Dolce far niente, Simon Vestdijk, Ted Hughes, V. S. Naipaul, Nis-Momme Stockmann, Jonathan Franzen, Jan Emmens


Dolce far niente


Prins Hendrikkade te Amsterdam door Willem Witsen, 1891



Gevoegd tot wallen steen, en krom verdronken,
Staan de kantoren in hun lang plantsoen.
Te lang, te smal... Op bruggeranden ronken
Tramwagens dwars door 't stoffig dubbelgroen.

Nog stroomt een rest van 't kruislingsch labyrinth
Waar men 't verleden moeizaam in kan halen
Als spook'ge achterstevens, vluchtend bint
Van schepen die de reeders lieten dwalen.

Maar in die duizeldun vertakte haven
Zijn zelfs de geesten zoo misteekend, dat
Het laatste toplicht, wezenloos hoogdravend,
Zweeft als een lichtreclame op de binnenstad.


Simon Vestdijk (17 oktober 1898 – 23 maart 1971)
Harlingen, Zuiderhaven. Simon Vestdijk werd in Harlingen geboren.

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Ted Hughes, V. S. Naipaul, Nis-Momme Stockmann, Jonathan Franzen, Herta Müller, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, Roger Peyrefitte, Hendrik de Vries


De Engelse dichter en schrijver Ted Hughes werd geboren op 17 augustus 1930 in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Ted Hughes op dit blog.


Bride and Groom Lie Hidden for Three Days

She gives him his eyes, she found them
Among some rubble, among some beetles

He gives her her skin
He just seemed to pull it down out of the air and lay it over her
She weeps with fearfulness and astonishment

She has found his hands for him, and fitted them freshly at the wrists
They are amazed at themselves, they go feeling all over her

He has assembled her spine, he cleaned each piece carefully
And sets them in perfect order
A superhuman puzzle but he is inspired
She leans back twisting this way and that, using it and laughing

Now she has brought his feet, she is connecting them
So that his whole body lights up

And he has fashioned her new hips
With all fittings complete and with newly wound coils, all shiningly oiled
He is polishing every part, he himself can hardly believe it

They keep taking each other to the sun, they find they can easily
To test each new thing at each new step

And now she smoothes over him the plates of his skull
So that the joints are invisible

And now he connects her throat, her breasts and the pit of her stomach
With a single wire

She gives him his teeth, tying the the roots to the centrepin of his body

He sets the little circlets on her fingertips

She stiches his body here and there with steely purple silk

He oils the delicate cogs of her mouth

She inlays with deep cut scrolls the nape of his neck

He sinks into place the inside of her thighs

So, gasping with joy, with cries of wonderment
Like two gods of mud
Sprawling in the dirt, but with infinite care
They bring each other to perfection.


Ted Hughes (17 augustus 1930 – 28 oktober 1998)
Ted Hughes en Sylvia Plath op hun huwelijksreis in 1956

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V. S. Naipaul, Jonathan Franzen, Ted Hughes, Herta Müller, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, Roger Peyrefitte, Hendrik de Vries


De Britse schrijver Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul werd geboren op 17 augustus 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad en Tobago. Zie ook alle tags voor V. S. Naipaul op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2010.

Uit: Miguel Street

“Being a child, I never wondered how Bogart came by any money. I assumed that grown-ups had money as a matter of course. Popo had a wife who worked at a variety of jobs; and ended up by becoming the friend of many men. I could never think of Bogart as having mother or father; and he never brought a woman to his little room. This little room of his was called the servant-room but no servant to the people in the main house ever lived there. It was just an architectural convention.
It is still something of a miracle to me that Bogart managed to make friends. Yet he did make many friends; he was at one time quite the most popular man in the street. I used to see him squatting on the pavement with all the big men of the street. And while Hat or Edward or Eddoes was talking, Bogart would just look down and draw rings with his fingers on the pavement. He never laughed audibly. He never told a story. Yet whenever there was a fete or something like that, everybody would say, 'We must have Bogart. He smart like hell, that man.' In a way he gave them great solace and comfort, I suppose.
And so every morning, as I told you, Hat would shout, very loudly, 'What happening there, Bogart?'
And he would wait for the indeterminate grumble which was Bogart saying, 'What happening there, Hat?'
But one morning, when Hat shouted, there was no reply. Something which had appeared unalterable was missing.
Bogart had vanished; had left us without a word.
The men in the street were silent and sorrowful for two whole days. They assembled in Bogart's little room. Hat lifted up the deck of cards that lay on Bogart's table and dropped two or three cards at a time reflectively.
Hat said, 'You think he gone Venezuela?'
But no one knew. Bogart told them so little.
And the next morning Hat got up and lit a cigarette and went to his back verandah and was on the point of shouting, when he remembered. He milked the cows earlier than usual that morning, and the cows didn't like it.
A month passed; then another month. Bogart didn't return.”


