J.J.L. ten Kate, Iván Mándy, Harry Shearer, Albert Ehrenstein, Sainte-Beuve, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

De Nederlandse dichter-dominee Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate werd geboren op 23 december 1819 in Den Haag. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 december 2006.




Groote Schepper, bron van zegen!

U begroet ons morgenlied.

Wat zou ooit ons hart bewegen,

Deed Uw groote liefde ’t niet?

Wat wij hebben, wat wij zijn,

Daaglijksch brood en zonneschijn,

Minnende ouders, siel en leven,

Alles hebt Gij ons gegeven!


Maar de grootste gift van allen

Is uw eigen lieve Zoon,

Al Uw lust en welgevallen,

Deelgenoot van Uwen troon;

Die voor ons op aarde kwam,

Om te lijden als een lam;

Om ook ons den weg te wijzen

Naar des Hemels paradijzen!


‘Laat de kindren tot Mij komen’,

Aldus spraakt gij, lieve Heer!

En wij buigen zonder schromen

Op de knietjes voor u neêr.

Maak ons leerzaam, zacht en stil!

Leer ons wandlen naar Uw wil!

Leer ons zelf, met ziel en zinnen

Boven alles U beminnen!



J.J.L. ten Kate (23 december 1819 –  24 december 1889)


De Hongaarse Iván Mándy werd geboren op 23 december 1918 in Boedapest. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 december 2006.


Uit: The Crossing (vertaald door Eszter Molnár)


The sea opened before him. Gave way. The waves rose high. For a moment it seemed as though they would break over his head. But then they fell back silently, parted. Ma
de way for him.

Onwards he walked, with that unearthly smile, a bottle in his hand. Matted, reddish beard, a faded raincoat buttoned up to the chin. Neither jacket nor shirt under the coat. Even the trousers seemed to hang irresolutely somehow. But this did not bother him. He held the bottle high. Not flaunting it, no, nothing of the sort! The label had long since rubbed off. Just as everything had rubbed off him. On and on he walked, not the least bit hurried. Taking his time rather. There was no need to fear the waves any longer. The sea could be depended upon absolutely. But it wouldn’t do to hurry on such a journey. Someone had given an order to the sea. Had commanded it to be still. A lord. The lord of the seas. Had honoured him with his friendship. But a friendship like that must not be presumed on.

He sensed that he was being followed. Tracked. They had massed up behind him. Were dogging his footsteps. Sniggering. Whispering. He did not turn round. Did not look back. Did not want to see them. He had nothing to do with them. Parasites. Predators. The lord had made way for him. Only for him.

He held the bottle up to his eyes, turning it. There’s got to be a couple of swallows left in it. Just a few swallows. And if they’re counting on his giving them a taste… No fear! If there’s anyone he’ll offer a sip to, it won’t be anyone other than…

He raised the bottle high. Held it there. Any minute now and a hand will beckon to him from up there. Thanks, old chap!

The sky darkened. You couldn’t really call it angry, but still…

He hid the bottle under his coat. Hugged it tight. Blinked contritely. I didn’t mean to offend you. You mustn’t think I did.

On he went, head hanging. Just my luck. I’ve made him angry, exasperated him.

No, the lord was not angry. His brow had darkened for a moment, perhaps. But he had not lashed the sea into fury. Keep going, old man! Continue on your way.

And he continued on his way.

Like the others. No doubt about it, they too had stopped short for a moment. Had been startled, taken unawares. But when they’d seen there was nothing to fear…

They’re coming after me. What do they want? To reach the shore? What shore? That’s the question, what shore?

Slender saplings in the wet sand. As though they had just risen up out of the deep. The depths of the sea. The sea had withdrawn. Left them to themselves.

The old man stood before them. Hugging the bottle. His only friend. The only friend he could still count on. He blinked distrustfully. Benches behind the trees. Must reach one of them. Sit, lie down. Easier said than done. He felt giddy. Perhaps from the air. The harsh, relentless sunlight. He staggered as he started off towards one of the benches. He caught hold of a sapling with his free hand. It almost snapped under his weight. Startled, taken aback.

Slowly he slid down to the ground beside the tree. The bottle between his feet. Alright. Who said he had to reach the bench?

He sat. Gazed about him.

Grey houses. Doorways, windows, balconies. Tiny black dots, thin lines. As the square began to stir. As men and women began to emerge from the houses, the shops.

Well! So they’d already arrived! Arrived and settled in. A clever move. Crafty. They were behind me on the road just a short while ago. Not one had thought to cut ahead of me then. No one had had ideas of the sort. And now look at them. They’ve got here ahead of me after all!

They stood around him. Men, women, children. A woman in a blue smock from the video rental on the corner leaned over him.

“Good Lord!”

“What’s the matter?”

“Look at him. Just look at him! How could they let him go out looking like this! They should be punished…”

“Who should be punished?”

“Why, whoever it was that let him out on the streets!”



Iván Mándy (23 december 1918 – 26 oktober 1995)



De Amerikaanse komische acteur en schrijver Harry Shearer werd geboren op 23 december 1943 in Los Angeles. Hij begon zijn loopbaan reeds als kind toen hij in 1953 meespeelde in The Robe. Later werd hij lid van de Los Angeles Radio Comedy groep The Credibility Gap. Shearer leent zijn stem aan talrijke figuren in de originele versie van de tekenfilmserie The Simpsons zoals Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Rev. Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, Rektor Skinner, Lenny, Kent Brockman, Gil, Rainier Wolfcastle, Scratchy, Kang, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Gott en Jebediah Springfield. Hij publiceerde drie boeken: “Man Bites Town” (een collectie van zijn Los Angeles Times Magazine columns), “It’s the Stupidity, Stupid”, and “Not Enough Indians”.


Uit: It’s the Stupidity, Stupid: Why (Some) People Hate Clinton and why the Rest of Us Have to Watch


“Clinton, smart enough to be a Jeopardy champion, couldn’t figure out that the rules governing public figures had changed since the heyday of JFK and his molls, and through his recklessness (and the insatiably prurient curiosity of his detractors, of which he was ever aware) he introduced a generation of subteens to the ideas of fellatio and sex toys years before their mothers were prepared to tell them to ask their fathers. He and his supporters helped make sexual harassment a highly profitable new area of legal practice, and then he chose as his sex partner the least powerful, least credentialed woman cleared into his official compound. And certainly Clinton, who derived great popularity from crusading for years against the tobacco industry, should have anticipated the negative publicity attendant on using a cigar as an erotic implement.

His recent stupidity has been appalling, almost as much so as the stupidity he exhibited in the halcyon days of health-care reform. Back then, you may recall, he sent the missus out for a well-regarded week of congressional testimony, then retired from the field of public contention while the insurance industry blanketed the airwaves with commercials featuring the frightened and frightening Harry and Louise. The president behaved as if in the big leagues the opposition wilts once the votes have been counted, as if the cozy one-party politics of Little Rock had moved up to D.C. along with the Clintons and the Tyson chicken gang. “Smart people acting stupid” may well be the epitaph of this administration. Hillary Rodham, after all, helped draft the rules for considering the last presidential impeachment”.


Harry Shearer (Los Angeles, 23 december 1943)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijvers ook mijn blog van 23 december 2006.


De Oostenrijkse expressionistische dichter en schrijver Albert Ehrenstein werd op 23 december 1886 in Wenen geboren.

De Franse dichter, schrijver en criticus Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve werd geboren op 23 december 1804 in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

De Italiaanse schrijver Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa werd geboren in Palermo op 23 december 1896.