Dave Eggers, Jack Kerouac, Shihab Nye, Edward Albee, Kathrin Schmidt, Henrike Heiland

De Amerikaanse schrijver Dave Eggers werd geboren op 12 maart 1970 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2008 en ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2009.


Uit: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius


Through the small tall bathroom window the December yard is gray and scratchy, the trees calligraphic. Exhaust from the dryer billows clumsily out from the house and up, breaking apart while tumbling into the white sky.
The house is a factory.
I put my pants back on and go back to my mother. I walk down the hall, past the laundry room, and into the family room. I close the door behind me, muffling the rumbling of the small shoes in the dryer, Toph’s.
“Where were you?” my mother says.
“In the bathroom,” I say.
“Hmph,” she says.
“For fifteen minutes?”
“It wasn’t that long.”
“It was longer. Was something broken?”
“Did you fall in?”
“Were you playing with yourself?”
“I was cutting my hair.”
“You were contemplating your navel.”
“Right. Whatever.”
“Did you clean up?”
I had not cleaned up, had actually left hair everywhere, twisted brown doodles drawn in the sink, but knew that my mother would not find out. She could not get up to check.
My mother is on the couch. At this point, she does not move from the couch. There was a time, until a few months ago, when she was still up and about, walking and driving, running errands. After that there was a period when she spent most of her time in her chair, the one next to the couch, occasionally doing things, going out, whatnot. Finally she moved to the couch, but even then, for a while at least, while spending most of her time on the couch, every night at 11 p.m. or so, she had made a point of making her way up the stairs, in her bare feet, still tanned brown in November, slow and careful on the green carpet, to my sister’s old bedroom. She had been sleeping there for years — the room was pink, and clean, and the bed had a canopy, and long ago she resolved that she could no longer sleep with my father’s coughing.
But the last time she went upstairs was weeks ago. Now she is on the couch, not moving from the couch, reclining on the couch during the day and sleeping there at night, in her nightgown, with the TV on until dawn, a comforter over her, toe to neck. People know.“



Dave Eggers (Chicago, 12 maart 1970)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Jack Kerouac werd geboren op 12 maart 1922 in Lowell, in de Amerikaanse staat Massachusetts. Zie ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2008.en ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2009.


Uit: The Dharma Bums


“Throughout all these parties I always stole off for a nap under the eucalyptus trees, instead of my rosebush, which was all hot sun all day; in the shade of the trees I rested well. One afternoon as I just gazed at the topmost branches of those immensely tall trees I began to notice that the uppermost twigs and leaves were lyrical happy dancers glad that they had been apportioned the top, with all that rumbling experience of the whole tree swaying beneath them making their dance, their every jiggle, a huge and communal and mysterious necessity dance, and so just floating up there in the void dancing the meaning of the tree. I noticed how the leaves almost looked human the way they bowed and then leaped up and then swayed lyrically side to side. It was a crazy vision in my mind but beautiful. Another time under those trees, I dreamt I saw a purple throne all covered with gold, some kind of Eternity Pope or Patriarch in it…And as I say, that hummingbird, a beautiful little blue hummingbird no bigger than a dragonfly, kept making a whistling jet dive at me, definitely saying hello to me, every day, usually in the morning, and I always yelled back at him a greeting. Finally he began to hover in the open window of the shack, buzzing there with his furious wings, looking at me beadily, then, flash, he was gone. That California humming guy…

Though sometimes I was afraid he would drive right into my head with his long beaker like a hatpin.

There was also an old rat scrambling in the cellar under the shack and it was a good thing to keep the door closed at night. My other great friends were the ants, a colony of them that wanted to come in the shack and find honey. (‘Calling all ants, calling all ants, come and get your ho-ney!’ sang a little boy

one day in the shack), so I went out to their anthill and made a trail of honey leading them into the back garden, and they were at the new vein of joy for a week. I even got down on my knees and talked to the ants. There were beautiful flowers all around the shack, red, purple, pink, white, we kept making bouquets, but the prettiest of all was the one Japhy made of just pine cones and a sprig of pine needles. It had that simple look that characterized all his life.”



