Michael Mann, Meira Delmar, Alistair MacLean, Jamie McKendrick, Népomucène Lemercier

De Duitse literatuurwetenschapper en musicus Michael Mann werd als jongste kind van Thomas en Katia Mann geboren op 21 april 1919 in München. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2010.


Uit: Familienbande (roman van Michael Degen over Michael Mann)


„Bald verlangte der Junge auserst geschickt nach der Brust Mieleins. Dem Vater war es ein Grauel, Derartiges mit ansehen zu mussen. Er floh vor dem unerklarlichen Ekel, den ihm das mannliche Gebaren des Sauglings einfloste. Man fing an, sich aus ordinarer Watte birnenformige Ohrstopsel zu drehen, doch das reichte nicht hin. Dann ging man dazu uber, die damals gerade aufkommenden Damenbinden zu zerfleddern, deren Material der altesten Schwester, Eri, undurchlassiger zu sein schien und die sie mit groser Sorgfalt zu winzigen Kugelchen verarbeitete.

Es war alles umsonst. Babys Stimme wurde von Nacht zu Nacht kraftiger und lies besonders Pielein, den kreativen Grosverdiener der Familie, leiden. Wenn dieser die Beherrschung zu verlieren drohte und Anstalten machte, in Babys Zimmer zu sturzen, um es zur Ordnung zu rufen, stand immer schon Mielein mit besorgtem Blick in der Tur und bat stumm um Nachsicht.

Hilflos kehrte Pielein dann in sein Zimmer zuruck, wahrend Mielein den Jungen zu sich ins Bett hinuberrettete. Das hatte stets Erfolg.

Doch die ungewohnte Stille machte es nicht einfacher. Die grosen Geschwister, Klaus und Erika, waren hellwach, sasen im Flur vor ihren Zimmern auf dem Boden und warteten kichernd auf den nachsten Anfall ihres kleinen Bruders. Der kam prompt, sobald Mielein den Schlafenden in sein Bett zuruckzutragen versuchte. Dann vergrub Aissi, wie man den altesten Sohn nannte, seinen spitz zulaufenden Nasenerker im Schos seiner Schwester, um sein hemmungsloses Gelachter zu ersticken.“



Michael Mann (21 april 1919  – 1 januari 1977)

Thomas, Katia, Elisabeth en Michael Mann op Sylt, 1927


De Columbiaanse dichteres Meira Delmar (eig. Olga Isabel Chams Eljach) werd geboren in  Barranquilla op 21 april 1922. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2010.



Secret Island

Let time pass between the two
without letting us change soul and soul.

We have remained fixed, one and the other,
with the impassive solitude of statues,
your face in the background of my still eyes,
my face in your gaze.

In vain are the birds, the clouds,
and the sky always fleeing
toward the sunset.
The sea, the sea of the unfathomable heart with
its spread-out sails and its lighthouses.

The trees that come smiling
through the very first leaves,
the rain that models its fine towers
of glass, the mornings,
summer . . .

As blind men we are. As blind men
of a luminous wind that lifts us
and takes us avidly,
no one knows where.

And everything surrounds us without touching us
in this fantastic love of love
and of silence.


Vertaald door Nicolás Suescún


Meira Delmar (21 april 1922 – 18 maart 2009)




De Schotse schrijver Alistair Stuart MacLean werd geboren op 21 april 1922 in Glasgow. Zie ook mijn blog van 28 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 28 april 2009en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2010.


Uit: Puppet on a Chain


„I’d spoken briefly to the stewardess on the way across. A charming girl, but given to a certain unwarranted optimism in her outlook on life in general and I had to take issue with her on two points: I hadn’t enjoyed the flight and I didn’t expect to enjoy my stay in Amsterdam. I hadn’t enjoyed the flight because I hadn’t enjoyed any flight since that day two years ago when the engines of a DC 8 had failed only seconds after take-off and led to the discovery of two things: that an unpowered jet has the gliding characteristics of a block of concrete and that plastic surgery can be very long, very painful, very expensive and occasionally not very successful. Nor did I expect to enjoy Amsterdam, even though it is probably the most beautiful city in the world with the friendliest inhabitants you’ll find anywhere: it’s just that the nature of my business trips abroad automatically precludes the enjoyment of anything.

