Louis Auchincloss, William Empson, Bernat Manciet, Edvard Kocbek, Michael Denis

De Amerikaanse schrijver Louis Stanton Auchincloss werd geboren op 27 september 1917 in Lawrence, New York. Hij stamt uit een rijke familie en groeide op in Manhatten. Hij studeerde rechten in Yale, waar hij ook zijn belangstelling voor Engelse en Franse literatuur cultiveerde. Na zijn studie werkte hij voor het advocatenkantoor Sullivan and Cromwell en schreef daarnaast romans, novellen, verhalen en non-fictie.

Uit: The Headmaster’s Dilemma

“Michael Sayre thought afterward that it had all started on an early spring afternoon in 1975 when he and Ione and Donald Spencer were sitting in the small rose garden behind the headmaster’s house having coffee after Sunday lunch. They had not eaten in the big school dining room at the main table because Donald Spencer, chairman of the trustees, had only limited time for what he had termed an important visit and had requested a meeting alone with the headmaster and his wife.

The residence that rose above them was a charming old New England manor house, and the great boarding school of which it was the center, to match it, had been tastefully conceived as a colonial village of sober and regular white house fronts grouped about a shimmering oblong lawn studded with elms and dominated at one end by the chapel, a chaste meeting house with a tall spire. As the institution had grown and expanded through the decades, other and larger buildings had been added and playing fields lain out, but these had been sufficiently distanced from the original village atmosphere of plain living and high thinking evoked by the school founder in the 1880s. Averhill, for all its four hundred students and great modern reputation, was still considered by many of its alumni and parents as a stalwart fortress against the creeping vulgarity of the day.

And so Michael liked to think of it. He had been headmaster for three years now, appointed as a result of the successful efforts of younger members of the board to convince the others that a leader was needed to make some adaptations to the exigencies of change in educational thinking. And he had already achievedsome of these: girls had just been admitted; the limits of the courses widened. He had come to Averhill with a considerable reputation as a liberal; he had been the admired editor of a popular radical newspaper and a nationally known protester of the war in Vietnam, and although some of the more conservative of the school trustees had gagged at his appointment, the general feeling was that if change had to come it had better come through one of their own.”


Louis Auchincloss (Lawrencw,  27 september 1917)



De Engelse dichter en criticus William Empson werd geboren op 27 september 1906  in Howden, Yorkshire. Hij studeerde eerste wiskunde aan het Magdalene College in Cambridge en later Engels. In 1930 publiceerde hij het literatuurkritische werk Seven Types of Ambiguity, dat een grote invloed zou uitoefenen op de New Criticism. Empson doceerde vervolgens enige jaren in China en Japan en werd toen hoogleraar in Sheffield. In 1935 verscheen de bundel Poems, in 1940 gevolgd door The Gathering Storm. In 1955 verscheen zijn laatste bundel Collected Poems.

Just a Smack at Auden 


Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end.

What is there to be or do?

What’s become of me or you?

Are we kind or are we true?

Sitting two and two, boys, waiting for the end.


Shall I build a tower, boys, knowing it will rend

Crack upon the hour, boys, waiting for the end?

Shall I pluck a flower, boys, shall I save or spend?

All turns sour, boys, waiting for the end.


Shall I send a wire, boys? Where is there to send?

All are under fire, boys, waiting for the end.

Shall I turn a sire, boys? Shall I choose a friend?

The fat is in the pyre, boys, waiting for the end.


Shall I make it clear, boys, for all to apprehend,

Those that will not hear, boys, waiting for the end,

Knowing it is near, boys, trying to pretend,

Sitting in cold fear, boys, waiting for the end?


Shall we send a cable, boys, accurately penned,

Knowing we are able, boys, waiting for the end,

Via the Tower of Babel, boys? Christ will not ascend.

He’s hiding in his stable, boys, waiting for the end.


Shall we blow a bubble, boys, glittering to distend,

Hiding from our trouble, boys, waiting for the end?

When you build on rubble, boys, Nature will append

Double and re-double, boys, waiting for the end.


Shall we make a tale, boys, that things are sure to mend,

Playing bluff and hale, boys, waiting for the end?

It will be born stale, boys, stinking to offend,

Dying ere it fail, boys, waiting for the end.


Shall we go all wild, boys, waste and make them lend,

Playing at the child, boys, waiting for the end?

It has all been filed, boys, history has a trend,

Each of us enisled, boys, waiting for the end.


What was said by Marx, boys, what did he perpend?

No good being sparks, boys, waiting for the end.

Treason of the clerks, boys, curtains that descend,

Lights becoming darks, boys, waiting for the end.


Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end.

Not a chance of blend, boys, things have got to tend.

Think of those who vend, boys, think of how we wend,

Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end.