Jack Kerouac (12 maart 1922 – 21 oktober 1969)


De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Shihab Nye werd geboren op 12 maart 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri. Zie ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2009.




You can’t be, says a Palestinian Christian

on the first feast day after Ramadan.

So, half-and-half and half-and-half.

He sells glass. He knows about broken bits,

chips. If you love Jesus you can’t love

anyone else. Says he.


At his stall of blue pitchers on the Via Dolorosa,

he’s sweeping. The rubbed stones

feel holy. Dusting of powdered sugar

across faces of date-stuffed mamool.


This morning we lit the slim white candles

which bend over at the waist by noon.

For once the priests weren’t fighting

in the church for the best spots to stand.

As a boy, my father listened to them fight.

This is partly why he prays in no language

but his own. Why I press my lips

to every exception.


A woman opens a window—here and here and here—

placing a vase of blue flowers

on an orange cloth. I follow her.

She is making a soup from what she had left

in the bowl, the shriveled garlic and bent bean.

She is leaving nothing out.



Shihab Nye (St. Louis,12 maart 1952)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Edward Albee werd geboren op 12 maart 1928 in Washington DC. Zie ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2007 en ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2008. en ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2009.


Uit: The Cambridge Companion to Edward Albee  (Redactie: Stephen Bottoms)


„It is now more than forty years since Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – the play for which he is still best known – gave him his first Broadway hit and propelled him into the front rank of American playwrights. Today, he is frequently listed alongside Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller as one of the nation’s great (white, male) dramatists of the twentieth century. Other candidates for that shortlist have appeared since (David Mamet, perhaps Sam Shepard, Tony Kushner), but these writers, operating primarily in the decentered, post-1960s world of off-Broadway and regional theatre, have never been Broadway mainstays in the way their predecessors were. Thus Albee, who hit Broadway just before Broadway’s preeminence as a launching pad for serious drama began seriously to be questioned, has for many years tended to be seen as “the last of the line,” and, consequently, as a figure not only of the establishment, but also of the past. In a fragmented, postmodern theatre culture full of young pretenders and competing, multicultural voices, it is all too easy to forget that the somewhat patrician figure of Edward Albee was himself once a controversial young iconoclast, and indeed that, throughout his long career, he has consistently refused to do what is expected of him – and has the sling and arrow scars to prove it.

   Albee’s somewhat paradoxical position in American culture was perhaps summed up by the Kennedy Center’s honors ceremony of 1996, at which he was lauded by (the perhaps equally paradoxical) President Clinton: “Tonight our nation – born in rebellion – pays tribute to you, Edward Albee. In your rebellion, the American theatre was reborn.”1 Still sufficient of a rebel to become the first playwright to provide a sympathetic treatment of bestiality on the Broadway stage – with 2002’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? – Albee seems to delight, even now, in prodding and unsettling conventional sensibilities, often with a kind of vaudevillian glee. And yet he is also a deeply serious, highly erudite figure, very much a member of the literary establishment. He is, in short, a writer of many faces, many moods, and any assessment of Albee’s fascinating, diverse body of plays should, perhaps, be similarly multifaceted.“



Edward Albee (Washington DC, 12 maart 1928)


De Duitse schrijfster Kathrin Schmidt werd geboren op 12 maart 1958 in Gotha. Zie ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2009.


