my soul, dost thou complain?

Why drooping seek the dark recess?

Shake off the melancholy chain.

For God created all to bless.

 

But ah! my breast is human still;

The rising sigh, the falling tear,

My languid vitals' feeble rill,

The sickness of my soul declare.

 

But yet, with fortitude resigned,

I'll thank th' inflicter of the blow;

Forbid the sigh, compose my mind,

Nor let the gush of mis'ry flow.

 

The gloomy mantle of the night,

Which on my sinking spirit steals,

Will vanish at the morning light,

Which God, my East, my sun reveals.

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas_Chatterton

Thomas Chatterton (20 november 1752  - 5 augustus 1770)

'Chatterton's Holiday Afternoon'. Gravure van W Ridgway

 

 

 

 

 

De Iraanse dichteres, vertaalster en mensenrechten-advocate Sheema Kalbasi werd geboren op 20 november 1972 in Teheran. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008.

 

 

Mama In The War

 

You took us,

your children,

under your hands, mama,

beneath the steps of our home's first floor,

to protect us from the bombs.

 

You never slept

and in the hot summer nights

your only mission

was our safety.

 

You are my president mama,

you and all those women,

who protected

and still defend their children

against the blinded-with-hatred

soldiers of death

...all around the world...

 

Under the bombs, you showed no fear.

The drastic changes in our lives,

you took

quiet and peaceful

with your inner love and belief

and tried to dispel,

the terror of death

from the

filled-with-fear eyes

of your children.

 

You made a new reform of solidarity

and election of bravery

in our home.

 

You drove us to

the polished satisfaction

of holding each other's hands

through the rough times...

 

In the deepest corners of my memory,

deep in my heart,

deep in my thoughts,

of blackout

and no candlelight,

I could see your blond hair,

brown eyes

and comforting face.

 

My vote goes to you, Mama.

 

 

 

 

 

sheeba
Sheema Kalbasi (Teheran, 20 november 1972)

 

 

 

 

 

De Zweedse schrijfster Selma Lagerlöf werd geboren op 20 november 1858 in Östra Emterwik in Zweden. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008.

 

Uit: Niels Holgersson's wonderbare reis (Vertaald door Margaretha Meijboom)

 

Er was eens een jongen, die zoo ongeveer veertien jaar oud was, lang en mager en met vlashaar. Hij was eigenlijk een deugniet: hij had 't meeste pleizier in slapen en eten, en verder hield hij van kattekwaad.

Nu was het een Zondagmorgen, en de ouders van den jongen waren bezig zich klaar te maken om naar de kerk te gaan. De jongen zelf zat in zijn hemdsmouwen op den rand van de tafel, en dacht er aan hoe heerlijk 't was, dat Vader en Moeder allebei weggingen, zoodat hij een paar uur lang zijn eigen baas zou zijn.

"Nu kan ik Vaders geweer nemen en een beetje schieten, zonder dat iemand zich er meê hoeft te bemoeien," zei hij in zichzelf.

Maar 't scheen wel, dat Vader de gedachten van den jongen geraden had, want juist toen hij op den drempel stond, klaar om heen te gaan, bleef hij staan en keerde zich om.

"Nu je niet met Moeder en mij meê naar de kerk wilt gaan," zei hij, "vind ik, dat je de preek ten minste wel hier thuis lezen kunt. Wil je me beloven, dat je dat doen zult?"

"Ja," zei de jongen, "dat kan ik wel doen." En hij dacht natuurlijk, dat hij niet meer lezen zou, dan waar hij lust in had.

De jongen vond, dat hij Moeder nooit zoo voortvarend had gezien. In een wip was zij bij den boekenhanger, kreeg het preekenboek, en legde het klaar op de tafel bij het venster, opengeslagen bij de preek van den dag. Ze zocht in den bijbel den tekst van de preek op, en legde 't boek open naast het preekenboek. Toen trok zij den grooten leunstoel bij de tafel, waarin anders niemand dan Vader zitten mocht, en die 't vorige jaar op de verkooping in de pastorie van Vemmenhög was gekocht.

