Leigh Hunt, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Nardo Aluman, Philip Pullman, Andrew Vachss, Fannie Hurst, John le Carré

De Engelse dichter, schrijver en essayist James Leigh Hunt werd geboren op 19 oktober 1784 in Southgate, Middlesex. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2007 en ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


An Angel in the House 


How sweet it were, if without feeble fright,

Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight,

An angel came to us, and we could bear

To see him issue from the silent air

At evening in our room, and bend on ours

His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers

News of dear friends, and children who have never

Been dead indeed,–as we shall know forever.

Alas! we think not what we daily see

About our hearths,–angels that are to be,

Or may be if they will, and we prepare

Their souls and ours to meet in happy air;–

A child, a friend, a wife whose soft heart sings

In unison with ours, breeding its future wings.




The Nile 


It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,

Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,

And times and things, as in that vision, seem

Keeping along it their eternal stands,–

Caves, pillars, pyramids, the shepherd bands

That roamed through the young world, the glory extreme

Of high Sesostris, and that southern beam,

The laughing queen that caught the world’s great hands.

Then comes a mightier silence, stern and strong,

As of a world left empty of its throng,

And the void weighs on us; and then we wake,

And hear the fruitful stream lapsing along

‘Twixt villages, and think how we shall take

Our own calm journey on for human sake.



Leigh Hunt (19 oktober 1784 – 28 augustus 1859)




De Australische dichter Adam Lindsay Gordon werd geboren op 19 oktober 1833 op de Azoren. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


The Swimmer


With short, sharp violent lights made vivid,

To the southward far as the sight can roam,

Only the swirl of the surges livid,

The seas that climb and the surfs that comb,

Only the crag and the cliff to nor’ward,

And rocks receding, and reefs flung forward,

And waifs wreck’d seaward and wasted shoreward

On shallows sheeted with flaming foam.


A grim grey coast and a seaboard ghastly,

And shores trod seldom by feet of men —

Where the batter’d hull and the broken mast lie

They have lain embedded these long years ten.

Love! when we wander’d here together,

Hand in hand through the sparkling weather,

From the heights and hollows of fern and heather,

God surely loved us a little then.


Then skies were fairer and shores were firmer —

The blue sea over the bright sand roll’d;

Babble and prattle, and ripple and murmur,

Sheen of silver and glamour of gold —

And the sunset bath’d in the gulf to lend her

A garland of pinks and of purples tender,

A tinge of the sun-god’s rosy splendour,

A tithe of his glories manifold.


Man’s works are craven, cunning, and skillful

On earth where his tabernacles are;

But the sea is wanton, the sea is wilful,

And who shall mend her and who shall mar?

Shall we carve success or record disaster

On her bosom of heaving alabaster?

Will her purple pulse beat fainter or faster

For fallen sparrow or fallen star?


I would that with sleepy soft embraces

The sea would fold me — would find me rest

In luminous shades of her secret places,

In depths where her marvels are manifest,

So the earth beneath her should not discover

My hidden couch — nor the heaven above her —

As a strong love shielding a weary lover,

I would have her shield me with shining breast.


When light in the realms of space lay hidden,

When life was yet in the womb of time,

Ere flesh was fettered to fruits forbidden,

souls were wedded to care and crime,

Was the course foreshaped for the future spirit —

A burden of folly, a void of merit —

That would fain the wisdom of stars inherit,

And cannot fathom the seas sublime?


Under the sea or the soil (what matter?

The sea and the soil are under the sun),

As in the former days in the latter

The sleeping or waking is known of none,

Surely the sleeper shall not awaken

To griefs forgotten or joys forsaken,

For the price of all things given and taken,

The sum of all things done and undone.


Shall we count offences or coin excuses,

Or weigh with scales the soul of a man,

Whom a strong hand binds and a sure hand looses,

Whose light is a spark and his life a span?

The seed he sowed or the soil he cumber’d,

The time he served or the space he slumber’d,

Will it profit a man when his days are number’d,

Or his deeds since the days of his life began?


One, glad because of the light, saith, “Shall not

The righteous judges of all the earth do right,

For behold the sparrows on the house-tops fall not

Save as seemeth to Him good in His sight?”

And this man’s joy shall have no abiding

Through lights departing and lives dividing,

He is soon as one in the darkness hiding,

One loving darkness rather than light.


