Mongo Beti, Georges Duhamel, Thomas Lovell Beddoes, John Gay, Marina Lewycka

De Kameroense schrijver Mongo Beti (eig. Alexandre Biyidi) werd geboren op 30 juni 1932 in Mbalmayo, een klein dorp ten zuiden van Yaoundé. Zie ook alle tags voor Mongo Betiop dit blog.

Uit: Mission to Kala (Vertaald door Peter Green)

„The village laid siege to me socially from the early morning onwards. First of all there were the young boys. They invaded my uncle’s house loaded with books and slates. They begged me to teach them to read, write, do sums, and understand the pictures in their books. Then came the grown men, who all wanted me to write letters for them. Since my arrival they had all taken it into their heads to place orders with European-style shops, I became their public scribe, scribbling away from morning to night under the absorbed and tireless gaze of an ever-increasing crowd.

Finally, there was the weaker sex — so weak, in fact, that I never found out just why young girls and women verging on middle age came and stared at me whenever they could manage it. They did nothing else, just stared: it was a simple kind of self-indulgence.“


Mongo Beti (30 juni 1932 – 8 oktober 2001)


De Franse dichter, romanschrijver en essayist Georges Duhamel werd geboren op 30 juni 1884 in Parijs. Zie ook alle tags voor Georges Duhamelop dit blog.



Ses yeux sont deux billes de verre,
Ses oreilles, feuilles de chou,
Il a mis la peau de son père
Avec son nez de caoutchouc
Il fait peur aux petits enfants !
Qu’est-ce que c’est ? C’est l’éléphant.

Il ne va jamais à l’école,
Il se met les doigts dans le nez,
Et quand il se gratte la tête
C’est avec ses ongles de pied.
Il n’a pas l’air bien portant.
Devine. C’est l’orang-outang !

Il dit tout ce qu’on lui fait dire,
Il est vert. Il parle du nez,
Il nous demande avec colère
Si nous avons bien déjeuné,
Oh ! Père, tu le reconnais.
C’est un père, le perroquet.


Les yeux de l’Amour

Il est assez difficile de regarder le ver blanc sans un dégoût coloré, malgré qu’on en ait, d’ une sorte de réprobation. « Je voudrais, dis-je à l’affreuse bestiole, je voudrais, pour être juste, et ce n’est vraiment pas facile, te voir avec les yeux de l’amour. C’est le seul moyen de remettre les choses en ordre. Oui, je voudrais te voir avec, par exemple, les yeux de ta fiancée. »
Le ver blanc se tortille, car le grand jour l’importune. Il répond d’un air bougon : « Ma fiancée ? Que voulez-vous dire ? Nous ne connaissons pas l’amour, nous autres, monsieur l’ignorant. Ce sont les hannetons échappés de nos chrysalides qui auront des fiancées. Mais plus tard, beaucoup plus tard. » Evidemment ! Tout s’explique. Impossible de regarder le ver blanc avec indulgence et tendresse.”


Georges Duhamel (30 juni 1884 – 13 april 1966)


De Engelse dichter Thomas Lovell Beddoes werd geboren op 30 juni 1803 in Clifton. Zie ook alle tags voor Thomas Lovell Beddoes op dit blog.


Let Dew The Flowers Fill

LET dew the flowers fill;
No need of fell despair,
Though to the grave you bear
One still of soul-but now too still,
One fair-but now too fair.
For, beneath your feet, the mound,
And the waves, that play around,
Have meaning in their grassy, and their watery, smiles;
And, with a thousand sunny wiles,
Each says, as he reproves,
Death’s arrow oft is Love’s.


Thomas Lovell Beddoes (20 juni 1803 – 26 januari 1849)


De Engelse dichter en dramaturg John Gray werd op 30 juni 1685 geboren in Barnstaple, Devon. Zie ook alle tags voor John Gray op dit blog.


Trivia; or the Art of Walking the Streets of London: Book I. (Fragment)

Of the Implements for Walking the Streets,
and Signs of the Weather.

