18-02-18

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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18-02-17

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)

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18-02-16

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)

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18-02-15

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)

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18-02-14

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

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18-02-13

Robbert Welagen

 

De Nederlandse schrijver Robbert Welagen werd geboren in Dordrecht op 18 februari 1981. Hij volgde de kunstacademie in Den Bosch en studeerde kunstgeschiedenis in Utrecht. Welagen publiceerde verhalen in onder andere Hollands Maandblad, Bunker Hill en HP/De Tijd. Zijn eerste roman “Lipari“(2006) werd bekroond met de Selexyz Debuutprijs. In 2008 verscheen zijn tweede boek “Philippes middagen” en in datzelfde jaar ontving hij het Charlotte Köhler Stipendium, een prijs voor veelbelovend schrijftalent. In 2009 verscheen Welagens derde roman “Verre vrienden” die voor de BNG Literatuurprijs werd genomineerd, gevolgd door “Porta Romana in 2011”. Voor De Groene Amsterdammer schreef hij over beeldende kunst en interviewde hij Françoise Hardy.

Uit: Porta Romana

“In zijn hotelkamer markeerde Emilio met een pen op de stadsplattegrond de twee routes die hij als kind zeker moest hebben afgelegd. De ene route ging van het huis naar zijn lagere school. De andere route ging van het huis naar de kerk San Miniato al Monte. Allebei de routes bleven onder de Arno. Zijn jeugd moest zich vooral ten zuiden van de rivier hebben afgespeeld.
Halverwege de tweede route lag zijn middelbare school, maar daar was hij minder nieuwsgierig naar. Hij wilde verder terug in de tijd.
Emilio besloot deze dag te beginnen met het afleggen van de eerste route. Een taxi zette hem weer af voor Viale Torricelli 3. Zijn lagere school was vanuit het hotel dichterbij en de taxi had hem daar kunnen afzetten, maar hij wilde de route bovenop de heuvel beginnen, in de ochtend, zoals hij dat als kind ook gedaan had.
Vijf keer per week, twee keer per dag wandelde hij de Viale del Poggio Imperiale af en op. Nu hing er een milde geur van rook. Iemand was bladeren aan het verbranden achter een tuinmuur. De door boomwortels omhoog geduwde trottoirstenen. Voor zijn voeten schoot een hagedisje weg.
Hij bereikte de rotonde voor de Porta Romana en stak de weg over via het zebrapad. Het wit was bijna niet meer zichtbaar. De laan, geflankeerd door een stenen leeuw en een wolf, liet Emilio rechts liggen. Een pleintje vol met geparkeerde auto’s. De Porta Romana onderdoor, langs mensen die bij de bushalte stonden te wachten. Zij bezetten het trottoir, dus hij liep een stukje over de straat.
Het zonlicht werd in de Via Romana tegengehouden door de huizen. De gevels waren vuil. Het trottoir smal. Auto’s reden rakelings voorbij. Tussen deze grauwheid viel zijn oog op een lange muur waarachter een tuin schuilging. De takken van de bomen in die tuin hingen ver over de straat. Droge bladeren lagen opgehoopt tegen de ruitenwissers van de auto’s die eronder geparkeerd stonden.

 

 
Robbert Welagen (Dordrecht, 18 februari 1981)

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