As the big KLM DC 8 — I’m not superstitious, any plane can fall out of the sky — sank down, I glanced round its crowded interior. The bulk of the passengers, I observed, appeared to share my belief in the inherent madness of flying: those who weren’t using their finger-nails to dig holes in KLM’s upholstery were either leaning back with excessive nonchalance or chattering with the bright gay animation of those brave spirits who go to their impending doom with a quip on their smiling lips, the type who would have waved cheerfully to the admiring throngs as their tumbril drew up beside the guillotine. In short, a pretty fair   cross-section   of   humanity.   Distinctly   law-abiding. Definitely non-villainous. Ordinary: even nondescript.“


Alistair MacLean (21 april 1922 – 2 februari 1987)




De Franse dichter en schrijver Népomucène Lemercier werd geboren op 21 april 1771 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2010.


La panhypocrisiade (Fragment)


J’en pleure et ris ensemble ; et tour à tour je crois
Retrouver Héraclite et Démocrite en moi.
Hu ! hu ! dis-je en pleurant, quoi ! ce dieu qui digère,
Quoi ! tant d’effets si beaux, le ventre les opère !
Hu ! hu ! lamentons-nous ! hu ! quels honteux destins,
De nous tant agiter pour nos seuls intestins !
Hu ! hu ! hu ! de l’esprit quel pitoyable centre !
L’homme en tous ses travaux a donc pour but le ventre !
Mais tel que Grand-Gousier pleurant sur Badebec,
Se tournant vers son fils sent ses larmes à sec ;
Hi ! hi ! dis-je en riant, hi ! hi ! hi ! quel prodige,
Qu’ainsi depuis Adam le ventre nous oblige
À labourer, semer, moissonner, vendanger,
Bâtir, chasser, pêcher, combattre, naviguer,
Peindre, chanter, danser, forger, filer et coudre,
Alambiquer, peser les riens, l’air et la poudre,
Étre prédicateurs, poètes, avocats,
Titrer, mitrer, bénir, couronner des Midas,
Nous lier à leur cour comme à l’unique centre,
Hi ! hi ! tout cela, tout, hi ! hi ! hi ! pour le ventre !



Népomucène Lemercier (21 april 1771 – 7 juni 1840)

Portret door Isabey Jean Baptiste




Onafhankelijk van geboortedagen:


De Engelse dichter en vertaler Jamie McKendrickwerd geboren in 1955 in Liverpool. Zie ook mijn blog van 21 april 2007 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2008 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2009 en ook mijn blog van 21 april 2010.


The Resort


Red-eyed and flinching, Flavius
was applying a depilatory paste
of ivy gum and crushed centipede
to little effect. The sudden silence meant
they were waiting for that smooth-cheeked
decimvir to swivel his thumb
over in the arena. Brats of empire
— they’d think the world revolved around them
if they thought the world revolved
which of course it doesn’t. It stays put
or gets worse like this heat. A plague
of copulating crystal-winged flies


alights indifferently on plates of meat,
on fruit, on us — a sign of thunder or just
more heat. A sated roar comes from the stalls.
Wild beasts are all the rage in Rome
and here too we import somnolent crocodiles
that only strike when the prisoner’s goaded
within three steps of their jaws;
and a great ape that can tear men apart.
My friend Smyntheus, aptly named
after the god of plagues, has had his walls
turned into an entire menagerie
by a Greek dauber with a taste for narrative.


But waiting for war all narrative
has forsaken us: as if these workouts
were reason enough for our existence
or at least provided one for strigils.
I claim the word’s derived from stryx, the owl,
from the shape of the owl’s claw, but Smyntheus
calls that spurious etymology and says
the two words are unrelated and the only
animals involved at all are bees
who have barbed legs to clean their antennae.
Basted in oil and sweat, we think our health
may be all the claws and antennae we need. 



Jamie McKendrick (Liverpool, 1955)