V. S. Naipaul (Chaganuas, 17 augustus 1932)

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De Britse schrijver Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul werd geboren op 17 augustus 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad en Tobago. Zie ook alle tags voor V. S. Naipaul op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2010.

Uit: A Bend In the River

“At certain times in some civilizations great leaders can bring out the manhood in the people they lead.  It is different with slaves.  Don’t blame the leaders.  It is just part of the dreadfulness of the situation.  It is better to withdraw from the whole business, if you can.  And I could.  You may say -- and I know, Salim, that you have thought it -- that I have turned my back on my community and sold out.  I day: ‘Sold out to what and from what? What do you have to offer me? What is your own contribution?  And can you give me back my manhood?’ Anyway, that was what I decided that morning, beside the river of London, between the dolphins and the camels, the work of some dead artist who had been adding to the beauty of their city.
“That was five years ago.  I often wonder what would have happened to me if I hadn’t made that decision.  I suppose I would have sunk.  I suppose I would have found some kind of hole and tried to hide or pass.  After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities.  I would have hidden in my hole and been crippled by my sentimentality, doing what I doing, and doing it well, but always looking for the wailing wall.  And I would never have seen the world as the rich place that it is.  You wouldn’t have seen me here in Africa , doing what I do.  I wouldn’t have wanted to do it, and no one would have wanted me to do it.  I would have said: ‘It’s all over for me, so why should I let myself be used by anybody? The Americans want to win the world.  It’s their fight, not mine.’ And that would have been stupid.  It is stupid to talk of the Americans.  They are not a tribe, as you might think from the outside.  They’re all individuals fighting to make their way, trying as hard as you or me not to sink.
“It wasn’t easy after I left the university.  I still had to get a job, and the only thing I knew now was what I didn’t want to do.  I didn’t want to exchange one prison for another.  People like me have to make their own jobs.  It isn’t something that’s going to come to you in a brown envelope. The job is there, waiting.  But it doesn’t exist for you or anyone else until you discover it, and you discover it because it’s for you and you alone.”


V. S. Naipaul (Chaganuas, 17 augustus 1932)

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De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Jonathan Franzen werd geboren op 17 augustus 1959 in Western Springs, Illinois. Zie ook alle tags voor Jonathan Franzen op dit blog.


Uit: Freedom


“The news about Walter Berglund wasn't picked up locally-he and Patty had moved away to Washington two years earlier and meant nothing to St. Paul now-but the urban gentry of Ramsey Hill were not so loyal to their city as not to read the New York Times. According to a long and very unflattering story in the Times, Walter had made quite a mess of his professional life out there in the nation's capital. His old neighbors had some difficulty reconciling the quotes about him in the Times ("arrogant," "high-handed," "ethically compromised") with the generous, smiling, red-faced 3M employee they remembered pedaling his commuter bicycle up Summit Avenue in February snow; it seemed strange that Walter, who was greener than Greenpeace and whose own roots were rural, should be in trouble now for conniving with the coal industry and mistreating country people. Then again, there had always been something not quite right about the Berglunds.

Walter and Patty were the young pioneers of Ramsey Hill - the first college grads to buy a house on Barrier Street since the old heart of St. Paul had fallen on hard times three decades earlier. They paid nothing for their Victorian and then killed themselves for ten years renovating it. Early on, some very determined person torched their garage and twice broke into their car before they got the garage rebuilt.

Sunburned bikers descended on the vacant lot across the alley to drink Schlitz and grill knockwurst and rev engines at small hours until Patty went outside in sweatclothes and said, "Hey, you guys, you know what?" Patty frightened nobody, but she'd been a standout athlete in high school and college and possessed a jock sort of fearlessness. From her first day in the neighborhood, she was helplessly conspicuous. Tall, ponytailed, absurdly young, pushing a stroller past stripped cars and broken beer bottles and barfedupon old snow, she might have been carrying all the hours of her day in the string bags that hung from her stroller. Behind her you could see the baby-encumbered preparations for a morning of baby-encumbered errands; ahead of her, an afternoon of public radio, the Silver Palate Cookbook, cloth diapers, drywall compound, and latex paint; and then Goodnight Moon, then zinfandel. She was already fully the thing that was just starting to happen to the rest of the street.”




Jonathan Franzen (Western Springs, 17 augustus 1959)

Time Cover, augustus 2010

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De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver Ted Hughes werd geboren op 17 augustus 1930 in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Ted Hughes op dit blog.



The Harvest Moon


The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,
Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,
A vast balloon,
Till it takes off, and sinks upward
To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon.
The harvest moon has come,
Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.
And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum.

So people can't sleep,
So they go out where elms and oak trees keep
A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.
The harvest moon has come!

And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep
Stare up at her petrified, while she swells
Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing
Closer and closer like the end of the world.

