Neal Cassady, Robin Block, Elizabeth Bishop, Eva Strittmatter, Gert Jonke

De Amerikaanse schrijver Neal Cassady werd geboren op 8 februari 1926 in Salt Lake City. Zie ook alle tags voor Neal Cassady op dit blog.

Uit: Relax, Man. The Gay Love Letters of Neal Cassady to Allen Ginsberg

“Denver, Colorado
March 14, 1947.

Dear Allen;
. . . My life is, at the moment, so cluttered up I have become incapable of relaxing long enough to even write a decent letter, really, I’m almost unable to think coherently. You must, then, not only forgive, but, find it within yourself to understand & in so doing develope a degree of patience until I am able to free myself enough to become truly close to you again.
On your part, you must know, that any letdown in your regard for me would upset me so much that, psychologically, I would be in a complete vacuum. At least for the immediate future I must request these things of you. so please don’t fail me. I need you now more than ever, since I’ve noone else to turn to. I continually feel I am almost free enough to be a real help to you, but, my love can’t flourish in my present position & if I forced it now, both you & I would lose. By God, though, every day I miss you more & More.
Understanding these things I hope, nay, in fact, know you must pour out more affection now than ever, rather than reacting negatively & withering up so that all is loss, or would be, between us.
Let us then find true awareness by realizing that each of us is depending on the other for fulfillment. In that realization lies, I believe, the germ that may grow to the great heights of complete oneness. . . .
I shall find a job tomorrow & perhaps by losing myself in work again I may become more rational & less upset & unnerved by the emotional shock of returning. Write soon I need you. I remain your other self.


Neal Cassady (8 februari 1926 – 4 februari 1968)
Hier met  Allen Ginsberg (links)

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Henry Roth, John Grisham, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter

De Amerikaanse schrijver Henry Roth werd geboren op 8 februari 1906 in Tysmenitz nabij Stanislawow, Galicië, in het toenmalige Oostenrijk-Hongarije. Zie ook alle tags voor Henry Roth op dit blog.

Uit: An American Type

“That was the time, the general mood, the predicament out of which this story comes. The young woman I was courting — we shall call her M — was a very personable, tall, fair-haired young woman, a pianist and composer, a young woman with a world of patience, practicality, and self-discipline, bred and raised in the best traditions of New England and the Middle West, the most wholesome traditions. I was, at that time, sufficiently advanced and superior to be somewhat disdainful of those traditions. I wondered whether there was any reality to my courtship, any future, whether, in short, anything would come of it. I was so committed to being an artist — in spite of anything.
The colony was close to Saratoga Springs, and I owned a Model A Ford, and in the early morning hours before breakfast I would drive down from Yaddo to the spa. There was a kind of public place there in those days, a place where paper cups could be bought for a penny, and a sort of fountain where the water bubbled through a slender pipe into a basin — and I say bubbled because that was one of its attractions, the fact that it did bubble.
Ever since childhood I have regarded carbonated water as something of a treat, something not easily obtainable, in fact, only by purchase, remembering the seltzer-water man on the East Side laboring up the many flights of stairs with his dozen siphons in a box. And here it was free, and not only free but salutary. The water had a slightly musty or sulfurous flavor to go with its effervescence, but its properties were surpassingly benign.
I happened to mention the effectiveness and bracing qualities of the waters of the spring to a small group standing in front of the main building of Yaddo, and invited at large anyone who wished to accompany me in the morning. The response was almost universally negative. “Drink that water? That stuff?” was the tenor of their comments. “I’d sooner drink mud water,” said one of the poets. But one person did reply in the affirmative. That was M. She liked the water; it shortly became apparent that she liked it as much as I did.”


Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)
Stanislawow, tegenwoordig Iwano-Frankowsk in Polen

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In Memoriam André Brink

In Memoriam André Brink

De Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver André Brink is vrijdagavond aan boord van een KLM-vlucht van Amsterdam naar Kaapstad overleden. Brink was op de terugweg van België, waar hij een eredoctoraat van de Universiteit van Leuven toegekend had gekregen. André Brink werd geboren op 29 mei 1935 in Vrede. Hij is 79 jaar geworden. Zie ook alle tags voor André Brink op dit blog.

Uit: A dry white season

“For some time he was houseboy for a rich Jewish family in Houghton; later he found a better paid job as messenger for a firm of attorneys in the city, and then as an assistant in a bookshop. Somehow he managed to keep up his reading and the manager of the bookshop, pleased by his interest, helped him to continue his studies. In this way he eventually passed Standard Four.
At that stage Gordon went back to the Transkei. A traumatic experience, as it turned out, since there was no work for him back home, apart from lending a hand with the paltry farming activities of a great-uncle: planting maize, scouring the veld with a lean dog in search of hares for meat, sitting in the sun in front of the hut. He’d left the city because he couldn’t stand life there any more; but it proved to be worse on the farm. There was something fretful and desultory in his blood after the years he’d been away. All the money he’d brought with him had gone into lobola — the dowry for a wife; and barely a year after his arrival in the Transkei he returned to the only place he really knew, Johannesburg, Gouthini. After a brief unsettled spell he landed at Ben’s school.
One after another his children were born: in Alexandra, then Moroka, then Orlando. The eldest was Jonathan, his favourite. From the outset Gordon had resolved to rear his son in the traditions of his tribe. And when Jonathan turned fourteen he was sent back to the Transkei to be circumcised and initiated.
A year later Jonathan — or Sipho, which Gordon said was his “real” name-was back, no longer a kwedini but a man. Gordon had always spoken about this day. From now on he and his son would be allies, two men in the house. There was no lack of friction, since Jonathan obviously had a mind of his awn; but on the main issue they agreed: Jonathan would go to school for as long as possible. And it was just after he’d passed Standard Six and secondary school was becoming an expensive business, that they turned to Ben for help.”

André Brink (29 mei 1935 – 6 februari 2015)