Joseph Brodsky, Michael Chabon, Bob Dylan, Henri Michaux, William Trevor, Tobias Falberg, Arnold Wesker


De Russisch-Amerikaanse dichter Joseph Brodsky werd op 24 mei 1940 in Leningrad (het huidige St.Petersburg) geboren als Iosif Brodski. Zie ook mijn blog van 24 mei 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Joseph Brodsky op dit blog.


A Song

I wish you were here, dear, I wish you were here.
I wish you sat on the sofa
and I sat near.
the handkerchief could be yours,
the tear could be mine, chin-bound.
Though it could be, of course,
the other way around.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish we were in my car,
and you’d shift the gear.
we’d find ourselves elsewhere,
on an unknown shore.
Or else we’d repair
To where we’ve been before.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish I knew no astronomy
when stars appear,
when the moon skims the water
that sighs and shifts in its slumber.
I wish it were still a quarter
to dial your number.

I wish you were here, dear,
in this hemisphere,
as I sit on the porch
sipping a beer.
It’s evening, the sun is setting;
boys shout and gulls are crying.
What’s the point of forgetting
If it’s followed by dying?




Constancy is an evolution of one’s living quarters into
a thought: a continuation of a parallelogram or a rectangle
by means—as Clausewitz would have put it—
of the voice and, ultimately, the gray matter.
Ah, shrunken to the size of a brain-cell parlor
with a lampshade, an armoire in the “Slavic
Glory” fashion, four studded chairs, a sofa,
a bed, a bedside table with
little medicine bottles left there standing like
a kremlin or, better yet, manhattan.
To die, to abandon a family, to go away for good,
to change hemispheres, to let new ovals
be painted into the square—the more
volubly will the gray cell insist
on its actual measurements, demanding
daily sacrifice from the new locale,
from the furniture, from the silhouette in a yellow
dress; in the end—from your very self.
A spider revels in shading especially the fifth corner.
Evolution is not a species’
adjustment to a new environment but one’s memories’
triumph over reality, the ichthyosaurus pining
for the amoeba, the slack vertebrae of a train
thundering in the darkness, past
the mussel shells, tightly shut for the night, with their
spineless, soggy, pearl-shrouding contents.


Joseph Brodsky (24 mei 1940 – 28 januari 1996)
Een jonge Brodsky


De Amerikaanse schrijver Michael Chabon werd geboren op 24 mei 1963 in Washington. Zie ook alle tags voor Michael Chabon op dit blog.

Uit: Wonder Boys

“It was in this man’s class that I first began to wonder if people who wrote fiction were not suffering from some kind of disorder–from what I’ve since come to think of, remembering the wild nocturnal rocking of Albert Vetch, as the midnight disease. The midnight disease is a kind of emotional insomnia; at every conscious moment its victim–even if he or she writes at dawn, or in the middle of the afternoon–feels like a person lying in a sweltering bedroom, with the window thrown open, looking up at a sky filled with stars and airplanes, listening to the narrative of a rattling blind, an ambulance, a fly trapped in a Coke bottle, while all around him the neighbors soundly sleep. this is in my opinion why writers–like insomniacs–are so accident-prone, so obsessed with the calculus of bad luck and missed opportunities, so liable to rumination and a concomitant inability to let go of a subject, even when urged repeatedly to do so.”

“I closed my eyes and I thought of the lash of her skirt snapping around her as she danced one evening in a bar on the South Side to a jukebox that was playing “Barefootin’,” of the downy slope of her neck and the declivity in her nightgown as she bent to wash her face in the bathroom sink, of a tuna salad sandwich she’d handed me one windy afternoon as we sat at a picnic table in Lucia, California, and looked out for the passage of whales, and I felt that I loved Emily insofar as I loved those things – beyond reason, and with a longing that made me want to hang my head – but it was a love that felt an awful lot like nostalgia.”


Michael Chabon (Washington, 24 mei 1963)



De Amerikaanse zanger, songwriter en dichter Bob Dylan werd geboren als Robert Allen Zimmerman op 24 mei 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. Zie ook alle tags voor Bob Dylan op dit blog.


Tomorrow is a Long Time

If today was not a crooked highway,
If tonight was not a crooked trail,
If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time,
Then lonesome would mean nothing to ye at all.

Yes, ‘n’ only if my own true love was waitin’,
‘N’ if I could only hear her heart a-softly poundin’,
Yes, ‘n’ only if she was lyin’ by me,
Then I’d lie in my bed once again.

I can’t see my reflection in the water,
I can’t speak the sounds to show no pain,
I can’t hear the echo of my footsteps,
Or remember the sounds of my own name.

Yes, ‘n’ only if my own true love was waitin’,
‘N’ if I could only hear her heart a-softly poundin’,
Yes, ‘n’ only if she was lyin’ by me,
Then I’d lie in my bed once again.

There’s beauty in that silver, singin’ river,
There’s beauty in that rainbow in the sky,
But none of these and nothin’ else can touch the beauty
That I remember in my true love’s eyes.

Yes, ‘n’ only if my own true love was waitin’,
If I could only hear her heart a-softly poundin’,
Yes, ‘n’ only if she was lyin’ by me,
Then I’d lie in my bed once again.


Bob Dylan (Duluth, 24 mei 1941)



De Franse schrijver, dichter  en schilder Henri Michaux werd geboren op 24 mei 1899 in Namur in België. Zie ook alle tags voor Henri Michaux op dit blog.


