450 Jaar William Shakespeare, Andrey Kurkov, Pascal Quignard, Peter Horst Neumann, Halldór Laxness

450 jaar William Shakespeare

De Engelse dichter en schrijver William Shakespeare werd geboren in Stradford-upon-Avon op, vermoedelijk, 23 april 1564. Dat is vandaag precies 450 jaar geleden. Zie ook alle tags voor William Shakespeare op dit blog.

Uit: Romeo and Juliet, scene II

I take thee at thy word.
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized.
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?
(to himself) She speaks. Oh, speak again, bright angel. You are as glorious as an angel tonight. You shine above me, like a winged messenger from heaven who makes mortal men fall on their backs to look up at the sky, watching the angel walking on the clouds and sailing on the air.

Leonard Whiting en Olivia Hussey in Romeo and Julie (Franco Zeffirelli, 1968)

(not knowing ROMEO hears her) Oh, Romeo, Romeo, why do you have to be Romeo? Forget about your father and change your name. Or else, if you won’t change your name, just swear you love me and I’ll stop being a Capulet.
(to himself) Should I listen for more, or should I speak now?
(still not knowing ROMEO hears her) It’s only your name that’s my enemy. You’d still be yourself even if you stopped being a Montague. What’s a Montague anyway? It isn’t a hand, a foot, an arm, a face, or any other part of a man. Oh, be some other name! What does a name mean? The thing we call a rose would smell just as sweet if we called it by any other name. Romeo would be just as perfect even if he wasn’t called Romeo. Romeo, lose your name. Trade in your name—which really has nothing to do with you—and take all of me in exchange.
(to JULIET) I trust your words. Just call me your love, and I will take a new name. From now on I will never be Romeo again.“

William Shakespeare (23 april 1564 – 23 april 1616)
Het “Chandos portret” in de National Portrait Gallery


De Oekraïense schrijver Andrey Kurkov werd geboren op 23 april 1961 in Leningrad. Zie ook alle tags voor Andrey Kurkov op dit blog.

Uit: Death and the Penguin (Vertaald door George Bird)

“Next morning, when he had typed his latest short short story and taken leave of Misha, Viktor set off for the offices of a new fat newspaper that generously published anything, from a cooking recipe to a review of post-Soviet theatre. He knew the Editor, having occasionally drunk with him, and been driven home by his driver afterwards.
The Editor received him with a smile and a slap on the shoulder, told his secretary to make coffee, and there and then gave Victor’s offering a professional read.
‘No, old friend,’ he said eventually. ‘Don’t take it amiss, but it’s no go. Needs a spot more gore, or a kinky love angle. Get it into your head that sensation’s the essence of a newspaper short story.’
Viktor left, without waiting for coffee.
A short step away were the offices of Capital News, where, lacking editorial access, he looked in on the Arts section.
‘Literature’s not actually what we publish,’ the elderly Assistant Editor informed him amiably. ‘But leave it with me. Anything’s possible. It might get in on a Friday. You know – for balance. If there’s a glut of bad news, readers look for something neutral. I’ll read it.’
Ridding himself of Viktor by handing him his card, the little old man returned to his paper-piled desk. At which point it dawned on Viktor that he had not actually been asked in. The whole exchange had been conducted in the doorway.”

Andrey Kurkov (Leningrad, 23 april 1961)


De Franse schrijver Pascal Quignard werd geboren op 23 april 1948 in Verneuil-sur-Avre. Zie ook alle tags voor Pascal Quignard op dit blog.

