John Dos Passos, Andreas Steinhöfel, Isaäc da Costa, Tillie Olsen, Marek Hlasko

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Dos Passos werd geboren op 14 januari 1896 in Chicago. Zie ook alle tags voor John Dos Passos op dit blog.

Uit: Manhattan Transfer

“Before the ferry leaves a horse and wagon comes aboard, a brokendown springwagon loaded with flowers, driven by a little brown man with high cheekbones. Jimmy Herf walks around it; behind the drooping horse with haunches like a hatrack the little warped wagon is unexpectedly merry, stacked with pots of scarlet and pink geraniums, carnations, alyssum, forced roses, blue lobelia. A rich smell of maytime earth comes from it, of wet flowerpots and greenhouses. The driver sits hunched with his hat over his eyes. Jimmy has an impulse to ask him where he is going with all of those flowers, but he stifles it.

He is walking up an incline. There are tracks below him and the slow clatter of a freight, the hiss of an engine. At the top of a hill he stops to look back. He can see nothing but fog spaced with a file of blurred archlights. Then he walks on, taking pleasure in breathing, in the beat of his blood, in the tread of his feet on the pavement, between rows of otherworldly frame houses. Gradually the fog thins, a morning pearliness is seeping in from somewhere. Sunrise finds him walking along a cement road between dumping grounds full of smoking rubbishpiles. The sun shines redly through the mist on rusty donkey-engines, skeleton trucks, wishbones of Fords, shapeless masses of corroding metal. Jimmy walks fast to get out of the smell. He is hungry; his shoes are beginning to raise blisters on his big toes. At a cross-road where the warning light still winks and winks, is a gasoline station, opposite it the Lightning Bug lunchwagon. Carefully he spends his last quarter on breakfast. That leaves him three cents for good luck, or bad luck for that matter. A huge furniture truck, shiny and yellow, has drawn up outside.
“Say will you give me a lift?” he asks the redhaired man at the wheel.
“How fur ye goin?”
“I dunno. . . . Pretty far.”

John Dos Passos (14 januari 1896 – 28 september 1970)


De Duitse schrijver en vertaler Andreas Steinhöfel werd geboren op 14 januari 1962 in Battenberg. Zie ook alle tags voor Andreas Steinhöfel op dit blog.

Uit: Anders

„Felix bedeutet der Glückliche. Der Name stammt aus dem Lateinischen. und er war. als die Winters ihn für ihren Sohn aussuchten, in der Hitparade der Jungennarnen soeben auf Platz elf vorgerückt – Tendenz leicht steigend. Melanie Winter hatte die Liste aus dem Internet heruntergeladen und hielt sie ihrem Mann unter die Nase. Ein sorgfältig rot lackierter Fingernagel tippte wiederholt auf die elfte Zeile, und tatsächlich, erkannte André Winter: Felix stand nicht nur weit genug vom. um später einmal belegen zu können. dass man sich mit dieser Wahl durchaus auf der Höhe der Zeit befunden hatte. Nein, in seiner hübschen Zweisilbigkeit stand der Name auch weit genug hinten, um sich deutlich von allen spitzenreitenden einsilbigen Jans und Toms und Bens abzugrenzen, die in diesem Jahr scharenweise, wie es aussah. zur Meinung der Menschheit an den Start geschickt wurden.
André Winter studierte stumm die Liste, speziell die Ziffer vor dem Namen Felix. Elf war eine Primzahl. Primzahlen machten ihn nervös. Alles, was sich nicht in ganzzahlige Größen teilen ließ, machte ihn nervös – das uferlose Internet, die gestauchten Zahlenkolonnen unter seinen Kontoausziigen… manchmal sein ganzes Leben. Ein Primzahlenname beschwor womöglich etwas herauf. das ihm in Zukunft Kopfzerbrechen bereiten mochte.
Aber die Zukunft war weit entfernt. Die Gegenwart war ausgefüllt von einem fordernd tippenden Zeigefinger, und noch nervöser als die Elf machte André Winter das Wissen darum, wie ungehalten seine Frau reagierte, wenn sie nicht bekam, was sie wollte. Deshalb stimmte er, mit einem letzten Blick auf ihre roten Fingernägel zu. Vermutlich war er bloß abergläubisch.
Vielleicht ging alles gut.
Und alles ging gut. Elf Jahre lang.
Am ersten Tag des zwölften ]ahres wurde alles anders.“

Andreas Steinhöfel (Battenberg, 14 januari 1962)


De Nederlandse dichter en schrijver Isaäc da Costa werd geboren in Amsterdam op 14 januari 1798. Zie ook alle tags voor Isaäc da Costa op dit blog.

