Ida Vos, Jevgeni Petrov, Jean Rouaud, Laurens Jan van der Post, Emily Carr


De  Joods-Nederlandse schrijfster Ida Vos (meisjesnaam Gudema) werd geboren in Groningen op 13 december 1931. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 12 december 2009.





als ik buikpijn had
legde je je handen
ongeveer ter hoogte
van onze navel
en de pijn verdween

ik heb mijn handen
op jouw buik gelegd
maar ik kon de pijn
niet weg nemen

in één nacht waren
mijn handen te klein

terwijl ze toch groter waren
dan toen ik buikpijn had







Grijs wit-glimlachend

staat hij daar

-achter glas-

mijn vader


hoe verder ik

van het raam

weg moet

temeer komt hij

me nader


vermoeid beweegt

hij beide handen

en ik denk


dit is de laatste keer

een zaaiend grijs





Ida Vos (13 december 1931 – 3 april 2006)




De Russische schrijver Jevgeni Petrov werd geboren in Odessa op 13 december 1903. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 12 december 2009.


Uit: The 12 Chairs


„There were so many hairdressing establishments and funeral homes in the regional centre of N. that the inhabitants seemed to be born merely in order to have a shave, get  their  hair cut, freshen up their  heads with toilet water and then die. In actual fact,  people came into the world, shaved, and died rather rarely  in  the regional centre  of N. Life in  N. was extremely quiet. The  spring evenings  were  delightful,  the  mud  glistened  like anthracite in the light of the moon,  and all the young men of the town were so much  in love with the secretary  of  the communal-service workers’ local committee that she found difficulty in collecting their subscriptions.

Matters  of  life  and   death  did  not  worry   Ippolit  Matveyevich Vorobyaninov,  although  by the nature of his  work he  dealt with them from nine till five every day, with a half-hour break for lunch.

Each morning, having drunk  his ration of hot  milk brought  to him  by Claudia  Ivanovna in  a  streaky  frosted-glass tumbler,  he  left the dingy little house and went outside  into the vast  street bathed  in weird spring sunlight; it was called Comrade Gubernsky Street. It was the nicest kind  of street  you  can  find in regional  centres. On the left you could  see  the coffins of the Nymph Funeral Home  glittering with silver through undulating green-glass panes. On the right, the dusty, plain oak  coffins of Bezenchuk, the undertaker, reclined sadly behind small windows from which the putty was peeling  off. Further  up, “Master Barber Pierre and  Constantine”  promised customers  a “manicure” and  “home curlings”. Still further on  was  a hotel with  a  hairdresser’s,  and beyond  it  a  large  open  space  in  which  a straw-coloured calf stood tenderly licking the rusty sign propped up against a solitary gateway. The sign read: Do-Us-the-Honour Funeral Home.

Although  there  were  many  funeral  homes,  their  clientele  was not wealthy.  The  Do-Us-the-Honour  had gone  broke three years before  Ippolit Matveyevich settled in the town of N., while Bezenchuk drank like a fish and had once tried to pawn his best sample coffin.

People rarely died  in  the  town of N. Ippolit  Matveyevich knew  this better than anyone because he worked in the registry office, where he was in charge of the registration of deaths and marriages.“




Jevgeni Petrov (13 december 1903 – 2 juli 1942)

Jevgeny Petrov (rechts) en Ylya Ilf (links)






De Franse schrijver Jean Rouaud werd geboren op 13 december 1952 in Campbon (Loire-Atlantique). Zie ook mijn blog van 13 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 12 december 2009.


