Ha Jin, Anaïs Nin, Raymond Queneau, David Foster Wallace, Ingomar von Kieseritzky, Ishigaki Rin, José Zorrilla y Moral

De Chinees-Amerikaanse schrijver Ha Jin werd geboren op 21 februari 1956 in Jinzhou, China. Zie ook alle tags voor Ha Jin op dit blog.

Uit: Waiting

“Excuse me,” the judge cut him short. “May I remind you that the law does not say every married man is entitled to a divorce? Go on.”
Lin was flustered. He remained silent for a moment while his face was burning. Then he resumed warily, “I understand that, Comrade Judge, but my wife has already agreed to a divorce. We have worked out an arrangement between us, and I shall financially support her and our child afterward. Believe me, I’m a responsible man.”
As he was speaking, Shuyu covered her mouth with a crumpled piece of paper. Her eyes were closed as though her scalp were smarting.
The judge turned to her after Lin was finished. “Comrade Shuyu Liu, I have a few questions for you. Now promise me you will think about them carefully before you answer me.”
“I will.” She nodded.
“What’s the true reason that your husband wants a divorce?”
“Don’t have a clue.”
“Is there a third party involved?”
“What that mean?”
The young scribe, sitting behind the judge and taking notes, shook his head, blinking his round eyes. The judge went on, “I mean, has he been seeing another woman?”


Ha Jin (Jinzhou, 21 februari 1956)


De Franse schrijfster Anaïs Nin werd geboren op 21 februari 1903 in Neuilly. Zie ook alle tags voor Anaïs Nin op dit blog.

Uit: Delta of Venus

“Dear Collector: We hate you. Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities.
“You do not know what you are missing by your micro-scopic examination of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformations, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.
If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, moods, no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine. How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry Cut the poetry. No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gesture; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, perversity and art . . .”


Anaïs Nin (21 februari 1903 – 14 januari 1977)


De Franse schrijver Raymond Queneau werd geboren op 21 februari 1903 in Le Havre. Zie ook alle tags voor Raymond Queneau op dit blog.


Pour un art poétique

Prenez un mot prenez en deux
faites les cuir’ comme des oeufs
prenez un petit bout de sens
puis un grand morceau d’innocence
faites chauffer à petit feu
au petit feu de la technique
versez la sauce énigmatique
saupoudrez de quelques étoiles
poivrez et mettez les voiles
Où voulez vous donc en venir ?
A écrire Vraiment ? A écrire ?


Un poème

Bien placés bien choisis
quelques mots font une poésie
les mots il suffit qu’on les aime
pour écrire un poème
on ne sait pas toujours ce qu’on dit
lorsque naît la poésie
faut ensuite rechercher le thème
pour intituler le poème
mais d’autres fois on pleure on rit
en écrivant la poésie
ça a toujours kékchose d’extrème
un poème


Raymond Queneau (21 februari 1903 – 25 oktober 1976)
Zelfportret, 1947


De Amerikaanse schrijver David Foster Wallace werd geboren op 21 februari 1962 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor David Foster Wallace op dit blog.

Uit: The Broom of the System

“You want to know the story? I’d be happy to tell you. I think I have just enough caloric energy stored up to make it through the telling of the tale. It’s short. I am monstrously fat. I am a glutton. My wife was disgusted and repulsed. She gave me six months to lose one hundred pounds. I joined Weight Watchers . . . see it there, right across the street, that gaunt storefront? This afternoon was the big six-month weigh-in. So to speak. I had gained almost seventy pounds in the six months. An errant Snickers bar fell out of the cuff of my pants and rolled against my wife’s foot as I stepped on the scale. The scale over there across the street is truly an ingenious device. One preprograms the desired new weight into it, and if one has achieved or gone below that new low weight, the scale bursts into recorded whistles and cheers and some lively marching-band tune. Apparently, tiny flags protrude from the top and wave mechanically back and forth. A failure–see for instance mine–results in a flatulent dirge of disappointed and contemptuous tuba. To the strains of the latter my wife left, the establishment, me, on the arm of a svelte yogurt distributor whom I am even now planning to crush, financially speaking, first thing tomorrow morning. Ms. Beadsman, you will find an eclair on the floor to the left of your chair. Could you perhaps manipulate it onto this plate with minimal chocolate loss and pass it to me.”


David Foster Wallace (21 februari 1962 – 12 september 2008)


De Amerikaanse schrijver David Foster Wallace werd geboren op 21 februari 1962 in New York. Zie ook alle tags voor David Foster Wallace op dit blog.

