Eugène Ionesco, Marilynne Robinson, William Cowper, Louis Verbeeck, Theophilus Cibber, Luisa Valenzuela, René Becher

De Frans-Roemeense schrijver Eugène Ionesco werd geboren op 26 november 1912 in Slatina, Roemenië. Zie ook alle tags voor Eugène Ionesco op dit blog.

Uit: Fragments of a Journal

„Two possible attitudes:
To imagine, because imagining means foreseeing. What we imagine is now true, what we imagine will be realized. Science fiction is becoming, or has already become, realistic literature.
A second possible attitude: to consider reality as something beyond reality, to be aware of it not as surrealistic but as unfamiliar miraculous, a-real. Reality of the unreal, unreality of the real.

(When I shall no longer exist, God will say: ‘I do a lot of things that everybody understands. There’s nobody left not to understand them.’)

I am constantly relapsing into literature. The fact of having been able to describe these images, of having put them into words more or less satisfactorily, flatters my vanity. I reflect that it may be well written. It may give pleasure to readers or critics. I say this, I tell myself this and then I relapse into literature. The fact of being conscious of it does not save me. The fact of being conscious that I am conscious of literary values only makes things worse. I have to make a choice, though: vanity, the road to failure, or the other thing. One’s not always lucky enough to get the knock-out blow, one’s not always lucky enough to be desperate about life; I forget it, I seek consolation and amusement, I enjoy myself, I write my ‘private diary.’ I have tremendous vitality; nothing can exhaust it. Only dreams or nightmares can keep one awake. And yet it seems to me that some of the previous pages had nothing to do with words and writing. If I’ve relapsed into ‘literature,’ is it because the Administrator of the Comédie Française has just rung me up from Paris to tell me he’s interested in my latest play? It doesn’t take much to restore my unbalance. Let’s eat an apple.

Living is so painful. Longing so keenly to live is a neurosis; I cling to my neurosis, I have got used to it, I love my neurosis. I don’t want to be cured of it. That’s why I get these terrors, that panic at nightfall.“

Eugène Ionesco (26 november 1912 – 28 maart 1994)

1964 in Parijs


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Marilynne Robinson werd geboren in Sandpoint, Idaho op 26 november 1943. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 november 2008 en ook mijn blog van 26 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 26 november 2010.


Uit: Home

„Not that they had been especially presentable even while the house was in its prime. Hide-and-seek had seen to that, and croquet and badminton and baseball. “Such times you had!” her father said, as if the present slight desolation were confetti and candy wrappers left after the passing of some glorious parade. And there was the oak tree in front of the house, much older than the neighborhood or the town, which made rubble of the pavement at its foot and flung its imponderable branches out over the road and across the yard, branches whose girths were greater than the trunk of any ordinary tree. There was a torsion in its body that made it look like a giant dervish to them. Their father said if they could see as God can, in geological time, they would see it leap out of the ground and turn in the sun and spread its arms and bask in the joys of being an oak tree in Iowa. There had once been four swings suspended from those branches, announcing to the world the fruitfulness of their household. The oak tree flourished still, and of course there had been and there were the apple and cherry and apricot trees, the lilacs and trumpet vines and the day lilies. A few of her mother’s irises managed to bloom. At Easter she and her sisters could still bring in armfuls of flowers, and their father’s eyes would glitter with tears and he would say, “Ah yes, yes,” as if they had brought some memento, these flowers only a pleasant reminder of flowers.

Why should this staunch and upright house seem to her so abandoned? So heartbroken? The eye of the beholder, she thought. Still, seven of her father’s children came home as often as they could manage to, and telephoned, and sent notes and gifts and crates of grapefruit. Their own children, from the time they could grasp a crayon and scrawl, were taught to remember Grandpa, then Great-grandpa. Parishioners and their children and grandchildren looked in on her father with a faithfulness that would have taxed his strength if the new minister had not hinted at the problem.“


Marilynne Robinson (Sandpoint, 26 november 1943)



De Argentijnse schrijfster Luisa Valenzuela werd geboren op 26 november 1938 in Buenos Aires. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 26 november 2010.


