Edmund White, Adrian Kasnitz

De Amerikaanse schrijver en essayist Edmund White werd geboren op 13 januari 1940 in Cincinnati. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmund White op dit blog.

Uit: A Previous Life

“Six months had gone by and the day was fast approaching when they’d agreed to read their memoirs in alternating chapters out loud to each other. They were in the Engadin, in the little town of Sils Maria. Around the corner, in a two-story house painted white with green trim, Nietzsche had lived briefly in the upstairs room. Now the Engadin was a costly ski resort, twice the site of the Winter Olympics, but in Nietzsche’s time, it must have been one of the most remote places on earth, reachable from Italy only by a steep, perilous road through the Maloja Pass in a carriage, then a sleigh pulled by six lathered-up horses baring their big yellow teeth around the bits, their breath visible in the cold mountain air (a sleigh ride was disagreeably called a Schlittenfahrt in German). The most famous village in the area was St. Moritz.
They had no visible servants there, though an expensive service washed the sheets, shoveled the roof and walkway, watered the plants, ran the sweeper, aired the rooms (throwing back the heavy duvet), turned up the heat a day in advance of their return, dusted everything (though there was no dust so high up in the mountains). The simple priceless side tables inlaid with split reeds and designed in the 1920s, the overhead lamp from the 1950s made in Milan, sprouting multicolored metal cups of light, the matronly restuffed 1950s couch from Paris in green velvet, the polished wood zigzag chairs, the huge painting of the naked, dagger-wielding artist himself with Italian words spilling out of his mouth— all of it materialized before their eyes as Ruggero turned on the track lighting and disarmed the security system. The room looked glaring and guilty as a police photo of a murder scene. Not one thing in it had Constance chosen. She had put up a favorite Chagall poster of a red rooster, but it had mysteriously disappeared and found its way into the unused maid’s room. She knew the house represented the high point of taste (she knew it because connoisseurs exclaimed over it and shelter magazines often asked to photograph it but were always turned down. Ruggero was worried about thieves and tax collectors).
This afternoon they’d arrived in their four-wheel drive, so suited for navigating through the snow. Ruggero had insisted on skiing right away. Constance didn’t really ski. She’d taken lessons but was afraid of heights, and even the mountain lifts made her sick. The only reason to ski was to keep Ruggero company, and after she discovered he found her ineptness annoying she abandoned the unpleasant effort. Whereas he had gone on ski holidays with his distant cousins every January since he was six, she had never even put on a ski boot until she was twenty-eight— and had promptly broken her toe and had to sit slightly drunk by the fire with a lap robe and a brandy snifter (how delightful!), watching through the windows the dying light illuminate the downhill racers.”


Edmund White (Cincinnati, 13 januari 1940)


De Duitse dichter en schrijver Adrian Kasnitz werd geboren op 10 januari 1974 in Orneta, Polen. Zie ook alle tags voor Adrian Kasnitz op dit blog.


Gelukkige nederlagen

De lijst met nederlagen begint met het krabben
als baby de uitslag die maar niet weggaat
de chemische crème die de zaken alleen maar erger maakt
de pijn in het hoofd en in plaats van grapjes, de vage gedachten
de angsten van het kind de ongesteldheid de benauwdheid
het toekijken bij het spelen van de anderen
die altijd anders zullen blijven, hoe hard je ook je best doet
de breuken, de puistjes, de meisjes die je uitlachten
passen allemaal op het blad en zijn niets slechts
vergeleken met de beproevingen die voor je liggen
het onvermoeibare dagelijkse leven het najagen van geld
armoedige stoffen verkies je boven armoedige prestaties
en nu, nu je struikelt, valt, begin je
afstand te nemen, los te laten, schuif je het slechte opzij
rolt je af blijft op de straat liggen kijkt ganzen na
die het luchtruim kruisen in de vlucht schreeuwen ze gaggagggag


Vertaald door Frans Roumen


Adrian Kasnitz (Ometa, 10 januari 1974)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 13e januari ook mijn blog van 13 januari 2019 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2.