Isabel Allende, James Baldwin, Caleb Carr, Philippe Soupault

De Chileense schrijfster Isabel Allende werd geboren in Lima op 2 augustus 1942. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2010.


Uit: Zorro (Vertaald door Margaret Sayers Peden)

“Let us begin at the beginning, at an event without which Diego de la Vega would not have been born. It happened in Alta California, in the San Gabriel mission in the year 1790 of Our Lord. At that time the mission was under the charge of Padre Mendoza, a Franciscan who had the shoulders of a woodcutter and a much younger appearance than his forty well-lived years warranted. He was energetic and commanding, and the most difficult part of his ministry was to emulate the humility and sweet nature of Saint Francis of Assisi. There were other Franciscan friars in the region supervising the twenty-three missions and preaching the word of Christ among a multitude of Indians from the Chumash, Shoshone, and other tribes who were not always overly cordial in welcoming them. The natives of the coast of California had a network of trade and commerce that had functioned for thousands of years. Their surroundings were very rich in natural resources, and the tribes developed different specialties. The Spanish were impressed with the Chumash economy, so complex that it could be compared to that of China. The Indians had a monetary system based on shells, and they regularly organized fairs that served as an opportunity to exchange goods as well as contract marriages.
Those native peoples were confounded by the mystery of the crucified man the whites worshipped, and they could not understand the advantage of living contrary to their inclinations in this world in order to enjoy a hypothetical well-being in another. In the paradise of the Christians, they might take their ease on a cloud and strum a harp with the angels, but the truth was that in the afterworld most would rather hunt bears with their ancestors in the land of the Great Spirit. Another thing they could not understand was why the foreigners planted a flag in the ground, marked off imaginary lines, claimed that area as theirs, and then took offense if anyone came onto it in pursuit of a deer.”


Isabel Allende (Lima, 2 augustus 1942)


De Amerikaanse schrijver James Baldwin werd op 2 augustus 1924 in Harlem, New York, geboren. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor James Baldwin op dit blog.

Uit: Giovanni’s Room

“The street he lived on was wide, respectable rather than elegant, and massive with fairly recent apartment buildings; the street ended in a small park. His room was in the back, on the ground floor of the last building on this street. We passed the vestibule and the elevator into a short, dark corridor which led to his room. The room was small, I only made out the outlines of clutter and disorder, there was the smell of alcohol he burned in his stove. He locked the door behind us, and then for a moment, in the gloom, we simply stared at each other–with dismay, with relief, and breathing hard. I was trembling. I thought if I do not open the door at once and get out of here, I am lost. But I knew I could not open the door, I knew it was too late; soon it was too late to do anything but moan. He pulled me against him, putting himself into my arms as though her were giving me himself to carry, and slowly pulled me down with him to that bed. With everything in me screaming No! yet the sum of me sighed Yes.”


“We had our arms around each other. It was like holding in my hand some rare, exhausted, nearly doomed bird which I had miraculously happened to find. I was very frightened; I am sure he was frightened too, and we shut our eyes. To remember it so clearly, so painfully tonight tells me that I have never for an instant truly forgotten it. I feel in myself now a faint, a dreadful stirring of what so overwhelmingly stirred in me then, great thirsty heat, and trembling, and tenderness so painful I thought my heart would burst. But out if this astonishing, intolerable pain came joy; we gave each other joy that night. It seemed, then, that a lifetime would not be long enough for me to act with Joey the act of love.”


James Baldwin (2 augustus 1924 – 1 december 1987)


De Amerikaanse schrijver en historicus Caleb Carr werd geboren op 2 augustus 1955 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2008. en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2010

Uit: Killing Time

„There are no newspapers here, no televisions, and above all no computers, which means no damned Internet. Dugumbe forbids it all. His explanation for this stance is simple, though no less profound for its simplicity: information, he insists, is not knowledge. The lessons passed on from one’s elders, taught by the wisest of them but recorded only in the mind, these, Dugumbe has always said, represent true knowledge. The media I’ve mentioned can only divert a man from such wisdom and enslave him to what Dugumbe calls the worst of all devils: confusion. There was a time when I–a man of the West, the possessor of not one but two doctorates–would have laughed at and disdained such beliefs; and in truth, during the time I’ve been here the laws and folklore of these people have come to trouble me deeply. Yet in a world stuffed full of deliberately warped information, of manufactured “truths” that have ignited conflicts far greater than Dugumbe’s tribal struggles, I now find myself clinging to the core of the old king’s philosophy even more tightly than he does.
There–I’ve just heard it. Distant but unmistakable: the thunderous rumble that heralds their approach. It’ll appear out of the sky soon, that spectral ship; or perhaps it will rise up out of the waters of Lake Albert. And then the burning will begin again, particularly if Dugumbe attempts to forcefully resist the extraordinary brother and sister who command the vessel. Yes, time is running out, and I must write faster–though just what purpose my writing serves is not quite so clear. Is it for the sake of my own sanity, to reassure myself that it all truly happened? Or is it for some larger goal, perhaps the creation of a document that I can feed out over what has become my own devil, the Internet, and thereby fight fire with fire? The latter theory assumes, of course, that someone will believe me. But I can’t let such doubts prevent the attempt. Someone must listen, and, even more important, someone must understand . .“


Caleb Carr (New York, 2 augustus 1955)


De Franse dichter en schrijver Philippe Soupault werd geboren op 2 augustus 1897 in Chaville bij Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 2 augustus 2010.



Petits mois petites fumées
et l’oubli en robe de laine
une porte s’ouvre tendrement
près du mur où naît le vent
près du jardin bienheureux
où les saints et les anges
ont peur des saisons
Les allées n’ont pas de noms
ce sont les heures ou les années
je me promène lentement
vêtu d’un paletot mastic
et coiffé d’un chapeau de paille noire
Je ne me souviens pas
s’il fait beau
je marche en fumant
et je fume en marchant
à pas lents
Quelquefois je me dis
Il est temps de s’arrêter
et je continue à marcher
Je me dis
Il faut prendre l’air
Il faut regarder les nuages
et respirer à pleins poumons
Il faut voir voler les mouches
et faire une promenade de santé
Il ne faut pas tant fumer
je me dis aussi
je me dis encore
j’ai mal à la tête
Ma vie est une goutte d’eau sous ma paupière
et je n’ai plus vingt ans
Les chansons sont des chansons
et les jours des jours
je n’ai plus aucun respect pour moi
mais je vois des voyous
Qui fument les mêmes cigarettes que moi
et qui sont aussi bêtes que moi
Je suis bien content
sans vraiment savoir pourquoi
Il ne suffit pas de parler du soleil
des étoiles
de la mer et des fleuves
du sang des yeux des mains
Il est nécessaire bien souvent
de parler d’autres choses
On sait qu’il y a de très beaux pays
de très beaux hommes
de non moins charmantes femmes
mais tout cela n’est vraiment pas suffisant
Le vide étourdissant
qui sonne et qui aboie
fait pencher la tête
On regarde et on voit
encore beaucoup d’autres choses
qui sont toujours les mêmes
Et là-bas simplement
quelqu’un passe
simple comme bonjour
et tout recommence encore une fois
je lis dans les astres la bonne volonté de mes amis
dans un fleuve j’aime une main
j’écoute les fleurs chanter
Il y a des adieux des oiseaux
Un cri qui tombe comme un fruit
Mon Dieu mon Dieu
je serai donc toujours le même
la tête dans les mains
et les mains dans la tête.

Philippe Soupault (2 augustus 1897 – 12 maart 1990)

Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 2e augustus ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.