Les Petits Soucis de Chacun

Une fourmi ne s’inquiète pas d’un aigle.
La fureur, la férocité du tigre n’évoque rien dans son esprit, l’œil féroce de l’aigle ne la fascine pas, pas du tout.
Dans une fourmilière jamais il n’est question d’aigles.
La lumière en petits bonds n’inquiète guère un chien.
Cependant un microbe qui voit arriver la lumière, les éléments des rayons un tout petit peu plus petits que lui, mais nombreux, nombreux et durs, pressent avec détresse les
battements innombrables qui vont le disloquer, le secouer jusqu’à la mort; même le damné gonocoque qui fait tellement pour compliquer les relations entre hommes et femmes, pris
de désespoir abandonne, forcé, sa dure vie.


Le Vent

Le vent essaie d’écarter les vagues de la mer.
Mais les vagues tiennent à la mer, n’est-ce pas évident, et le vent tient à souffler… non, il ne tient pas à souffler, même devenu tempête ou bourrasque il n’y
tient pas.
Il tend aveuglément, en fou et en maniaque, vers un endroit de parfait calme, de bonace, où il sera enfin tranquille, tranquille.

Comme les vagues de la mer lui sont indifférentes!
Qu’elles soient sur la mer ou sur un clocher, ou dans une roue dentée ou sur la lame d’un couteau, peu lui chaut.
Il va vers un endroit de quiétude et de paix où il cesse enfin d’être vent.

Mais son cauchemar dure déjà depuis longtemps.


Henri Michaux (24 mei 1899 – 19 oktober 1984)



De Ierse schrijver William Trevor werd geboren op 24 mei 1928 in Mitchelstown, County Cork. Zie ook mijn blog van 24 mei 2009 en ook mijn blog van 24 mei 2010

Uit: Cheating at Canasta: The Dressmaker’s Child

“He tried the bolt again but the WD-40 hadn’t begun to work yet. He was a lean, almost scrawny youth, dark-haired, his long face usually unsmiling. His garage overalls, over a yellow T-shirt, were oil-stained, gone pale where their green dye had been washed out of them. He was nineteen years old.
“Hullo,” a voice said. A man and a woman, strangers, stood in the wide-open doorway of the garage.
“Howya,” Cahal said.
“It’s the possibility, sir,” the man inquired, “you drive us to the sacred Virgin?”
“Sorry?” And Cahal’s father shouted up from the pit, wanting to know who was there. “Which Virgin’s that?” Cahal asked.
The two looked at one another, not attempting to answer, and then it occurred to Cahal that they were foreign people, who had not understood. A year ago a German had driven his Volkswagen into the garage, with a noise in the engine, so he’d said. “I had hopes it’d be the big end,” Cahal’s father admitted afterward, but it was only the catch of the bonnet gone a bit loose. A couple from America had had a tire put on their hired car a few weeks after that, but there’d been nothing since.
“Of Pouldearg,” the woman said. “Is it how to say it?”
“The statue you’re after?”
They nodded uncertainly and then with more confidence, both of them at the same time.
“Aren’t you driving, yourselves, though?” Cahal asked them.”


William Trevor (Mitchelstown, 24 mei 1928)



De Duitse schrijver en tekenaar Tobias Falberg werd geboren op 24 mei 1976 in Wittenberg. Zie ook alle tags voor Tobias Falberg op dit blog.


Zwischenhalt vor jetzt

Fahrtsignal, Kachel-
raster außen und innen
wir, gegenüber

die Schatten-
werferin: ihr Mund, Ronde, ihre kreisende
Hüfte erzeugt Wärme und das Verlangen nach

ihr bricht das Genick, in Gedanken-
schlingen geraten, bricht ihr
der Kopf ab: Platinen, Kabel, das blecherne,
jetzt blecherne Stammeln

ist keine Antwort,
zwischen Stahlrad und Bahnsteig,
die es zerreiben, das Gedächtnis
berechnet sich neu.


Tobias Falberg (Wittenberg, 24 mei 1976)



De Britse schrijver Arnold Wesker werd geboren op 24 mei 1932 in Londen. Zie ook alle tags voor Arnold Wesker op dit blog..

Uit: Diary 1956

“Monday 9 July 1956
At nine o’clock, I went into the restaurant with my few knives and my recipe book . . . a large kitchen which starts off being clean then becomes dirty and greasy – and desperately slippery – until kitchen porters come round to lay sawdust and sweep up, which they continue to do at regular intervals.
New places are cloudy; things people say sound vague, for one is attempting to take it all in at once and of course never succeeds. I was presented with some lemons to peel and slice; some onions, eggs and gherkins to chop and put into a tin of vinegar and oil; then I was shown how to cook and serve cervelle – some poor animal’s brains – and pied de veau – a ghastly evil smelling meat which I think we give to dogs in England. This and some sausages and spaghetti was my department. I had to have it ready, serve it, and keep a continual watch that I was stocked up.
The chef nearest me offered some white wine. Unheeding, and not wishing to appear unable, I took a basinful and swallowed it. I was very thirsty. Then we ate. I cooked myself a steak and chips, followed with flan and yoghurt and red wine and pink wine and blue wine and all sorts of water and then – then I started cooking and serving. I had only the vaguest idea of what I was doing and what was expected of me. Rows of pretty French waitresses began forming patient queues for what I was cooking. People appeared out of nowhere and yelled for Cervelle] Saucisse] Pied de veau] – single, together, without potatoes, with them . . .”


Arnold Wesker (Londen, 24 mei 1932)



Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 24e mei ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.