Charles Dickens, Peter Carey, Gay Talese, Alban Nikolai Herbst, A. den Doolaard, Harry Sinclair Lewis, Paul Nizan, Rhijnvis Feith

De Engelse schrijver Charles Dickens werd geboren op 7 februari 1812 in Landport. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 februari 2007.

Uit: Oliver Twist

Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a workhouse, is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possibly befal a human being, I do mean to say that in this particular instance, it was the best thing for Oliver Twist that could by possibility have occurred. The fact is, that there was considerable difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon himself the office of respiration,-a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence; and for some time he lay gasping on a little flock mattress, rather unequally poised between this world and the next: the balance being decidedly in favour of the latter. Now, if, during this brief period, Oliver had been surrounded by careful grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors of profound wisdom, he would most inevitably and indubitably have been killed in no time. There being nobody by, however, but a pauper old woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer; and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract; Oliver and Nature fought out the point between them. The result was, that, after a few struggles, Oliver breathed, sneezed, and proceeded to advertise to the inmates of the workhouse the fact of a new burden having been imposed upon the parish, by setting up as loud a cry as could reasonably have been expected from a male infant who had not been possessed of that very useful appendage, a voice, for a much longer space of time than three minutes and a quarter.

As Oliver gave this first proof of the free and proper action of his lungs, the patchwork coverlet which was carelessly flung over the iron bedstead, rustled; the pale face of a young woman was raised feebly from the pillow; and a faint voice imperfectly articulated the words, “Let me see the child, and die.”



Charles Dickens (7 februari 1812 – 9 juni 1870)


De Australische schrijver Peter Carey werd geboren op 7 februari 1943 in Bacchus Marsh (Victoria). Zie ook mijn blog van 7 februari 2007.


Uit: True History of the Kelly Gang

MY first memory is of Mother breaking eggs into a bowl and crying that Jimmy Quinn my 15 yr. old uncle were arrested by the traps. I don’t know where my daddy were that day nor my older sister Annie. I were 3 yr. old. While my mother cried I scraped the sweet yellow batter onto a spoon and ate it the roof were leaking above the camp oven each drop hissing as it hit.

My mother tipped the cake onto the muslin cloth and knotted it.

Your Aunt Maggie were a baby so my mother wrapped her also then she carried both cake and baby out into the rain. I had no choice but follow up the hill how could I forget them puddles the colour of mustard the rain like needles in my eyes.

We arrived at the Beveridge Police Camp drenched to the bone and doubtless stank of poverty a strong odour about us like wet dogs and for this or other reasons we was excluded from the Sergeant’s room. I remember sitting with my chillblained hands wedged beneath the door I could feel the lovely warmth of the fire on my fingertips. Yet when we was finally permitted entry all my attention were taken not by the blazing fire but by a huge red jowled creature the Englishman who sat behind the desk. I knew not his name only that he were the most powerful man I ever saw and he might destroy my mother if he so desired.

Approach says he as if he was an altar.

My mother approached and I hurried beside her. She told the Englishman she had baked a cake for his prisoner Quinn and would be most
obliged to deliver it because her husband were absent and she had butter to churn and pigs to feed.

No cake shall go to the prisoner said the trap I could smell his foreign spicy smell he had a handlebar moustache and his scalp were shining through his hair.”



Peter Carey (Bacchus Marsh, 7 februari 1943)


De Amerikaanse schrijver en journalist Gay Talese werd geboren op 7 februari 1932 als kind van een Rooms-katholieke familie in Ocean City. Zijn vader was kleermaker. Hij volgde een studie aan de universiteit van Alabama, waar hij voor het eerst literaire technieken in de journalistiek toepaste. Talese stond aan de wieg van wat later New Journalism zou gaan heten. Talese vatte zijn bedoelingen samen met: “New Journalism leest als fictie, maar is het niet. Het is zo waarheidsgetrouw als de meest waarheidsgetrouwe reportage, maar het zoekt naar de diepere waarheid dan je bereiken kunt door het opstapelen van feiten, het gebruiken van quotes, en de traditionele journalistieke vormgeving. New Journalism vraagt, nee eist, een vorm van schrijven die tot de verbeelding spreekt.” Hij beleefde het hoogtepunt van zijn carrière in 1966, toen hij voor Esquire artikelen schreef over Joe DiMaggio en Frank Sinatra: “The Silent Season of a Hero” en “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold”.

Uit: Frank Sinatra Has a Cold

“November, a month before his fiftieth birthday. Sinatra had been working in a film that he now disliked, could not wait to finish; he was tired of all the publicity attached to his dating the twenty-year-old Mia Farrow, who was not in sight tonight; he was angry that a CBS television documentary of his life, to be shown in two weeks, was reportedly prying into his privacy, even speculating on his possible friendship with Mafia leaders; he was worried about his starring role in an hour-long NBC show entitled Sinatra—A Man And His Music, which would require that he sing eighteen songs with a voice that at this particular moment, just a few nights before the taping was to begin, was weak and sore and uncertain. Sinatra was ill. He was the victim of an ailment so common that most people would consider it trivial. But when it gets to Sinatra it can plunge him into a state of anguish, deep depression, panic, even rage. Frank Sinatra had a cold.