A little season of love and laughter,

Of light and life, and pleasure and pain,

And a horror of outer darkness after,

And dust returneth to dust again;

Then the lesser life shall be as the greater,

And the lover of light shall join the hater,

And the one thing cometh sooner or later,

And no one knoweth the loss or gain.


Love of my life! we had lights in season —

Hard to part with, harder to keep —

We had strength to labour and souls to reason,

And seed to scatter and fruits to reap.

Though time estranges and fate disperses,

We have had our loves and loving mercies.

Though the gifts of the light in the end are curses,

Yet bides the gift of darkness — sleep!


See! girt with tempest and wing’d with thunder,

And clad with lightning and shod with sleet,

The strong winds treading the swift waves sunder

The flying rollers with frothy feet.

One gleam like a bloodshot swordblade swims on

The skyline, staining the green gulf crimson

A death stroke fiercely dealt by a dim sun

That strikes through his stormy winding sheet.


Oh, brave white horses! you gather and gallop,

The storm sprite loosens the gusty reins;

Now the stoutest ship were the frailest shallop

In your hollow backs, or your high arch’d manes.

I would ride as never a man has ridden

In your sleepy swirling surges hidden,

To gulfs foreshadow’d, through straits forbidden,

Where no light wearies and no love wanes.



Adam Lindsay Gordon (19 oktober 1833 – 24 juni 1870)



De Guatemalteekse schrijver Miguel Ángel Asturias werd geboren op 19 oktober 1899 in Guatemala-Stad. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.



Punishment of Profundities (fragment)


Woodlands and abandoned cities burned
on the bank of rivers that roasted
stones and embankments,
bleeding gums
and teeth of buttery ash
like the distance that the golden-smoke azuacan
brings on its wings from southern lands.
Butterflies of turpentine
flew from the trunks of the pines.
Cataracts of orchid sweat
rained from the arms of the ceiba trees.
Fire dust fell from the dry oaks,
boiling balsam from the liquidambars
and to the perfume of tamarinds ablaze
was joined that of the cacao groves, a scent of chocolate,
amid the little bone cracks of the sapodillas ,
the rubber trees twisted in elastic columns,
the chicle trees dripping with milky hairs,
and the crackling conocastes ,
red blood of uprooted foliage,
and the sleeping white oaks ,
almost mineral,
and the fleshy mahoganies,
already butter from the touch of a constellation
that lost a foot in the conflagration of the sky
and now walked its leg of fire
in the conflagration of the land.

Whales gone astray in tropical seas,
phosphorescent, torrid flying seas,
playing vaqueros, they hurled jets of water
to lasso the tiger of the conflagration,
the tiger of squeaking rubies,
who recovered his comet-gone-mad ferocity
as he fell on the crystal hoop straps
of the blue vaqueros,
liquid lariats that held him,
paralyzed with surprise,
long enough to slow his escape,
his flight from the water-made-steam,
while the corsairs, floating islands with tiny eyes,
managed to rope him with new and more powerful
jets of water, slip-knot rings,
whose loops the tiger of squeaking rubies
pulled up among flames and stars,
toward the constellation of the mirage,
the one that lost its foot, the constellation of distance,
and toward the army of blue lakes
parapeted in the mouths of the higher volcanoes,
lakes that before falling into fragments –
conquered, evaporated –
and, coiled on the tiger of rubies, galloped with him,
transformed into serpents of turquoise flames.

The earth was subjected
to a punishment of profundities.
After the conflagration, the invisible rains,
the soil overturned, the hurricane of mud,
the razors of the sun,
the chichicaste nettle in the living flesh…
a punishment of profundities
for having made room
for the first barbarian, not the last,
for the first human beast,
for the first executioner
in my country forged of honey.



Vertaald door Robert W. Lebling



Miguel Ángel Asturias (19 oktober 1899 – 9 juni 1974)


De Surinaamse schrijver Nardo Aluman (eig. Ronald Renardo Aloema werd geboren in Christiaankondre op 19 oktober 1946. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: De hond en de papegaai


“Het verhaal van de hond en de papegaai [kulewago] is een voorbeeld van een categorie van verhalen waarvan er talloze zijn. Ze worden vooral verteld vanwege het amusement – voor de luisteraar, maar ook voor de vertelster. In dit geval was dat wijlen La’imo (geboren ca 1893, in Langamankondre), de echtgenote van Yanumesi, die gedurende vele jaren kapitein was van Christiaankondre. La’imo overleed in 1968. Het verhaal vertelde zij, zittend temidden van een groot aantal van haar kleinkinderen.


