Helga Ruebsamen, Antonin Artaud, René de Chateaubriand, Constantijn Huygens, Richard Wright, Mary Renault

De Nederlandse schrijfster Helga Ruebsamen is op 4 september 1934 geboren in Batavia, in Nederlands lndië. Zie ook mijn blog van 4 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Helga Ruebsamen op dit blog.

Uit: The Song and the Truth (Vertaald door Paul Vincent)

“Every day, as soon as the sun went down, tiny lizards climbed up the walls of our veranda.
“Look, the tjitjaks are here.”
The night people lit the lamps, in the rooms and on the veranda. The ladies who’d come to tea took their leave and went home. The day was over, and night was beginning.
My mother accompanied her guests as far as the waringin tree and waved to the visitors and their children as they left. I stood on the veranda listening to the sounds coming from the Lembang road. I could hear the cars driving uphill, up the mountain, where the sun was already asleep in the volcano. Or hear them driving downhill, to Bandung, the town where the zoo was and my father’s clinic. There were often parties in town, and the cars drove faster then.
My mother came back; I could hear her singing before I saw her. She didn’t hurry, she sauntered along, stopping now and then, so that the bright spot she formed in the darkness grew larger only very slowly. When it reached the point where I could make out more than the color of her dress, I could also see her platinum blond curls and even her bright eyes. By then she was so close that she could touch me.
“Well, we’ve got the veranda to ourselves again,” said Mummy. She stretched out on the settee and beckoned to me. “All those visitors,” she sighed, “and never anyone you can talk to.”
The tjitjaks had found their places. On the ceiling they had frozen into wooden ornaments, but they pounced like greased lightning on any insects that strayed close to them.
The lamps burned in the rooms and on the veranda, so that night could not descend on us.
The night abolished the distinction between inside and outside. At night it was cool and dark everywhere. Everything was safe–people, animals, and plants–beneath a dark dome as large as the world.
When the sky, the earth, and the water had attained the same dark hue, the toké arrived. I waited for the toké every night. He was the big brother of the tjitjaks. I did not need to go to bed before the first toké had called.
By that time all the other nocturnal creatures were there: flying foxes, crickets, bullfrogs. Their noisy concert was in full swing.”

Helga Ruebsamen (Batavia, 4 september 1934)


De Franse dichter en schrijver Antonin Artaud werd geboren op 4 september 1896 in Marseille. Zie ook mijn blog van 4 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Antonin Artaud op dit blog.

Chanson secrète enfantine des rose-croix

Héliogabale et Spinoza sont une seule en même chose
Vive la rose
Héliogabale et Spinoza font un seul et meme choix
Vive la croix
Le chaste philosophe sans besoin le cruel empereur qui
Partout chie
Ont le même sens de la cité
Mettant l’anarchique en Unité et l’Un dans l’anarchie
Pédé castré sado maso travestiste
Panthé modo nature substantialiste
Tous deux n’ont qu’un corps sans organes
Et sur ce corps de vibrations qui en émanent
Pitié pour qui signait César-Crucifié
ar celui-là on ne peut pas s’y fier
Puisque’il n’osa
Pas s’appeler Héliogabale-et-Spinoza


L’amour sans trêve

Ce triangle d’eau qui a soif
cette route sans écriture
Madame, et le signe de vos mâtures
sur cette mer où je me noie

Les messages de vos cheveux
le coup de fusil de vos lèvres
cet orage qui m’enlève
dans le sillage de vos yeux.

Cette ombre enfin, sur le rivage
où la vie fait trêve, et le vent,
et l’horrible piétinement
de la foule sur mon passage.

Quand je lève les yeux vers vous
on dirait que le monde tremble,
et les feux de l’amour ressemblent
aux caresses de votre époux.

Antonin Artaud (4 september 1896 – 4 maart 1948)
Portret door Arthur Hunter-Blair, 2005


De Franse schrijver François René de Chateaubriand werd geboren op 4 september 1768 in Saint Malo. Zie ook mijn blog van 4 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor René de Chateaubriand op dit blog.

Uit:René (Vertaald door A. S. Kline)

“Once among the Natchez, René was obliged to take a wife, to conform to the ways of that American Indian people; but chose not to live with her. A tendency to melancholy drew him into the woods; he spent whole days there alone, and seemed a savage among the savages. Except for Chactas, his adopted father, and Père Souël, the missionary at Fort-Rosalie he renounced all relations with mankind. These two elderly men had won much influence over his feelings: the former by his friendly indulgence, the latter, in contrast, by his unrelenting severity. Since the beaver-hunt, during which the blind Sachem had told his story to René, the latter had not wished to speak of his own. However Chactas and the missionary had a strong desire to know by what misfortune a European nobleman had been led to the strange resolution of burying himself in the wilds of Louisiana. René had always given as justification for his refusal, the limited interest to be found in his history which was confined, he said, to that of his thoughts and feelings. ‘As for the events which led me to sail for America’, he added, ‘I would wish to bury them in eternal oblivion.’
Some years passed by in this regard, without the two old men being able to wrest his secret from him. A letter he received from Europe, through the Society of Foreign Missions, added to his sadness to such a degree that he fled to his two old friends. They were only the more eager in exhorting him to open his heart to them. They showed so much discretion, tenderness and authority, that he was forced in the end to satisfy their desire. He therefore spent time with them, not in recounting the story of his life, since he had experienced little, but the secret sentiments of his soul.
On the twenty-first of that month, which the Savages call the moon of flowers (May), René took himself to Chactas’s hut. He gave his arm to the Sachem, and led him beneath a sassafras tree on the banks of the Mississippi. Père Souël was not long in arriving at the rendezvous. Dawn was breaking: some distance away in the plain, the village of the Natchez could be seen, with its grove of mulberries and its huts resembling bee-hives. The French colony and Fort-Rosalie were visible to the right, along the river-banks.

