Frank Harris, Julia de Burgos, Vsevolod Garsjin, Edmond About, Johann Martin Usteri, Pierre-Claude de La Chaussée, Leone Battista Alberti

De Iers-Engelse schrijver, publicist, uitgever en redacteur Frank Harris werd geboren op 14 februari 1856 in Galway, Ierland Zie ook alle tags voor Frank Harris op dit blog.


Uit: Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions

“Even as a schoolboy he was an excellent talker: his descriptive power being far above the average, and his humorous exaggerations of school occurrences always highly amusing.

“A favourite place for the boys to sit and gossip in the late afternoon in winter time was round a stove which stood in ‘The Stone Hall.’ Here Oscar was at his best; although his brother Willie was perhaps in those days even better than he was at telling a story.

“Oscar would frequently vary the entertainment by giving us extremely quaint illustrations of holy people in stained-glass attitudes: his power of twisting his limbs into weird contortions being very great. (I am told that Sir William Wilde, his father, possessed the same power.) It must not be thought, however, that there was any suggestion of irreverence in the exhibition.

“At one of these gatherings, about the year 1870, I remember a discussion taking place about an ecclesiastical prosecution that made a considerable stir at the time. Oscar was present, and full of the mysterious nature of the Court of Arches; he told us there was nothing he would like better in after life than to be the hero of such a cause celèbre and to go down to posterity as the defendant in such a case as ‘Regina versus Wilde!’

“At school he was almost always called ‘Oscar’— but he had a nick-name, ‘Grey-crow,’ which the boys would call him when they wished to annoy him, and which he resented greatly. It was derived in some mysterious way from the name of an island in the Upper Loch Erne, within easy reach of the school by boat.

“It was some little time before he left Portora that the boys got to know of his full name, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. Just at the close of his school career he won the ‘Carpenter’ Greek Testament Prize,— and on presentation day was called up to the dais by Dr. Steele, by all his names — much to Oscar’s annoyance; for a great deal of schoolboy chaff followed.“


Frank Harris (14 februari 1856 – 27 augustus 1931)


De Puerto Ricaanse dichteres en schrijfster Julia de Burgos (eig. Julia Constanze Burgos García) werd geboren op 14 februari 1914 in Carolina. Zie ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2010 en ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2011.


I Am Embodied in Now (Soy en cuerpo de ahora)

How this load of centuries wants to knock me down
that on my back drinks the current of time!
Time never changing that stagnates in the centuries
and that nurtures its body with past reflections.

I am afraid of the height of your ambitions—it tells me–;
the yesterday that nurtures me bends in the interior
of your simple life that admits no past
and that lives in the alive, open to the moment;
now the always nakedness of your mind angers me,
repels my load and expands in the new;
it confuses me now in the svelteness of your idea
that flagellates my face and straightens your body…
look to one side and another: hunchbacks, mediocrities;
they are mine, the ones who water my always full vacuum;
be one of them; untwist your vanguard; limp;
it’s so easy to flip from the live to the dead.

You have wanted to knock me down, load in the body of centuries
of prejudices, of hatreds, of passions, of jealousies.

You have wanted to knock me down with your heavy load
But I found myself, and your effort was in vain.

Go, line your centuries with the vulgar ignorant;
my ambitions are not yours, my flights are not yours.

I am embodied in now; about yesterday I know nothing.
In the alive, my life knows the I Am of the new.

Vertaald door Jack Agueros


Julia de Burgos (14 februari 1914 – 6 juli 1953)


De Russische schrijver
Vsevolod Garsjin werd geboren op 14 februari 1855 in Prijatnaja Dolina. Zie ook alle tags voor Vsevolod Garsjin op dit blog.


Uit: The scarlet blossom (Vertaald door R.J. Warren)

“Take him to the ward. To the right.”

“I know—I know; I was here with you last year. We went over the Asylum. I know all about it, and it will be difficult to deceive me,” said the patient.

He turned towards the door. The keeper opened it before him, and, with the same rapid gait, holding his head well up, he left the office, and, almost running, went to the right, to the ward for mental patients. Those who were escorting him could scarcely keep up with him.

