Andreï Makine, Franz Werfel, Paweł Huelle, Mary Oliver

De Franse schrijver van Russische afkomst Andreï Makine werd geboren in Krasnojarsk op 10 september 1957. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 september 2010. en eveneens alle tags voor Andreï Makine op dit blog.


Uit: Dreams of My Russian Summers (Le Testament français, vertaald door Geoffrey Strachan)


„While still a child, I guessed that this very singular smile represented a strange little victory for each of the women: yes, a fleeting revenge for disappointed hopes, for the coarseness of men, for the rareness of beautiful and true things in this world. Had I known how to say it at the time I would have called this way of smiling “femininity.”…But my language was too concrete in those days. I contented myself with studying the women’s faces in our photograph albums and identifying this glow of beauty in some of them.

For these women knew that in order to be beautiful, what they must do several seconds before the flash blinded them was to articulate the following mysterious syllables in French, of which few understood the meaning: “pe-tite-pomme.”…As if by magic, the mouth, instead of being extended in counterfeit bliss, or contracting into an anxious grin, would form a gracious round. The whole face was thus transfigured. The eyebrows arched slightly, the oval of the cheeks was elongated. You said “petite pomme,” and the shadow of a distant and dreamy sweetness veiled your gaze, refined your features, and caused the soft light of bygone days to hover over the snapshot.

This photographic spell had won the confidence of the most diverse women: for example, a relative from Moscow in the only color photo in our albums. Married to a diplomat, she spoke through clenched teeth and sighed with boredom before even hearing you out. But in the photo I could immediately identify the “petite pomme” effect.

I observed its aura on the face of a dull provincial woman, some anonymous aunt, whose name only came up when the conversation turned to the women left without husbands after the male slaughter of the last war. Even Glasha, the peasant of the family, in the rare photos that we still possessed of her, displayed the miraculous smile. Finally there was a whole swarm of young girl cousins, puffing out their lips while trying to hold on to this elusive French magic during several interminable seconds of posing. As they murmured their “petite pomme,” they still believed that the life that lay ahead would be woven uniquely from such moments of grace…. „


Andreï Makine (Krasnojarsk, 10 september 1957)


De Oostenrijkse dichter en schrijver Franz Werfel werd op 10 september 1890 in Praag geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Franz Werfel op dit blog.

Uit: Die Entfremdung


„Keine Schmerzen hatte sie mehr, als sie, weiß umhüllt, auf der Tragbahre lag, um in den Operationssaal gebracht zu werden. Sie empfand nur ein fremdes, ein stürmisches Mitleid mit ihrem armen Körper, aber so, als wäre es nicht ihr eigener, sondern der Leib einer andern Frau. Während man sie an irgendeinem Spiegel vorbeitrug, erhaschte Gabriele einen Schein von ihrem Gesicht, von ihrem Kopf, den eine weiße Binde (wie eine Nonnenhaube) umschnürte. Das viele Weiß, fand sie, stände ihr gut. Trotz des furchtbaren Augenblicks überkam sie ein leidvolles Wohlgefallen an sich selbst:
»Jetzt bin ich nicht schlecht angezogen. Vielleicht würde auch Judith nichts einzuwenden haben…«

Der Assistenzarzt, der den Zug begleitete, glaubte, die Kranke wolle sprechen und könne es nicht. Da ergriff er ihre Hand und streichelte sie. Gabriele schmiegte sich in die Kraftströme, die von dieser gesunden und markigen Hand herfluteten.

Als sie noch Kinder waren, sie und ihr Bruder, hatte Erwins Hand so oft die ihre gehalten. Die unruhige und gierige Knabenhand hatte Gabrieles Hand gedrückt, gepreßt, an ihr genascht, wie an einer Frucht…

Dieses Arztes harte Hand aber war so ruhig, so zuverlässig. Gabriele atmete tief. Die Hand tat ihr wohl.
Nun lag sie auf dem Schmerzenstisch.

