Nick McDonell, Robbert Welagen, Bart FM Droog, Maarten Mourik, Huub Beurskens, Gaston Burssens, Toni Morrison, Elke Erb, Charlotte Van den Broeck, J. C. Bloem, Clara Eggink


De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Nick McDonell op dit blog.

Uit: The Third Brother

“When dinner started, the children would go to the playroom and eat with the nannies. They lounged on heavy couches, watching movies until they fell asleep and the nannies went outside for cigarettes. Lyle especially loved these dinners and made a point of talking to everybody, lingering in the dining room rather than watching movies with the other children. He loved listening to adults talk. So did Mike, but he knew he didn't understand the way his older brother did. The adults sat and drank wine and laughed and smiled at one another in the fall candlelight. Many of them had started families late or had been married once before and had only recently started new ones. Jobs were interesting; there was much travel. There was a lot to talk about, and the subtext was that they were lucky to have the lives they had. Mike remembered everyone being very happy.
Before one of these dinners, Lyle decided that he and Mike would be spies. Lyle had gotten a small tape recorder, only a toy really, for his birthday earlier that fall. Their plan was to hide it in the dining room to record the dinner conversation. While the servants were setting up, and Mike's mother was upstairs dressing, and Mike's father was out walking along the ocean, Lyle and Mike secured the tape recorder under the table with duct tape. As the guests arrived and had drinks, the boys slid between them and crawled under the table and switched on the recorder. They were very excited all through dinner, but they didn't tell any of the other children what they were up to. By dessert, Mike couldn't wait any longer. He wanted to go get the recorder. No, said Lyle, they'll be there for a long time. Let's just look. When they peeked around the dining room door, Elliot Analect saw them and held up the tape recorder, which he must have found much earlier, maybe when he first sat down. Analect wasn't a regular guest at these dinners. He was usually abroad somewhere. At this point he was a correspondent in East Asia, and Mike's father was especially glad to have him for Thanksgiving. Mike's mother didn't like Analect. Mike didn't know this the way Lyle did, but he had a sense of it too. When Analect held up the recorder Mike knew instantly they would be in trouble. He saw the way the adults laughed but didn't think it was funny. One of them, drunker than the rest and not a very good friend of Mike's parents, was even a little angry. Mike remembered that he worked for one of the networks. Their mother was embarrassed and that always made her cross as well. Mike's father called the boys over and tried to set things right by giving them a talk in front of the table that was both funny and serious. Analect removed the tape from the recorder and put it in his pocket.”

Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)

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Nick McDonell, Robbert Welagen, Bart FM Droog, Maarten Mourik, Huub Beurskens, Gaston Burssens, Toni Morrison, Elke Erb, Charlotte Van den Broeck


De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Nick McDonell op dit blog.

Uit: The Third Brother

“Mike tries to decode this and can't. Analect tells him again to stay out of trouble and that Bishop will take care of him. It seems to Mike that Bishop is pleased to have the help, but that there is more to it. When they are leaving the office, Analect tells Mike to wait for a moment, and when they are alone, he tells Mike that Dorr had been a friend of Mike's father, years ago. That they had all been good friends, actually, the three of them practically brothers, and that Mike's father would be glad for news of Dorr.
Mike looks out the window. He notices for the first time how really extraordinary the view from Analect's office is. Mike can see the whole city, enormous and smogged and throbbing. For a moment he can't believe the sound of it doesn't blow in the windows. But Analect's office sits quietly above it all, humming coolly. Mike is suddenly uneasy, with only the inch of glass between the two of them and the loud, empty space above the city. He looks back at Analect, who is frowning.
"Dorr and your father were sparring partners, when they boxed back in college," says Analect.
Mike looks back out over the city. He knew about the boxing, but his father had never mentioned Dorr. It all surprises him, but maybe it's just seeing his own features reflected in the glass, and the long drop to Hong Kong from fifty stories up.
When Mike was a small boy, his parents often entertained. In New York City in their world, they were famous for the dinners they gave in their big beach house at the end of Long Island, especially Thanksgiving. Mike remembered the candlelight and gluey cranberry sauce, which he would wipe off his hands into his hair. His older brother, Lyle, remembered the same things. There were servants, who disciplined Mike when his parents did not. One Filipino lady in particular boxed his ears. When he was older he remembered how it hurt but not her name. Their parents gave these dinners several years in a row. There were mostly the same guests, adults who would tousle Mike's fine but cranberried hair, and their children, a crew of beautiful, spoiled playmates whom Mike assumed he would know forever. He still saw some of them, at parties and dinners of their own on school breaks. At hearing that one or two of them had slid into addiction, Mike would remember chasing them through his mother's busy kitchen. His mother was never in the kitchen, of course, but it was definitely hers. Small paintings of vegetables and an antique mirror hung on its walls.”


Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)

Lees meer...


Nick McDonell, Robbert Welagen, Bart FM Droog, Maarten Mourik, Huub Beurskens, Gaston Burssens, Charlotte Van den Broeck


De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Nick McDonell op dit blog.

Uit: The End of Major Combat Operations

“Ricky was an interpreter who chain-smoked and always carried several packs of cigarettes. He was generous with his smokes, would shake one out for you each time you reached for your pack. His hands shook when he offered you one, though; Ricky seemed sometimes like he wanted something back. The guys he rode with liked him. He was a source of fun because of his nerves, but he played along with the jokes.
The strangest thing about Ricky was the way he perspired. The guys in the truck agreed that they had never seen anything like it. Ricky dripped. His hair was always damp. When he turned his head quickly, the saltwater sprayed off him. The canvas of his seat in the MRAP was always stained.
Ricky, like most terps, rotated between his company’s platoons, but recently everyone in the 1-12’s Bull company had been seeing more of him than usual. He had moved onto the FOB full time. In fact, he was living on a cot outside one of the lieutenant’s rooms. This particular LT, Drew Masone, was a broad twenty-three-year-old from Levittown, Long Island, distinguished most clearly by his tolerant nature. He only shook his head about Ricky, didn’t say that he was stinking up the hallway even though he was, lying on his cot in his undershirt whenever he wasn’t standing outside, smoking, saying hello too many times.
Most terps went home every couple of weeks. There was, sometimes, joking between them and the soldiers about how the terps could go home and get laid and have a beer up in Kurdistan. The platoons rotated the fortnightly “terp drop,” a boring and simple mission. The terps left their camo behind and piled into the back of the MRAP, often with a small refrigerator or television set or bag of clothes that they had procured in the previous two weeks of patrols. Then the patrol mounted up and drove north to a deserted stretch of road in Kurdistan where a couple of beat-up sedans idled. The terps would quickly dismount and load their stuff into the sedans and speed off down the road. Terp drop was easy and tedious for the GIs, but for the terps it was more important than almost anything else. It was transit between worlds. What if the wrong person saw them? What if they were followed? What if they brought the mayhem and killing back home?”


Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)

Lees meer...


Nick McDonell, Toni Morrison, Robbert Welagen, Bart FM Droog, Maarten Mourik, Huub Beurskens, Gaston Burssens


De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Nick McDonell op dit blog.

Uit: The Third Brother

“So Mike is glad when the assignment comes, even though he is very surprised. He had been watching again, and Analect had been standing in conversation with Bishop for nearly ten minutes. Mike had been looking closely through the glass-he sensed the men were angry with one another-when Bishop suddenly turned and opened the door. Mike feared he was caught, but then Bishop waved him into the office and Analect asked if he wanted to go to Bangkok. "Help Tommy with some reporting," as he put it.
Bishop nods slightly at Mike. Bishop is a small man, with fat features and prematurely graying black hair.
"The story, is backpacker kids going to Bangkok to do ecstasy," Analect says. "Just don't get arrested."
"He doesn't want to have to retrieve you," Bishop says.
"It's really just a travel story, is another way to look at it," Analect goes on.
"Just a travel story," Bishop repeats, chuckling.
"You're their age," Analect continues, "the backpackers'. You'll be good at talking to them. Ask questions. It can be your story too. And one other thing I've already explained to Tommy ..."
Mike catches Bishop rolling his eyes.
"... I want you to find Christopher Dorr."
Mike can't place the name.
"He used to do a lot of the investigative pieces Tommy does now," Analect says, looking straight at him, seeming almost to ignore Bishop. "He's been in Bangkok for a while, I think. It'd be good for someone from the magazine to look him up."


Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)

Lees meer...


Nick McDonell, Toni Morrison, Robbert Welagen, Bart FM Droog, Huub Beurskens, Gaston Burssens


De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Nick McDonell op dit blog.

Uit: Twelve

“And White Mike ran after them, barking and howling, and Hunter ran after him, and White Mike let them get away after a couple blocks. Hunter put White Mike in a cab, but he had to convince the cabbie to take White Mike, and pay him in advance. The cabbie was jumpy and looked in the mirror at White Mike the whole ride. White Mike had his head out the window, staring at the pedestrians. When White Mike got home and collapsed in his bed with his shoes and clothes still on, his last thought before sleep was Why not? He had been awake for three days.
White Mike gets out of a cab on Seventy-sixth Street and Park Avenue. He looks at the number of the cab: 1F17. He memorizes the number every time he gets out of a cab, in case he leaves anything behind. This has never happened.
Down Park Avenue there are Christmas lights wrapped around all the trees and bushes, and the wires give the snow better purchase, so the frost hangs low from the branches. When the lights turn on at night the trees almost disappear between the bulbs, and the disembodied points of light outline jagged constellations in the dark air. It is getting past dusk, and White Mike remembers one night, years ago, when his mother was still alive and she sat on the edge of his bed, tucking him in for the night, and told him about Chaos Theory. White Mike remembers exactly what she said. The story she told him was about how if a butterfly died over a field in Brazil and fell to the ground and made a mouse move or a tiny shoot of grass bend, then everything might be different here, thousands and thousands of miles away.
"How come?",he asked.
"Well, if one thing happens and changes something else, then that thing changes something else, right? And that change could come all the way around the world, right here to you in your bed." She tweaked his nose."Did a butterfly do that?"
"Did the butterfly die?",he asked her back.
The lights on Park Avenue suddenly turn on. White Mike can feel his beeper vibrating again.”


Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)
Chace Crawford als Mike in de film “Twelve” uit 2010

Lees meer...


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De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Nick McDonell op dit blog.


Uit: Twelve


“The city is a mess this time of year, this year especially. Madison Avenue is all chewed up with construction, and there are more bums on Lexington than White Mike remembers. It is crowded on the sidewalks, and the more snow, the worse it gets, and there has been plenty of snow. On some streets when the snowdrifts pile up there is only a salted corridor of frozen dog shit and concrete. It’s been cold since Thanksgiving, very cold, coldest winter in decades says the TV, but White Mike doesn’t mind the cold.

When White Mike first started dealing, it was summer and hot, and he tried to go as long as he could without sleep as a kind of experiment. White Mike already looked pale and scary to the kids he sold to, and then by the third day his jeans and white T-shirt were grimed out and he looked like some refugee James Dean, and the last hours were just a blur and the cars on the street flew past so close to him that people who saw flinched, but he had the cadences of the city down so tight that he was fine.

At Lexington and Eighty-sixth, his friend Hunter saw him and said, Mike, are you feeling okay, and White Mike turned to him and there was a smear of dirt on his face and his eyes were glowing in the neon light from the Papaya King juice/hot dog place. White Mike smiled at him and said watch this and took off running, just running so fucking fast up the block toward Park Avenue. There were a bunch of private school kids walking the same direction, and when they saw White Mike running past them, one of them said, loud enough for White Mike to hear, Madman running. And White Mike turned and walked back to them saying, Madman, madman, madman, madman, and the kids got scared, and then White Mike ran full into them, and they scattered, and they didn’t think it was funny at all, and then White Mike started barking at them, howling, and they all ran.”



Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)


Lees meer...


Nick McDonell, Toni Morrison, Bart FM Droog, Huub Beurskens, Elke Erb, Gaston Burssens, Níkos Kazantzákis, Jean M. Auel


De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Nick McDonell op dit blog.


Uit: The End of Major Combat Operations



What the cook thinks of the press.

6am, surrounded by Iraqis, sixty-six hundred miles from Birmingham, pouring eggs out of a carton, in trailer next to a mortar crater.

