Janet Malcolm, Hans Arnfrid Astel

De Amerikaanse schrijfster, journaliste, biografe en essayiste Janet Malcolm werd geboren als Jana Klara Wienerová op 8 juli 1934 in Praag. Zie ook alle tags voor Janet Malcolm op dit blog.

Uit: The Silent Woman. Sylvia Plath And Ted Hughes

“Life, as we all know, does not reliably offer—as art does—a second (and a third and a thirtieth) chance to tinker with a problem, but Ted Hughes’s history seems to be uncommonly bare of the moments of mercy that allow one to undo or redo one’s actions and thus feel that life isn’t entirely tragic. Whatever Hughes might have undone or redone in his relationship to Sylvia Plath, the opportunity was taken from him when she committed suicide, in February of 1963, by putting her head in a gas oven as her two small children slept in a bedroom nearby, which the had sealed against gas fumes, and where she had placed mugs of milk and a plate of bread for them to find when they awoke. Plath and Hughes were not living together at the time of her death. They had been married for six years—she was thirty and he was thirty-two when she died—and had separated the previous fall in a turbulent way. There was another woman. It is a situation that many young married couples find themselves in—one that perhaps more couples find themselves in than don’t—but it is a situation that ordinarily doesn’t last: the couple either reconnects or dissolves. Life goes on. The pain and bitterness and exciting awfulness of sexual jealousy and sexual guilt recede and disappear. People grow older. They forgive themselves and each other, and may even come to realize that what they are forgiving themselves and each other for is youth. But a person who dies at thirty in the middle of a messy separation remains forever fixed in the mess. To the readers of her poetry and her biography, Sylvia Plath will always be young and in a rage over Hughes’s unfaithfulness. She will never reach the age when the tumults of young adulthood can be looked back upon with rueful sympathy and without anger and vengefulness. Ted Hughes has reached this age—he reached it some time ago—but he has been cheated of the peace that age brings by the posthumous fame of Plath and by the public’s fascination with the story of her life. Since he was part of that life—the most interesting figure in it during its final six years—he, too, remains fixed in the chaos and confusion of its final period. Like Prometheus, whose ravaged liver was daily reconstituted so it could be daily reravaged, Hughes has had to watch his young self being picked over by biographers, scholars, critics, article writers, and newspaper journalists. Strangers who Hughes feels know nothing about his marriage to Plath write about it with proprietary authority.”


Janet Malcolm (8 juli 1934 – 16 juni 2021)


De Duitse dichter Hans Arnfrid Astel werd geboren in München op 9 juli 1933. Zie ook alle tags voor Hans Arnfrid Astel op dit blog.


(Wisteria sinensis, “Wisteria”)

De rank van kennis slingert zoet
rond stam en boom van het hooggeprezen land.
De zoete adder wurgt met zijn geur
de tralies rond het paradijs.
Het hek bezwijkt voor de stormachtige omhelzing.
Zo verdwijnt uiteindelijk alle bitterheid,
verboden worden boodschappers van bewilliging.
Vanuit de lucht valt blauw in onze schoot.


Vertaald door Frans Roumen


Hans Arnfrid Astel (9 juli 1933 – 12 maart 2018


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 8e juli ook mijn blog van 8 juli 2023 en ook mijn blog van 8 juli 2020 en eveneens mijn blog van 8 juli 2019 en ook mijn blog van 8 juli 2017 deel 2.