“Ring! I cannot. You have tied my arms.”The porter opened the door, and they entered the Asylum.

It was a large stone building, an old Government structure. Two large halls—one the dining-hall, the other a general room for quiet patients; a wide corridor with a glass door leading into a flower-garden, and some twenty separate rooms where the patients lived occupied the lower story. Here, also, were two dark rooms—one lined with mattresses, the other with boards—in which violent patients were placed; and an enormous, gloomy, vaulted room, which was the bath-room.

The upper story was occupied by women, whence there came a confused din, interspersed with yells and howling. The Asylum had been built for eighty patients, but as it was the only one available for some distance around there were nearly three hundred accommodated within its walls. Each small cubicle held four or five beds. In winter-time, when the patients were not allowed into the garden and all the iron-barred windows were tightly closed, the building became unendurable stifling.

They led the new patient into the room in which were the baths. Even on a sane person this room was calculated to produce a feeling of depression, and on a distorted, excited imagination the impression would be so much the greater. It was a large vaulted room with a greasy stone floor, and lighted by one window in a corner. The walls and arches were painted a dark red. Two stone baths, like two oval-shaped holes, and full of water, were let into, and on a level with, the floor, which had become almost black from the accumulated dirt of ages. A huge copper stove with a cylindrical boiler for heating the water, and a whole system of copper tubes and taps, filled the corner opposite the window. Everything bore an unusually gloomy and, for a disordered mind, fantastic character, which impression was further heightened by the forbidding physiognomy of the stout, taciturn warder in charge of the baths.”


Vsevolod Garsjin (14 februari 1855 – 31 maart 1888)

Portret door Ilya Repin, 1884


De Franse schrijver Edmond François Valentin About werd geboren op 14 februari 1828 in Dieuze, Lorrainne. Zie ook alle tags voor Edmond About op dit blog.


Uit: Rome contemporaine

„Mon auberge.

Charlemagne était logé au palais des Césars, sur le mont Palatin. Cette auberge impériale, que les barbares avaient respectée jusqu’en 800, n’est plus habitée aujourd’hui. Il n’en reste que des tas de pierres, où les hiboux eux-mêmes trouvent difficilement un nid confortable.

Charles VIII, lorsqu’il fit son escapade triomphale, habitait, au bout du Cours, ce gros palais de Venise, si laid et si noir, où le comte Colloredo donne les plus belles fêtes de Rome.

Montaigne était campé à l’hôtel de l’Ours : on n’y rencontre plus de pédants, mais beaucoup de voituriers.

Notre divin Rabelais logeait a la même enseigne, mais peu s’en fallut qu’on lui accordât pour rien le plus bel appartement du fort Saint-Ange. Le père de l’esprit français aurait été bien là pour ratiociner à loisir sur les mœurs et coutumes de l’île Sonnante.

Nicolas Poussin vivait près d’ici, devant l’église de la Trinité-des-Monts, à deux pas de la belle fresque de Daniel de Volterre, qu’il plaçait si haut, et que le gouvernement français a espéré un instant de placer au Louvre.

Le président de Brosses, du temps qu’il était conseiller et qu’il montrait de si étranges figures à la portière de son carrosse, habitait à la place d’Espagne. M. de Chateaubriand se tenait à l’ambassade de France, et Mme de Staël dans les nuages.

Je suis mieux logé, moi chétif, que tant de Français illustres, et, par les deux fenêtres de mon observatoire, je vois les choses de bien plus haut.“


Edmond About (14 februari 1828 – 16 januari 1885)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2011.

De Franse toneelschrijver Pierre-Claude Nivelle de La Chausséewerd geboren op 14 februari 1692 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2010.

De Italiaanse dichter, schilder, taalkundige, filosoof, cryptograaf, musicus en architect Leone Battista Alberti werd geboren in Genua op 14 februari 1404. Zie ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2010.

De Zwitserse schrijver en dichter Johann Martin Usteriwerd geboren op 14 februari 1763 in Zürich. Zie ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2007 en ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 14 februari 2010.