Reporter: “You’re the cook huh? That’s a pretty Good job, I guess. So did you want to be the cook, or how do you get that job?”



Everyone had talismans. The story was such a cliché that I came to think of knowing what the soldiers carried for luck as a kind of reporter talisman. A mental rabbit foot, reassurance that you were not part of the circus, that in fact you were standing outside the tent and not responsible, somehow, for the all misunderstandings. As if, because you were not shooting, you were not as important (and therefore unimportant) as every GI. So, get this, I met a guy who carried a page from a little bible in a pocket on every limb.

More likely to save you than your talisman was your body armor, but lot of guys said that if it was up to them they wouldn’t wear the stuff at all. No one could outrun a ball bearing, but the thinking still was that it slowed you down. It was heavy, uncomfortable. Everyone always did wear it, though, and there were a lot of stories about how well it worked. One was about a sergeant who was walking in line through a palm grove when an insurgent popped up, maybe fifteen feet ahead of him and fired off a burst of rounds square into his chest. The sergeant went down, all the air blown out of him, but the armor stopped the rounds. His friends, not far down the road, were still lining the shooter up when the sergeant took out the insurgent from the ground, where he lay on his back. But as one Corporal pointed out to me as we talked about IEDs: no body armor on your legs.“



Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)

Lees meer...


80 Jaar Toni Morrison, Nick McDonell, Bart FM Droog, Huub Beurskens, Elke Erb, Gaston Burssens, Níkos Kazantzákis


80 Jaar Toni Morisson


De Afro-Amerikaans schrijfster Toni Morrison werd geboren op 18 februari 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2010. Toni Morisson viert vandaag haar 80e verjaardag.


Uit: The Bluest Eye


Nuns go by as quiet as lust, and drunken men and sober eyes sing in the lobby of the Greek hotel. Rosemary Villanucci, our next-door friend who lives above her father's cafe, sits in a 1939 Buick eating bread and butter. She rolls down the window to tell my sister Frieda and me that we can't come in. We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth. When she comes out of the car we will beat her up, make red marks on her white skin, and she will cry and ask us do we want her to pull her pants down. We will say no. We don't know what we should feel or do if she does, but whenever she asks us, we know she is offering us something precious and that our own pride must be asserted by refusing to accept.
School has started, and Frieda and I get new brown stockings and cod-liver oil. Grown-ups talk in tired, edgy voices about Zick's Coal Company and take us along in the evening to the railroad tracks where we fill burlap sacks with the tiny pieces of coal lying about. Later we walk home, glancing back to see the great carloads of slag being dumped, red hot and smoking, into the ravine that skirts the steel mill. The dying fire lights the sky with a dull orange glow. Frieda and I lag behind, staring at the patch of color surrounded by black. It is impossible not to feel a shiver when our feet leave the gravel path and sink into the dead grass in the field.
Our house is old, cold, and green. At night a kerosene lamp lights one large room. The others are braced in darkness, peopled by roaches and mice. Adults do not talk to us -- they give us directions. They issue orders without providing information. When we trip and fall down they glance at us; if we cut or bruise ourselves, they ask us are we crazy. When we catch colds, they shake their heads in disgust at our lack of consideration. How, they ask us, do you expect anybody to get anything done if you all are sick? We cannot answer them. Our illness is treated with contempt, foul Black Draught, and castor oil that blunts our minds.“




Toni Morrison (Lorain, 18 februari 1931)



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De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009.


Uit: The Third Brother


„The summer is dragging for Mike as he rises, by escalator, out of the cool subway into the Hong Kong heat. He is too tall, out of place as he crosses the jammed street to Taikoo Tower, where he has been working for six weeks. Seems like a year. The tower looms over him, silent workers and pulsing tech­nology, a kingdom of itself above the Hong Kong streets. Mike doesn’t like the skyscraper—it has become predictable—but he is grateful for the air-conditioning. Everything inside the tower works. Outside, not. His job, his internship, is at a news magazine that he had never read until the twenty-two-hour flight from New York.
Mike has several bosses at the magazine, but the reason he has the job is that the managing editor, Elliot Analect, is a friend of his father. Analect even looks like his father, Mike realized when they shook hands. All of those guys look alike, all tall, clean, white guys who have known one another for de­cades. They were in the same club at Harvard, wore the same ties. And then they went to Vietnam and almost all of them came back. Growing up, Mike didn’t see his father’s friends much but he had the sense they were in touch. So when it was time for his first internship, the summer after his freshman year, Mike was not surprised that he ended up working for Analect. He was glad, at least, that the job was in Hong Kong and not in midtown Manhattan.
As a summer intern, Mike seldom gets out of the office, spends his days wading the Internet. He is doing research, mostly for Thomas Bishop, one of the magazine’s correspon­dents. Mike has a view of Analect’s office and sometimes watches his father’s old friend through the smoked-glass walls, but they have had little contact since that initial welcome handshake. And the most excitement Mike has had was when Analect abruptly spoke with him in the hallway, promising to take him out to lunch at the end of the summer. Strange, Mike thinks, and wishes there was more for him to do. As he surfs the Internet he thinks about fathers and sons, and how friend­ship does not necessarily pass down. Mike has already seen this often among his friends and their fathers.“




Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)





De Nederlandse dichter Bart FM Droog werd geboren in Emmen op 18 februari 1966. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009.




Mozes aan de Maas


Op de hoek van de Maasboulevard
luistert een blije burgemeester
naar het ritme van wereldhavens
en hoort het schreien van een baby


in lekke tobbe ronddobberend
in de Buitenhaven, gans alleen
zonder dralen duikt hij te water
en helpt de huiler aan hoger wal


banjert dan langs Vlaardinger dreven
schudt links en rechts een hand
duwt auto's aan en draagt bejaarden
de veerboot op, op Pernis aan.







Voor me de schedel van grootvader
van koperen hersendak voorzien
met uitsparing voor sigaretten
hij grijnst al veertig jaar

Ernaast de baarmoeder van oma
keurig in wekfles bewaard, daarin
groeide mijn moeder: ei werd mens
deze machine in sterk water gevat

Als trofee de rechterarm van vader
en de moederkoeken van de zussen
eronder de foto's van allen
die aan de fronten zijn verbleekt.