… mohkaron amïkon tïwaiyeman, parï, penaro, isenurupiriyako, pïitono, ohko tïwaiye mandon …


…. er waren eens, kleinkind, lang geleden, in de fabeltijd, twee jonge mannen. Broers, ze waren broers van elkaar. Vervolgens zijn ze misschien wel gaan jagen. Twee, één hond was er, hij was hun huisdier, en één papegaai. De papegaai zat op een balk van het huis. De hond lag op de grond. Ze waren gaan jagen. Eerst wisten ze van niets. Dan gaan ze weg [om te gaan jagen]. Ze gaan ver weg. Eerst gaan ze heel ver weg. Ze komen weer thuis. Hé, er was kasiri gemaakt [een van cassave gemaakte, licht alcoholische drank]. In een grote kom misschien, in een samaku [een pot van 70-80 cm hoog]. Lang geleden hadden de Indianen zulke grote potten. Ze komen weer thuis. Hé, er was kasiri gemaakt, [het stond] onder de dakrand van het huis. Dan praten ze met elkaar. ‘Wie heeft die kasiri gemaakt’; zegt hij tegen zijn oudere broer. ‘Dat vraag ik me ook af’, zegt hij. De papegaai zit nog steeds op de balk. Hij draait z’n kop heen en weer. Hij ziet z’n baas komen. De hond kwispelt met z’n staart, uit blijdschap om z’n baas. Door hen is de kasiri gemaakt.

Ze waren weer weggegaan. Nadat hun baas is weggegaan trekt de hond z’n huid uit. De papegaai legt z’n veren af. Ze gaan snel kasiri maken. De kasiri wordt door hun gemaakt. Hun kasiri is rood, dan drinken zij [de mannen] het als kasiri, het is drank. ‘Welk wezen heeft deze kasiri gemaakt’, zeggen ze. Ze denken na. Zo gebeurde het misschien driemaal. Ze gaan weer ver weg. Daarna wordt het [de drank] door hen [de mannen] opgemaakt. Ze [de huisdieren] maakten misschien maar een beetje. Dan gaan ze [de mannen] weer weg. Dan is er weer kasiri gemaakt. Ze komen thuis. ‘Welk wezen toch heeft het gemaakt, vraag ik me af’, zeggen ze. ‘Wie toch, vrouwen zijn er niet, geen enkele’, zeggen ze. De hond is er, en de papegaai, het zijn hun huisdieren. Ze kijken, de papegaai praat niet en zit op de balk. De hond ligt daar op de grond. Vanaf dat moment doen ze alsof ze weggaan. Ze gaan zich verbergen achter de stam van een grote boom. Ze willen zien of het een Indiaan is [die de kasiri maakt]. Vervolgens gaan ze weer weg.”



Nardo Aluman (Christiaankondre, 19 oktober 1946)


De Amerikaanse schrijver Andrew Vachss werd geboren op 19 oktober 1942 in New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: Mask Market


“I’m not the client,” the ferret seated across from me said. He was as thin as a garrote, with a library-paste complexion, the facial skin surrounding his veined-quartz eyes as papery as dried flowers. He was always room temperature. “You know me, Burke. I only work the middle.”

“I don’t know you,” I lied. “You knew—you say you knew—my brother. But if you did—”

“Yeah, I know he’s gone,” the ferret said, meeting my eyes, the way you do when you’ve got nothing to hide. With him, it was an invitation to search an empty room. “But you’ve got the same name, right? He never had any first name that I knew; so what would I call you, I meet you for the first time?”

It’s impossible to actually look into my eyes, because you have to do it one at a time. One eye is a lot lighter than the other, and they don’t track together anymore.

A few years ago, I was tricked into an ambush. The crossfire cost me my looks, and my partner her life. I mourn her every day—the hollow blue heart tattooed between the last two knuckles of my right hand is Pansy’s tombstone—but I don’t miss my face. True, it was a lot more anonymous than the one I’ve got now. Back then, I was a walking John Doe: average height, average weight — generic lineup filler. But a lot of different people had seen that face in a lot of different places. And the State had a lot of photographs of it, too—they don’t throw out old mug shots.

I’d come into the ER without a trace of ID, dropped at the door by the Prof and Clarence—they knew I was way past risking the do-it-yourself kit we kept around for gunshot wounds.

