Uit: The Letawitza (Vertaald door Sarah Dean)
“It was an unlucky day for the chase: two hazel-hens and a big vulture comprised the whole booty. “It is the fault of that confounded sorceress!” exclaimed the gamekeeper, taking off his hat, and wiping the large drops of perspiration on his forehead on the puffed sleeves of his shirt; then he handed me some brandy in a gourd, yellow and chubby as a Barbary ape.
At dawn we had, it is true, in starting out on our expedition, met a little old woman, all withered up, who was searching for mushrooms in the brushwood; and now evening was falling, and there was nothing left for us but to return to the house. The sun was setting, red and angry, behind the huge blocks of granite that like great crumbling towers overhang the grey, jagged sides of the Carpathian Mountains. Nothing else was to be seen, unless it were an old stunted trunk, which, stretching out from the rubbish over the slippery declivity, seemed to reach towards us its long, gnarled arms. It stood projected against the sky, with its bent back, its hanging chevelure and mossy beard, absolutely like our Jew; but it clings, firm and immovable, to the rock, as he also knows how to hold on energetically to whatever his thin bony hands have once seized.
We descended rapidly by a path draped with bilberries and rhododendrons, our dog panting painfully behind us, and passed under the green canopy of pines. The subdued noise of a distant waterfall accompanied us. The tall, green, feathery tree-tops, which shot up toward heaven with solemn majesty, began to mingle with the golden, rosy horizon, while from their slender trunks escaped their amber-coloured resinous juice. Red and purple berries, with the large forest flowers, made designs like a many-coloured embroidery upon the velvety moss which spread among the interlacing roots; and deep shadows fell from above upon the branches, like black drops between the motionless needles..”
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (27 januari 1836 – 9 maart 1895)
Standbeeld in Lviv, Oekraïne
Uit: Eine Liebeserklärung an die Zeitung (Welt-On-Line, 2009)
„Den schmissigen Einstiegssatz zu diesem Text finden Sie im Internet. Dort, wo Sie alles finden, lieber Leser. Besuchen Sie doch mal unsere Seite, diskutieren Sie mit, klicken Sie einfach mal – nein, ich möchte Sie keineswegs loswerden. Klingt aber so, nicht wahr?
Dauernd wird man ins Internet geschickt, auf beinahe jeder Zeitungsseite, in so ziemlich jeder Fernsehsendung, in jedem CD-Booklet. Den Zeitungen geht es schlecht, dem herkömmlichen Fernsehen geht es schlecht; die Musikindustrie: im akuten Opel-Stadium.
Schuld, das ist bekannt, ist das Internet. Da gehen alle immerzu “rein” – und was unternehmen die klassischen, sich selbst darob als überkommen fühlenden Medien dagegen?
Nichts, sie tun, im Gegenteil, alles dafür: Auf unserer Internetseite finden Sie dies und das, tolle Extra-Inhalte, chatten Sie mit unserem Experten, laden Sie sich Schnickschnack herunter, schicken Sie uns Ihre Meinung, Ihre Fotos, schicken Sie uns irgendwas, ach, bitte, bitte, besuchen Sie uns doch einfach mal!
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Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre (Bremen, 27 januari 1975)
Uit: Last To Die
„The rainstorm was blinding, and Sally was way behind schedule. She hadn’t intended to be late, fashionably or otherwise. She just wasn’t good with directions, and this wasn’t exactly her neck of the woods.
Sheets of water pelted the windshield, sounding like marbles bouncing off glass. She adjusted the wipers, but they were already working at full speed. She couldn’t remember rain like this in years, not since she and her first husband lost their restaurant to that no-name tropical storm.
Orange taillights flashed ahead. A stream of cars was inching down the highway at the speed of cooling lava. She slowed to somewhere below the school-zone limit, then checked her watch. Eleven twenty-five.
Damn. He’d just have to wait. She’d get there, eventually.
Their meeting had been arranged by telephone. They’d spoken only once, and his instructions were simple enough. Thursday, 11 P.M. Don’t be late. She didn’t dare reschedule, not even in this weather. This was her man. She was sure of it.
Just ahead, a neon sign blinked erratically, as if shaken by the storm. It was like trying to read an eye chart at the bottom of a lake, and she could only make out part of it: S-P-something-something-K-Y-apostrophe-S.
“Sparky’s,” she read aloud. This was the place. She steered off the highway and pulled into the flooded parking lot. Under all this water, she could only guess as to the exact location of the parking spot. She killed the engine and checked her face in the rearview mirror. Lightning flashed — a close one. It lit up the inside of her car and unleashed a crack of thunder that sent shivers down her spine. It frightened her, then triggered a bemused smile. How ironic would that have been? After all this planning, to get hit by lightning.“
James Grippando (Waukegan, 27 januari 1958)
Uit: Alice in Wonderland
“Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead: before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a comer, “Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” She was close behind it when she turned the comer, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof.
There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again.
Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass: there was nothing on it but a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first idea was that this might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!
Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway; “and even if my head would go through,” thought poor Alice, “it would be of very little use without my shoulders. Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only knew how to begin.” For, you see, so many out-of-the- way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.”
Lewis Carroll (27 januari 1832 – 14 januari 1898)
Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 27e januari ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.