26-08-17

Christopher Isherwood, Laura van der Haar, C. B. Vaandrager, Paula Hawkins, Joachim Helfer, Guillaume Apollinaire, Rashid Al-Daif

 

De Brits-Amerikaanse schrijver Christopher Isherwood werd geboren op 26 augustus 1904 in Disley in het graafschap Cheshire in Engeland. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Christopher Isherwood op dit blog.

Uit: Christopher and His Kind

« The train moved on again. For the first time in his life, he found himself entering a foreign country without official permission. If Heinz had been with him, what could the lawyer have done but accept the accomplished fact and somehow arrange for Heinz to remain in Belgium?
Next morning, the lawyer left Brussels by car for Trier, as he had promised. That night he returned, alone. He told Christopher that he had duly met Heinz at the hotel. Heinz had assured him that he hadn't been questioned, hadn't aroused anybody's curiosity. They had gone to the consulate and got the visa. Then, just as they were about to start on their return journey, some Gestapo agents had appeared. They had asked to see Heinz's papers and had then taken him away with them. They had told the lawyer that Heinz was under arrest as a draft evader. Before leaving Trier, the lawyer had consulted a German lawyer and engaged him to defend Heinz at his forthcoming trial.
A day or two after the arrest, the German lawyer came from Trier to Brussels to discuss the tactics of Heinz's defense. He was a Nazi Party member in good standing and had the boundless cynicism of one who is determined to survive under any conceivable political conditions. Christopher, in his present hyper-emotional state, found a strange relief in talking to him, because he seemed utterly incapable of sympathy. Heinz was now in four kinds of potential trouble: He had attempted to change his nationality. (This could almost certainly be concealed from the prosecution.) He had consorted with a number of prominent anti-Nazis, most of them Jews. (This could probably be concealed or, at worst, excused as having been Christopher's fault.) He had been guilty of homosexual acts. (This couldn’t be co-directors that what they need is the spirit of the merchant-adventurers. He hates the banks. He hates public companies, because they aren't allowed to take risks. He particularly enjoys ragging the pompous U.S.A. businessmen. Somebody once cabled him from New York: 'Believe market has touched bottom.' Potter cabled back: `Whose?' At board meetings he lies on a sofa—ostensibly because he once had a bad leg; actually because this position gives him a moral advantage. He and his colleagues tell each other dirty limericks and the very serious-minded secretary takes them all down in shorthand—because, as he once explained, he thought they might be in code.
Much less willingly, Wystan and Christopher also became the captive audience of a young man with whom they had to share their table in the second-class dining room. He was a rubber planter, returning from leave in England to a plantation near Singapore. I will call him White.“

 

 
Christopher Isherwood (26 augustus 1904 – 4 januari 1986)
Scene uit de gelijknamige tv-film uit 2011

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26-08-16

Paula Hawkins

 

De Britse schrijfster Paula Hawkins werd geboren op 26 augustus 1972 en groeide op in Salisbury (het huidige Harare in Zimbabwe) in Rhodesië. Ze verhuisde in 1989 op 17-jarige leeftijd naar Londen waar ze filosofie, economie en politiek studeerde aan het Keble College van de universiteit van Oxford. Ze was journaliste voor The Times, werkte aan een aantal publicaties op freelancebasis en schreef ook een financieel adviesboek voor vrouwen, getiteld “The Money Goddess”. Hawkins schreef een aantal romantische komedieromans onder het pseudoniem Amy Silver en brak in 2015 door onder haar eigen naam met de psychologische thriller “The Girl on the Train”, waarin de huiselijk geweld, alcohol en drugsgebruik een rol spelen. Het boek werd in 2016 verfilmd met Emily Blunt in de rol van Rachel.. Het boek kwam op 1 februari 2015 op nummer één op de The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 en stond 16 weken op de eerste plaats.

Uit:The Girl on the Train

“I want to run. I want to take a road trip, in a convertible, with the top down. I want to drive to the coast—any coast. I want to walk on a beach. Me and my big brother were going to be road trippers. We had such plans, Ben and I. Well, they were Ben's plans mostly—he was such a dreamer. We were going to ride motorbikes from Paris to the Côte d'Azur, or all the way down the Pacific coast of the USA, from Seattle to Los Angeles; we were going to follow in Che Guevara's tracks from Buenos Aires to Caracas. Maybe if I'd done all that, I wouldn't have ended up here, not knowing what to do next. Or maybe, if I'd done all that, I'd have ended up exactly where I am and I would be perfectly contented. But I didn't do all that, of course, because Ben never got as far as Paris, he never even made it as far as Cambridge. He died on the A10, his skull crushed beneath the wheels of an articulated lorry.
I miss him every day. More than anyone, I think. He's the big hole in my life, in the middle of my soul. Or maybe he was just the beginning of it. I don't know. I don't even know whether all this is really about Ben, or whether it's about everything that happened after that, and everything that's happened since. All I know is, one minute I'm ticking along fine and life is sweet and I want for nothing, and the next I can't wait to get away, I'm all over the place, slipping and sliding again.
So, I'm going to see a therapist! Which could be weird, but it could be a laugh, too. I've always thought that it might be fun to be Catholic, to be able to go to the confessional and unburden yourself and have someone tell you that they forgive you, to take all the sin away, wipe the slate clean.
This is not quite the same thing, of course. I'm a bit nervous, but I haven't been able to get to sleep lately, and Scott's been on my case to go. I told him I find it difficult enough talking to people I know about this stuff—I can barely even talk to him about it.
He said that's the point, you can say anything to strangers. But that isn't completely true. You can't just say anything. Poor Scott. He doesn't know the half of it. He loves me so much, it makes me ache. I don't know how he does it. I would drive me mad.
But I have to do something, and at least this feels like action. All those plans I had—photography courses and cookery classes—when it comes down to it, they feel a bit pointless, as if I'm playing at real life instead of actually living it. I need to find something that I must do, something undeniable. I can't do this, I can't just be a wife. I don't understand how anyone does it—there is literally nothing to do but wait. Wait for a man to come home and love you. Either that or look around for something to distract you.”

 

 
Paula Hawkins (Salisbury, 26 augustus 1972)

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