Since the government doesn’t pay the freight for cosmetic surgery on derelicts, the hospital went into financial triage, no extras. So the neat, round keloid scar on my right cheek is still there, and the top of my left ear is still as flat as if it had been snipped off. And when the student surgeons repaired the cheekbone on the right side of my face, they pulled the skin so tight that it looked like one of the bullets I took had been loaded with Botox. My once-black hair is steel-gray now—it turned that shade while I was in a coma from the slugs, and never went back.”



Andrew Vachss (New York, 19 oktober 1942)


De Britse schrijver Philip Pullman werd geboren op 19 oktober 1946 in Norwich als zoon van een luchtmachtofficier. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: The Golden Compass

“Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. The three great tables that ran the length of the hall were laid already, the silver and the glass catching what little light there was, and the long benches were pulled out ready for the guests. Portraits of former Masters hung high up in the gloom along the walls. Lyra reached the dais and looked back at the open kitchen door, and, seeing no one, stepped up beside the high table. The places here were laid with gold, not silver, and the fourteen seats were not oak benches but mahogany chairs with velvet cushions.

Lyra stopped beside the Master’s chair and flicked the biggest glass gently with a fingernail. The sound rang clearly through the hall.

“You’re not taking this seriously,” whispered her daemon. “Behave yourself.”

Her daemon’s name was Pantalaimon, and he was currently in the form of a moth, a dark brown one so as not to show up in the darkness of the hall.

“They’re making too much noise to hear from the kitchen,” Lyra whispered back. “And the Steward doesn’t come in till the first bell. Stop fussing.”

But she put her palm over the ringing crystal anyway, and Pantalaimon fluttered ahead and through the slightly open door of the Retiring Room at the other end of the dais. After a moment he appeared again.

“There’s no one there,” he whispered. “But we must be quick.”

Crouching behind the high table, Lyra darted along and through the door into the Retiring Room, where she stood up and looked around. The only light in here came from the fireplace, where a bright blaze of logs settled slightly as she looked, sending a fountain of sparks up into the chimney. She had lived most of her life in the College, but had never seen the Retiring Room before: only Scholars and their guests were allowed in here, and never females. Even the maid-servants didn’t clean in here. That was the Butler’s job alone.”


philip pullman

Philip Pullman (Norwich, 19 oktober 1946)



De Amerikaanse schrijfster Fannie Hurst werd geboren op 19 oktober 1889 in Hamilton, Ohio. Zie ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2008.


Uit: Fannie: The Talent for Success of Writer Fannie Hurst  (Biografie door Brooke Kroeger)

“What I lack is rhythm”
The first known published work of Fannie Hurst appeared in her high school newspaper at Christmastime 1904, the month before she graduated. “An Episode,” a nine-paragraph story, sketches a few moments in
the life of a wealthy, powerful, but godless man alone with his conscience in a cathedral. Overcome by the haunting majesty of his surroundings, he watched his misdeeds pass before him. Pain and remorse engulfed him. He sat crouched alone on a pew until the last echoes of “Ave Maria” died away.
Then he rose, and went out, and as he went he said, “I have knowledge, I have power–what I lack is rhythm.”
Then he threw back his head and laughed, long and loud and bitterly, and went off into the dusk.
Fannie Hurst, the daughter of now quite comfortable, assimilated German Jews with deadening middle-class aspirations, wanted to be a writer. She liked to claim that the Saturday Evening Post mailed back her manuscripts as if by boomerang from the time she was fourteen. This did not deter her. Nor did her mother’s dire prediction that she would end up “an old-maid schoolteacher like Tillie Strauss,” the sad and lonely spinster daughter of one of her mother’s friends. Fannie defied this well-meant but suffocating opposition and compromised only enough to go to college in St. Louis, her hometown. She entered Washington University in the fall of 1905, a month before she turned twenty.
Fannie and her classmates watched much ground break. The handsome new Gothic-style “Quad” had been a site for the most defining seven months of the century for St. Louis, the “Universal Exposition,” more commonly known as the 1904 World’s Fair. The trees thatlined the campus drives were only saplings in those days, reminding Fannie of “the knees of newborn calves.”



Fannie Hurst (19 oktober 1889 – 23 februari 1968)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 19 oktober 2006

De Britse schrijver John le Carré werd geboren op 19 oktober 1931 in Poole, Dorset, Engeland.