De jongen zat er op den tafelrand over te denken, dat Moeder zich al te veel moeite gaf om de tafel in orde te maken, want dat hij niet van plan was meer dan één of twee bladzijden te lezen. Maar nu was het alweer, alsof Vader dwars door hem heen kon kijken. Hij ging op den jongen toe en zei streng:

"Denk er nu om, dat je behoorlijk leest; want als we thuis komen, zal ik je elke bladzij overhooren, en als je wat overgeslagen hebt, kom je er niet gemakkelijk af."

"De preek is veertien en een halve bladzij lang," zei Moeder, alsof ze de maat vol wou maken; "je mag wel gauw gaan zitten lezen, als je hem uit wilt krijgen."

Toen gingen zij eindelijk heen, en toen de jongen hen in de deur stond na te kijken vond hij, dat hij in den val geloopen was. "Nu loopen ze er zich in te verheugen, dat zij 't zoo mooi in orde gemaakt hebben, dat ik den heelen tijd met mijn neus in die preek zitten moet, zoolang ze weg zijn."

 

 

 

 

carl_larsson selma lagerlöf
Selma Lagerlöf (20 november 1858 – 16 maart 1940)

Portret door Carl Larsson (detail)

 

 

 

 

 

De Russische schrijfster Yevgenia Ginzburg werd geboren op 20 november 1904 in Moskou. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2008.

 

Uit: Marschroute eines Lebens

 

"Im Steinbruch erfuhr ich am eigenen Leib, was Zwangsarbeit ist. Es war Juli. Erbarmungslos trafen uns die ultravioletten Strahlen der fernöstlichen Sonne. Noch aus der Ferne ging von dem Gestein eine höllische Glut aus. Es kam hinzu, dass wir über zwei Jahre lang nicht einen einzigen Sonnenstrahl gesehen hatten und nach der Zeit in den Einzelzellen körperliche Arbeit nicht mehr gewohnt waren. Wir litten an Skorbut und Pellagra… … Und ausgerechnet wir mussten Erd- und Steinbrucharbeiten leisten, die selbst von Männern große Kraft und Widerstandsfähigkeit verlangen."

 

 

 

ginzburg

Yevgenia Ginzburg (20 november1904 – 25 mei 1977)

20-11-08

Nadine Gordimer, Don DeLillo, Thomas Chatterton, Sheema Kalbasi, Selma Lagerlöf


De Zuidafrikaanse schrijfster Nadine Gordimer werd geboren op 20 november 1923 in Springs. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 20 november 2007.

 

 

Uit: Loot and other stories

 

„Once upon our time, there was an earthquake: but this one is the most powerful ever recorded since the invention of the Richter scale made it possible for us to measure apocalyptic warnings.

 

It tipped a continental shelf. These tremblings often cause floods; this colossus did the reverse, drew back the ocean as a vast breath taken. The most secret level of our world lay revealed: the sea-bedded-wrecked ships, facades of houses, ballroom candelabra, toilet bowl, pirate chest, TV screen, mail-coach, aircraft fuselage, cannon, marble torso, Kalashnikov, metal carapace of a tourist bus-load, baptismal font, automatic dishwasher, computer, swords sheathed in barnacles, coins turned to stone. The astounded gaze raced among these things; the population who had fled from their toppling houses to the maritime hills ran down. Where terrestrial crash and bellow had terrified them, there was naked silence. The saliva of the sea glistened upon these objects; it is given that time does not, never did, exist down here where the materiality of the past and the present as they lie has no chronological order, all is one, all is nothing-or all is possessible at once.