Uit: Abîmes

« Nous sommes à la merci d’images qui n’ont aucune source visuelle en nous. Nous avons vécu avant de naître. Nous avons rêvé avant de voir. Nous avons entendu avant d’être sujets à l’air. Nous sommes entrés en contact avec le langage avant d’être envahis par le souffle. Nous avons été soumis aux noms et aux mots avant d’accéder à la maîtrise vocale. Nous avons prononcé et articulé ces mots et entonné cette langue par sidération maternelle. De la même façon, la société où nous allons pénétrer, la langue à laquelle nous allons obéir, la durée que nous allons éprouver, l’Histoire où nous allons nous engloutir, sont antérieures à notre conception. De la même manière, notre mère, notre père, leur excitation, leur étreinte, leur émotion, leur râle, leur ensommeillement, leur rêve, nous précèdent. Ce sont des fragments d’images impulsives, ou compulsives, ou plus simplement pulsives, spontanées, d’une seconde ou deux, par lesquelles le temps se précède lui-même dans l’invisible.
Nous sommes les pousses de l’antériorité invisible.
Comme l’eau en regard de la source (comme l’eau qui revient sans cesse de l’autre côté de la paroi pour sourdre) chaque homme est venu d’Autrefois et y retourne une autre fois à partir de l’altérité de l’autrefois qui le précède.
Les événements passés sont tous contemporains de l’altérité étrange qui y vit.
Tel est l’Autrefois.
Tous les ancêtres sont comme tous les fruits qui pendent aux branches des arbres. Toujours le descendant et l’aïeul, le jadis et le faite instantané de la vague contemporaine s’épousent comme les deux côtés d’une surface… »

Pascal Quignard (Verneuil-sur-Avre, 23 april 1948)


De Duitse dichter, essayist en literatuurwetenschapper Peter Horst Neumann werd geboren op 23 april 1936 in Neisse. Zie ook alle tags voor Peter Horst Neumann op dit blog.


Das wiedergefundene
Gesangbuch des Urgroßvaters,
letzter Analphabet
der Familie.

Auswendig sang er
im Kirchenstuhl mit
mächtiger Kleinbauernstimme
die Lieder ins
aufgeschlagene Buch.

Ein Strohhalm
sein Lesezeichen.


Baum vorm Fenster

Er hat sich
von seinen Blättern

Nun siehst du
durch ihn hindurch,
bis dein Blick

sich im Wirbel
der Straße verliert.
Von Schmerz

soll die Rede
nicht sein. Kennst
ihn ja lange

genug, seine
Art, davonzugehn
und zu bleiben.

Peter Horst Neumann (23 april 1936 – 27 juli 2009)


De IJslandse schrijver Halldór Laxness (eig. Halldór Guðjónsson) werd geboren in Reykjavik op 23 april 1902. Zie ook alle tags voor Halldór Laxness op dit blog.

Uit: Iceland’s Bell (Vertaald door Philipp Roughton)

“Climb up there on the house, Jón Hreggvibsson, you miserable wretch,” said the king’s hangman, “and cut down the bell. I find it hilarious to think that on the day when my Most Gracious Sire orders me to twist the noose around your neck, right here in this very place, no one will be ringing this bell.”
“Enough with your mockery, lads,” said the old man. “It’s an old bell.”
“If you’re in league with the priest,” said the king’s hangman, “then tell him from me that neither quibbling nor crying is of use here. We have letters for eighteen bells plus one-this one. We’ve been ordered to break them apart and send the pieces to Denmark on the Hólmship.* I answer to none but the king.”
He took a pinch from his snuff-horn without offering any to his companion.
“God bless the king,” said the old man. “All those church bells that the pope used to own, the king owns now. But this is not a church bell. It’s the bell of the land. I was born here on Bláskógaheibi.”
“Do you have any tobacco?” asked the black-haired man. “This damned hangman’s too stingy to give a man some snuff.”
“No,” said the old man. “My people have never had any tobacco. It’s been a hard year. My two grandchildren died in the spring. I’m an old man now. This bell-it has always belonged to this country.”
“Who has the letters to prove it?” asked the hangman.
“My father was born here on Bláskógaheibi,” said the old man.”

Halldór Laxness (23 april 1902 – 8 februari 1998)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 23e april ook mijn blog van 23 april 2012 deel 1 en ook deel 2.