John Grisham, Henry Roth, Jules Verne, Kate Chopin, Gabriele Reuter

De Amerikaanse schrijver John Grisham werd geboren in Jonesboro, Arkansas, op 8 februari 1955. Zie ook alle tags voor John Grisham op dit blog.

Uit: The Appeal

„The jury was ready.

After forty-two hours of deliberations that followed seventy-one days of trial that included 530 hours of testimony from four dozen witnesses, and after a lifetime of sitting silently as the lawyers haggled and the judge lectured and the spectators watched like hawks for telltale signs, the jury was ready. Locked away in the jury room, secluded and secure, ten of them proudly signed their names to the verdict while the other two pouted in their corners, detached and miserable in their dissension. There were hugs and smiles and no small measure of self-congratulation because they had survived this little war and could now march proudly back into the arena with a decision they had rescued through sheer determination and the dogged pursuit of compromise. Their ordeal was over; their civic duty complete. They had served above and beyond. They were ready.

The foreman knocked on the door and rustled Uncle Joe from his slumbers. Uncle Joe, the ancient bailiff, had guarded them while he also arranged their meals, heard their complaints, and quietly slipped their messages to the judge. In his younger years, back when his hearing was better, Uncle Joe was rumored to also eavesdrop on his juries through a ?imsy pine door he and he alone had selected and installed. But his listening days were over, and, as he had con?ded to no one but his wife, after the ordeal of this particular trial he might just hang up his old pistol once and for all. The strain of controlling justice was wearing him down.“


John Grisham (Jonesboro, 8 februari 1955)



De Amerikaanse schrijver Henry Roth werd geboren op 8 februari 1906 in Tysmenitz nabij Stanislawow, Galicië, in het toenmalige Oostenrijk-Hongarije. Zie ook alle tags voor Henry Roth op dit blog.

Uit: An American Type

I was courting a young woman, if the kind of brusque, uncertain, equivocal attentions I paid her might be called courting: it was for me at any rate, never having done it before.

I had met her at Yaddo, the artists’ colony, a place you’ve probably heard of, where writers, painters, and musicians were invited for the summer, or part of it, in the hope that, relieved of their usual pressures and preoccupations, and provided with abundant leisure, they would create. Unfortunately it didn’t work that way, as you’ve probably also heard. Most of us needed pressure and preoccupation, since, once there, we loafed or spent a great deal of time in frivolity and idle chatter. It was during the time of the Spanish Civil War, in 1938 to be exact, and of course that formed a part of our conversation, the fact that the Loyalists seemed on the verge of victory and yet incapable of gaining it. There was also at that time a kind of projection of the Marxist mood among young intellectuals. I mention these things to recall the mood of the time as it seemed to me.

I was then engaged in writing a second novel, which I had agreed to complete for my publisher. I had already written quite a section, and this opening section had been accepted and extolled. It was only necessary for me to finish it. But it went badly from then on; in fact, it had gone badly before I reached Yaddo — I can’t blame Yaddo for that: they provided me with the necessary environment to write in. It had gone badly — aims had become lost, purpose, momentum lost. A profound change seemed to be taking place within me in the way I viewed my craft, in my objectivity. It is difficult to say. I am, unfortunately, not analytical enough to be capable of isolating the trouble, though I don’t know what good that would have done either.“


Henry Roth (8 februari 1906 – 13 oktober 1995)


De Franse schrijver Jules Verne werd geboren in Nantes op 8 februari 1828. Zie ook alle tags voor Jules Verne op dit blog.

Uit: Naar het middelpunt der aarde (Vertaald door Gerard Keller)

„Op Zondag, den 25sten Mei 1863, keerde mijn oom, professor Lidenbrock, haastig terug naar zijn huisje No 19 van de Koningstraat, eene der oudste straten van de oude wijk te Hamburg.

De goede Martha zou bijna gedacht hebben veel te laat te zijn, want het middageten was nauwelijks aan de kook op het fornuis in de keuken.

“Goed,” zeide ik bij mij zelven, “als hij honger heeft, zal mijn oom, die de ongeduldigste mensch is, luide jammerkreten aanheffen.”

“Is mijnheer Lidenbrock daar reeds!” riep de goede Martha vol ontsteltenis, terwijl zij de deur der eetzaal op een kier zette.

“Ja, Martha! maar het eten behoeft nog niet klaar te zijn, want het is nog geen twee uur. De klok der St. Michaelskerk heeft pas half twee geslagen.”

“Waarom komt mijnheer Lidenbrock dan t’huis?”

“Dat zal hij ons wellicht zeggen.”

“Daar is hij! Ik maak mij uit de voeten. Mijnheer Axel! gij moet het hem maar onder het oog brengen.” En de goede Martha vluchtte naar de keuken.