 

People rushed to take; take, take. This was-when, anytime, sometime-valuable, that might be useful, what was this, well someone will know, that must have belonged to the rich, it's mine now, if you don't grab what's over there someone else will, feet slipped and slithered on seaweed and sank in soggy sand, gasping sea-plants gaped at them, no-one remarked there were no fish, the living inhabitants of this unearth had been swept up and away with the water. The ordinary opportunity of looting shops which was routine to people during the political uprisings was no comparison. Orgiastic joy gave men, women and their children strength to heave out of the slime and sand what they did not know they wanted, quickened their staggering gait as they ranged, and this was more than profiting by happenstance, it was robbing the power of nature before which they had fled helpless. Take, take; while grabbing they were able to forget the wreck of their houses and the loss of time-bound possessions there. They had tattered the silence with their shouts to one another and under these cries like the cries of the absent seagulls they did not hear a distant approach of sound rising as a great wind does. And then the sea came back, engulfed them to add to its treasury.“

 

 

 

 

 

nadine_gordimer
Nadine Gordimer (Springs. 20 november 1923)

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Amerikaanse schrijver Don DeLillo werd op 20 november 1936 geboren in New York City als zoon van Italiaanse immigranten. Als tiener las hij al erg veel. Toen werd ook zijn interesse om zelf te schrijven gewekt. Hij volgde een opleiding aan de Fordham University, waar hij zijn bachelordiploma haalde in 1958.  Nadat hij afgestudeerd was, ging hij aan de slag in de reclamewereld. Hij werkte vijf jaar als copywriter. Daarna werd hij fulltime schrijver. De eerste roman van DeLillo, Americana, werd in 1971 uitgegeven. In de late jaren zeventig woonde hij ettelijke jaren in Griekenland. Tijdens zijn verblijf in Griekenland schreef DeLillo  zijn roman De namen (1982). Zijn bekendste werk is Onderwereld, dat in 1997 gepubliceerd werd. Het boek werd wereldwijd geprezen als een meesterwerk en gaat over de geschiedenis van Amerika in de voorbije decennia.

 

Uit: Still Life

 

“When he appeared at the door, it was not possible, a man come out of an ash storm, all blood and slag, reeking of burned matter, with pinpoint glints of slivered glass in his face. He looked immense, in the doorway, with a gaze that had no distance in it. He carried a briefcase and stood slowly nodding. She thought he might be in shock but didn’t know what this meant in precise terms, medical terms. He walked past her toward the kitchen and she tried calling her doctor, then 911, then the nearest hospital, but all she heard was the drone of overloaded lines. She turned off the TV set, not sure why, protecting him from the news he’d just walked out of, that’s why, and then went into the kitchen. He was sitting at the table, and she poured him a glass of water and told him that Justin was with his grandmother, released early from school and also being protected from the news, at least as it concerned his father.

 

He said, “Everybody’s giving me water.”

 

She thought he could not have travelled all this distance or even climbed the stairs if he’d suffered serious injury, grievous blood loss.

 

Then he said something else. His briefcase sat beside the table like something yanked out of a landfill. He said there was a shirt coming down out of the sky.

 

She poured water on a dishcloth and wiped dust and ash from his hands, face, and head, careful not to disturb the glass fragments. There was more blood than she’d realized at first, and then she began to realize something else—that his cuts and abrasions were not severe or numerous enough to account for all this blood. It was not his blood. Most of it came from somebody else.”

 

 

 

 

delillo
Don DeLillo (New York City, 20 november 1936)

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Engelse dichter en schrijver Thomas Chatterton werd geboren op 20 november 1752 in Bristol als zoon van een koster. Toen hij elf jaar was schreef hij al een satire over een methodist. Als veertienjarige werd hij klerk bij een advocaat in Bristol. Kort daarna presenteerde hij gedichten die – volgens hem – geschreven waren door een monnik, genaamd Rowley,  uit de vijftiende eeuw. Het werk baarde groot opzien en bestond o.a. uit een feestgedicht ter gelegenheod ban de wijding van een brug,fagmenten van een treurspel, en ballade-achtige verzen over de veroveringen van dde Noormannen. De kritiek verklaarde het al snel tot vervalsing. Chatterton werd ontslagen en zocht in Londen steun bij de schrijver en politicus Sir Horace Walpole. Deze was al gewaarschuwd voor de jongeman en weigerde zijn steun. Korte tijd later doodde Chesterton zichzelf door gif in te nemen. Het volledige werk werd in 1842, en ook nog eens in 1871 in Londen uitgegeven.