Till the gold fields of stiff wheat
Cry `We are ripe, reap us!' and the rivers
Sweat from the melting hills.




Work and Play


The swallow of summer, she toils all the summer,
A blue-dark knot of glittering voltage,
A whiplash swimmer, a fish of the air.
But the serpent of cars that crawls through the dust
In shimmering exhaust
Searching to slake
Its fever in ocean
Will play and be idle or else it will bust.

The swallow of summer, the barbed harpoon,
She flings from the furnace, a rainbow of purples,
Dips her glow in the pond and is perfect.
But the serpent of cars that collapsed on the beach
Disgorges its organs
A scamper of colours
Which roll like tomatoes
Nude as tomatoes
With sand in their creases
To cringe in the sparkle of rollers and screech.

The swallow of summer, the seamstress of summer,
She scissors the blue into shapes and she sews it,
She draws a long thread and she knots it at the corners.
But the holiday people
Are laid out like wounded
Flat as in ovens
Roasting and basting
With faces of torment as space burns them blue
Their heads are transistors
Their teeth grit on sand grains
Their lost kids are squalling
While man-eating flies
Jab electric shock needles but what can they do?

They can climb in their cars with raw bodies, raw faces
And start up the serpent
And headache it homeward
A car full of squabbles
And sobbing and stickiness
With sand in their crannies
Inhaling petroleum
That pours from the foxgloves
While the evening swallow
The swallow of summer, cartwheeling through crimson,
Touches the honey-slow river and turning
Returns to the hand stretched from under the eaves -
A boomerang of rejoicing shadow.





Ted Hughes (17 augustus 1930 – 28 oktober 1998)

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Zie voor de volgende schrijvers van de 17e augustus mijn blog bij seniorennet.be


Jonathan Franzen, V. S. Naipaul, Herta Müller, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin



Zie voor de volgende schrijvers van de 17e augustus ook bij seniorennet.be mijn vorige blog van vandaag 


Roger Peyrefitte, Nicola Kraus, Ted Hughes, Robert Sabatier 


Zie voor de volgende schrijvers van de 17e augustus ook bij seniorennet.be mijn eerste blog van vandaag.



Anton Delvig,Theodor Däubler, Józef Wittlin, Oliver St. John Gogarty, Fredrika Bremer



Herta Müller, Ted Hughes, Robert Sabatier, Anton Delvig,Theodor Däubler, Józef Wittlin, Oliver St. John Gogarty, Fredrika Bremer


De Duitse schrijfster Herta Müller werd geboren op 17 augustus 1953 in Nitzkydorf, Roemenië.


Uit: Atemschaukel


„Alles, was ich habe, trage ich bei mir.

Oder: Alles Meinige trage ich mit mir.

Getragen habe ich alles, was ich hatte. Das Meinige war es nicht. Es war entweder zweckentfremdet oder von jemand anderem. Der Schweinslederkoffer war ein Grammophonkistchen. Der Staubmantel war vom Vater. Der städtische Mantel mit dem Samtbündchen am Hals vom Großvater. Die Pumphose von meinem Onkel Edwin. Die ledernen Wickelgamaschen vom Nachbarn, dem Herrn Carp. Die grünen Wollhandschuhe von meiner Fini-Tante. Nur der weinrote Seidenschal und das Necessaire waren das Meinige, Geschenke von den letzten Weihnachten.

Es war noch Krieg im Januar 1945. Im Schrecken, dass ich mitten im Winter wer weiß wohin zu den Russen muss, wollte mir jeder etwas geben, das vielleicht etwas nützt, wenn es schon nichts hilft. Weil nichts auf der Welt etwas half. Weil ich unabänderlich auf der Liste der Russen stand, hat mir jeder etwas gegeben und sich sein Teil dabei gedacht. Und ich habe es genommen und mir gedacht mit meinen siebzehn Jahren, dass dieses Wegfahren zur rechten Zeit kommt. Es müsste nicht die Liste der Russen sein, aber wenn es nicht zu schlimm kommt, ist es für mich sogar gut.

Ich wollte weg aus dem Fingerhut der kleinen Stadt, wo alle Steine Augen hatten. Statt Angst hatte ich diese verheimlichte Ungeduld. Und ein schlechtes Gewissen, weil die Liste, an der meine Angehörigen verzweifelten, für mich ein annehmbarer Zustand war. Sie fürchteten, dass mir etwas zustößt in der Fremde. Ich wollte an einen Ort, der mich nicht kennt.