Uit: Les Champs d’honneur


« La pluie est une compagne en Loire-Inférieure, la moitié fidèle d’une vie. La région y gagne d’avoir un style particulier(…)Les nuages chargés des vapeurs de l’Océan s’engouffrent à hauteur de Saint-Nazaire dans l’estuaire de la Loire, remontent le fleuve et, dans une noria incessante, déversent sur le pays nantais leur trop-plein d’humidité. Dans l’ensemble, des quantités qui n’ont rien de considérable si l’on se réfère à la mousson, mais savamment distillées sur toute l’année, si bien que pour les gens de passage qui ne profitent pas toujours d’une éclaircie la réputation du pays est vite établie: nuages et pluies. » p 15 puis plus loin « Les premières gouttes sont imperceptibles. On regarde là-haut, on doute qu’on ait reçu quoi que ce soit de ce ciel gris perle, lumineux, où jouent à distance les miroitements de l’Océan. Les pluies fines se contentent souvent d’accompagner la marée montante, les petites marées au coefficient de 50, 60, dans leur train-train bi-quotidien (…) Le ciel et la mer indifférenciés s’arrangent d’un camaïeu cendré, de longues veines anthracite soulignent les vagues et les nuages, l’horizon n’est plus cette ligne de partage entre les éléments, mais une sorte de fondu enchaîné. Le pays tout entier est à la pluie: elle peut sourdre des arbres et de l’herbe, du bitume gris à l’unisson du ciel ou de la tristesse des gens. »




Jean Rouaud (Campbon, 13 december 1952)






De Engelstalige en van oorsprong Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver en officier Laurens Jan van der Post werd geboren in Philippopolis op 13 december 1906. Zie ook mijn blog van 13 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 12 december 2009.


Uit: A Japanese Story-Teller


„Somewhere near the centre in a sort of market-place, I noticed, among all the tumult of movement and babble and talk, what appeared to be a place of calm and orderly arrangement of men, women and children, squatting or sitting on their knees, apart from the rest and deeply absorbed in something seemingly invisible. I was strangely drawn towards them and compelled to ask Mr Tajima to take me there.

          The not inconsiderable group of people, so absorbed that they did not notice our arrival, were there at the feet of a man sitting on a yellow mat talking in a low, clear voice. He was dressed in a golden kimono, held with a broad sash woven of green and red round the middle. It was a far more abundant garment than usual, and lay with ample folds around him that overruled any shape or movement of his body within, and fell wide to the ground to disguise even the way he sat. In this sense he was more like a monument of singular authority rather than the man himself. This authority was immeasurably increased by the head and face above the dress. It was the face of an old man with features of a cast so old that it seemed beyond measure of antiquity that I possessed regarding the history of Japan. He looked, in fact, like one of those philosophers, statesmen, poets or resolved servants of the earliest emperors of China, serving, in exile from the people they loved and all that they valued, on the frontier of some remote province among the barbaric subjects of their imperial masters. They did so with such absolute committment that some of the most moving and healing poetry of classical China before its age of `troubles’ came from their philosophical brush to convey a quality which seemed personified in the man now talking with such hypnotic power to the little gathering. His skin was like an ancient parchment, covered with innumerable creases and lines as of sensitive writing describing a long record of complex experience of life, and so exacting a metamorphosis of its hurt, injury, conflict and, perhaps even most demanding, the pull of its pleasures.“




Laurens Jan van der Post (13 december 1906 – 16 december 1996)





De Canadeese schilderes en schrijfster  Emily Carr werd geboren in Victoria op 13 december 1871. ook mijn blog van 13 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 12 december 2009.


Uit: Klee Wyck


„The lady Missionaries expected me. They sent an enormous Irishman in a tiny canoe to meet the steamer. We got to the Ucluelet wharf soon after dawn. Everything was big and cold and strange to me, a fifteen-year-old school girl. I was the only soul on the wharf. The Irishman did not have any trouble deciding which was I.

It was low tide, so there was a long, sickening ladder with slimy rungs to climb down to get to the canoe. The man’s big laugh and the tippiness of the canoe were even more frightening than the ladder. The paddle in his great arms rushed the canoe through the waves.

We came to Toxis, which was the Indian name for the Mission House. It stood just above hightide water. The sea was in front of it and the forest behind.

The house was of wood, unpainted. There were no blinds or curtains. It looked, as we paddled up to it, as if it were stuffed with black. When the canoe stuck in the mud, the big Irishman picked me up in

his arms and set me down on the doorstep.

The Missionaries were at the door. Smells of cooking fish jumped out past them. People lived on fish at Ucluelet.

Both the Missionaries were dignified, but the Greater Missionary had the most dignity. They had long noses straddled by spectacles, thin lips, mild eyes, and wore straight, dark dresses buttoned to

the chin.

There was only two of everything in the kitchen, so I had to sit on a box, drink from a bowl and eat my food out of a tin pie-dish.“




Emily Carr (13 december 1871 – 2 maart 1945)