 

 

 

 

Chatterton_schilderij
The Death of Chatterton door Henry Wallis

 

 

Song from Aella

  

 

  O SING unto my roundelay,

O drop the briny tear with me;

Dance no more at holyday,

Like a running river be:

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

Black his cryne as the winter night,

White his rode as the summer snow,

Red his face as the morning light,

Cold he lies in the grave below:

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note,

Quick in dance as thought can be,

Deft his tabor, cudgel stout;

O he lies by the willow-tree!

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

Hark! the raven flaps his wing

In the brier'd dell below;

Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing

To the nightmares, as they go:

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

See! the white moon shines on high;

Whiter is my true-love's shroud:

Whiter than the morning sky,

Whiter than the evening cloud:

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

Here upon my true-love's grave

Shall the barren flowers be laid;

Not one holy saint to save

All the coldness of a maid:

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

With my hands I'll dent the briers

Round his holy corse to gre:

Ouph and fairy, light your fires,

Here my body still shall be:

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

Come, with acorn-cup and thorn,

Drain my heartes blood away;

Life and all its good I scorn,

Dance by night, or feast by day:

   My love is dead,

   Gone to his death-bed

All under the willow-tree.

 

 

 

 

 

thomas-chatterton
Thomas Chatterton (20 november 1752  - 5 augustus 1770)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Iraanse dichteres, vertaalster en mensenrechten-advocate Sheema Kalbasi werd geboren op 20 november 1972 in Teheran. Zij is o.a. directeur van Dialogue of Nations through Poetry in Translation en van het Iraanse Vrouwen Poëzie Project. Zij publiceerde twee gedichtenbundels, Echoes in Exile in het Engels en Sangsar (Steniging) in het Farsi. Verder stelde zij een tweetalige bloemlezing samen van Iraanse (Perzische) dichteressen van het middeleeuwse Perzië tot het hedendaagse Iran. Haar eigen gedichten zijn al in achttien talen vertaald. Kalbasi deed ook vrijwilligerswerk met Koerdische kinderen in Irak en met Pakistaanse kinderen in Pakistan. Tegenwoordig woont zij met man en kinderen in de VS.

 

 

Dancing Tango

 

Oh, Orlando!

Remember the night we danced

quietly on the sands where music

was played? Your words were

wonderers, said quietly

in the pockets of my ears.

 

Oh, Esphahan!

With your turquoise blue mosques

and lovers hiding under the sands

by the Zayandehrood and its haunting

blue skies. Still the words did

wonders when they were said quietly

in the pockets of my ears.

 

Time is eternity, my dignity

resides in yours and your

words are wonders that I count

as precious coins kept quietly

in the pockets of my tears.

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing

 

 

Nothing is all I am

Nothing overloading nothing

Closing the doors,

Opening an extra into an empty space,

Nothing ensues but a further war.

 

The bombs, lights that blind and Damascus,

Burning after Tehran. Sisters calling in despair,

Brothers callous the arms of infidels. Nothing happens

But children die, and journalists are filming for a deadline.

 

Nothing comes after nothing but I,

Kneel, cry for nothing,

and still the no shepherd birds burn at flight.

 

Nothing happens. I walk by the Central Park

Next to nothing, and the no flight zone is

Just nothing yet throat slides over throat,

Bullets shut and blood drops. Here nothing happens

But I write to keep nothing from overloading nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheema-Kalbasi
Sheema Kalbasi (Teheran, 20 november 1972)

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Russische schrijfster Yevgenia Ginzburg werd geboren op 20 november 1904 in Moskou Zij studeerde sociale wetenschappen en pedagogie in Kazan. Daarna werkte zij als lerares. Zij was na de dood van haar eerste man hertrouwd met Pavel Aksyonov, de burgemeester van Kazan en lid van de communistische partij. In 1937 werd zij uit de partij gezet en wegens vermeende contacten met de Trotskisten gearresteerd. Zij kwam in 1949 vrij, maar mocht vijf jaar lang de Magadan-zone niet verlaten. In 1950 volgde een nieuwe arrestatie en werd zij naar de regio Krasnojarskv verbannen. Na de dood van Stalin mocht zij naar Moskau reizen. Daar werkte zij weer als journaliste en publiceerde zij autobiografische boeken. In 1955 volgde een volledige rehabilitatie.

