Eduardo Mendoza, Oswald de Andrade, Katharina Hacker

Eduardo Mendoza is een van de meest vooraanstaande auteurs in Spanje. Hij verwierf wereldfaam met de bestseller Stad der wonderen. Zijn oeuvre is in meer dan 20 talen vertaald. Mendoza werd geboren op 11 januari 1943 in Barcelona. Hij studeerde rechten en werkte van 1973 tot 1982 als tolk bij de UNO in New York. In 1975 verscheen zijn eerste roman La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (De waarheid over de zaak Savolta). Zijn grootste succes is de roman La ciudad de los prodigios (Stad der wonderen) uit 1986, waarin het leven van een jongeman in het Barcelona in het eerste kwart van de 20e eeuw verteld wordt.

Uit: The City of Wonders (vertaald door Victoria Garcia-Serrano)

“On the other hand, he was delighted by the night life of old Barcelona – that part that did not let itself be affected by the splendor of the World’s Fair, and maintained its traditional flavor, removed from everything; he felt as thrilled as a simpleton. Any chance he got, he would go alone or with his pals to a place called L’Empori de la Patacada. It was a shabby and smelly tavern, located in a basement on Huerto de la Bomba Street. During the day it was gloomy, small, and charmless, but from midnight on, its coarse and yet accommodating patrons brought it to life. The place seemed to grow before your very eyes: there was always room for one more couple, nobody was ever left without a table. At the door stood two young men lighting the way with an oil lamp. They had to carry a gun to keep away the hoodlums since the clientele included not only regular criminals, who knew how to take care of themselves, but also debauched young men from good families. Even some young women came, their faces hidden under a thick veil, accompanied by a male friend, a lover, or their own husband. They came to experience strong emotions, a kind of excitement that was missing from their routine lives. Everything they saw there would later be exaggerated in their accounts. There was dancing and, at certain times, tableaux vivants, which had been very popular throughout the eighteenth century, but had almost completely disappeared by the end of nineteenth. Real people participated in these still-lifes. Often related to current events (for example, the King and Queen of Rumania welcoming the Ambassador of Spain; Grand Duke Nicholas wearing the spearmen’s uniform with his illustrious wife, etc.), these scenes were also historical in nature, so-called didactical (the suicide of the Numantians, Churruca’s death, etc.). Commonly they were biblical or mythological, with the latter being their favorite ones, because all or nearly all of the participants were naked. In the nineteenth century, “naked” meant wearing tights so that actors had on skin-colored leotards. This practice existed not because people were more prudish then than today, but rather because they rightly maintained that beauty lay in the body shape, and the sight of bare skin and hair was a pleasure more aberrant than erotic. In this area, customs had changed drastically. In the eighteenth century, it is well known that nudity wasn’t anything extraordinary: people went naked in public without embarrassment or loss of dignity. Men and women bathed in front of their guests, changed clothes in their servants’ presence, urinated and defecated in the streets, and so on. Contemporary diaries and letters offer plenty of evidence. One can read in the journal of the duchess of C: “Dinner at M.’s; Madame. G., as usual, presides over the table nude.” And in another entry: “Dance at the Prince of V.’s – almost everybody naked except Abbot R. disguised as a butterfly – we had a ball.” L’Empori de la Patacada’s orchestra of four provided the music. The waltz had already been accepted by all social classes, while the two-step and the schottishe were reserved for the populace. The tango did not exist yet and the wealthy still danced rigadoons, mazurkas, lancers, and minuets. The polka and the java were all the rage in Europe but not in Catalonia. Folk dances, like the traditional Catalan sardana, the jota from Aragon, and others were banished from L’Empori de la Patacada”.



Eduardo Mendoza (Barcelona, 11 januari 1943)


De Braziliaanse schrijver Oswald de Andrade werd geboren op 11 januari 1890 in São Paulo. Hij was medegrondlegger van het Braziliaanse Modernisme. Samen met Mário de Andrade, Anita Malfatti, Menotti del Picchia en zijn levenspartner Tarsila do Amaral maakte hij deel uit van de groep Grupo dos Cinco en was hij medewerker van het culturele tijdschrift Semana de Arte Moderna. Hij schreef twee poetische manifesten en probeerde de daarin geformuleerde avantgardistische eisen te verwezenlijken in romans en toneelstukken. Zijn bekendste manifest is Manifesto Antropófago. Het behelst een programma voor een vrije, klassenloze, met matriarchale voortijden verbonden maatschappij.