Bart FM Droog (Emmen, 18 februari 1966)






De Nederlandse dichter,vertaler en schilder Huub Beurskens is geboren in Tegelen op 18 februari 1950. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2008. en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009.




Overlevende ruiter


Onzinnig is het te menen dat uit de dood
wij eens tot de levenden weer in zullen keren,
maar zinvol zich innig in te beelden hoe
wij dan waren als het wel waar zou zijn.

Dat de ongestorvenen ons herkenden,
geloof ik niet. Hoe het ook geschiedde
dat wij met hen medegingen, hun ogen
waren te zeer bevangen. Wie echter

ooit zich even opgenomen wist in een paardenblik,
zich in heel zijn bloheid onhooggetild voelde in
zo'n wild, bang en toch gelijkmoedig oog, die weet:

paarden graasden eens al in de dood en galoppeerden
door een heel heelal. Is dat geen troost als achter ons
straks het leven dichtvalt als een stalpoort zonder stal?





Huub Beurskens (Tegelen, 18 februari 1950)






De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Elke Erb werd geboren op 18 februari 1938 in Scherbach in de Eifel. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009.



Zum Beispiel


Die eine Kachel war knallgrün. Das ließ sich nicht ändern.

Sie war es, ist es, so ist es. Wenn sie noch ist.


Daran läßt sich nichts ändern. Eingesetzt sitzt sie fest.

Unzureichend gebilligt. Wirkt an erträglich vorbei.


Es bedarf einer Zutat, einer gewissen Dosis von Absehn,

Vorbeisehn an ihr, im Wissen, da sitzt sie.


Dessen bedurfte es wohl. Spürbarer Duldung sozusagen,

bei aber nicht verminderter Aufmerksamkeit.


Ein Knall ist ein Phänomen. Denke: Knall.







Es steht eine Scheune Scheune

auf Zehen sie wankt welkes Gras

welkes Gras treulich



gelbbraun treulich

übersommert schwach-

braun Gras Kraut getürmt für

die welke Geruchmacht die



unter dem Dach Noch nicht

November Unsicherer Puls






Elke Erb (Scherbach, 18 februari 1938)





De Afro-Amerikaans schrijfster Toni Morrison werd geboren op 18 februari 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009.


Uit: Sula


„Then summer came. A summer limp with the weight of blossomed things. Heavy sunflowers weeping over fences; iris curling and browning at the edges far away from their purple hearts; ears of corn letting their auburn hair wind down to their stalks. And the boys. The beautiful, beautiful boys who dotted the landscape like jewels, split the air with their shouts in the field, and thickened the river with their shining wet backs. Even their footsteps left a smell of smoke behind.

It was in that summer, the summer of their twelfth year, the summer of the beautiful black boys, that they became skittish, frightened and bold — all at the same time.

In that mercury mood in July, Sula and Nel wandered about the Bottom barefoot looking for mischief. They decided to go down by the river where the boys sometimes swam. Nel waited on the porch of 7 Carpenter's Road while Sula ran into the house to go to the toilet. On the way up the stairs, she passed the kitchen where Hannah sat with two friends, Patsy and Valentine. The two women were fanning themselves and watching Hannah put down some dough, all talking casually about one thing and another, and had gotten around, when Sula passed by, to the problems of child rearing.

"They a pain."

"Yeh. Wish I'd listened to mamma. She told me not to have 'em too soon."

"Any time atall is too soon for me."

"Oh, I don't know. My Rudy minds his daddy. He just wild with me. Be glad when he growed and gone."

Hannah smiled and said, "Shut your mouth. You love the ground he pee on."

"Sure I do. But he still a pain. Can't help loving your own child. No matter what they do."

"Well, Hester grown now and I can't say love is exactly what I feel."

"Sure you do. You love her, like I love Sula. I just don't like her. That's the difference."

"Guess so. Likin' them is another thing."




Toni Morrison
(Lorain, 18 februari 1931)





De Vlaamse dichter en schrijver Gaston Burssens werd geboren in Dendermonde op 18 februari 1896. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2008 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009.


Uit: Paul van Ostaijen als Vriend. Herinneringen


„VOORAF deze verklaring: het karakter van Paul van Ostaijen is een oprechte ontleding genoeg waard, om, in acht nemende de groote vriendschap, die ons heeft verbonden, een excuus te vinden in de interesse, welke dit uitzonderlijke karakter wekt.

Paul van Ostaijen was niet de poseur, die hij kon voorgeven te zijn. Ik meen: hij epateerde wetens en willens in de overtuiging, dat zijn pose nooit effect miste - om achteraf met dit effect te spotten, bitter en kleineerend. Hij berekende steeds zijn pose dusdanig, dat, wie met hem in aanraking kwam, zich telkens misrekende en schijn voor werkelijkheid aanvaardde.

Waarmee van Ostaijen één doel bereikte. Ik zeg één doel, omdat hij nog een tweede beoogde: zijn geestelijke superioriteit te laten constateeren. Eens op een avond zat ik met hem te schaken in het café ‘Hulstkamp’. Niet één van beiden beheerschte het spel volkomen. Op zeker moment nam een ons onbekend persoon plaats achter van Ostaijen's rug en mengde zich ongevraagd en nonchalant in het spel. Van Ostaijen verbleekte plots en na een paar minuten achteloos spelen gooide hij zijn pions omver en zei: ‘ik moet weg’. Toen ik hem verwonderd naar de reden vroeg, zei hij met zijn gewoon afwijkend gebaar, dat hem vooral eigen was tegenover minder goede vrienden: ‘ze is van te intiemen aard’. Op straat, na langen tijd doelloos te hebben geloopen, kwam hij los en zei: ‘toen die onbekende achter mij had plaats genomen, voelde ik mij verbleeken, en toen hij zich nog in het spel mengde, brak het zweet mij in de lenden uit en verloor ik alle zelfcontrole. Ik weet niet, hoe het met anderen is gesteld, maar ik voel steeds wat Baudelaire heeft uitgedrukt met: ‘je ne veux pas tituber devant les imbéciles.’“




Gaston Burssens (18 februari 1896 – 29 januari 1965)






De Griekse dichter en schrijver Níkos Kazantzákis werd geboren in Heraklion op  18 februari 1883. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2009.