Through winter streets to steer your courses aright,
How to walk clean by day, and safe by night,
How jostling crowds, with prudence to decline,
When to assert the wall, and when resign,
I sing: thou, Trivia, goddess, aid my song,
Through spacious streets conduct thy bard along;
By thee transported, I securely stray
Where winding alleys lead the doubtful way,
The silent court, and opening square explore,
And long perplexing lanes untrod before.
To pave thy realm, and smooth the broken ways,
Earth from her womb a flinty tribute pays;
For thee, the sturdy paver thumps the ground,
Whilst every stroke his labouring lungs resound;
For thee the scavenger bids kennels glide
Within their bounds, and heaps of dirt subside,
My youthful bosom burns with thirst of fame.
From the great theme to build a glorious name,
And bind my temples with a civic crown:
But more, my country’s love demands the lays,
My country’s be the profit, mine the praise.
When the black youth at chosen stands rejoice,
And ‘clean your shoes’ resounds from every voice;
When late their miry sides stage-coaches show,
And their stiff horses through the town move slow;
When all the Mall in leafy ruin lies,
And damsels first renew their oyster-cries:
Then let the prudent walker shoes provide,
Not of the Spanish or Morocco hide;
The wooden heel may raise the dancer’s bound,
And with the scallop’d top his step be crown’d:
Let firm, well-hammer’d soles protect thy feet
Through freezing snows, and rains, and soaking sleet.
Should the big last extend the shoe too wide,
Each stone will wrench the unwary step aside:
The sudden turn may stretch the swelling vein,
Thy cracking joint unhinge, or ankle sprain;
And then too short the modish shoes are worn,
You’ll judge the seasons by your shooting corn.
Nor should it prove thy less important care,
To choose a proper coat for winter’s wear.


John Gay (30 juni 1685 – 4 december 1732)


Onafhankelijk van geboortedata:

De Britse schrijfster van Oekraïense afkomst Marina Lewycka werd in 1946 in een vluchtelingenkamp in Kiel geboren. Haar vader Lewyckyj Petro was ingenieur. Later verhuisde het gezin naar Groot-Brittannië. Marina Lewycka studeerde aan de Keele University. Ze woont en werkt in Sheffield als docente media studies aan de Sheffield Hallam University.Haar literaire debuut was in 2005 op de leeftijd van bijna 60 jaar met de roman A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. Het boek werd een internationale bestseller en is inmiddels vertaald in 33 talen. Op het Hay Festival of Literature in 2005 werd ze bekroond met de Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. In hetzelfde jaar werd ze genomineerd voor de Orange Prize for Fiction. Haar tweede roman Two Caravansverscheen in 2007. Haar derde roman, We Are All Made of Glue werd gepubliceerd in 2009.

Uit: Strawberry Fields (Two Caravans)

„There is a field – a broad south-sloping field sitting astride a long hill that curves away into a secret leafy valley. It is sheltered by dense hedges of hawthorn and hazel threaded through with wild roses and evening-scented honeysuckle. In the mornings, a light breeze carries up over The Downs, just enough to kiss the air with the fresh salty tang of the English Channel. In fact so delightful is the air that, sitting up here, you might think you were in paradise. And in the field are two trailers, a men’s trailer and a women’s trailer.
If this were really the Garden of Eden, though, there ought to be an apple tree, thinks Yola. But it is the Garden of England, and the field is full of ripening strawberries. And instead of a snake, they have the Dumpling.
Sitting on the step of the women’s trailer, painting her toenails fuchsia pink, petite, voluptuous Yola watches the Dumpling’s Land Rover pull in through the gate at the bottom of the field, and the new arrival clamber down out of the passenger seat. Really, she cannot for the life of her understand why they have sent this two-zloty pudding of a girl, when what is clearly needed is another man – preferably someone mature, but with his own hair and nice legs and a calm nature – who will not only pick faster, but will bring a pleasant sexual harmony to their small community, whereas anyone can see that this little miss is going to set the fox among the chickens, and that all the men will be vying for her favors and not paying attention to what they are really here for, namely, the picking of strawberries. This thought is so annoying that it makes Yola lose concentration on her middle toe, which ends up looking like a botched amputation.“


Marina Lewycka (Kiel, 1946)