Mir war bereits etwas zugestoßen. Etwas Verbotenes. Es war absonderlich, dreckig, schamlos und schön. Es passierte im Erlenpark ganz hinten jenseits der Kurzgrashügel. Auf dem Heimweg bin ich in die Parkmitte, in den runden Pavillon gegangen, wo an Feiertagen die Orchester spielten. Ich blieb eine Weile darin sitzen. Das Licht stach durchs feingeschnitzte Holz. Ich sah die Angst der leeren Kreise, Quadrate und Trapeze, verbunden durch weiße Ranken mit Krallen. Es war das Muster meiner Verirrung und das Muster des Entsetzens im Gesicht meiner Mutter. In diesem Pavillon habe ich mir geschworen: Ich komme nie mehr in diesen Park“.




Herta Müller (Nitzkydorf, 17 augustus 1953)






De Engelse dichter en schrijver Ted Hughes werd geboren op 17 augustus 1930 in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2006. 



Spring & Fall: To A Young Child


Margaret, are you grieving

Over Goldengrove unleaving?

Leaves, like the things of man, you

With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?

Ah! as the heart grows older

It will come to such sights colder

By & by, nor spare a sigh

Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;

And yet you wíll weep & know why.

Now no matter, child, the name:

Sorrow's springs are the same.

Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed

What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:

It is the blight man was born for,

It is Margaret you mourn for.





God's Grandeur


The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.






Ted Hughes (17 augustus 1930 – 28 oktober 1998)






De Franse dichter en schrijver Robert Sabatier werd geboren op 17 augustus 1923 in Parijs.


Uit: Les allumettes suédoises


«  A l'orée du Gévaudan, le pays de la «Bête», dans la chaleur de l'été 1944, en fin d'après-midi, un char de foin au dos arrondi gravissait une pente montagnarde. Deux vaches rousses, bonnes pour le trait, avançaient sans hâte conduites par un paysan en bourgeron noir, son chapeau d'Auvergnat bien enfoncé, le rabat cachant le front et les yeux. Précédant l'attelage, il caressait de loin en loin l'échiné des vaches avec le long aiguillon qu'il portait sur l'épaule.
Le grincement des roues, la pesanteur des pas, le frôlement des branches troublaient à peine un paysage d'arbres et de pierres. Quand la forêt apparut plus dense, le chemin plus étroit, l'attelage marqua un temps d'arrêt. Le paysan se moucha dans un large tissu à carreaux. Il fit par deux fois «Ha ! Ha !» pour encourager les vaches à reprendre leur marche. Le chemin devint une simple sente d'où il fallait écarter des roches. Le soleil jetait des éclats lumineux entre les branches des pins.
Le paysan au visage tanné, peut-être moins âgé qu'il n'y paraissait, les traits aigus, le regard noir, avançait d'un pas pesant, égal, donnant une impression d'opiniâtreté, de robustesse. Se dirigeait-il par un raccourci vers la ferme de quelque hameau perdu comme il en est tant dans cette région forestière ? Le char roulait maintenant sur les aiguilles de pin qui crissaient. L'homme sifflota un air de bourrée. Ce qui ressemblait à un écho lui répondit. Lorsque le char atteignit la clairière, le paysan marmonna en patois des mots incompréhensibles. Ils semblaient marquer son étonnement d'être là, puis il dit cette fois en français : «Faut bien le faire !»
Il essuya son front et attendit. »




Robert Sabatier (Parijs, 17 augustus 1923)






De Russische dichter Anton Delvig werd geboren op 17 augustus 1798 in Moskou. 



Klägliche wir! Unser Geist:
In Nebeln schwer atmende Fackel.
Boot unseres Lebens: Von Tränen -
Strömen entführt auf ein Meer.
Und unser Glück: Zwischen Trug -
Bilder verstoßen in eine Wüste...
Wie nach der Kerze das Kind,
So greifen wir nach der Liebe.




Anton Delvig (17 augustus 1798 – 26 januari 1831)





Zie voor alle bovenstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2008.





De Duitse dichter en schrijver Theodor Däubler werd geboren op 17 augustus 1876 in Triëst. Daar, en in Venetië, groeide hij op. Däubler werd tweetalig (Duits en Italiaans) opgevoed. Na zijn eindexamen gymnasium trok hij met zijn ouders naar Wenen. Daarna begon voor hem een leven van voortdurend reizen, o.a. naar Napels, Berlijn, Parijs en Florence. Tijdens WO I woonde hij in Berlijn en in Wenen. Vanaf 1910 verschenen zijn eerste werken die door de dichters van het opkomende expressionisme enthousiast onthaald werden. Dat gold ook voor Das Nordlicht, een groots opgezet versepos in drie delen, waaraan Däubler al in 1898 begonnen was.



Das Nordlicht (Fragment)




Es sind die Sonnen und Planeten, alle,

Die hehren Lebensspender in der Welt,

Die Liebeslichter in der Tempelhalle

Der Gottheit, die sie aus dem Herzen schwellt.


Nur Liebe sind sie, tief zur Kraft gedichtet,

Ihr Lichtruf ist urmächtig angespannt,

Er ist als Lebensschwall ins All gerichtet,

Was er erreicht, ist an den Tag gebannt!