Vijf en twintig jaren
Een lied in 1840

Kan het zijn dat de lier, die sinds lang niet meer ruiste,
die sinds lang tot geen harten in dichtmuziek sprak,
weer opeens van verrukking en hemellust bruiste,
en in stromende galmen het stilzwijgen brak?

Kan het zijn dat een ader, verstikt en vergeten,
schoon eens mede van jeugdige zangtonen vol,
thans opnieuw, door een stout maar gelukkig vermeten,
in de zandgrond geraakt, weder uitschoot en zwol?

’t Mochte zijn, dat een winter voorbij waar gevaren,
en haar ijs bij de stralen der lentezon smolt; —
dat — een reeks van onvruchtbaar vervlotene jaren
door één oogst voor het minst al die dorheid vergold!

Neen! de mens mag zijn lente geen tweedemaal smaken;
op zijn winter volgt nooit weer herleving en groei! —
dan alleen als dit stof eens zijn doden zal slaken
voor een eeuwige zon, voor een eindloze bloei!

Evenwel heeft wellicht onze Dichtkunst haar tijden. —
o! De harp van mijn stam heeft de wissling gekend
van gejuich en geklag, van verheffing en lijden,
van bevrijding en lange — verdorrende ellend.

Isaäc da Costa (14 januari 1798 – 28 april 1860)


De Joods-Amerikaanse schrijfster, dichteres en feministe Tillie Lerner Olsen werd geboren in Omaha (Nebraska) op 14 januari 1912. Zie ook alle tags voor Tillie Olsen op dit blog.

Uit: I Stand Here Ironing

“I stand here ironing. and what you asked me moves tormented back and forth with the iron.
“I wish you would manage the time to come in and talk with me about your daughter. I‘m sure you can help me understand her. She’s a youngster who needs help and whom I’m deeply interested in helping.”
“Who needs help.” . . . Even if 1 came. what good would it do? You think because I am her mother 1 have a key. or that in some way you could use me as a key? She has lived for nineteen years. There is all that life that has happened outside of me, beyond me.
And when is there time to remember. to sift. to weigh. to estimate, to total? I will start and there will be an interruption and I will have to gather it all together again. Or I will become engulfed with all I did or did not do. with what should have been and what cannot be helped.
She was a beautiful baby. The first and only one of our five that was beautiful at birth. You do not guess how new and uneasy her tenancy in her now-loveliness. You did not know her all those years she was thought homely, or see her poring over her baby pictures, making me tell her over and over how beautiful she had been-and would be. I would tell her-and was now. to the seeing eye. But the seeing eyes were few or nonexistent. Including mine.
I nursed her. They feel that’s important nowadays. I nursed all the children, but with her. with all the fierce rigidity of first motherhood. I did like the books then said. Though her cries battered me to trembling and my breasts ached with swollenness, I waited till the clock decreed.“

Tillie Olsen (14 januari 1912 – 1 januari 2007)


De Poolse schrijver Marek Hlasko werd geboren op 14 januari 1934 in Warschau. Zie ook alle tags voor Marek Hlasko op dit blog.

Uit: The Graveyard (Vertaald door Norbert Guterman)

“Franciszek Kowalski, forty-eight years of age, slender, slightly balding, with a ruddy complexion, prominent cheekbones, and blue eyes, took a drink you won’t believe how rarely, only on really extraordinary occasions; he never drank more than he could hold, and never had to be told later by others what he had talked about and how he had behaved He was one of the lucky few who upon waking in the morning never have to be ashamed of the night before. Late one night, however, on his way home from a party meeting, a meeting which had dragged on for many hours, and at which he had often had to take the floor on matters of importance to him and his fellow workers, he ran into a friend whom he had known when they were both partisan fighters, He had not seen him since 1945 when he himself had marched off to the front while his friend, then seriously wounded, had gone to the hospital and stayed there until the end of the war.
This meeting so delighted them that they decided to celebrate it with a glass of vodka. They went to the nearest bar. The friend ordered a half pint; and when the bottom of the bottle showed, Franciszek called the waiter, and, so as not to give his friend the impression that he had gone completely rusty since the days of the underground, ordered another half pint
This put them in suda high spirits, they talked so heartily, and faded memories took on such brilliant colors, that they asked for a third half pint almost in one breath, and then the waiter himself, without asking them, served them a fourth. When they walked out, day was breaking, and the first bands of light were beginning to show in the gray sky. They said goodbye, afiecfionatdy shaking hands at great length, and then each went his way.
Franciszek walked briskly, keeping his eye on a line in the sidewalk, but he felt that some hitherto unknown forces were rocking him from side to side, and the line in the sidewalk kept vanishing from his field of vision. “I guess I’m a bit…”, he murmured, “abit. . .what the hell . . .”

Marek Hlasko (14 januari 1934 – 14 juni 1969)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 14e januari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.