Ik bleef alleen. Maar mijn min of meer besluiteloos karakter gedoogde niet, dat ik den opvliegendste van alle professoren iets onder het oog zou brengen. Ik maakte mij dus gereed om voorzichtig naar mijn bovenkamertje te wijken, toen de huisdeur op hare hengsels knarste, zware voetstappen de houten trap deden kraken, en de heer des huizes, de eetzaal doorgaande, terstond zijn studeervertrek binnenstormde.“


Jules Verne (8 februari 1828 – 24 maart 1905)
Affiche voor de film uit 2008


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Kate Chopin (pseudoniem van Katherine O’Flaherty) werd geboren op 8 februari 1851 in St. Louis. Zie ook alle tags voor Kate Chopin op dit blog.

Uit: The Awakening

„A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over:
“Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That’s all right!”
He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mocking-bird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his fluty notes out upon the breeze with maddening persistence.
Mr. Pontellier, unable to read his newspaper with any degree of comfort, arose with an expression and an exclamation of disgust. He walked down the gallery and across the narrow “bridges” which connected the Lebrun cottages one with the other. He had been seated before the door of the main house. The parrot and the mocking-bird were the property of Madame Lebrun, and they had the right to make all the noise they wished. Mr. Pontellier had the privilege of quitting their society when they ceased to be entertaining.
He stopped before the door of his own cottage, which was the fourth one from the main building and next to the last. Seating himself in a wicker rocker which was there, he once more applied himself to the task of reading the newspaper. The day was Sunday; the paper was a day old. The Sunday papers had not yet reached Grand Isle. He was already acquainted with the market reports, and he glanced restlessly over the editorials and bits of news which he had not had time to read before quitting New Orleans the day before.
Mr. Pontellier wore eye-glasses. He was a man of forty, of medium height and rather slender build; he stooped a little. His hair was brown and straight, parted on one side. His beard was neatly and closely trimmed.
Once in a while he withdrew his glance from the newspaper and looked about him. There was more noise than ever over at the house. The main building was called “the house,” to distinguish it from the cottages. The chattering and whistling birds were still at it. Two young girls, the Farival twins, were playing a duet from “Zampa” upon the piano.“


Kate Chopin (8 februari 1851 – 22 augustus 1904)


De Duitse schrijfster Gabriele Reuter werd geboren op 8 februari 1859 in Alexandrië. Zie ook alle tags voor Gabriele Reuter op dit blog.

Uit: Frauenseelen: Novellen (Treue)

„Nein — so ging es nicht weiter.

Sie konnte ihr Leben, wie es jetzt war, nicht länger ertragen und sie wollte auch nicht!

Fort, fort — gleichviel wohin! Nur ein paar Tage lang andere Luft atmen. Fremde Möbel um sich sehen und unbekannte Menschen, die sie nicht bemitleideten. Andere Wege wandern – Wege, von denen man noch nicht wußte, wohin sie führten. Nachts den Kopf auf ein Kissen legen, das nicht so viele, viele Thränen aufgesogen hatte. . .

O Gott, o Gott – einmal dem ewigen Schmerz entfliehen! Sie hütete und pflegte ihn schon lange genug, müde, hilf- und trostlos, wie eine Mutter ihr Kind, das niemals wieder gefund werden kann.

Aber allein mußte sie gehen. Das war die Hauptsache. Wenn sie Ernstchen mitnahm, würde der sie immer erinnern. . . Er hatte zuviel Aehnlichtkeit mit seinem Vater. Darin lag die tägliche Qual, von der der arme kleine Schelm nichts ahnte. Sie konnte die schmerzhafte Wollust nicht lassen: zu belauschen, wie die feinsten, seltsamsten Züge, die sie an Friedrich geliebt und durch die er sie gepeinigt hatte, in dem kleinen Jungen auferstanden und weiter wuchsen. Das nervös-sensibele Temperament, das in Freude und Leid gleich über alle Grenzen ging, und damit vereint das kalt Grüblerische, die beinahe lauernde Beobachtungsgabe—der ungeduldige Ekel an jeder Unvollkommenheit und bei einem Hang zur Melancholie die heftige Sehnsucht nach ruhiger, stetiger Heiterkeit. . . Uebrigens — kein Wunder — sie befaß all’ diese widersprechenden Eigenschaften ja selbst. Sie war eine ihrem Manne zu verwandte Natur, so sagte sie sich tausend mal. Darum hatten sie sich nicht in einander finden können. Die Schwierigkeiten, das Zerrissene, an dem er schon im eignen Wesen schwer genug trug, fand er bei ihr wieder. Es mußte ihn bis zum Wahnsinn reizen – da er sie einmal nicht mehr liebte oder vielleicht niemals geliebt hatte.“


Gabriele Reuter (8 februari 1859 – 18 november 1941)
Rond 1900