Danilo Kiš, Sean O’Faolain, Jane Bowles, Ishmael Reed

De Servische schrijver Danilo Kiš werd geboren op 22 febrari 1935 in Subotica. Zie ook alle tags voor Danilo Kiš op dit blog.

Uit: Garden, Ashes (Vertaald door William J. Hannaher)

“The little jars and glasses were just samples, specimens of the new lands at which the foolish barge of our days would be putting ashore on those summer mornings. Fresh water glistened in the glass, and we would drink it down expertly, in tiny sips, clucking like experienced tasters. We would sometimes express dissatisfaction by grimacing and coughing: the water was tasteless, greasy like rainwater, and full of autumnal sediment, while the honey had lost its color and turned thick and turbid, showing the first signs of crystallization. On rainy days, cloudy and gloomy, our fingerprints would stay on the teaspoon handle. Then, sad and disappointed, hating to get up, we would back under the covers to sleep through a day that had started out badly.

The branches of the wild chestnut trees on our street reached out to touch each other. Vault overgrown with ivylike leafage thrust in between these tall arcades. On ordinary windless days, this whole architectural structure would stand motionless, solid in its daring. From time to time the sun would hurtle its futile rays through the dense leafage. Once they had penetrated the slanting, intertwined branches, these rays would quiver for a while before melting and dripping onto the Turkish cobblestones like liquid silver. We pass underneath these solemn arches, grave and deserted, and hurry down the arteries of the city. Silence is everywhere, the dignified solemnity of a holiday morning. The postmen and salesclerks are still asleep behind the closed, dusty shutters.s we move along past the low one-story houses, we glance at each other and smile, filled with respect: the wheezings of the last sleepers are audible through the dark swaying curtains and accordion shutters. The great ships of sleep are sailing the dark Styx. At times it seems as though the engines will run down, that we are on the verge of a catastrophic failure. One engine starts to rattle, to lose its cadence, to falter, as if the ship has run aground on some underwater reef. But the damage has apparently been repaired, or possibly there had never been any damage at all. We are sailing downstream, at thirty knots.”


Danilo Kiš (22 februari 1935 – 15 oktober 1989)


De Ierse schrijver Sean O’Faolain werd geboren op 22 februari 1900 in Cork. Zie ook alle tags voor Sean O’Faolain op dit blog.

Uit: The Irish: A Character Study

‘If we turn to early Irish literature, as we naturally may, to see what sort of people the Irish were in the infancy of the race, we find ourselves wandering in delighted bewilderment through a darkness shot with lightning and purple flame. One expects the beginnings of any people to be dark; the darkness at the beginning of the story of the Irish mind is an unnatural darkness. There is somewhat too much of the supernatural about it. Alternatively we may feel that here a racial imagination has, from the start, got out of control; or we may simply say that early Irish literature is wildly romantic; or that the popular idea of the Celt as a romantic is correct; or that the nineteenth century, in exploiting this romantic quality, committed only the fault of piling on top of something already sufficiently embroidered by nature a lot of superfluous William Morris trappings. But the impression of a supernatural infusion is, I think, far and away the most important one.

The Celt’s sense of the Otherworld has dominated his imagination and affected his literature from the beginning. So I see him at any rate struggling, through century after century, with this imaginative domination, seeking for a synthesis between dream and reality, aspiration and experience, a shrewd knowledge of the world and a strange reluctance to cope with it, and tending always to find the balance not in an intellectual synthesis but in the rhythm of a perpetual emotional oscillation. “


Sean O’Faolain (22 februari 1900 – 20 april 1991)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Jane Bowles werd als Jane Auer geboren op 22 februari 1917 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor Jane Bowles op dit blog.

Uit: Everything is nice

The highest street in the blue Moslem town skirted the edge of a cliff. She walked over to the thick protecting wall and looked down. The tide was out, and the flat dirty rocks below were swarming with skinny boys. A Moslem woman came up to the blue wall and stood next to her, grazing her hip with the basket she was carrying. She pretended not to notice her, and kept her eyes fixed on a white dog that had just slipped down the side of a rock and plunged into a crater of sea water. The sound of its bark was earsplitting. Then the woman jabbed the basket firmly into her ribs, and she looked up.

‘That one is a porcupine,’ said the woman, pointing a henna-stained finger into the basket.

This was true. A large dead porcupine lay there, with a pair of new yellow socks folded on top of it.

She looked again at the woman. She was dressed in a haik, and the white cloth covering the lower half of her face was loose, about to fall down.

‘I am Zodelia,’ she announced in a high voice. ‘And you are Betsoul’s friend.’ The loose cloth slipped below her chin and hung there like a bib. She did not pull it up. ‘You sit in her house and you sleep in her house and you eat in her house,’ the woman went on, and she nodded in agreement. ‘Your name is Jeanie and you live in a hotel with other Nazarenes. How much does the hotel cost you?’

A loaf of bread shaped like a disc flopped on to the ground from inside the folds of the woman’s haik, and she did not have to answer her question. With some difficulty the woman picked the loaf up and stuffed it in between the quills of the porcupine and the basket handle. Then she set the basket down on the top of the blue wall and turned to her with bright eyes.


Jane Bowles (22 februari 1917 – 4 mei 1973)


De Afro-Amerikaanse dichter, schrijver en essayist Ishmael Scott Reed werd geboren op 22 februari 1938 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Zie ook alle tags voor Ishmael Reed op dit blog.



When lovers die they blossom
That’s why there’s so much
wine in love
That’s why I’m still drunk
on you



My 200 inch eyes are trained
on you, my love spectroscope
Breaking down your wavelengths
With my oscillating ear
I have painted your
Portrait: ermine curled about
Yonder’s glistening neck

They say you are light-years
Away, but they understand so

You are so near to me
We collide
Our stars erupt into supernovae
An ecstatic cataclysm that
Amazes astronomers

I enter your Milky Way
Seeking out your suns
Absorbing your heat
Circumventing your orbs
Radiating your nights

Once inside your heavens
I hop from world to world
Until I can go no longer
And Z out in your dust
Your new constellation
Known for my shining process
And fish-tailed chariot.


Ishmael Reed (Chattanooga, 22 februari 1938)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 22e februari ook mijn blog van 22 februari 2011 deel 2.