Ein Liebesband hält die Natur verkettet;

Die Ätherschwelle wie der Feuerstern,

Die ganze Welt, die sich ins Dunkel bettet,

Ersehnt in sich den gleichen Ruhekern.


Durch Sonnenliebe wird die Nacht gelichtet,

Durch Glut und Glück belebt sich der Planet,

Die Starre wird durch einen Brand vernichtet,

Vom Meer ein Liebeswind verweht.


Wo sich die Eigenkraft als Stern entzündet,

Wird Leben auch sofort entflammt,

Und wenn die Welt sich im Geschöpf ergründet,

So weiß das Leid, daß es dem Glück entstammt.


So muß die Erde uns mit Lust gebären,

Und wird auch unser Sein vom Tag geschweißt,

Können doch Sterne uns vom Grund belehren

Und sagen, daß kein Liebesband zerreißt.


Wir sehn das Leben uns die Jugend rauben,

Es ängstigt uns das Alter und der Tod,

Drum wollen wir an einen Anfang glauben

Und schwören auf ein ewiges Urgebot.



Theodor Däubler (17 augustus 1876 – 13 juni 1934)

Portret door Otto Dix





De Poolse dichter en schrijver Józef Wittlin werd geborern in Podolien op 17 augustus 1896 in het toenmalige Oostenrijk-Hongarije. Daar bezocht hij het gymnasium. Omdat de tweede vrouw van zijn vader Duitse was leerde hij al vroeg Duits. Hij raakte bevriend met Joseph Roth. Samen gingen zij in 1916 vrijwillig in dienst bij het Oostenrijkse leger. Na zijn diensttijd studeerde Wittlin korte tijd, brak de studie af en werkte vervolgens als leraar, journalist, dramaturg en zelfstandig schrijver. In 1927 verhuisde hij naar Warschau. Hij maakte ook veel reizen door Europa. Bij het uitbreken van WO II was hij in Parijs. Uiteindelijk lukte het hem in 1941 naar New York te onrkomen. Zijn belangrijkste werk is de roman  Das Salz der Erde, het eerste deel van de trilogie Die Geschichte vom geduldigen Infanteristen die onvoltooid bleef.


Uit: Die Geschichte vom geduldigen Infanteristen (Vertaald door Izydor Bermann/ Marianne Seeger, Karl Dedecius, Friedrich Griese)


"So was, so ein Dummkopf! Das kaiserliche Manifest, das kaiserliche Manifest hat der Kerl verkehrt angebracht!"

Er konnte sich lange nicht beruhigen, schließlich lief er ins Büro, holte neue Plakate und klebte sie selbst an. Und da begannen die im Wartesaal versammelten Leuten die Worte des Manifestes "An meine lieben Völker" laut zu buchstabieren. Zunächst einzeln, je nach der Geläufigkeit im Lesen, dann im Chor, zusammen mit den Analphabeten. Sie wiederholten jedes Wort wie die Litanei in der Kirche. Der Glaube an den Kaiser Franz Joseph vereinigte in diesen entlegenen Ländern die römischen Katholiken mit den griechischen Katholiken, die Armenier und die Juden zu einer gemeinsamen und allgemeinen Kirche. Piotr nahm unwillkürlich den Hut vom Kopf, und mit offenem Munde hörte er die feierliche Klage des Kaisers. Bis hierher schickte der Kaiser seine Klage, bis an die äußerste Grenze seines Reiches, damit ihn gute Menschen, einfache Menschen bemitleiden und sich des Unrechts, das ihm widerfahren war, annahmen. Und seine getreuen Untertanen enttäuschten den Kaiser nicht.“



Józef Wittlin (17 augustus 1896 – 28 februari 1976)






De Ierse dichter en schrijver Oliver St. John Gogarty 17 augustus 1878 in Dublin. Hij werkte ook als arts, piloot. Ook was hij sportsman en zat hij in het parlement. Bij tijdgenoten was hij zowel geliefd als gehaat. Hij steunde zowel arme mensen als het Ierse verzet en richtte in 1904 een literaire kring op Dunguaire Castle, waaraan ook Lady Gregory, George Bernard Shaw, Edward Martyn, John Millington Synge en William Butler Yeats teilnahmen deelnamen. Bekend is hij vooral ook gebleven als voorbeeld voor de figuur van Buck Mulligan in Ulysses van James Joyce.



To the pure all things are pure


The gallant Irish yoeman

Home from the war has come.

Each victory gained o’er foeman,

Why should our hearts be dumb?


How shall we sing their praises

Or glory in their deeds,

Renowned their worth amazes,

Empire their prowess needs.


So to Old Ireland's hearts and homes

We welcome now our own brave hoys

In cot and hall; 'neath lordly domes

Love's heroes share once more our joys.