Uit:  Odyssee  (Vertaald door A. Conradi)


Zur Mutter kehrte Helios heim, und seine Mutter zitterte.
Sie stürzt zum Unterbau des Himmels, facht die roten Oefen an,
und vierzig Laibe Brot schiebt sie, den Sohn zu stärken, rasch hinein.
Und die Gefährten sehn den Gott versinken, und sie zünden rasch
ein Feuer an am Fuss der Klip pen, stecken an den Spiess ein Zicklein,
das, zwischen Felsen eingeklemmt, sie mit der Schling herausgezogen.



„He, Nachbar, eilig hast du es, fragst nicht nach meinem eignen Wunsch.
Leck dir nicht schon die Lippen, Tod, ein starker Knochen bin ich noch:
bald werf ich dir ihn hin, doch wisse: noch benötige ich ihn—
die Seele hält den Körper fest, an ihrem Busen, bis er fault (... )
Bleib sieben Schritte hinter mir, ich werde dich schon rufen, Tod!“
Die sieben Schritte messend blieb, gebückt, der Tod ihm auf den Fersen.





Níkos Kazantzákis (18 februari 1883 - 26 oktober 1957)

Boekomslag biografie door Giorgos Panagiotakis


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 18e februari ook
mijn vorige blog van vandaag.


Nick McDonell, Gaston Burssens, Bart FM Droog, Huub Beurskens, Toni Morrison, Níkos Kazantzákis, Jean M. Auel, Hedwig Courths-Mahler, Elke Erb, Alexander Kielland, Mór Jókai, Audre Lorde, Wallace Stegner, Leon Alberti


De Amerikaanse schrijver Nick McDonell werd geboren op 18 februari 1984 in New York. Hij stamt uit de rijke, blanke Upper East Side van Manhattan.  McDonell schreef een roman over zijn rijke, blanke, verveelde leeftijdsgenoten, Twelve. Lang voordat het boek in 2002 uitkwam, begonnen er in tijdschriften als de New Yorker artikelen te verschijnen over McDonell en zijn achtergrond. Vader werkte voor Rolling Stone en Esquire, moeder schrijft romans en filmscenario's, en onder de huisvrienden bevinden zich Hunter S. Thompson, Jay McInerney, P.J. O'Rourke, Joan Didion en andere schrijvers, die niet te beroerd waren om Nicks boek te voorzien van aanbevelingen. In 2005 verscheen zijn tweede roman The Third Brother.


Uit: Twelve


„White Mike is thin and pale like smoke.

White Mike wears jeans and a hooded sweatshirt and a dark blue Brooks Brothers overcoat that hangs long on him. His blond hair, nearly white, is cropped tight around his head. White Mike is clean. White Mike has never smoked a cigarette in his life. Never had a drink, never sucked down a doobie. But White Mike has become a very good drug dealer, even though it started out as a one-shot deal with his cousin Charlie.

White Mike was a good student, but he’s been out of school for six months, and though some people might wonder what he’s doing, no one seems to care very much that he’s taking a year off before college. Maybe more than a year. White Mike saw that movie American Beauty about a kid who is a drug dealer and buys expensive video equipment with the money he makes. The kid says that sometimes there is so much beauty in the world that sometimes you just can’t take it. Fuck that, thinks White Mike.

White Mike is not looking at beauty. He is looking at the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It is two days after Christmas and all the kids are home from boarding school and everyone has money to blow. So White Mike is busy with a pickup in Harlem and then ounces and fifties and dimes and loud music and packed open houses and more rounds and kids from Hotchkiss and Andover and St. Paul’s and Deerfield all looking to get high and tell stories about how it is to kids from Dalton and Collegiate and Chapin and Riverdale, who have stories, of their own. All the same stories, really“.





Nick McDonell (New York, 18 februari 1984)






De Vlaamse dichter en schrijver Gaston Burssens werd geboren in Dendermonde op 18 februari 1896. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2008.




De drie gezellen


In het loof van jasmijnestruikjes
zit ik bij de wijn.
Vrienden laat nu ’t goede uur opduiken!
Daar buigt zich de maan met gouden schijn
in de klare sloot,
en hoffelik buig ik me met haar
en m’n schaduw met sierlik gebaar
buigt zich als derde bondgenoot.

De maan wil ik drinken,
laat het zo blijven.
Schaduw, laat ons klinken!
Maar het arme kind ontvangt geen drop.
Ons beider dorst wil ik samerijven
en voor drie drinken en lachen
zolang geen dorre takken
de grond slaan en m’n kop.

Zie de maan: ze lacht om m’n gezangen.
Zie m’n schaduw: ze danst en springt
als was ze alleen in verlangen.
Als zich de nevel van de roes in m’n hersens dringt
zorg dan in roes met mij te zijn.

Tot weerziens alle drie,
morgen avend in ’t bloesemloof bij de wijn.






                                            à Yvette


Adieu. Dit zijn de laatste noten

die ik gespeeld heb op mijn ribbenkast.

Een kast, waarvan ik in de laden

wat blanco vellen heb geborgen,

papieren voor de dorst.

Zij zullen met mij begraven worden,

mishandeld en mijn slaven worden

en adders aan mijn borst.

Maar goed. Vandaag ben ik nog krekel,

doch morgen ben ik mier,

die overmorgen al zijn hekel

¬– uit zijn reserves in de pekel –

aan apropos, atoom en spirocheten

posthuum zal zetten op papier.

Adieu! Wie weet of ik niet zal beklijven

door ’t schrijven van een later lied,

of ik het schrijven zal of niet.

Zinloos of niet.

Levend of niet.





Gaston Burssens (18 februari 1896 – 29 januari 1965)





De Nederlandse dichter Bart FM Droog werd geboren in Emmen op 18 februari 1966. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2008.