Sinatra with a cold is Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel—only worse. For the common cold robs Sinatra of that uninsurable jewel, his voice, cutting into the core of his confidence, and it affects not only his own psyche but also seems to cause a kind of psychosomatic nasal drip within dozens of people who work for him, drink with him, love him, depend on him for their own welfare and stability. A Sinatra with a cold can, in a small way, send vibrations through the entertainment industry and beyond as surely as a President of the United States, suddenly sick, can shake the national economy.

For Frank Sinatra was now involved with many things involving many people—his own film company, his record company, his private airline, his missile-parts firm, his real-estate holdings across the nation, his personal staff of seventy-five—which are only a portion of the power he is and has come to represent. He seemed now to be also the embodiment of the fully emancipated male, perhaps the only one in America, the man who can do anything he wants, anything, can do it because he has the money, the energy, and no apparent guilt. In an age when the very young seem to be taking over, protesting and picketing and demanding change, Frank Sinatra survives as a national phenomenon, one of the few prewar products to withstand the test of time.”


Gay Talese (Ocean City, 7 februari 1932)


De Duitse schrijver Alban Nikolai Herbst (pseudoniem van Alexander Michael v. Ribbentrop) werd geboren op 7 februari 1955 in Refrath. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 februari 2007.


Uit: Roses Triumph


Niemals wäre Erwin Rose Gegenstand literarischer Würdigung geworden, hätte sich nicht in seinem 51. Lebensjahr ein sonderbarer Umbruch vollzogen. Doch bekam ihn kaum jemand mit. Er erstaunte den distanzierten Bürovorsteher selbst – einen seit über dreißig Jahren völlig erregungslosen, dem Kanzleileben dienenden Charakter. Nicht daß der Mann devot gewesen wäre, doch ein Gleichmut, der ihm innere Ruhe und auch Abstand gewährte, hatte ihn die politischen Nervositäten unterschlafen lassen, von denen vor allem die späten Siebziger durchwühlt worden waren. Und ihm bis heute erlaubt, jederlei Lehrlingsprotest, wenn er tradierte Abläufe störte, gleichsam instinktiv in eine Art Urvertrauen zurückzuleiten. Ohnedies ist die Kanzlei, in der Erwin Rose seit Jünglingszeiten beschäftigt und seit über drei Jahrzehnten ins Vertrauen des Chef-Sozius’ Dörrbecker gewachsen war, von politisch grellem Belang niemals bewegt gewesen. Scheidungen, Mietstreitigkeiten, Bußgeld- und Asylverfahren bestimmten den kleinen Betrieb; die auch in juridischer Hinsicht recht wechselvolle Historie rührte in ihm kaum einen Wellenring auf. Die Protestzwiebeln, die, selten genug, der Büronachwuchs warf, klatschten in den Schlick einer lehrväterlichen Umarmung. Nur in ganz seltenen Fällen zogen sie Wurzeln, so daß Erwin Rose ihre Triebe kupieren mußte.

An diesem Sommernachmittag stülpte den Mann jedoch etwas um. Möglicherweise hätte ein guter Beobachter die Veränderung registrieren können: ungewisser Blicke wegen, die der Bürovorsteher seither seinem Chef hinterherwarf, oder aufgrund der einen oder anderen scheinbar motivlosen Geste. Oder weil sich Rose seltsam schneuzte und danach qualitativ neu mit den Nasenflügeln zuckte. Marginalien also nur. Doch den Beobachter gab es ohnedies nicht.”



Alban Nikolai Herbst (Refrath, 7 februari 1955)


De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver A. den Doolaard werd geboren op 7 febrauri 1901 in Hoenderloo. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 februari 2007.



Zij staakten niet om goed of geld,
Niet om der wille van den brode;
Zij staakten tegen bruut geweld;
Zij staakten om geslagen Joden.

Helden, die in de oorden zijt
Die geen tiran ooit zal betreden,
Verlicht gij de verlorenheid
Van hen in ’t donker hier beneden.

Daal naar hun cellen, voor de nacht

Zich kleurt tot roden stervensmorgen;

Vertel hun van het slapen zacht

In ongebluste kalk geborgen;


Vertel hun, hoeveel beter ’t is

Om zonder kruis en zonder botten

Te wachten op de herrijzenis

Dan laf en levend te verrotten.


Tussen de blinddoek en de dood

Is enkel maar het korte knallen.

Grijp dan hun hand, opdat zij groot

En zwijgend voorovervallen.


Ga met Uw mond tot bij hun oor

En zeg: ‘Dit is de laatste wonde’,

En fluister hun de woorden voor:

‘Mijn God, vergeef ons onze zonden.


‘Wij staakten niet om goed of geld,

‘Niet om der wille van den brode;

‘Wij staakten tegen ’t beulsgeweld:

‘Wij staakten om geslagen Joden.’



A. den Doolaard (7 februari 1901 –  26 juni 1994)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 7 februari 2007.


De Amerikaanse schrijver Harry Sinclair Lewis werd geboren in Sauk Centre op 7 februari 1885.


De Franse filosoof en schrijver Paul Nizan werd geboren op 7 februari 1905 in Tours.

De Nederlandse schrijver Rhijnvis Feith werd geboren in Zwolle  en daar op 7 februari 1753 gedoopt.