Love in the Lord of all just now,

Be he the husband, lover, son,

Each dauntless soul recalls the vow

By which not fame, but love was won.


United now in fond embrace

Salute with joy each well loved face.

Yeoman, in women's hearts you hold the place.




Oliver St. John Gogarty (17 augustus 1878 – 22 september 1957)





De Zweedse schrijfster Fredrika Bremer werd geboren op 17 augustus 1801 in Tuorla bij Piikkiö. Zij stamde uit de hogere burgerij en kon al vroeg lange reizen maken. In Stockholm sloot zij vriendschap met Jeremy Bentham, die haar bekend maakte met het werk van James Mill en van diens zoon John Stuart Mill. Haar sociale engagement leidde in 1884 tot de oprichting van het Fredrika-Bremer-Verbond dat de kiemcel werd van de Zweedse vrouwenbeweging.


Uit: Hertha or the Story of a Soul (Vertaald door Mary Howitt)


   "I have held my peace so long, I have left unspoken so much that stirs my whole being, Alma! With you alone can I give vent to my feelings. You only can read my heart. I feel as if your glance had a healing power. Lay your hand there; let it rest there for a moment; perhaps it may allay this bitterness, which I now feel towards them who gave us life, against them whom we call our father in Heaven, and our father on earth. Bitterness against one's father is a frightful feeling! Oh, Alma! when I think that it is our father's fault that you are lying here heart-broken; that you might have been the happy wife of the man who loved you if our father's obstinacy and covetousness had not separated you!"

        "Do you speak of it, Hertha!" interrupted Alma, whilst a death-like paleness overspread her countenance; "do not touch upon that subject."

"Forgive me, beloved! But I know that it is that which is killing you. Ever since then have I seen you fade and waste away, as by some secret malady; your eyes become larger; your cheeks emaciated, and you—oh Alma, sweet Alma! I feel I shall hate him!"

        "Do not hate him. Pity him rather. Believe me, he is not happy. He has not always been as he is now. Ever since our mother's death, Anna says that his temper has become gloomy and morbid; and our aunt made him more morose than he otherwise would have been."

        "But he is also unjust and severe! Had he given us our right, then you would not have been as you now are. Why does he withhold from us our mother's property? Why does he render us no account of what we possess, or of what we ought to have?"

        "We have, in fact, no right to desire it. We are, according to the laws of our country, still minors, and he is our lawful guardian."




Fredrika Bremer (17 augustus 1801 – 31 december 1865)

Portret door Johan Gustaf Sandberg




Jonathan Franzen, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, Roger Peyrefitte, V. S. Naipaul, Ted Hughes, Anton Delvig, Robert Sabatier, Herta Müller

De Amerikaanse schrijver Jonathan Franzen werd geboren op 17 augustus 1959 in Western Springs, Illinois. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2007.


Uit: The Discomfort Zone


Our friend Kirby, it turned out, had charmed the owner of the Florida house, and the beer keg was fully operational, and so our last week of living like rich people unfolded amicably. I spent morbid, delicious amounts of time by myself, driven by the sort of hormonal instinct that I imagine leads cats to eat grass. The half-finished high-rises to our east were poised to engulf our idyll, even if we'd wanted to come back another year, but the transformation of a quiet, sandpiper-friendly beach into a high-density population center was such a novelty for us that we didn't even have a category for the loss it represented. I studied the skeletal towers the way I studied bad weather.

At the end of the week, my parents and I drove deeper into Florida, so that I could be taken to Disney World. My father was big on fairness, and because my brothers had once spent a day at Disneyland, many years earlier, it was unthinkable that I not be given the equivalent treat of a day at Disney World, whether or not I was too old for it, and whether or not I wanted to be there. I might not have minded going with my friend Manley, or with my not-girlfriend Hoener, and mocking and subverting the place and allowing myself to like it that way. But mocking and subverting in the presence of my parents was out of the question.





Jonathan Franzen (Western Springs, 17 augustus 1959)







De Ethiopische schrijver Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin werd geboren op 17 augustus 1936 in Boda bij Ambo. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2007.


Uit: Literature and the African Public


But as to why these trees of African languages were not, so fur, given enough chance to bear fruit, demands of us, to face certain rigid factors of history and politics.

What was Africa considered to be before the colonial days? The Westerners had mostly to rely on what their travelers, their ivory hunters and slave traders reported to them, followed by the information from their missionaries and finally through the suppressed echoes of the whip of their colonial administrators. As such, the first introduction of the black man in the concept of the Western, was in the image of a humiliated humanity. The slander to his dignity, to his way of life, to his values, which so incessantly recur as a matter of fact across the "civilized" world today, drew breath, then. Although his social systems were almost, destroyed although condemned to grapple with these world wide historic and current realities which negate his values, yet, it is still not by his capacity as an individual, not by his success or failure as a member of a group reflection, but the color of his skin and his physical characteristics appeared to be the core of the element by which the Western master judged him. He is put on trial by his very appearance and played the underdog of his country's class structures.