Uit: The Censors (Vertaald door Frank Thomas Smith)

„Poor Juan! He was caught off guard that day and he couldn’t realize that what he thought was a stroke of luck was really an accursed trick of fate. Those things happen when you’re not careful, and as sure as you’re hearing me one gets careless very, very often. Juancito let happiness — an otherwise disturbing sentiment — overwhelm him when, from a confidential source, he received Mariana’s new address, now in Paris, and he knew that she hadn’t forgotten him. Without thinking twice, he sat down at his desk and wrote a letter. The letter. The same one that now prevents him from concentrating on his work during the day and doesn’t let him sleep when night comes (what did he put in that letter, what had stuck to that sheet of paper that he sent to Mariana?)

Juan knew there wouldn’t be any problem with the text, that the text is irreproachable, innocuous. But the rest? He knows that they probe the letters, sniff them, feel them, read between the lines and their insignificant punctuation, even the accidental stains. He knows that the letters pass from hand to hand through the vast censorship bureaus and that few finally pass the tests and are able to continue their journey. Usually it’s a question of months, years if complications arise, a long time in which the freedom and perhaps even the life of the sender and receiver are in suspense. And that’s what has our Juan so deeply depressed: the idea that something could happen to Mariana, in Paris, through his fault. Mariana, of all people, who must feel so safe, so at ease there where she always dreamed of living. But he knows that the Secret Commandos of Censorship operate the world over and are granted a large discount on airline fares; therefore there’s nothing to prevent them from going even to the darkest Paris quartier, kidnap Mariana and go home convinced of the nobility of their earthly mission.

So you have to outsmart them, you have to do what everyone does: try to sabotage the mechanism, throw sand in the gears, that is, go to the source of the problem in order to obstruct it.“


Luisa Valenzuela (Buenos Aires, 26 november 1938)


De Vlaamse dichter en schrijver
Louis Verbeeck werd geboren in Tessenderlo op 26 november 1932. Zie
ook mijn blog van 26 november 2009 
en ook mijn blog van 26 november 2010.


De Ladykiller

Ik ben een playboy en ik kill

de ladies wanneer ik het wil.

Ze kunnen mij nooit lang weerstaan

al kill ik er zo maar op aan.

Ik kus hen op hun warme mond.

zij ruiken wel, maar zelden lont,

en zweeft een lady in mijn armen

dan zwicht zij weerloos voor mijn charme.

Laatst killde ik in Zwevegem

een lady, enkel door mijn stem.

Ik zei :”Sta me toe dat ik u kill.”

Toen sprak ze stil : “O ja, ik will.”

Ook killde ik eens nonchalant

twee vrouwen op het noordzeestrand.

En niemand kan mijn kunst betwisten,

het was gebeurd voor zij het wisten.

Ik kill ze dus wanneer ik wil

in maart of mei of in april,

ik kill de koudste van de ladies,

zelfs als ze er niet op gekleed is.

Dus, beste ladies, als u wil

dat ik u vroeg of laat eens kill,

weet dan, ik kill weliswaar gratis,

maar laat het doen voor het te laat is.


Louis Verbeeck (Tessenderlo, 26 november 1932)


De Engelse schrijver en acteur Theophilus Cibber werd geboren op 26 november 1703 in Londen als zoon van de acteur-manager Colley Cibber. Hij begon met acteren op een jonge leeftijd, en volgde in 1727 zijn vader op als theatermanager. Op de leeftijd van 17 jaar bewerkte Cibber Shakespeare’s Henry VI. Later deed hij hetzelfde met Romeo en Julia, waarin hij samen met een van zijn dochters speelde. Cibbers werken omvatten verder o.a de balladenopera Patie en Peggie, de komedie The Lover, de klucht The Auction en de pantomime The Harlot’s Progress. Ze werden gepubliceerd in een moderne editie door David Mann in 1981. Theophilus’ auteurschap van Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, to the Time of Dean Swift (1753) wordt betwist;. Samuel Johnson beweerde dat het werd geschreven door Robert Shiels. Een groot deel van de teksten stamt uit eerdere werken van Gerard Langbaine en Giles Jacob. Andere werken op naam van Cibber zijn A Letter from Theophilus Cibber to John Highmore (1733), A Lick at a Liar: or Calumny Detected. Being an Occasional Letter to a Friend (1752), An Epistle from Mr Theophilus Cibber to David Garrick, esq. (1755), en Two Dissertations on the Theatres (1756).