Aan boord van het motorpersoonschip Organza
laven we ons aan uiterwaarden en zicht op gevogelte
zo nemen we waar de eend, de aalscholver, de gans
de meeuw, de zwaan en al wat verder vliegt

over het groene land dat aan dit water grenst
ach, hoe leeg de rivier, hoe ijdel ons vermaak
glijdend over de IJssel van Deventer naar Zutphen
en in Zutphen weer terug, het heen en weer

is aan pontschippers en ons want ook
al wat vliegt en zwemt, de baars, de snoek
de voorn, de karper en de gespekte tjiftjaf
lomen zich in en op en boven de wateren voort







Stemmen deed ze nooit
ze hoorde stemmen in haar hoofd

stemmen die haar ontstemden
kiezen deed ze nooit

ze had kiezen in haar kop
kiezen die knarsten en kraakten

nee, waarom zou ze
zich inlaten met het leven

met al die zaken in haar brein?
de boeken gingen branden

panden werden leeg gesleurd
en zij zat daar te staren

zich nog minder dan bewust.






Bart FM Droog (Emmen, 18 februari 1966)





De Nederlandse dichter,vertaler en schilder Huub Beurskens is geboren in Tegelen op 18 februari 1950. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2008.




Etruskische sarcofaag


voor Hans Berghuis


Even bestaat de dood daar niet, althans

een huis is hij, alles konden we er bergen

en blijven, liggend, spijzend, converserend

met de glimlach van de liefste en haar zoen.


De dood had de tijd niet te verdrijven.

Hoe moet het zich geleefd hebben, bij levenden

lijve, fluitspelend, bloei van kruiden,

grazende kudden rondom Caere, toen!


Waarom dan dat meten, woelend in een lever,

en stenen naar een vogelvlucht gesmeten?

Quasarwikkers, DNA-auguren, verzekeringsmeneren


Geloof de dichters, elk zijn zij de dioscuren,

hun behuizing is de drempel van allebei de sferen,

daar stoken zij zich de dood tot levensvatbare figuren.





Huub Beurskens (Tegelen, 18 februari 1950)





De Afro-Amerikaansschrijfster Toni Morrison werd geboren op 18 februari 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007.


Uit: Love


„The day she walked the streets of Silk, a chafing wind kept the temperature low and the sun was helpless to move outdoor thermometers more than a few degrees above freezing. Tiles of ice had formed at the shoreline and, inland, the thrown-together houses on Monarch Street whined like puppies. Ice slick gleamed, then disappeared in the early evening shadow, causing the sidewalks she marched along to undermine even an agile tread, let alone one with a faint limp. She should have bent her head and closed her eyes to slits in that weather, but being a stranger, she stared wide-eyed at each house, searching for the address that matched the one in the advertisement: One Monarch Street. Finally she turned into a driveway where Sandler Gibbons stood in his garage door ripping the seam from a sack of Ice-Off. He remembers the crack of her heels on concrete as she approached; the angle of her hip as she stood there, the melon sun behind her, the garage light in her face. He remembers the pleasure of her voice when she asked for directions to the house of women he has known all his life.

"You sure?" he asked when she told him the address.

She took a square of paper from a jacket pocket, held it with ungloved fingers while she checked, then nodded.

Sandler Gibbons scanned her legs and reckoned her knees and thighs were stinging from the cold her tiny skirt exposed them to. Then he marveled at the height of her bootheels, the cut of her short leather jacket. At first he'd thought she wore a hat, something big and fluffy to keep her ears and neck warm. Then he realized that it was hair-blown forward by the wind, distracting him from her face. She looked to him like a sweet child, fine-boned, gently raised but lost.“




Toni Morrison(Lorain, 18 februari 1931)






De Griekse schrijver Níkos Kazantzákis werd geboren in Heraklion op  18 februari 1883. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007.


Uit: Zorba the Greek


My dear friend,
    "I am writing to you from a lonely shore in Crete where destiny and I have agreed I should stay several months to play - to play at being a capatlist. If my game succeeds, I shall say it was not a game, but that I had made a great resolution and changed my mode of life.
    "You remember how, when you left, you called me a bookworm. That so vexed me I decided to abandon my scribbling on paper for a time - or for ever? - and to throw myself into a life of action. I rented a hillside containing lignite; I engaged wormen and took picks and shovels, acetylene lamps, baskets, trucks. I opened up galleries and went into them. Just like that, to annoy you. And by dint of digging and making passages in the earth, the bookworm has become a mole. I hope you approve of the metamorphosis.
    "My joys here are great, because they are very simple and spring from the everlasting elements: the pure air, the sun, the sea and the wheaten loaf. In the evening an extraordinary Sindbad-the-Sailor squats before me, Turkish fashion, and speaks. He speaks and the world grows bigger. Occasionally, when words no longer suffice , he leaps up and dances. And when dancing no longer suffices he places his santuri on his knee and plays.
    "Sometimes he plays a savage air and you feel you are choking because you realise all at once that your life is colourless, miserable and unworthy of man. Sometimes he plays a dolorous air and you feel your life passing, running away like sand between your fingers, and that there is no salvation.
    "My heart is going to and fro in my breast like a weaver's shuttle. It is weaving these few months which I am spending in Crete, and - God forgive me - I believe I am happy.
    "Confucius says: 'Many seek happiness higher than man; others beneath him. But happiness is the same height as man.' That is true. So there must be a happiness to suit every man's stature. Such is, my dear pupil and master, my happiness of the day. I anxiously measure it and measure it again, to see what my stature of the moment is. For, you know this very well, man's stature is not always the same.
    "How the soul of man is transformed according to the climate, the silence, the solitude, or the company in which it lives!“





Níkos Kazantzákis (18 februari 1883 - 26 oktober 1957)





De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jean Marie Auel werd geboren op 18 februari 1936 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 18 februari 2008.


Uit: The Shelters of Stone


„People were gathering on the limestone ledge, looking down at them warily. No one made a gesture of welcome, and some held spears in positions of readiness if not actual threat. The young woman could almost feel their edgy fear. She watched from the bottom of the path as more people crowded together on the ledge, staring down, many more than she thought there would be. She had seen that reluctance to greet them from other people they had met on their Journey. It's not just them, she told herself, it's always that way in the beginning. But she felt uneasy.

The tall man jumped down from the back of the young stallion. He was neither reluctant nor uneasy, but he hesitated for a moment, holding the stallion's halter rope. He turned around and noticed that she was hanging back. "Ayla, will you hold Racer's rope? He seems nervous," he said, then looked up at the ledge. "I guess they do, too."





