Auberon Waugh, Dahlia Ravikovitch, Rebecca Walker

De Britse schrijver journalist en polemist Auberon Alexander Waugh werd geboren op 17 november 1939 in Dulverton, Somerset. Hij is bekend geworden door zijn satirische essays en om zijn conservatieve opvattingen over politiek en religie. Met zijn provocerende snobisme keerde hij zich tegen de veramerikanisering van het Verenigd Koninkrijk en in het bijzonder tegen de gevaren van de hamburger. Auberon Waugh (bijnaam “Bron”) was het tweede kind en de oudste zoon van Evelyn Waugh en zijn tweede vrouw. Hij werd opgeleid aan het Benedictijner college van Downside en aan Christ Church (Oxford), waar hij zonder diploma vertrok om zijn heil te zoeken in de journalistiek en de literatuur. Zijn eerste roman, The Foxglove Saga, verscheen in 1960, toen hij net 20 jaar was geworden. Hij begon als verslaggever van de Daily Telegraph en in de lange en vruchtbare carrière die volgde schreef hij voor The Spectator, New Statesman en andere bladen, zoals de Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, de Evening Standard en The Independent. Van 1981 tot 1990 bekleedde hij een belangrijke post in de Sunday Telegraph. Zijn vaste column in Private Eye, vanaf het begin van de jaren 1970 tot 1986, maakte van hem een beroemdheid. Van 1986 tot aan zijn dood was hij redacteur van de Literary Review en stelde hij mede de Bad Sex in Fiction Award in om elk jaar de slechtste seksscène van de hedendaagse literaire fictie te belonen.


Uit: Will This Do? An Autobiography


„On one occasion, just after the war, every child in Britain was to be allowed one banana each from the first consignment to arrive here for years.

Neither I, nor Teresa, nor my sister Margaret who was born in 1942, had ever eaten a banana but we had heard all about them as the most delicious taste in the world.

The great day arrived when my mother came home with three bananas. All three were put on my father’s plate and, before the anguished eyes of his children, he poured on cream and sugar, which was heavily rationed, and ate all three.

It would be absurd to say that I never forgave him, but he was permanently marked down in my estimation from that moment in ways which no amount of sexual transgression would have achieved.

In light of our inability to amuse him, it was thought better that we should be sent away as much as possible.

My fate was to be left in a boarding school on January 28, 1946, two months after my sixth birthday.

During my first term there, when I was still very nervous, he played one of his best practical jokes on me.

He told me he proposed to change our family name and that, when he had done so, the headmaster would summon the school together and say: “Boys, the person you have hitherto called Waugh will in future be called Stinkbottom.”

I understood perfectly well that he was joking, but one never knew how far he would be prepared to go with his jokes.

Every morning at school assembly, I felt a slight tightening of the chest as the headmaster came forward to make his daily announcements.

Teresa was also at boarding school and my father’s undisguised glee at the prospect of getting rid of his children was apparent at the end-of-holiday dinner parties which became a rigid institution.

On these occasions, Papa would dress in white tie and tails with his military medals glittering on his chest – in a gallant war seeing action in four theatres and spending months behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia, he had acquired a fair display of them.

His speech was always some variation on the theme of how delighted he was that we were going back to school.“


Auberon Waugh (17 november 1939 -16 januari 2001)



De Israëlische dichteres en schrijfster Dahlia Ravikovitch werd geboren op 17 november 1936 in een voorstad van Tel Aviv. Zie ook mijn blog van 17 november 2006 en ook mijn blog van 17 november 2007 en ook mijn blog van 17 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 17 november 2009.


The Second Trying


If I could only get hold of the whole of you,  

How could I ever get hold of the whole of you,  

Even more than the most beloved idols,  

More than mountains quarried whole,  

          More than mines  

          Of burning coal,  

Let’s say mines of extinguished coal  

And the breath of day like a fiery furnace.  



If one could get hold of you for all the years,  

How could one get hold of you from all the years,  

How could one lengthen a single arm,  

Like a single branch of an African river,  

As one sees in a dream the Bay of Storms,  

As one sees in a dream a ship that went down,  

The way one imagines a cushion of clouds,  

Lily-clouds as the body’s cushion,  

But though you will it, they will not convey you,  

Do not believe that they will convey you.  



If one could get hold of all-of-the-whole-of-you,  

If one could get hold of you like metal,  

Say like pillars of copper,  

Say like a pillar of purple copper  

(That pillar I remembered last summer)—

And the bottom of the ocean I have never seen,  

And the bottom of the ocean that I can see  

With its thousand heavy thickets of air,  

A thousand and one laden breaths.  



If one could only get hold of the-whole-of-you-now,  

How could you ever be for me what I myself am?  


Vertaald door Chana Bloch en Chana Kronfeld


Dahlia Ravikovitch (17 november 1936 – 21 augustus 2005)



De Amerikaanse schrijfster, uitgeefster en politiek activiste Rebecca Walker werd geboren op 17 november 1969 in Jackson, Mississippi.  Walker (eig. Rebecca Leventhal) is de dochter van Afrikaans-Amerikaanse feministe Alice Walker, auteur van de roman “The Color Purple” en de joods-Amerikaanse advocaat Melvyn Leventhal. Na de scheiding van haar ouders woonde ze tijdelijk bij haar moeder en soms bij haar vader en op 18-jarige leeftijd nam ze haar moeders naam aan. Ze studeerde cum laude af in 1992 aan de Yale University. Sinds 1989 is ze co-redacteur en schrijfster voor het tijdschrift Ms. I 1999 was zij mede-oprichter van de Third Wave Action Foundation. Het concept van de derde feministische golf wordt toegeschreven aan Walker.  Walker is de auteur van talrijke artikelen in verschillende tijdschriften, zij trad op bij CNN en MTV, en  heeft talloze onderscheidingen ontvangen voor haar werk, waaronder de Women of Distinction Award van de National Association of University Women.

Uit: Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self

„On my first birthday I am given my favorite foods: chitterlings and chocolate cake. Daddy goes to Estelle’s, the soul food place on the other side of town where he is the only white customer, and brings me home a large order of the pig intestines. Mama puts me in my big wooden high chair with the smooth curved piping, and then feeds me one slimy pale gray glob after another while Daddy sits at the table, grinning.
After I have eaten all of the chitterlings, Mama has to peel my tiny fingers from the container to make me let it go. Then she sets a chocolate cake with a big number one candle sticking up from the middle down in front of me, singing “Happy Birthday” softly, so that only I can hear. For a few seconds Mama and Daddy wait, expectant and wide-eyed, to see what I’ll do. I giggle, squeal, look at them, and then dig into the cake with my bare hands, smearing the sticky sweetness all over my face and pushing what’s left into my mouth. I rub cake in my hair, over my eyes. I slap my hands on the high chair, putting some cake on it, too.
My parents laugh out loud for a few seconds; then my father wraps his arm around my mother’s waist, patting her hip with a cupped hand. For a few seconds we are frozen in time. Then my father pushes his chair out from the table, cuts himself a piece of the chocolate cake, and goes to work.

You may want to ask about the story of your birth, and I mean down to the tiniest details. Were you born during the biggest snowstorm your town had seen in fifty years? Did your father stop at the liquor store on the way to the hospital? Did you refuse to appear, holding on to the inside of your mother’s womb for days? Some sinewy thread of meaning is in there somewhere, putting a new spin on the now utterly simplistic nature-nurture debate. Your job is to listen carefully and let your imagination reconstruct the narrative, pausing on hot spots like hands over a Ouija board.”


Rebecca Walker (Jackson, 17 november 1969)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 17e november ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.