Out of these and against these, the African was taught to protest in his master's ways, in his master's values, in his master's language. Yet Africa was never mute in her own heritage of self expressions before or after the colonial days. The problem is how to record her abundant oral literatures in her own languages and preserve them for her children, how to record the very social traditions both in their similar and contradicting shades and evolve them in a harmony of oneness through the taste of time and the criteria of their own humane level, since any language should be given a chance to develop its potential of literature.”





Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin (17 augustus 1936 – 25 februari 2006)







De Franse schrijver en diplomaat Roger Peyrefitte werd geboren op 17 augustus 1907 in  Castres. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2007.


Uit: Les Amitiés particulières



Roger Peyrefitte (17 augustus 1907 – 5 november 2000)






De Britse schrijver Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul werd geboren op 17 augustus 1932 in Chaguanas, Trinidad en Tobago. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2006 en ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2007.


Uit: The Enigma of Arrival


To see the possibility, the certainty, of ruin, even at the moment of creation: it was my temperament. Those nerves had been given me as a child in Trinidad partly by our family circumstances: the half-ruined or broken-down houses we lived in, our many moves, our general uncertainty. Possibly, too, this mode of feeling went deeper, and was an ancestral inheritance, something that came with the history that had made me: not only India, with its ideas of a world outside men's control, but also the colonial plantations or estates of Trinidad, to which my impoverished Indian ancestors had been transported in the last century – estates of which this Wiltshire estate, where I now lived, had been the apotheosis.
     Fifty years ago there would have been no room for me on the estate; even now my presence was a little unlikely. But more than accident had brought me here. Or rather, in the series of accidents that had brought me to the manor cottage, with a view of the restored church, there was a clear historical line. The migration, within the British Empire, from India to Trinidad had given me the English language as my own, and a particular kind of education. This had partly seeded my wish to be a writer in a particular mode, and had committed me to the literary career I had been following in England for twenty years.
     The history I carried with me, together with the self-awareness that had come with my education and ambition, had sent me into the world with a sense of glory dead; and in England had given me the rawest stranger's nerves. Now ironically – or aptly – living in the grounds of this shrunken estate, going out for my walks, those nerves were soothed, and in the wild garden and orchard beside the water meadows I found a physical beauty perfectly suited to my temperament and answering, besides, every good idea I could have had, as a child in Trinidad, of the physical aspect of England.”




V. S. Naipaul (Chaganuas, 17 augustus 1932)






De Engelse dichter en schrijver Ted Hughes werd geboren op 17 augustus 1930 in Mytholmroyd, Yorkshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 augustus 2006.



He loved her and she loved him.
His kisses sucked out her whole past and future or tried to
He had no other appetite
She bit him she gnawed him she sucked
She wanted him complete inside her
Safe and sure forever and ever
Their little cries fluttered into the curtains

Her eyes wanted nothing to get away
Her looks nailed down his hands his wrists his elbows
He gripped her hard so that life
Should not drag her from that moment
He wanted all future to cease
He wanted to topple with his arms round her
Off that moment's brink and into nothing
Or everlasting or whatever there was

Her embrace was an immense press
To print him into her bones
His smiles were the garrets of a fairy palace
Where the real world would never come
Her smiles were spider bites
So he would lie still till she felt hungry
His words were occupying armies
Her laughs were an assassin's attempts
His looks were bullets daggers of revenge
His glances were ghosts in the corner with horrible secrets
His whispers were whips and jackboots
Her kisses were lawyers steadily writing
His caresses were the last hooks of a castaway
Her love-tricks were the grinding of locks
And their deep cries crawled over the floors
Like an animal dragging a great trap
His promises were the surgeon's gag
Her promises took the top off his skull
She would get a brooch made of it
His vows pulled out all her sinews
He showed her how to make a love-knot
Her vows put his eyes in formalin
At the back of her secret drawer
Their screams stuck in the wall

Their heads fell apart into sleep like the two halves
Of a lopped melon, but love is hard to stop

In their entwined sleep they exchanged arms and legs
In their dreams their brains took each other hostage

In the morning they wore each other's face






Ted Hughes (17 augustus 1930 – 28 oktober 1998)






De Russische dichter Anton Delvig werd geboren op 17 augustus 1798 in Moskou. Hij studeerde samen met Aleksandr Poesjkin aan het lyceum Zarskoje Selo en raakte met hem bevriend. Samen gaven ze de Literaturnaya Gazeta uit (1830-1831). Delvig stond in de traditie van het Russische neoclassicisme.



Russisches Lied


Sang wohl, sang das Vögelein,
Und verstummte.
Ward dem Herzen Freude kund,
Und Vergessen.


