Ha Jin, Anaïs Nin, Raymond Queneau, David Foster Wallace, Justus van Effen

De Chinees-Amerikaanse schrijver Ha Jin werd geboren op 21 februari 1956 in Jinzhou, China. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 21 februari 2010 en ook mijn blog van 21 februari 2011.


Uit: War Trash

„Before the Communists came to power in 1949, I was a sophomore at the Huangpu Military Academy, majoring in political education. The school, at that time based in Chengdu, the capital of Szechuan Province, had played a vital part in the Nationalist regime. Chiang Kai-shek had once been its principal, and many of his generals had graduated from it. In some ways, the role of the Huangpu in the Nationalist army was like that of West Point in the American military.
The cadets at the Huangpu had been disgusted with the corruption of the Nationalists, so they readily surrendered to the People’s Liberation Army when the Communists arrived. The new government disbanded our academy and turned it into a part of the Southwestern University of Military and Political Sciences. We were encouraged to continue our studies and prepare ourselves to serve the new China. The Communists promised to treat us fairly, without any discrimination. Unlike most of my fellow students who specialized in military science, however, I dared not raise my hopes very high, because the political courses I had taken in the old academy were of no use to the People’s Liberation Army. I was more likely to be viewed as a backward case, if not a reactionary. At the university, established mainly for reindoctrinating the former Nationalist officers and cadets, we were taught the basic ideas of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong, and we had to write out our personal histories, confess our wrongdoings, and engage in self- and mutual criticism. A few stubborn officers from the old army wouldn’t relinquish their former outlook and were punished in the reeducation program-they were imprisoned in a small house at the northeastern corner of our campus. But since I had never resisted the Communists, I felt relatively safe. I didn’t learn much in the new school except for some principles of the proletarian revolution.“


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: The Diaries

„August 11, 1914.~~~”Impressions of Arrival In New York”

We were all dressed and on deck. It was 2 o’clock and one could vaguely see a city, but very far away. The sea was gray and heavy. How different from the beautiful sea of Spain! I was anxious to arrive, but I was sad.

I felt a chill around my heart and I was seeing things all wrong.

Suddenly we were wrapped in a thick fog. A torrential rain began to fall, thunder rumbled, lightning flashes lit the heavy black sky. The people promptly took refuge in the lounge. None of the Spanish passengers had ever seen weather like that, so the frightened women wept,the men prayed in low tones. We were not afraid.

Maman had seen many storms and her calmness reassured us. We were the first to go back up on the wet deck. But the fog continued and we waited.

It was 4 o’clock when the ship began to move again, slowly, as though she approached the great city with fear. Now, leaning on the railing, I couldn’t hear anything. My eyes were fixed on the lights that drew closer, I saw the tall buildings, I heard the whistling of the engine, I saw a great deal of movement. Huge buildings went by in front of me. I hated those buildings in advance because they hid what I love most–flowers, birds, fields, liberty.

Maman came up to me and took me for a walk, whispering in my ear the wonderful things I was going to see. But although I admire New York for its progress, I hate it, I find it superficial. I saw it as an ugly prison. Maman was still walking, but seeing that I wasn’t paying the slightest attention, she didn’t talk to me anymore, but her eyes looked worried. my head felt heavy, my heart seemed full enough to burst, I felt sad and unhappy.“


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.



De son juchoir
la poule laisse choir
un oeuf
c’est une imprudence
un moment d’absence
mais il tombe pouf
dans la paille :
la fermière était prévoyante
combien de poèmes brisés
que ne recueille aucun recueil.


La leçon de choses

Venez, poussins,
Je vais vous instruire sur l’œuf
Dont tous vous venez, poussins.
L’œuf est rond
Mais pas tout à fait
Il serait plutôt ovoïde
Avec une carapace
Et vous en venez tous, poussins
Il est blanc
Pour votre race
Crème ou même orangé
Avec parfois collé
Un brin de paille
Mais ça,
C’est un supplément
A l’intérieur, il y a…
Mais pour y voir
Faut le casser
Et alors d’où – vous poussins – sortirez ?


Raymond Queneau (21 februari 1903 – 25 oktober 1976)


De Amerikaanse schrijver David Foster Wallace werd geboren op 21 februari 1962 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 februari 2009 en ook mijn blog van 21 februari 2010 en ook mijn blog van 21 februari 2011.

Uit: Infinite Jest

„The Dean at left, a lean yellowish man whose fixed smile nevertheless has the impermanent quality of something stamped into uncooperative material, is a personality-type I’ve come lately to appreciate, the type who delays need of any response from me by relating my side of the story for me, to me. Passed a packet of computer-sheets by the shaggy lion of a dean at center, he is speaking more or less to these pages, smiling down.

‘You are Harold Incandenza, eighteen, date of secondary-school graduation approximately one month from now, attending the Enfield Tennis Academy, Enfield, Massachusetts,a boarding school where you reside.’ His reading glasses are rectangular, court-shaped, the sidelines at top and bottom. ‘You are, according to Coach White and Dean [unintelligible], a regionally, nationally and continentally ranked junior tennis player, a potential O.N.A.N.C.A.A. athlete of substantial promise, recruited by Coach White via correspondence with Dr. Tavis here commencing . . . February of this year.’ The top page is removed and brought around neatly to the bottom of the sheaf, at intervals. ‘You have been in residence at the Enfield Academy since age seven.’

I am debating whether to risk scratching the right side of my jaw, where there is a wen.“


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


De Nederlandse schrijver Justus van Effen werd geboren in Utrecht op 21 februari 1684. Zie ook alle tags voor Justus van Effen op dit blog.


Uit:No. 2. Den 27. Augusty 1731. De Hollandsche Spectator.

OM tot de styl te komen, waar van ik voorneemens ben my te bedienen, heb ik iets te verhandelen met de Heeren Puristen of Taal-zuiveraars. Eertyds ben ik van hunne bende geweest, en niet alleen een verwonderend liefhebber van hunne gelukkige poogingen, maar zelfs een ieverig navolger, en mede-dinger. Zelf heb ik, zonder roem gesprooken, reeds in myn kindsche jaaren Koppelwoorden t’zamen gesteld, die, in uitgestrektheid en hardigheid, voor niemant hunner trotze en opgeblazene broederen behoefden te wyken, dewelke, indien ik raadzaam hadde gedagt, den zelve het ligt te doen zien, zonder twyfel hun fortuin in de wereld zoude gemaakt hebben. Zommigen van deze myne treffelyke uitvindingen is dit geluk al te beurt gevallen. Dewyl ik onbekend ben, durf ik zeggen, dat ik de man ben, die de eer heb, op de leest van ’t woord Jufferdom, dat van Dichterdom geschoeit te hebben, zoo dat aan my, en aan niemand anders verschuldigt zy, dat men met zoo veel destigheid en zoetluidendheid in verscheidene van onze vaderlandsche dichten hoort brommen: Het Neerduitsch Dichterdom &c. Ik verwonderde my zelfs, dat dit maakzel myns vernufts aan andere fraije geesten, die meer als ik, haar werk van in onze moedertaal te schryven maakten, geen aanleiding gaf, om met die bevallige uitgang van dom, andere woorden, en wel voornamentlyk koppel-woorden op te pronken; waarom dagt ik, wanneer men in ’t gemeen spreeken wil van Kleermaakers of Hairsnyers, ook niet gezegt, ’t Kleermaakerdom, ’t Hairsnyerdom.”


Justus van Effen (21 februari 1684 – 18 september 1735)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 21e februari ook mijn blog van 21 februari 2011.