Alain de Botton, Ramon Stoppelenburg, Aziz Nesin, Hortense Calisher, Jürg Laederach, Peter May

De Zwitserse schrijver en filosoof Alain de Botton werd geboren in Zürich op 20 december 1969. Zie ook alle tags voor Alain de Botton op dit blog.

Uit: Het nieuws (Vertaald door Harry Pallemans)

Er zit geen handleiding bij, want het zou de gewoonste, gemakkelijkste, natuurlijkste, meest alledaagse activiteit ter wereld moeten zijn, zoals ademen of met je ogen knipperen.
Na een tussentijd, meestal niet langer dan een nacht (en vaak veel korter; in een erg rusteloze stemming halen we misschien tien minuten of een kwartier), onderbreken we wat we doen om te kijken of er nieuws is. We zetten ons leven in de wacht om de volgende dosis essentiele informatie te ontvangen over alle belangrijke prestaties, rampen, misdaden, epidemieen en romantische verwikkelingen die de mensheid waar ook op aarde ten deel zijn gevallen sinds de vorige keer dat we even keken.
Wat hier volgt is een poging om deze vertrouwde, wereldwijde gewoonte een stuk vreemder en aanzienlijk riskanter te laten lijken dan momenteel het geval is.

Het nieuws stelt zich ten doel ons voor te schotelen wat als de ongebruikelijkste en belangrijkste gebeurtenissen op de planeet worden gezien: een sneeuwbui in de tropen; een liefdesbaby van de president; een Siamese tweeling. Maar het mag dan fanatiek op het afwijkende jagen, het enige waar het de blik vooral behendig niet op richt, is zichzelf en de overheersende positie die het in ons leven heeft verworven. ‘Helft mensheid dagelijks in ban van nieuws’ is een kop die we niet gauw geplaatst zullen zien door organisaties die verder juist zo gespitst zijn op het bijzondere en opmerkelijke, het corrupte en het schokkende.”


Alain de Botton (Zürich, 20 december 1969)


De Nederlandse schrijver Ramon Stoppelenburg werd geboren in Leiden op 20 december 1976. Zie ook alle tags voor Ramon Stoppelenburg op dit blog.

Uit Let me stay for a day

“ext, I entered a classroom with pieces of cardboard and carpet on the walls. Obviously, this was the living room. In the middle there was a small wood stove. A number of windows had cracks in them, which were taped over with sticky tape to keep the draught out. There was no running water anymore, since the plumber had refused to return after his first visit. Douglas’ water was supplied by a creek behind the building and his fresh drinking water came from the single house across the road. Electricity was generated by a diesel generator outside.
While my host made coffee, I wondered why anyone would want to live as isolated as this with no modern facilities.
‘I’m a gold panner,’ Douglas said, exposing an uneven set of yellow teeth in his mouth. ‘Very few people know, but there’s lots of gold hidden in the soil of Scotland and Wales.’
He told me how every day he takes his dogs down to several streams nearby. In the middle of small river he digs into the ground with his hand. Everything he digs up, he studies for traces of gold dust in a pan.
‘And even if I find a tiny amount, I know I’m in the right place,’ he said. ‘That way I know there must be grains of real gold upstream, which could lead me to nuggets.’
Douglas sipped his coffee. ‘But that hasn’t happened yet.’
He wore a chain around his neck made of his favorite grains of gold. ‘These aren’t worth much,’ he said, ‘but if the gold’s pure enough, I take it to the city, where I know a man who can keep my findings a secret and he pays me well.’ The latter he said in a whisper.”


Ramon Stoppelenburg (Leiden, 20 december 1976)


De Turkse dichter en schrijver Aziz Nesin werd geboren op 20 december 1915 in Istanbul. Zie ook alle tags voor Aziz Nesin op dit blog.


In Vain

You are not here
It’s raining in vain,
We won’t be able to soak together…
This river is in vain,
Its struggle and flutter…
We won’t be able to sit by it and watch together…
The roads go on and on
They get tired in vain
We won’t be able to walk together…
Yearning and separation are in vain
We are far from each other
We won’t be able to cry together…
I love you in vain
I live in vain
We won’t be able to share life together


Remaining Silent

There is no word unsaid under this sun..
That is why I say at nights that I love..
There is no word unsaid either at night or during the day..
And I say what has already been said in new forms..
There is no form in the world not tried…
And I remain silent, hiding my love inside…
You hear how my silence screams, don’t you…
There are many declaring their love with silence, my love…
But there is no one who loves like I remain silent…


Vertaald door Fatih Akgül


Aziz Nesin (20 december 1915 – 6 juli 1995)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Hortense Calisher werd geboren in New York op 20 december 1911. Zie ook alle tags voor Hortense Calisher op dit blog

