06-09-17

Christopher Brookmyre, Jennifer Egan, Aart G. Broek, Amelie Fried, Jessica Durlacher, Alice Sebold, Julien Green, Willem Brandt, Carmen Laforet

 

De Schotse schrijver Christopher Brookmyre werd geboren op 6 september 1968 in Glasgow. Zie ook mijn blog van 6 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Christopher Brookmyre op dit blog.

Uit: Be My Enemy

“`Bin Laden? A fucking charlatan.' 'Be serious for a minute,' Williams told him. 'I am being serious. That's my point. Everybody's so reverent about this guy. Strip away all the mythologising and hocus-pocus and what have you got? Patty Hearst with a beard. Bored rich kid playing at soldiers. He's in the huff with his family, for Christ's sake — the psychology's pitifully mundane. If he'd been born into a semi in Surbiton he'd have painted his bedroom black, got himself a Nine Inch Nails T-shirt and hung around swingparks drinking cider from plastic bottles.' Fotheringham's rant was attracting admonitory glances, more in disapproval of the growing volume and vehemence than the content, which wouldn't have been clearly discernible above the whipping wind. Raised voices were not decorous at a funeral; they suggested that your thoughts were not respectfully concentrated upon the memory of the departed, even if, in Williams's case, that was not strictly true. Nothing was more prominent in his mind than the man they had just buried or the consequences of his loss, not least the fact that Williams now had his job. Fotheringham gestured apologetic acknowledgement and Williams led him in the opposite direction to the dispersing mourners. `Bin Laden's about a lot more than thrill kills and power trips,' Williams chided, measuring his condescension precisely. 'And there's three thousand dead people in New York of the opinion that you should be taking him more seriously.' 'I'm taking him entirely seriously, sir. I just don't think it will help us if we buy into the hype and start thinking of him as some kind of formidable genius. Look at the Black Spirit, if you need a primer. Remember what a bogeyman he was? Turned out to be a fucking oil-biz wage slave from Aberdeen.' `Quite. Something, I should remind you, that we only learned after the fact. Didn't make him any easier to catch, did it? And besides, I don't think there's much ground for comparison. For all his theatrics, the Black Spirit was essentially just a mercenary, prepared to do horrific things on other people's behalf if they paid him enough. Bin Laden represents the possibility of ten thousand Black Spirits, all of them prepared to do horrific things merely because it's Allah's bidding. We've never had to face this kind of fanaticism before: there's no fifth column to cultivate, no disaffected factions to encourage, no waverers, not even anyone we can bribe and corrupt. Just total, unquestioning, homicidal, suicidal commitment to the cause.' `With respect, sir, that's what I mean by believing the hype. For one thing, there is no cause. Bin Laden's too smart to marry himself to anything as cumbersome as a coherent or even consistent political ideology, because such a thing could be debated, held up to scrutiny, and, worst of all, alienate potential followers. "The cause of Islam" is expediently nebulous.”

 

 
Christopher Brookmyre (Glasgow, 6 september 1968)

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06-09-16

Christopher Brookmyre, Jennifer Egan, Aart G. Broek, Alice Sebold, Anne Fried, Julien Green, Willem Brandt

 

De Schotse schrijver Christopher Brookmyre werd geboren op 6 september 1968 in Glasgow. Zie ook mijn blog van 6 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Christopher Brookmyre op dit blog.