Die Schwestem schlugen vorsichtig die Tücher zurück, mit denen sie bedeckt war:
Wie ein Paket, in dem etwas Zerbrochenes liegt. Sie sah nicht an sich herab,
um von dem Furchtbaren nichts zu wissen. Und wirklich, sie wußte jetzt nichts von der Macht, die sie zerschmettert
hatte, als wäre das Unglück nicht vor zwei Stunden geschehn, sondern in einer unausdenklichen Vorzeit…“


Franz Werfel (10 september 1890 – 26 augustus 1945)



De Poolse schrijver Paweł Huelle werd geboren op 10 september 1957 in Gdańsk. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Pawel Huelle op dit blog.


Uit: Cold Sea Tales (Vertaald door Antonia Lloyd-Jones)


“The trams and buses weren’t running any more, so there was a terrible crush in the local train. There was no other way to reach the centre of Gdańsk, and of course that was where everyone wanted to go, to the main station, from where it only took seven minutes to get to the shipyard gates. And either in a whisper or in a lowered tone everyone really was talking about the same thing: so far they’re not shooting yet! But they’re sure to start, there can be no doubt, the only question is when? I too could remember that December, exactly ten years ago: my father and I had gone up to the loft to listen for noises from the city centre through the open mansard window. The frosty air carried the boom of single shots, ambulance sirens and the rumble of tanks. The glow of fire shone red over the city. Now and then a helicopter appeared in the gloomy expanse behind it, firing flares, and then, in the brief flash of light, we could clearly hear two or three bursts of heavy machine-gun fire. There were moments when all these noises stopped, and we thought we could hear the shouts of the crowd repeatedly rising and falling.
“Just remember,” my father had said as we made our way down two floors to our flat, “this is the beginning of their end.” Naturally when he said “their” he wasn’t thinking of the workers. A few days later I saw the burned-down Party headquarters from the tram window, once the curfew had been lifted. At the Hucisko crossroads, right by the tram stop, I found a shipyard helmet flattened like a matchbox. The stench of burning and teargas was everywhere. The food price hikes had been withdrawn and people were hurriedly doing their Christmas shopping. Just as hurriedly the portraits of the leaders who had been ejected from their posts were being removed from all the classrooms at my school. Our art teacher turned a blind eye as we burned them on a big pyre next to the school dump.”


Paweł Huelle (Gdańsk, 10 september 1957)



De Amerikaanse dichteres Mary Oliver werd geboren op 10 september 1936 in Maple Heights, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 10 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Mary Oliver op dit blog.


De wilde ganzen

Je hoeft niet goed te zijn.
Je hoeft niet op je knieën honderd kilometer
door de woestijn te kruipen uit berouw.

Je hoeft alleen maar het zachte dier van je lichaam
lief te laten hebben waar het van houdt.

Vertel me over wanhoop, die van jou, en ik vertel je de mijne.

Maar intussen draait de wereld door.
Intussen trekken de zon en zachte blaadjesregen
dwars door het landschap,
over velden en buigende bomen,
bergen en rivieren.

Intussen gaan de wilde ganzen hoog in de helderblauwe lucht,
weer op huis aan.

Wie je ook bent, hoe eenzaam ook,
de wereld biedt zichzelf aan, aan jouw verbeeldingskracht,

Roept je zoals de wilde ganzen, schril en opwindend, keer op keer.
wijst je jouw plek
in de onvoorwaardelijkheid
van de dingen om je heen.


Vertaald door Maarten Schild


Song of the Builders

On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.


Morning Glories

Blue and dark-blue
rose and deepest rose
white and pink they

are everywhere in the diligent
cornfield rising and swaying
in their reliable

finery in the little
fling of their bodies their
gear and tackle

all caught up in the cornstalks.
The reaper’s story is the story
of endless work of

work careful and heavy but the
reaper cannot
separate them out there they

are in the story of his life
bright random useless
year after year

taken with the serious tons
weeds without value
humorous beautiful weeds.


Mary Oliver (Maple Heights, 10 september 1935)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 10e september ook mijn blog van 10 september 2011 deel 1 en eveneens deel 2.