Jean M. Auel (Chicago,  18 februari 1936)





De Duitse schrijfster Hedwig Courths-Mahler werd geboren in Nebra (Saksen-Anhalt) op 18 februari 1867. Zij was een buitenechtelijk kind van de marketentster Henriette Mahler en de binnenschipper Ernst Schmidt. Aangezien haar vader nog voor haar geboorte gestorven was groeide Hedwig bij een pleeggezin in Weißenfels op. Zij verliet op jonge leeftijd de school om geld te gaan verdienen. In Leipzig werd ze gezelschapsdame van een oude dame, die ze ook moest voorlezen. Daarbij ontdekte ze het plezier in schrijven. Op zeventienjarige leeftijd schreef zij haar eerste vertelling Wo die Heide blüht, deze werd in een plaatselijke krant gepubliceerd. In Halle (Saksen-Anhalt) werkte zij daarna als verkoopster. In 1889 trouwde zij in Leipzig met de kunstschilder en decorateur Fritz Courts en kreeg twee dochters. Pas in 1904 verscheen in het Chemnitzer Dagblad -als feuilleton- haar eerste roman Licht und Schatten. Daarna werd zij een zeer productieve auteur, die jaarlijks meerdere romans publiceerde. Al haar romans volgen hetzelfde stramien. Sociaal achtergestelden overwinnen het standsverschil door de liefde. De geliefden strijden tegen allerlei intriges en vinden samen het geluk, rijkdom en aanzien. De naam Courths-Mahler werd bijna een synoniem voor “Trivialliteratur”.  In totaal schreef zij ruim 200 romans met een totale oplage van ongeveer veertig miljoen stuks.


Uit: Ich lieb' in dir die ganze Welt


„Baroness Annedore kuvertierte gerade den Brief, den sie an ihre beste Freundin aus dem Pensionat geschrieben hatte, als sie von der Terrasse jemanden ihren Namen rufen hörte. Es war Komtess Lilly.
„Kommen Sie doch herunter, liebe Annedore! Wir erwarten Sie mit Sehnsucht am Teetisch, und Lothar hat mich voll Ungeduld nach Ihnen ausgesandt.“
„Ich komme gleich“, rief Annedore ihr zu. Damit schloss sie hastig ihre Schreibmappe, ordnete vor dem Spiegel ihr Haar und eilte dann hinunter.
Komtess Lilly war inzwischen über die das ganze Schloss umgebende Terrasse auf die andere Seite gegangen. Da saß ihr Bruder Lothar unter einem grau und blau gestreiften Sommerzelt an einem einladend gedeckten Teetisch. Er war ein sehr hübscher, eleganter Mann von 28 Jahren, den selbst das Einglas im Auge vorzüglich kleidete.
Er sah seiner Schwester erwartungsvoll entgegen. „Nun, Lilly, kommt das Baronesschen?“
„Ja, sie kommt gleich. Bezähme deine Sehnsucht noch zwei Minuten“, erwiderte sie mit spöttischem Lächeln.
Graf Lothar lachte leichtsinnig. „Du brauchst gar nicht so spöttisch meine Sehnsucht zu betonen, Lilly. Annedore ist ein so reizendes, frisches Mädel, dass man sich auch in sie verlieben könnte, wenn sie nicht glücklicherweise eine so reiche Erbin wäre.“




Hedwig Courths-Mahler (18 februari 1867 - 26 november 1950)





De Duitse dichteres en schrijfster Elke Erb werd geboren op 18 februari 1938 in Scherbach in de Eifel. In 1949 verhuisde zij naar Halle in de DDR. Na enkele jaren op het land gewerkt te hebben studeerde zij germanistiek, geschiedenis en pedagogie. Sinds 1966 is zij zelfstandig schrijfster. Ook is zij werkzaam als vertaalster en uitgeefster.





Siebengestirn eines Vogels Bootes
Das Wasser des Quais oder Morgens
Unbeseelt nicht Niemand /
rudert Es lodert


ludert Bootskiel Schiffskiel Bug
Wie jener Jungfrau Profil Fischfrau
Fischschwanz das Bäuchlein kugelrund
tanzt Sie ruhten nicht wenn der Mond


schien Sie hatten die
Sinne beisammen Rechts Links
wie unlängst Ergrauen-
der Hain Gebüschrest


am Hügel
Am Hügelrücken Am Mais
kam der Abend rötete ihn Da war
aufgespannt Sommer




Elke Erb (Scherbach, 18 februari 1938)






De Noorse schrijver Alexander Lange Kielland werd geboren in Stavanger op 18 februari 1849. Met Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie en Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson wordt hij gerekend tot De Grote Vier van de Noorse literatuur. Kielland kwam uit een welgesteld koopmansgezin. Zelf zou hij - hoewel welgesteld en zelf directeur van een steenfabriek - zich zijn leven lang het lot van de minvermogenden blijven aantrekken. Zijn werk was sterk realistisch. Rond het jaar 1890 legde hij de pen neer en begon een tweede loopbaan in de politiek.


Uit: Else - Eine Weihnachtsgeschichte (Vertaald door Marie Leskien-Lie en Fr. Leskien)


„Ja, aber wir müssen bedenken, meine Damen und Herren, daß es hier nicht bloß gilt, der bedrängten Menschheit ganz im allgemeinen zu Hilfe zu kommen, sondern daß wir uns die Aufgabe gestellt haben, unsere Wirksamkeit auf ein bestimmtes Gebiet zu beschränken. Obwohl ich mich von ganzem Herzen den von Herrn Konsul With vorgetragenen Argumenten anschließe, so muß ich zugleich doch daran festhalten, daß wir nicht über die von uns selbst gesteckten Grenzen hinausgehen dürfen. Es ist wohl möglich, daß die Not – und was uns hier im besonderen betrifft: die sittliche Verderbnis unter den jungen Mädchen –, daß sie ebenso groß, ja vielleicht viel größer in der Gemeinde Sankt Pauli als hier in Sankt Petri ist. Aber ich glaube doch: Wenn unsere Arbeit wirklich sichtbare Früchte zum Segen tragen soll, so müssen wir uns innerhalb der von Gott selbst gewiesenen Grenzen halten, und das heißt, so meine ich, innerhalb unserer eigenen Gemeinde.«
»Oh, wie wahr das ist, was der Kaplan da sagt«, sagte Frau Bentzen froh; »es ist ganz wie damals, bevor mir meine bestimmten Armen zugeteilt wurden. Alles, was ich gab, was wir mit vollen Händen verteilten, verschwand spurlos, und es kamen nur immer mehr, die bettelten und etwas haben wollten. Aber jetzt lasse ich das Mädchen nur antworten: Wir haben unsere bestimmten Kunden. So weiß man, daß kein Unwürdiger etwas bekommt, und dann kann man die unsichtbaren Früchte – nein–, die gesegneten Früchte –; oder wie sagte der Kaplan doch? Es war ebenso wahr wie schön.«
»Sichtbare Früchte zum Segen«, sagte der Kaplan und errötete bescheiden.“