 

Uit: Journey into the Whirlwind (Vertaald door Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward)

 

"To live! Without property, but what was that to me? Let them confiscate it -- they were brigands anyway, confiscating was their business. They wouldn't get much good out of mine, a few books and clothes -- why, we didn't even have a radio. My husband was a loyal Communist of the old stamp, not the kind who had to have a Buick or a Mercedes... Ten years! ...Do you [the judges], with your codfish faces, really think you can go on robbing and murdering for another ten years, that there aren't people in the Party who will stop you sooner or later? I knew there were -- and in order to see that day, I must live. In prison, if needs be, but I must at all costs live! ... I looked at the guards, whose hands were still clasped behind my back. Every nerve in my body was quivering with the joy of being alive. What nice faces the guards had! Peasant boys from Ryazan or Kursk, most likely. They couldn't help being warders -- no doubt they were conscripts. And they had joined hands to save me from falling. But they needn't have -- I wasn't going to fall. I shook back my hair curled so carefully before facing the court, so as not to disgrace the memory of Charlotte Corday. Then I gave the guards a friendly smile. They looked at me in astonishment."

 

 

 

Evgenia_ginzburg
Yevgenia Ginzburg (20 november1904 – 25 mei 1977)

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Zweedse schrijfster Selma Lagerlöf werd geboren op 20 november 1858 in Östra Emterwik in Zweden. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006.

 

Uit: The Treasure

 

“Long after him a man and a woman entered the door. They were poorly clad and lingered bashfully in the corner between door and fireplace.

The host at once came forward to his two guests. He took the hand of each and led them up the room. Then he said to the others: "Is it not truly said that the shorter the way the more the delay? These are our nearest neighbors. Branehog had no other tenants besides them and me."

"Say rather there are none but you," said the man. "You cannot call me a tenant. I am only a poor charcoal-burner whom you have allowed to settle on your land."

The man seated himself beside Torarin and they began to converse. The newcomer told Torarin how it was he came so late to the feast. It was because their cabin had been visited by three strangers whom they durst not leave, three journeymen tanners who had been with them all day. When they came in the morning they were worn out and ailing;(...)“

 

 

 

 

selma-lagerlof-oil-portrait-by-carl-larsson-1908
Selma Lagerlöf (20 november 1858 – 16 maart 1940)

Portret door Carl Larsson (1908)

 

 

 

20-11-07

Nadine Gordimer, Selma Lagerlöf


De Zuidafrikaanse schrijfster Nadine Gordimer werd geboren op 20 november 1923 in Springs. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006.

 

Uit: The Pickup

 

“For 41 years the boundless opportunities of the gynecologist were there, his harem of beauties passed literally through his hands. That afternoon as every afternoon in consulting hours the anteroom where they waited on his summons was full. His girls. On this day one or two among them were new acquisitions, no doubt brought there by the faith of others in the understanding and healing powers of their ‘Archie’. The newcomers were identifiable because they were busy under instruction from the serene and elegant Farida at Reception, filling in forms with personal details. Farida remembers well—trust her efficiency—the two women, on the kind coming along with a first pregnancy, and the other, age on her form set down as 35, a youthful-looking woman—well-endowed in every sense (Farida’s image of her, later), expensive clothes and rings, breasts soft as marshmallows falling together in the scoop neck of her dress as she leaned to write. Her appointment was early on the list and she did not have to wait long. Farida knows all kinds: this was one of those who feign not to be aware that there is anyone else, any woman other than herself, in the space around that self. She had not brought a book with her, as the intellectuals do, nor did she delve into her handbag or pick up and toss aside one magazine after another, as others do. One of the tense and haughty ones, plenty on their minds.
When shown into the doctor’s room she greeted him as with relief at getting away to find herself with an equal. She sat back confidently in the chair across from his desk furnished with friendly tokens of patients gratitude, malachite paperweight, embossed diary, clutch of gilt and silver pens, miniature calculator, two statuettes, copies of some god and goddess—he was at once interrupted by an urgent phone call, and she picked up one of the sacred objects and turned it, smiling. As he ended the call with a gesture of apology, she replaced the god. –Like the good Doctor Freud you enjoy having ancient art around you.—