Uit: Du stirbst nicht


ES KLAPPERT UM SIE HERUM. Als ihre Schwester heiratete, hatte die Mutter das Silberbesteck in eine Blechschüssel gelegt, auf eine Alufolie. Heißes Salzwasser darüber. Das saubere Besteck wurde nach einiger Zeit aus der Schüssel genommen und abgetrocknet: Es hatte genauso geklappert. Wer heiratet denn? Sie versucht die Augen zu öffnen. Fehlanzeige. Mehr als Augenöffnen versucht sie nicht. Ist genügsam. Sie kann aber sehr deutlich die Stimme ihrer Mutter hören. Ah, also doch das Besteck! Was sagt ihre Mutter?
Die rechte Hand ist aber viel kälter als die linke, sagt sie, und der rechte Fuß genauso.
Warum hat die Mutter eine kalte rechte Hand?, fragt sie sich. Muss lächeln, als sie sich vorstellt, sie überprüfe die Temperatur ihrer Füße.
Sie lacht!, sagt ihre Mutter.
Sie verzieht nur das Gesicht.
Hat das ihr Vater gesagt? Aber ja, das war unzweifelhaft die Stimme ihres Vaters! Jetzt möchte sie doch die Augen öffnen. Was hat sie in der Küche ihrer Eltern zu suchen, wo mit Besteck geklappert und die Hand- und Fußtemperatur untersucht wird und sie ihre Augen nicht öffnen kann?
O, where do you come from? From London?
Das hat sie zu ihrer Tochter gesagt. Hat sie? Ein Auge kann sie öffnen. Sie tut es. Vierzehn ist das Mädchen und heute auf eine Sprachreise nach England gefahren. Warum ist sie schon wieder da? Sie heult. Aus irgendeinem Grund heult sie. Deshalb hat sie ja auch englisch sprechen wollen, um sie aufzumuntern. Es scheint nichts zu nützen, dass sie fröhlich ist. Das Mädchen hat Kummer. Aber welchen? Wen könnte sie fragen? Der Blick wandert. Da! Neben der Tochter steht ihr Mann. My husband, sagt sie. Darüber wird aber doch hoffentlich gelacht werden …



Kathrin Schmidt (Gotha, 12 maart 1958)


De Duitse schrijfster Henrike Heiland werd geboren op 12 maart 1975 in Solms. Zie ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2008.en ook mijn blog van 12 maart 2009.


Uit: Von wegen Traummann!.


„Meine Mutter konnte jedes Mal riechen, wenn ich Sex hatte. Sie roch es drei Straßen weiter in ihrer

Wohnung. Spätestens wenn ich mir den BH aufmachte, nahm sie Witterung auf. Tastete ich nach den

Kondomen neben dem Bett, griff sie zum Telefon und wartete. Kurz vorm Höhepunkt begann sie zu wählen. Und das Klingeln brachte mich natürlich komplett raus. Frank sagte dann immer, ich solle es einfach ignorieren. Aber das brachte überhaupt nichts, weil mein Anrufbeantworter anging, und wer will sich schon Mutters vorwurfsvolle Stimme im Nebenzimmer anhören, während man damit beschäftigt ist, wenigstens einmal, nur ein einziges Mal in dieser Woche einen Orgasmus herbeizuführen – und zwar keinen handgemachten?

Ich hatte keine Ahnung, wie man die Mithörfunktion an meinem Anrufbeantworter ausstellte. Nach jedem Mutterdesaster nahm ich mir vor, Frank um Hilfe zu bitten, aber dann vergaß ich es wieder. Ich hatte auch schon überlegt, den Anrufbeantworter auszuschalten, wenn er da war. Daran hinderte mich aber neben meiner Vergesslichkeit mein schlechtes Gewissen. Mein schlechtes Gewissen hatte mir nämlich das Leben geschenkt, mich unter größten Entbehrungen ganz alleine großgezogen und litt nun an den Spätfolgen meiner unbarmherzigen Geburt. Aber das ist eine andere Geschichte.

Zurück zum Sex. Wir kamen nach jedem Störfall doch noch dazu. Frank war einer dieser seltenen Männer, die für alles Verständnis haben und alles richtig machen. Er brachte zum Beispiel jedes Mal einen exzellenten Wein und bezaubernde Blumen mit, bestand auf Kerzenlicht, dachte selbst bei Fußballländerspielen nicht daran, mit Freunden in einer Kneipe zu sitzen stat
t mit mir auf dem

Minibalkon, und ertrug ohne Murren die durchschnittlich einstündigen Anrufe meiner Mutter.“



Henrike Heiland (Solms, 12 maart 1975)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 12e maart ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.