Uit: Cannibal Manifesto (Manifesto Antropófago)

”Only Cannibalism unites us. Socially. Economically. Philosophically.

The unique law of the world. The disguised expression of all individualisms, all collectivisms. Of all religions. Of all peace treaties.

Tupi or not tupi that is the question.

Against all catechisms. And against the mother of the Gracchi.

I am only interested in what’s not mine. The law of men. The law of the cannibal.

We are tired of all those suspicious Catholic husbands in plays. Freud finished off the enigma of woman and the other recent psychological seers.

What dominated over truth was clothing, an impermeable layer between the interior world and the exterior world. Reaction against people in clothes. The American cinema will tell us about this.

Sons of the sun, mother of living creatures. Fiercely met and loved, with all the hypocrisy of longing: importation, exchange, and tourists. In the country of the big snake.

It’s because we never had grammatical structures or collections of old vegetables. And we never knew urban from suburban, frontier country from continental. Lazy on the world map of Brazil.

One participating consciousness, one religious rhythm.

Against all the importers of canned conscience. For the palpable existence of life. And let Levy-Bruhl go study prelogical mentality.

We want the Cariba Revolution. Bigger than the French Revolution. For the unification of all the efficient revolutions for the sake of human beings. Without us, Europe would not even have had its paltry declaration of the rights of men.

The golden age proclaimed by America. The golden age. And all the girls.”


Oswald de Andrade (11 januari 1890 – 22 oktober 1954)


De Duitse schrijfster Katharina Hacker werd geboren op 11 januari 1967 in Frankfurt am Main. Zij bezocht daar tot 1986 het Heinrich-von-Gagern-Gymnasium, waar voor het eerst haar schrijvers talent opviel. Aansluitend studeerde zij van 1986 tot 1990 filosofie, geschiedenis en judaistiek aan de universiteit van Freiburg. Zij zette haar studies in 1990 voort aan de universiteit van Jeruzalem. Tijdens haar verblijf in Israel werkte zij als lerares Duits aan de School for Cultural Studies in Tel Aviv. In 1996 keerde zij naar Duitsland terug en werkt sindsdien als zelfstandig schrijfster in Berlijn. Voor haar roman Die Habenichtse kreeg zij in 2006 de Deutsche Buchpreis.

Uit: Die Habenichtse

“Da lag das Mädchen, zusammengekrümmt. Es trug eine Art Trainingshose, darüber ein nicht sehr sauberes T-Shirt, das zu klein war. Isabelle betrachtete den Streifen Kinderfleisch ohne Freundlichkeit. Der Garten war übersät von Müll, altem Spielzeug, auf der Terrasse standen Bierflaschen und Küchengerät, eine Pfanne, einen Putzeimer entdeckte sie, Auswurf, Tüten voller Müll, und das Kind stellte sich tot wie ein Tier, der Stock lag noch neben ihm im Gras. Es hörte nicht auf zu nieseln, sie fröstelte . – Steh endlich auf! Hatte sie laut gerufen? Jedenfalls drehte das Mädchen den Kopf zur Seite und beobachtete sie, hielt jede Bewegung, jede Einzelheit in Isabells Gesicht mit ihren Augen fest, angespannt, konzentriert. Mit einem Satz sprang Isabell hinunter, wütend, denn sie wusste nicht, wie sie wieder auf die Mauer und zurück in ihren Garten gelangen würde. Was für eine Idiotie, dachte sie widerwillig, zögerte, dann beugte sie sich endlich zu dem Mädchen, packte es an den Schultern und richtete es auf – Steh endlich auf! Das T-Shirt war feucht, sie zog ihre Strickjacke aus, die am Ellenbogen zerrissen war und wickelte sie um das Kind. Und weiter?”


Katharina Hacker (Frankfurt am Main, 11 januari 1967)