—They are nice, aren’t they. The Greek period in Egypt, I’m told.—

—Well, I’m sure they’re a necessary change from the present with the troubles of people like me.—

He recognized then, at once, that she was not a woman who must be approached with small talk. —Now let’s hear what the trouble is.— He was also smiling slightly as he glanced through the form bearing her statistics and medical history.

—I’m in the middle of a divorce—and you know how that is, the lawyer says if I want the settlement I’m entitled to I shouldn’t be found to be having anyone else—if my husband’s lawyers knew there was another man…—

—I understand. Yes, that generally would be the case.—

—And now. I have a problem.—

—There is another man. Yes. That’s also generally the case. You are—let’s see—thirty-five. It is a restless age for women. If only men would understand that, there wouldn’t be so many divorces.—

They both laugh.

—So you’ll know what’s coming next, Doctor. I think I’m pregnant. God knows how it happened, I’m careful. The usual symptom, no period for two months. I thought the first miss was, what does everyone blame everything on, now—stress. I’ve got a new job—credit manager in a multinational company and now there’s this. I’ve done that urine test thing—negative, but I don’t trust it.—

—Any children of your marriage?—

—No. An abortion, five years ago. I’m not the motherly type, that was one of the things—many things—wrong in the marriage.—“

 

 

 

 

N_Gordimer_gr
Nadine Gordimer (Springs. 20 november 1923)

 

 

 

 

De Zweedse schrijfster Selma Lagerlöf werd geboren op 20 november 1858 in Östra Emterwik in Zweden. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 november 2006.

 

 

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20-11-06

Nadine Gordimer en Selma Lagerlöf


Nadine Gordimer werd geboren op 20 november 1923 in Springs, Zuid-Afrika.Haar vader was een Joods juwelier die als dertienjarige uit Litouwen was geëmigreerd. Haar moeder was een Engelse. Nadine werd niet joods opgevoed en ging naar een kostschool. Ze maakte een onbekommerde kindertijd en jeugd door binnen het beschermde milieu van de blanke Zuid-Afrikaanse minderheid. Haar moeder hield haar wegens ziekte jarenlang thuis van school. In feite was het de moeder die de dochter nodig had, in plaats van omgekeerd. Door dit geïsoleerde leven las Nadine alles wat ze in handen kreeg. Als negenjarige begon ze te schrijven en haar eerste korte verhaal publiceerde ze nog voor haar zestiende. Haar eerste verhalenbundel Face to Face publiceerde ze in 1949 en haar eerste roman The Lying Days (vertaald als De leugenachtige dagen) in 1953.

 

Nadine Gordimer bezocht heel wat privéscholen en ging studeren aan de University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Ze studeerde daar gedurende één jaar en brak toen haar studies af. Ook reisde ze veel in Afrika, Europa en de V.S. Gordimer heeft bijna haar hele volwassen leven gewoond en geschreven in het door apartheid opgesplitste Zuid-Afrika

Gordimer's voortdurende inzet voor vrijheid van meningsuiting was er de oorzaak van dat haar werk van tijd tot tijd in eigen land werd verboden. In 1991 ontving zij de Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur, vanwege de ironische en inzichtelijke manier waarop ze schrijft over maatschappelijk onrecht. Haar werk verscheen in meer dan 30 talen.

 

Uit:  Get A Life (2005)

 

 

“Only the street-sweeper swishing his broom to collect fallen leaves from the gutter.

The neighbours might have seen, but in the middle of a weekday morning everyone would be out at work or away for other daily-life reasons.