Uit: Country of the Blind

“A speculative early spin on the story was that their loathing of the wealthy must have become intensified during their embittered prison terms, and that - whether entirely for their own motives or willingly assisting someone else's - they had meted out terrible revenge upon their perceived oppressors murdering Voss, an international icon of arrogant, even decadent - and some would say thuggish - tycoonery. This seemed to be borne out the police's revelation that while the bodyguards had been shot (once each, middle of the forehead - very quick, very clean, very efficient), Voss and his wife had been tied up and their throats cut. It hadn't taken a pathologist to work out that Helene had been murdered in front of Voss before they dispatched him too.
It had been a particularly cruel and vicious crime, undoubtedly evidencing a heartless brutality borne of violent, furious hatred. And there had been something sickeningly demonstrative about it, thrusting its depravity before the public and forcing them to look at it. It seemed to crave their disgust, to solicit their repulsion, while at the same time its very publicness sought to rob Voss of his aura the posthumous humiliation of such a sordid and conspicuous death. Death often built legends, lent greater stature to mere men and granted them the immortality of public mythology. But murder could be insult through injury, a faultless disgrace in an irredeemable theft of dignity, which burnt the oil portrait of a proud man and replaced it in the public eye with a grainy police b/w of a withered corpse, helpless and bested no worthy foe, but some - and extension any - rogue whelp.
Nicole couldn't help but feel a sense of déjà vu as she remembered Robert Maxwell's watery demise, the unreality, the impropriety of death paying a visit to one of the untouchable Three Rs: Rupert, Robert and Roland. Maxwell had seemed a figure so proverbially larger-than-life, a looming presence in and behind the media, and a figure she had, young in years, grown used to assuming would always be there. Someone the everyday realities of life wouldn't touch, whose very irritatingness seemed to guarantee he would be around forever so you'd better get used to it, like the common cold or washing powder ads.
She remembered how the radio bulletin had sounded like a joke. Rich tycoons don't fall off boats; if they do, they turn up later, safe and sound, then write a book about it and bore us all on chat shows, telling the world how the publicity - sorry - their lives flashed before them. Even while he was missing, those uncertain hours of anxious speculation and dismal journalism, she had assumed Maxwell would be found boomingly alive, having spent the whole time enjoying the amorous advances of a short-sighted minke whale. But no, the only whale they found was the dead one floating off the Tenerife coastline, and the colossus had indeed been felled.”

 

 
Christopher Brookmyre (Glasgow, 6 september 1968)

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06-09-15

Willem Brandt

 

De Nederlandse dichter, schrijver, journalist en vrijmetselaar Willem Brandt (pseudoniem van Willem Simon Brand Klooster) werd geboren in Groningen op 6 september 1905. Na het doorlopen van de Rijkskweekschool in Amersfoort en na het behalen van het onderwijsdiploma werd Willem Brandt in 1934 verslaggever bij het Utrechtsch Dagblad. In 1927 vertrok hij naar Nederlands-Indië waar hij redacteur van de Deli Courant werd. Bij deze krant werkte hij zich binnen vijf jaar op tot hoofdredacteur. Tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog kwam Willem Brandt in een Japans concentratiekamp terecht. Hij schreef er zijn bundel “Binnen Japansch prikkeldraad”. Na de oorlog werd hij directeur van de ‘Deli Courant’. Nadat hij de Indonesische Onafhankelijkheidsoorlog had meegemaakt, repatrieerde hij in 1955, om vervolgens directeur van de N.V. Deli Drukkerij en Boekhandel te Amsterdam te worden. In 1957 werd hij hoofdredacteur van Het Goois Nieuwsblad. Willem Brandt werd ook medewerker aan onder andere Opwaartsche Wegen en De Vlaamse Gids.

 

Beleefd verzoek

Span prikkeldraad en dreig met bajonetten
en leg ons als sardines in een hong
verdor ons hart, sla boeien om de tong
onthoudt ons vitaminen, vlees en vetten
plunder mijn huis die reeds mijn land bezetten
ontruk mij aan mijn kinderen, mijn vrouw
beloon verraders en bestraf de trouw
Maar stuur in godsnaam eens wat sigaretten.

 

 

Twee vaderlanden

Hier waar de wouden ondoordringbaar zijn
maar tot mij spreken met hun duizend stemmen,
adem en dood en wilde liefdeskreten,
fluister en hijgen, huil van angst en pijn,
 
slangen en tijgers en het luid gelach
van apen aan de rand der duistre bossen,
de zware geur van orchideeën-trossen,
witbloeiend in de nacht, slapend bij dag;
 
even dicht naast het leven als de dood,
rottend in zon en vocht, en in de avond
de voze huid, het dorstig lichaam lavend
aan lauwe whiskey en een donkre schoot.
 
Hier leert men heimwee hebben, maar wanneer
men straks terug is in het land der blanken
met dunne parken, huiselijke banken,
beklemt ons groter, dieper heimwee weer...

 

 
Willem Brandt (6 september 1905 – 29 april 1981)
In 1970

10:30 Gepost door Romenu in Literatuur | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: willem brandt, romenu |  Facebook |