René de Chateaubriand (4 september 1768 – 4 juli 1848)
De stormscène uit Chateaubriand’s “René” door Franz Ludwig Catel, 1820


De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Constantijn Huygens werd geboren op 4 september 1596 in Den Haag. Zie ook mijn blog van 4 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Constantijn Huygens op dit blog.


Twee werre-werelden bewoon ik overhands:
Een die ’t volkomen is, een andere bijkans.
’s Daags vind ik mij in d’ een, ’s nachts dunk ik mij in d’ander.
In arbeid en in ernst gelijken zij malkander.
Dit scheelt het: deze zie ‘k, die dróóm ik dat ik zie,
Of is deez’ mogelijk zo wel een droom als die?


Reken maar

Men lacht om een ruiter met één spoor aan zijn voet.
Hij lacht terug en zegt: het is zo ook wel goed,
Als ik de ene kant van het paard aan zal sporen,
Ik wed, dan gaat de andere vanzelf naar voren.



Het hele land in ’t klein, de weegschaal van de staat,
De schave van de jeugd, de schole van de daad,
Het dorp der dorpen geen, waar ieder’ steeg een pad is,
Maar dorp der dorpen een, waar ieder’ straat een stad is.
De rondom groene buurt, het rondom stenen Hout,
Des boers verwondering, al komt hij uit het woud,
Des steêmans steeds vermaak, al komt hij uit de muren,
Der vijanden ontzag, de vrijster van de buren,
Des werelds lekkernij, des hemels welgeval.
Is ’t daarmee al gezegd, zo ben ik meer dan al.

Constantijn Huygens (4 september 1596 — 28 maart 1687)
Varkenmarkt in Den Haag door Sybrand van Beest, 1650


De Amerikaanse schrijver Richard Nathaniel Wright werd geboren in Roxie, Mississippi op 4 september 1908. Zie ook mijn blog van 4 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Richard Wright op dit blog.

Uit: Black Boy

One winter morning in the long-ago, four-year-old days of my life I found myself standing before a fireplace, warming my hands over a mound of glowing coals, listening to the wind whistle past the house outside. All morning my mother had been scolding me, telling me to keep still, warning me that I must make no noise. And I was angry, fretful, and impatient. In the next room Granny lay ill and under the day and night care of a doctor and I knew that I would be punished if I did not obey. I crossed restlessly to the window and pushed back the long fluffy white curtains— which I had been forbidden to touch— and looked yearningly out into the empty street. I was dreaming of running and playing and shouting, but the vivid image of Granny’s old, white, wrinkled, grim face, framed by a halo of tumbling black hair, lying upon a huge feather pillow, made me afraid.
The house was quiet. Behind me my brother— a year younger than I— was playing placidly upon the floor with a toy. A bird wheeled past the window and I greeted it with a glad shout.
“You better hush,” my brother said.
“You shut up,” I said.
My mother stepped briskly into the room and closed the door behind her. She came to me and shook her finger in my face.
“You stop that yelling, you hear?” she whispered. “You know Granny’s sick and you better keep quiet!”
I hung my head and sulked. She left and I ached with boredom.
“I told you so,” my brother gloated.
“You shut up,” I told him again.
I wandered listlessly about the room, trying to think of something to do, dreading the return of my mother, resentful of being neglected. The room held nothing of interest except the fire and finally I stood before the shimmering embers, fascinated by the quivering coals. An idea of a new kind of game grew and took root in my mind. Why not throw something into the fire and watch it burn? I looked about. There was only my picture book and my mother would beat me if I burned that. Then what? I hunted around until I saw the broom leaning in a closet. That’s it… “

Richard Wright  (4 september 1908 – 28 november 1960)


De Engelse schrijfster Mary Renault werd op 4 september 1905 geboren als Mary Challans in Forest Gate in Essex. Zie ook alle tags voor Mary Renault op dit blog en ook mijn blog van 4 september 2010.

Uit: The Persian Boy

“I doubt he’d ever in his life lain down with anyone for whom he had not felt some kind of fondness. He needed love as a palm tree needs water, all his life long: from armies, from cities, from conquered enemies, nothing was enough. It laid him open to false friends, as anyone will tell you. Well, for all that, no man is made a god when he is dead and can do no harm, without love. He needed love and never forgave its betrayal, which he had no understanding of. For he himself, if it was given him with a whole heart, never misused it, nor despised the giver. He took it gratefully, and felt bound by it.”

“You may keep your ten thousand talents; I am not in want of money, I have taken enough. Why only the half of your kingdom to the Euphrates? You offer me the part in exchange for the whole. Your daughter whom you speak of, I shall marry if I choose, whether given by you or not. Your family is safe; no ransom is required of you; come here yourself and make your suit to me, you shall have them free. If you desire our friendship, you have only to ask.”

“It is better to believe in men too rashly, and regret, than believe too meanly. Men could be more than they are, if they would try for it. He has shown them that. How many have tried, because of him? Not only those I have seen; there will be men to come. Those who look in mankind only for their own littleness, and make them believe in that, kill more than he ever will in all his wars.”

Mary Renault (4 september 1905 – 13 december 1983)
Francisco Bosch als Bagoas en Colin Farrell als Alexander in de film Alexander uit 2004