She was there, at the parents' driveway gate as he arrived, able to smile for him, and quickly sense the signal for them to laugh at, accept the strangely absurd situation (only tempo­rary) that they could not hug one another. A foregone hug is less emotional than a foregone embrace. Everything is ordi­nary. The sweeper passes pushing the summer's end before him.

Radiant.

Literally radiant. But not giving off light as saints are shown with a halo. He radiates unseen danger to others from a destructive substance that has been directed to counter what was destroying him. Had him by the throat. Cancer of the thyroid gland. In hospital he was kept in isolation. Even that of silence; he had no voice for a while, mute. Vocal cords af­fected. He remains, he will be still, out of his control, expos­ing others and objects to what he emanates, whomever and whatever he touches.

Everything must be ordinary.

Calling from one car window to the other: Has she re­membered his laptop? Some cassettes? His Adidas? The book on the behaviour of relocated elephants he was in the middle of reading when he went back to hospital? Berenice — Benni — why do parents burden their children with fancy names — has packed a bag for him. She wept while she made decisions on his behalf, put this in, take that out. But she not only re­membered; familiarity knew what he would need, miss. In one of the books he will find she has slipped a photograph of herself he liked particularly, he'd taken before their love af­fair turned into marriage. There's a snap of the boy as a baby.”

 

Nadine_Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer (Springs. 20 november 1923)

 

De Zweedse schrijfster Selma Lagerlöf werd geboren op 20 november 1858 in Östra Emterwik in Zweden. Zij is vooral bekend geworden door haar kinderboek Nils Holgerssons wonderbare reis door Zweden. In 1909 ontving ze de Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur en in 1914 werd ze lid van het comité dat de Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur toekent: de Zweedse Academie. Ze woonde in de plaats Sunne, waar twee hotels naar haar zijn vernoemd. In haar voormalige woonhuis in Mårbacka (nabij Sunne) is tegenwoordig een museum gevestigd. 

Uit: Wunderbare Reise des kleinen Nils Holgerssons mit den Wildgänsen

 

Als Nils Holgersson zu sprechen anfing, beugte sich die Eule vor und sah ihn genau an. "Er hat weder Krallen noch einen Stachel", dachte sie; "aber wer weiß, ob er nicht einen Giftzahn oder sonst eine Waffe hat, die noch gefährlicher sein könnte. Es ist gewiß am besten, ich versuche erst etwas Näheres über ihn zu erfahren, ehe ich mich mit ihm einlasse." "Der Hof heißt Mårbacka",sagte sie dann; "und in früheren Zeiten haben ausgezeichnete Menschen hier gewohnt. Aber wer bist denn du?"

"Ich habe die Absicht mich hier niederzulassen",sagte der Junge, ohne eine direkte Antwort auf die Frage der Nachteule zu geben. "Meint Ihr, das ließe sich einrichten?"

"O ja, obwohl der Hof jetzt nichts Besonderes mehr ist, im Vergleich zu dem, was er früher war", antwortete die Eule. "Aber man kann immerhin hier leben; es kommt ja auch hauptsächlich darauf an, wovon du hier leben willst. Hast du im Sinn, dich auf die Mäusejagd zu verlegen?

"Nein, Gott soll mich davor bewahren!" rief der Junge. "Die Gefahr, daß die Mäuse mich auffressen, ist wohl größer, als daß ich ihnen ein Leid antue."

´Ob er wirklich so wenig gefährlich ist, wie er sagt? Das ist doch wohl nicht möglich´, dachte die Eule; ,aber ich glaube, ich will doch einen Versuch machen.´ Sie flog auf, und im nächsten Augenblick hatte sie ihre Krallen in Nils Holgerssons Schultern geschlagen und hackte nun nach seinen Augen. Nils hielt die eine Hand zum Schutz vor die Augen, während er sich mit der anderen zu befreien suchte und zugleich aus Leibeskräften um Hilfe schrie. Er fühlte, daß er in wirklicher Lebensgefahr schwebte, und sagte sich, diesmal werde es ganz gewiß aus mit ihm sein.              (vertaling Simone Pohlink)

 

 

 

Selma
Selma Lagerlöf (20 november 1858 – 16 maart 1940)

 

 

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