Vöglein, das so gerne singt,
Warum schweigt es?
Herz, was ist mit dir geschehn,
Daß du traurig?


Ach, das Vöglein tötete
Rauher Schneesturm,
Und das Herz des Burschen brach
Böses Reden.


Wär' das Vöglein gern geflogen
Fort zum Meere,
Wär' der Bursche gern entflohen
In die Wälder.


In dem Meere treibt die Flut,
Doch kein Schneesturm -
Wilde Tiere birgt der Wald,
Doch nicht Menschen.






Vertaald door Friedrich Bodenstedt






Der Dichter


Lang verbirgt er im Herzen die tiefen Gefühl' und Gedanken:
Scheint mit den Menschen, mit uns, nicht sie zu teilen bereit!
Selten nur so - nach demWillen des Himmels? - beginnt er zu singen,
Götter! dann bringt uns sein Lied Leben und Liebe und Glück,
Ganz wie in uraltem Wein, dem teuren Gaste kredenzet,
Schmeicheln den Sinnen zugleich: Farbe und Duft und





Vertaald door Rolf-Dietrich Keil





Anton Delvig (17 augustus 1798 – 26 januari 1831)






De Franse dichter en schrijver Robert Sabatier werd geboren op 17 augustus 1923 in Parijs. Sinds 1971 is hij lid van de l'Académie Goncourt. Hij schrijft gedichten die de invloed verraden van het surrealisme. In zijn proza draait het vaak om outsiders Sabatier schreef eveneens een Histoire de la Poésie française.






Adieu mon livre, adieu ma page écrite,
Se détachant de moi comme une feuille,
Me laissant nu comme un cliché d'automne.


Je vous dédie une arche de parole
Pour naviguer, mes amis, naviguer
Dans ma mémoire où se taisent les loups.


Vole ma feuille au-dessus de la ville,
Franchis le fleuve et détruis la frontière.
Amour, amour, ô ma géographie!


Et si tu cours au fil de l’onde, un songe
Recueillera mes images mouillées
Que dans un pré le soleil séchera.


Poète ici, poète comme un arbre
Offrant sa feuille à la terre gourmande
Et dans l’humus herbe ressuscitant.


Un autre livre, une parole neuve,
Les mêmes mots dans d’autres mariages
Et toujours l’homme et son tapis volant.






Robert Sabatier (Parijs, 17 augustus 1923)








De Duitse schrijfster Herta Müller werd geboren op 17 augustus 1953 in Nitzkydorf, Roemenië. Zij studeerde germanistiek en Roemeense literatuur aan de universiteit van het westen in Timişoara. Vanaf 1976 werkte zij als vertaalster in een machinefabriek, maar toen ze in 1979 niet wilde samenwerken met de Securitate werd zij ontslagen. Zij werkte tijdelijk als docente en privélerares. In 1982 kon haar eerste roman slechts in een gecensureerde versie verschijnen. In 1987 emigreerde zij met haar man naar de BRD. Ze kreeg in de volgende jaren verschillende leeropdrachten als writer in residence.


Uit: Der König verneigt sich und tötet


In der Dorfsprache – so schien es mir als Kind – lagen bei allen Leuten um mich herum die Worte direkt auf den Dingen, die sie bezeichneten. Die Dinge hießen genauso, wie sie waren, und sie waren genauso, wie sie hießen. Ein für immer geschlossenes Einverständnis. Es gab für die meisten Leute keine Lücken, durch die man zwischen Wort und Gegenstand hindurch schauen und ins Nichts starren mußte, als rutsche man aus seiner Haut ins Leere. Die alltäglichen Handgriffe waren instinktiv, wortlos eingeübte Arbeit, der Kopf ging den Weg der Handgriffe nicht mit und hatte auch nicht seine eigenen, abweichenden Wege. Der Kopf war da, um die Augen und Ohren zu tragen, die man beim Arbeiten brauchte. Die Redewendung: »Der hat seinen Kopf auf den Schultern, damit es ihm nicht in den Hals regnet,« dieser Spruch konnte auf den Alltag aller angewendet werden. Oder doch nicht? Warum riet meine Großmutter meiner Mutter, wenn es Winter und draußen nichts zu tun, wenn mein Vater ohne Unterlaß Tage hintereinander sturzbesoffen war: »Wenn du meinst, daß du nicht durchhältst, dann räum den Schrank auf.« Den Kopf still stellen durchs Hin- und Herräumen von Wäsche. Die Mutter sollte ihre Blusen und seine Hemden, ihre Strümpfe und seine Socken, ihre Röcke und seine Hosen neu falten und stapeln oder nebeneinander hängen. Frisch beieinander sollten die Kleider der Beiden verhindern, daß er sich aus dieser Ehe heraus säuft.”





Herta Müller (Nitzkydorf, 17 augustus 1953)