Uit: Traurige Therapeuten

„Durch die freundliche Vermittlung des Therapeutengespanns Wolzan/Guth (Heilpraktiker und Hierologen), die ihre ungewöhnlichen wie erfolgreichen Therapien dem reichhaltigen Fundus altägyptischer Schriften, der Anthroposophie und dem MSD-Manual entnahmen, geriet ich in das Schweizer Sanatorium W. (der genaue Name tut nichts zur Sache) für Neurastheniker, Stoffwechselpsychosen und andere seelische Verstimmungen, dem ein Dr. Spoerri vorstand, dessen Spezialität die Migräne war.
Ich selbst hatte keinen spezifischen Schaden; ich litt an kleinen Gedächtnisstörungen, was Zahlen betraf, kurzen Absencen, Kopf schmerzen und an chronischer Schlaflosigkeit, also durchaus harmlosen Defekten, an denen ein jeder vernünftige Mensch in diesen Zeiten laboriert.
Nachdem ich Dr. Spoerri die Grüße aus Berlin ausgerichtet hatte, wurde ich in einem kleinen Apartment einquartiert – ein Zimmer, ein Bad, mehr nicht, für meine Bedürfnisse ausreichend – mit Blick, wie man mir sagte, auf den Piz Michel, Höhe unbekannt; ich habe auch keine Ahnung, in welchem Kanton das Sanatorium W. liegt. Ich dankte der Doppelpraxis mit einer farbigen Postkarte – Blick auf den Piz Michel-, und schrieb –:
Endlich im Sanatorium bei Ihrem Dr. Spoerri, guter Mann, gute Aura, fühle mich schon sehr viel wohler.
Herzliche Grüße, bitte auch an Miriam.
Der Ihre. Arthur Singram.
Miriam war eine riesige dänische Dogge, die ich in vier Sitzungen in meiner Tierheilpraxis (das Gründungsdatum ist mir entfallen) von ihrer Idée fixe heilte, die Außenwelt sei ihr feindlich gesonnen. Die Herren Wolzan & Guth entdeckten, dass Miriam sich ungern bewegte, d.h., wenn sie sich überhaupt bewegte, dann mit geschlossenen Augen, was Konflikte mit Möbeln und Menschen mit sich brachte; ich fand heraus, welchem Wahn sie anhing – sie fürchtete sich panisch vor nackten Holzböden, Linoleum, kurz vor jeder Fläche, die nicht mit einem Teppich versehen war, als handele es sich um einen Abgrund –, und sie fürchtete wie die Pest Asphalt, ja die ganze Terra firma ohne Teppiche.“


Ingomar von Kieseritzky (Dresden, 21 februari 1944)


De Japanse dichteres Ishigaki Rin werd geboren op 21 februari 1920 in Tokyo. Zie ook alle tags voor Ishigaki Rin op dit blog.


At The Bathhouse

In Tokyo
At the public bathhouse the price went up to 19 yen and so
When you pay 20 yen at the counter
You get one yen change.

Women have no leeway in their lives
To be able to say that
They don’t need one yen
And so though they certainly accept the change
They have no place to put it
And drop it in between their washing things.

Thanks to that
The happy aluminium coins
Soak to their fill in hot water
And are splashed with soap.

One yen coins have the status of chess pawns  
So worthless that they’re likely to bob up even now
In the hot water.

What a blessing to be of no value
In monetary terms.

A one yen coin
Does not distress people in the way a 1,000 yen note does
Is not as sinful as a 10,000 yen note
The one yen coin in the bath
With healthy naked women.


Vertaald door Leith Morton


Ishigaki Rin (21 februari 1920 – 26 december 2004)
Toshimaen Niwa no Yu spa, Tokyo 


De Spaanse dichter en schrijver José Zorrilla y Moral werd geboren op 21 februari 1817 in Valladolid. Zie ook alle tags voor José Zorrilla y Moral op dit blog.


Uit: Don Juan Tenorio

BUTTARELLI: Excellency, he is not in Sevilla,
DON JUAN: Is he still absent? Really?
BUTTARELLI: I think so.
DON JUAN: And it’s right you’ve no news of him?
BUTTARELLI: Ah, I find there’s a story coming to mind I should tell you….
DON JUAN: Shedding light on the case?
DON JUAN: Speak then.
BUTTARELLI: (Talking to himself)
No, no, I’ve just got it right:
the year is up tonight. I’d forgotten that.
DON JUAN: For God’s sake will you start your tale?
BUTTARELLI: Excuse me sir, at once, I was thinking of the event.
DON JUAN: Out with it, then, because I’m getting more than impatient!
BUTTARELLI: Well, the story sir, round here is that the gentleman, Mejía whom you ask about, he I fear hit on the very worst idea that is ever likely to appear.
DON JUAN: Skip the extraordinary idea, it’s well known to me, as to who in the space of a year, could do more harm with more good luck, Juan Tenorio or Luis Mejía.“


José Zorrilla y Moral (21 februari 1817 – 23 januari 1893)
Anoniem portret , rond 1844