William Empson (27 september 1906 – 15 april 1984)


De Occitaanse dichter en schrijver Bernat Manciet werd geboren op 27 december 1923 in Sabres. Van zijn ooms die priester waren leerde hij Latijn en Grieks. Toen WO II uitbrak begon hij aan een studie literatuur en politicologie. Hij werd diplomaat en werkte mee aan de processen van Neurenberg. Zijn baan in de diplomatie voerde hem naar Montevideo en Brazilië.



Praise to the rose


Rose, the desire of rose all indwelled

by flashes and birds, disturbed waters

in the spreading of a petal, all homes

opened, and full suns of stamens, suns,

of dawns screamed to dark places, let then gods be born

for covering you with clouds

wide desire of rose.


Impatient rose if you trust

to the emotions on your edges if

flesh over flesh all in one block

but henceforth breaker

of excrescences, of folds, of floors,

and this elastic dawn of far horizons

if you become haunted by sheaths and roses

you are a sad heaven, more than collapses, and

even more dawn and mor
e mouth.

Rose for you, chip,

tree of tears

tongue of dazzling grapes

all desire and freckles

there’s only rising suns

the mustered gushers are dissociating from each other –

tree of springs – all structure and overflow and soft fraud

where hair resolves itself into language

reddish rose where all fires picked

if sunset deducts and rolls up itself

the crimson a shadow of highness

oh! Labial armies, exchange

rose juice

for your emptiness evil summer

of fires turned night

                              – the licking.



Bernat Manciet (27 december 1923 – 3 juni 2005)



De Sloveense dichter, schrijver en essayist Edvard Kocbek werd in Sloveens Stiermarken geboren op 27 september 1904. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 september 2006 en ook mijn blog van 27 september 2008.




When my quiet thoughts reach for you, all that is sinful and alien

falls off me. The world again becomes solemn, innocent and

relaxed, like after a good deed. I leave the earth and take my

playful feet to the open sea. I start wandering away from the soil

where they sold the beautiful maiden, searching for her on the

rocking ground. I begin casting spells, singing, luring toward

myself, toying with depth jumping from wave to wave, on clouds,

through the ancient universe and mute grounds, singing the songs

of the transient, knowing all the melodies and voices, ways of

loving, ways of memories and prophecies, letting the wind rock my

scars, climbing over the fantasy, the whole world belongs to me,

only the song of the maiden eludes me, something essential is

fleeing, I listen to the falling of quarters of the moon and echoes of

hurricanes in Alaska, to the docile feeding of rustling Canadian

forests, but I cannot seize her though I sense her, I, hostage,

wanderer, wizard, and lover am seeking the maiden’s song through

the terrifying nothingness, roaming like the softest breeze through

the organ’s pipes, like grass through the spotty cow, or like weight

through the clutch of time, I am all covered with corals, maiden, let

nobody know where I am hiding and where I can find you, remain

the knowing darkness and the blessed pain under the waterfalls of

the river, in its clear flow from mill to mill.



Edvard Kocbek (27 september 1904 – 3 november 1981)


De Oostenrijkse dichter, bibliograaf, bibliothecaris en vertaler Johann Nepomuk Cosmas Michael Denis werd geboren in Schärding op 27 september 1729. De Jezuïet Denis was vanaf 1759 Professor aan de Weense Theresiaanse Academie en vanaf 1784 de conservator van de Hofbibliothek (nu de Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) in Wenen. Zijn werk omvat in Neolatijn geschreven Jezuëtentheater, lyriek en kerkliederen. De lyrische werken publiceerde hij vooral onder zijn pseudoniem Sined der Barde, waarbij Sined het omgekeerde van zijn achternaam is. Denis schreef ook bibliotheekwetenschappelijke werken en leerboeken als het eerste Oostenrijkse Lesebuch in 1762. In het gehele Duitse taalgebied werd hij bekend door de eerste Duitse vertaling van de werken van Ossian (1768/69), die als werken van een Keltische bard in heel Europa enthousiast ontvangen werden, maar eigenlijk door een tijdgenoot, James Macpherson, waren geschreven.


Charakteristik deutscher Schriftsteller


Wem einst der milden Vorsicht Hand

Mit Klopstock’s Schöpferkraft auch Winkelmann’s Verstand,

Abt’s Nachdruck, Lessing’s Witz, und Cramer’s Leichtigkeit,

Und Wieland’s Phantasie, und Rabner’s Scherz verleiht;

Kleist’s Aug
, Gleim’s Zärtlichkeit, und Gellert’s Unschuld schenkt:

Wer scharf wie Kästner, tief wie Moses denkt;

An Munterkeit noch Hagedornen gleicht,

Und nie von Geßner’s Einfalt weicht,

Den Tempel des Geschmacks betritt auf Rammler’s Spur,

Der ist ein Wunder der Natur!



Michael Denis (27 september 1729 – 29 september 1800)