Alexander Kielland (18 februari 1849 - 6 april 1906)





De Hongaarse schrijver en journalist Mór Jókai werd geboren op 18 februari 1825 in Komárom. Hij was vooral schrijver van historische romans. Hij wijdde zich ook een leven lang aan de Hongaarse taal. Verder was hij uitgever van het satirische blad Az Üstökös dat van 1861 tot 1920 in Wenen verscheen en waain hij onder het pseudoniem Kakas Márton ook zelf schreef.


Uit: The Corsair King


"You see, gentlemen, you see the contemptuous face with which he receives your offer, you see how proudly, how scornfully he looks down upon you, as if it would be a disgrace to him to recognize such worthy men as judges. Oh, I will submit to your sentence, I have no desire to stand before wiser, more just or more distinguished judges. I will tell with my own lips everything of which I am accused."

"I forbid you to do so!" cried Rolls vehemently.

"There, you see for yourselves, gentlemen. He wants to command here still, here, where you are the rightful possessors. He will not even permit me to repeat the charge against me! Very natural! He knows that he, and not I, will be condemned. So listen, gentlemen, listen, for what I have to tell is an important matter; my crime is that we were bringing huge bars of silver--"

"Ho! ho! that begins well," shouted Asphlant, craning his neck to hear better.“




Mór Jókai (18 februari 1825 – 5 mei 1904)

Standbeeld in Boedapest





De Afro-Amerikaanse schrijfster, dichteres en lesbisch-feministische, anti-racistische activiste Audre Geraldine Lordewerd geboren op 18 februari 1934 in New York.Ze schreef en sprak over racisme, seksisme, klassisme en homofobie en over de manieren waarop deze haar raakten, zowel buiten als binnen de vrouwen-, holebi- en antiracistische beweging




The Black Unicorn


The black unicorn is greedy.
The black unicorn is impatient.
'The black unicorn was mistaken
for a shadow or symbol
and taken
through a cold country
where mist painted mockeries
of my fury.
It is not on her lap where the horn rests
but deep in her moonpit
The black unicorn is restless
the black unicorn is unrelenting
the black unicorn is not





Audre Lorde (18 februari 1934 – 17 november 1992)

Portret door Simone Bouyer





De Amerikaanse schrijver Wallace Stegner werd geboren op 18 februari 1909 in Lake Mills, Iowa. Hij doceerde aan de University of Wisconsin en aan Harvard University. In 1972 won hij de Pulitzer Prize for Fiction voor Angle of Repose. Het boek leidde tot een controverse die aan zijn reputatie nog steeds schade doet. De roman is namelijk gebaseerd op de brieven van de Amerikaanse schrijfster Mary Hallock Foote (later verschenen als memoires onder de titel A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West). Stegner had er teveel uit geput zonder bronvermelding. In 1977 won Stegner overigens wel weer de National Book Award voor The Spectator Bird. In 1996 kwam er een film uit over zijn leven, Wallace Stegner: A Writer's Life, onder de regie van Stephen Jay Fisher.


Uit: Angle of Repose


„Right there, I might say to Rodman, who doesn't believe in time, notice something: I started to establish the present and the present moved on. What I established is already buried under layers of tape. Before I can say I am, I was. Heraclitus and I, prophets of flux, know that the flux is composed of parts that imitate and repeat each other. Am or was, I am cumulative, too. I am everything I ever was, whatever you and Leah may think. I am much of what my parents and especially my grandparents were--inherited stature, coloring, brains, bones (that part unfortunate), plus transmitted prejudices, culture, scruples, likings, moralities, and moral errors that I defend as if they were personal and not familial.
Even places, especially this house whose air is thick with the past. My antecedents support me here as the old wistaria at the corner supports the house. Looking at its cables wrapped two or three times around the cottage, you would swear, and you could be right, that if they were cut the place would fall down.“





Wallace Stegner (18 februari 1909 – 13 april 1993)





Rectificatie: De Italiaanse dichter en schrijver Leone Battista Alberti werd geboren in Genua op 18 (en dus niet op 14) februari 1404. Zie ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2007.


Uit: The Architecture


„Do not think the Labour and Expence of a Building to be en­ter'd upon in a hurry; as well for several other Reasons, as also because a Man's Honour and Reputation suffers by it. For as a Design well and compleatly finish'd brings Praise to him that has employ'd his Pains and Study in the Work; so if in any particular the Author  seems to have been wanting, either of Art or Prudence, it detracts very much from that Praise, and from his Reputation. And indeed the Beauties or Faults of Edifices, especially publick ones, are in a Manner clear and mani­ fest to every body; and (I know not how it happens) any Thing amiss sooner draws Con­ tempt, than any Thing handsome or well finish'd does Commendation. It is really wonderful, how, by a Kind of natural Instinct, all of us knowing or ignorant, immediately hit upon what is right or wrong in the Contrivance or Execution of Things, and what a shrewd Judg­ment the Eye has in Works of this Nature above all the other Senses. Whence it happens,

that if any Thing offers itself to us that is lame or too little, or unnecessary, or un­ graceful, we presently find ourselves moved and desirous to have it handsomer.“





Leone Battista Alberti (14 februari 1404 — 25 april 1472)
Standbeeld in de Uffizi galerij, Florence.