Uit: Holidays on Ice
„In a parade, maybe, but not on the streets. I figure that at least as an elf I will have a place; I’ll be in Santa’s Village with all the other elves. We will reside in a fluffy wonderland surrounded by candy canes and gingerbread shacks. It won’t be quite as sad as standing on some street corner dressed as a french fry.
I am trying to look on the bright side. I arrived in New York three weeks ago with high hopes, hopes that have been challenged. In my imagination I’d go straight from Penn Station to the offices of “One Life to Live,” where I would drop off my bags and spruce up before heading off for drinks with Cord Roberts and Victoria Buchannon, the show’s greatest stars. We’d sit in a plush booth at a tony cocktail lounge where my new celebrity friends would lift their frosty glasses in my direction and say, “A toast to David Sedaris, the best writer this show has ever had!!!”
I’d say, “You guys, cut it out.” It was my plan to act modest.
People at surrounding tables would stare at us, whispering, “Isn’t that … ? Isn’t that … ?”
I might be distracted by their enthusiasm and Victoria Buchannon would lay her hand over mineand tell me that I’d better get used to being the center of attention.
But instead I am applying for a job as an elf. Even worse than applying is the very real possibility that I will not be hired, that I couldn’t even find work as an elf. That’s when you know you’re a failure.
This afternoon I sat in the eighth-floor SantaLand office and was told, “Congratulations, Mr. Sedaris. You are an elf.
In order to become an elf I filled out ten pages’ worth of forms, took a multiple choice personality test, underwent two interviews, and submitted urine for a drug test. The first interview was general, designed to eliminate the obvious sociopaths.“
David Sedaris (Binghamton, 26 december 1956)
Uit: The Historian
“My father’s library had probably once been a sitting room, but he sat down only to read, and he considered a large library more important than a large living room. He had long since given me free run of his collection. During his absences, I spent hours doing my homework at the mahogany desk or browsing the shelves that lined every wall. I understood later that my father had either half forgotten what was on one of the top shelves or-more likely-assumed I would never be able to reach it; late one night I took down not only a translation of the Kama Sutra but also a much older volume and an envelope of yellowing papers.
I can’t say even now what made me pull them down. But the image I saw at the center of the book, the smell of age that rose from it, and my discovery that the papers were personal letters all caught my attention forcibly. I knew I shouldn’t examine my father’s private papers, or anyone’s, and I was also afraid that Mrs. Clay might suddenly come in to dust the dustless desk-that must have been what made me look over my shoulder at the door. But I couldn’t help reading the first paragraph of the topmost letter, holding it for a couple of minutes as I stood near the shelves.”
Elizabeth Kostova (New London, 26 december 1964)
“If there is no realization there is no purpose or advantage in substituting the imaginative life for the purely adventurous one of reality. Everyone who lifts himself above the activities of the daily round does so not only in the hope of enlarging his field of experience, or even of enriching it, but of quickening it. Only in this sense does struggle have any meaning. Accept this view, and the distinction between failure and success is nil. And this is what every great artist comes to learn en route- that the process in which he is involved has to do with another dimension of life, that by identifying himself with this process he augments life. In this view of things he is permanently removed- and protected- from the insidious death which seems to triumph all about him. He divines that the great secret will never be apprehended but incorporated in his very substance. He has to make himself a part of the mystery, live in it as well as with it. Acceptance is the solution: it is an art, not an egotistical performance on the part of the intellect. Through art, then, one finally establishes contact with reality: that is the great discovery. Here all is play and invention; there is no solid foothold from which to launch projectiles which will pierce the miasma of folly, ignorance and greed. The world has not to be put in order: the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order, to know what is the world order in contradistinction to the wishful-thinking orders which we seek to impose on one another.”
Henry Miller (26 december 1891 – 7 juni 1980)
Portret door Man Ray, 1945
Epitaph für einen leisen Erzieher
Du hast etwas
von mir erwartet,
Aber ich wusste nicht, was.
hast du geglaubt,
wird deutlich geschehen.
Eine Zeit später
danach zu suchen.
Mittag im Süden
Ein Rolladen aus Blech
vor dem einzigen Geschäft
daneben ein roter Klappstuhl.
Nach langer Zeit
in den tiefer liegenden Gassen
Der verrückte, verrückte
Rainer Malkowski (26 december 1939 – 1 september 2003)
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 26e december ook mijn vorige drie blogs van vandaag.