Uit: False Entry

“Her connection with the Goodmans was a simple one. At sixteen, having shown some talent, my mother was apprenticed to a French dressmaking establishment in Lyons, with a final year in the main branch in Paris. They met there, the young Rachel Pereira, shopping for her trousseau with the old Mrs. Goodman, her generous and eccentric mother-in-law-to-be, and my mother (the midinette’s stiff bow at her nape, but the rest of her stolid and stubby in the midst of the other apprentices with their long noses, thin, subtle French lips, and coquettish feet), who had been pushed forward to serve les Anglaises. When they returned to England, she went with them, no doubt relinquished with relief by the maîtresse as too lacking in presence and guile, and until the wedding, six months away, she served as seamstress and maid to the softly winning, primavera bride. Later, when she set up her own business, the Goodmans were her mainstay, for the plain fact of it was that my mother was not a success. She had been too long exposed to gentility to be able to summon the imitative, glacéed arrogance required by the Bond Street salons, and at the same time her sense of style, corrupted by the French, was too vivid and strange for the suburban wives who would otherwise have been her natural trade. But with the Goodmans, with their slipper-easy affections, their Phoenician love of the purple, she was at home.
From my mother’s account of the day of my birth, blended with my childhood knowledge of that house, I know that day almost as if I had been present not only as a newborn wisp, but as if, under the waxed skin and sealed eyelids of my prematurely naked face, there were already working that blotting-paper power of recall which was to be the matrix of my mental life.”


Hortense Calisher (20 december 1911 – 15 januari 2009)


De Zwitserse schrijver Jürg Laederach werd geboren op 20 december 1945 in Basel. Zie ook alle tags voor Jürg Laederach op dit blog.

Uit: Wir nehmen Lift

“Das Stück spielt in dem zwischen drei Stockwerken frei beweglichen mittelgrossen Glaslift aussen an der Hausmauer des siebzehnstöckigen grellgrauen Hauses mit dem Grasquadrat auf dem Flachdach.
(Der Glaslift führt zwischen den acht Stockwerken hin und her. Das Wohnungszimmer, dessen Türe, an der Aussenwand, in den Lift führt, ist jedesmal ein anderes, Wohnzimmer, Schlafzimmer, Bude, Abstellraum, Badezimmer, Vorraum mit Eingangstüre. ‘NOANOA’ ist, wer einsteigt. Vor dem Einsteigen hat der neue Passagier das Gespräch in den Hauptzügen bereits mitgekriegt. Insgesamt steigen neun Leute in den Lift ein. Während der Reise steigen sieben wieder aus)
(Vierter Stock, älterer Herr, ältere Dame)

NOANOA: Da hätten wir unser Haus.
NOANOA: Entsetzlich. Wahre die Fassade, aber wo ist hier Fassade für den Akt des Wahrens?
NOANOA: Es ist keine Freude mehr wie früher. Kann aber auch nach Einriss von Kellergeschoss und Gefässen eindringen.
NOANOA: Mit dem Hausbau fangen die Kataklysmen an, was sage ich, die Kormorane, Katamarane, die katatonischen Katastrophen.
NOANOA: So schlimm war es noch nie. Die Saat des Staats nimmt teil.
NOANOA: Ich sehe euch mit Besorgnis und mich mit hoher Besorgnis, wie ich euch sehe.
NOANOA: Das ist vielleicht das Grauenvollste daran. Kellergeschoss knack, Erdgeschoss nack. Man muss sich nach dem Becken strecken.“


Jürg Laederach (Basel, 20 december 1945)
Basel in kersttijd


De Schotse schrijver Peter May werd geboren op 20 december 1951 in Glasgow. Zie ook alle tags voor Peter May op dit blog.

Uit:The Blackhouse

“They are just kids. Sixteen years old. Emboldened by alcohol, and hastened by the approaching Sabbath, they embrace the dark in search of love, and find only death. Unusually, there is just a light wind. And for once it is warm, like breath on the skin, caressing and seductive. A slight haze in the August sky hides the stars, but a three-quarter moon casts its pale, bloodless light across the compacted sand left by the outgoing tide. The sea breathes gently upon the shore, phosphorescent foam bursting silver bubbles over gold. The young couple hurries down the tarmac from the village above, blood pulsing in their heads like the beat of the waves.
Off to their left, the rise and fall of the water in the tiny harbour breaks the moonlight on its surface, and they hear the creaking of small boats straining at ropes, the soft clunk of wood on wood as they jostle for space, nudging each other playfully in the darkness.
Uilleam holds her hand in his, sensing her reluctance. He has tasted the sweetness of the alcohol on her breath and felt the urgency in her kiss, and knows that tonight she will finally succumb. But there is so little time. The Sabbath is close. Too close. Just half an hour, revealed in a stolen glance at his watch before leaving the streetlights behind.
Ceit is breathing rapidly now. Afraid, not of the sex, but of the father she knows will be sitting by the fire, watching the embers of the peat fade toward midnight, timed with a practised perfection to die before the coming day of rest. She can almost feel his impatience slow-burning to anger as the clock ticks toward tomorrow and she has not yet returned. How is it possible that things can have changed so little on this God-fearing island?
Thoughts crowd her mind, fighting for space with the desire which has lodged there, and the alcohol which has blunted her youthful resistance to it. Their Saturday night at the Social Club had seemed, just a few short hours ago, to stretch ahead to eternity. But time never passes so quickly as when it is in short supply. And now it is all but gone.”


Peter May (Glasgow, 20 december 1951)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 20e december ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.