Uit: The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (Geoffry Chaucer)

It has been observed that men of eminence in all ages, and distinguished for the same excellence, have generally had something in their lives similar to each other. The place of Homer’s nativity, has

not been more variously conjectured, or his parents more differently assigned than our author’s. Leland, who lived nearest to Chaucer’s time of all those who have wrote his life, was commissioned by king Henry VIII, to search all the libraries, and religious houses in England, when those archives were preserved, before their destruction was produced by the reformation, or Polydore Virgil had consumed such curious pieces as would have contradicted his framed and fabulous history. He for some reasons believed Oxford or Berkshire to have given birth to this great man, but has not informed us what those

reasons were that induced him to believe so, and at present there appears no other, but that the seats of his family were in those countries. Pitts positively asserts, without producing any authority to support it, that Woodstock was the place; which opinion Mr. Camden seems to hint at, where he mentions that town; but it may be suspected that Pitts had no other ground for the assertion, than Chaucer’s

mentioning Woodstock park in his works, and having a house there. But after all these different pretensions, he himself, in the Testament of Love, seems to point out the place of his nativity to be the city of London, and tho’ Mr. Camden mentions the claim of Woodstock, he does not give much credit to it; for speaking of Spencer (who was uncontrovertedly born in London) he calls him fellow citizen to



Theophilus Cibber (26 november 1703 – oktober 1758)

Detail van een gravure in het Victoria and Albert Museum, Londen.



De Engelse dichter William Cowper werd geboren op 26 november 1731 in Berkhamstead, Herford. Zie ook alle tags voor William Cowper op dit blog.



To keep the lamp alive,

With oil we fill the bowl;

‘Tis water makes the willow thrive,

And grace that feeds the soul.

The Lord’s unsparing hand

Supplies the living stream;

It is not at our own command,

But still derived from Him.

Beware of Peter’s word,

Nor confidently say,

“I never will deny Thee, Lord,” —

But, — “Grant I never may.”

Man’s wisdom is to seek

His strength in God alone;

And e’en an angel would be weak,

Who trusted in his own.

Retreat beneath his wings,

And in His gace confide!

This more exalts the King of kings

Than all your works beside.

In Jesus is our store,

Grace issues from His throne;

Whoever says, “I want no more,”

Confesses he has done.


An Epitaph (From The Greek)

My name — my country — what are they to thee!

What, whether base or proud my pedigree?

Perhaps I far surpass’d all other men–

Perhaps I fell below them all — what then?

Suffice it, stranger! that thou seest a tomb–

Thou know’st its use — it hides — no matter whom.


William Cowper (26 november 1731 – 25 april 1800)

Portret door William Henry Jackson


Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:


De Duitse schrijver René Becher werd geboren in 1977 in Bayreuth. Zie ook mijn blog van 26 november 2009 en ook mijn blog van 26 november 2010.


Uit: Etzadla

„Ich müsse mal wieder unter Leute, so meinten sie, gerade jetzt, und hier bin ich also, unter Michel, Helene und Manuel. Eingezwängt zwischen Bratwürstelstand und Maibaum, auf dem ein von der Pfarreijugend aus Holz geschnitzter Adler sitzt, der sich im Wind dreht und seine Handlanger beobachtet.

Grillmeister Berchthold in der angesauten Schürze reicht uns dampfende Bratwürste. Der Alleinunterhalter spielt uns ein erstes Lied, es mag um Liebe gehen, drauf geschissen.

Helene wippt hin und her. Die Tochter unseres wortkargen Mesners. Ich kann ihre Brustwarzen unter der silbernen Bluse sehen, und das ist mehr als erwartet. Keck wirft sie sich das sandfarbene Sommerjäckchen von den Schultern, stampft auf, Bewegung tut kaum Not, warm ist es geworden, verdammtnochmal und noch ist es ja hell.

Unter Leute habe ich müssen, das sind Michel, Helene und Manuel. Das sagen sie noch immer, dass ich unter Leute müsse, ja gerade jetzt, wie unerhört.

Und was soll nur aus mir werden und aus Christian und aus der Mutter? Dieser schönen, jungen

Frau, deren Mann so mir nichts dir nichts auf und davon? „Vater“, so sagen sie doch, „fei eine schreckliche Gschicht.“

Und sie haben mich ja auch noch gefragt, ganz unverschämt, ob ich mittanzen möge.

„Ich will nicht“, habe ich gesagt, „ich kann gar nicht tanzen.“ „Das kann man lernen“, sagten sie, „das ist doch alles halb so wild.“


René Becher (Bayreuth, 1977)