Patrick Modiano, Cherie Priest, Christopher Nolan, Salvador Novo, Emily Brontë, Alexander Trocchi, Pauline van der Lans, Jacques de Kadt

De Franse schrijver Patrick Modiano werd geboren in Boulogne-Billancourt op 30 juli 1945. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2007 en ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2008.

Uit: Unfall in der Nacht (Vertaald door Elisabeth Edl)  


“Spät in der Nacht, vor sehr langer Zeit, kurz bevor ich volljährig wurde, da überquerte ich die Place des Pyramides in Richtung Concorde, als ein Wagen aus der Dunkelheit auftauchte. Zunächst glaubte ich, er habe mich gestreift, dann spürte ich einen stechenden Schmerz vom Knöchel bis hinauf ins Knie. Ich war auf das Trottoir gestürzt. Doch ich schaffte es, wieder aufzustehen. Der Wagen hatte plötzlich einen Schlenker gemacht und war mit dem Geklirr zerbrechenden Glases gegen einen der Arkadenpfeiler auf dem Platz geprallt. Die Tür ging auf, und eine Frau stieg schwankend aus. Jemand, der vor dem Hoteleingang unter den Arkaden stand, hat uns ins Foyer geführt. Wir, die Frau und ich, warteten auf einem roten Lederkanapee, während er an der Rezeption telephonierte. Sie hatte sich an der Wange, auf dem Backenknochen und der Stirn verletzt, und sie blutete. Ein brünetter Klotz mit sehr kurzem Haar hat das Foyer betreten und ist auf uns zugekommen.
Draußen umringten sie den Wagen, dessen Türen offenstanden, und einer machte sich Notizen wie für ein Protokoll. Als wir in den Streifenwagen stiegen, merkte ich, daß ich keinen Schuh mehr am linken Fuß hatte. Die Frau und ich saßen nebeneinander auf der Holzbank. Der brünette Klotz hatte sich uns gegenüber auf der anderen Bank niedergelassen. Er rauchte und warf von Zeit zu Zeit einen kalten Blick auf uns. Durch das vergitterte Fenster habe ich gesehen, daß wir den Quai des Tuileries hinunterfuhren. Man hatte mir keine Zeit gelassen, den Schuh zu holen, und ich habe gedacht, daß er nun die ganze Nacht dort auf dem Trottoir liegenbleiben würde. Ich wußte nicht mehr genau, ob es ein Schuh war oder ein Tier, das ich im Stich gelassen hatte, jener Hund aus meiner Kindheit, der von einem Wagen überfahren worden war, als ich in der Nähe von Paris lebte, in einer Rue du Docteur-Kurzenne. Mir war ganz wirr im Kopf.




Patrick Modiano (Boulogne-Billancourt, 30 juli 1945)


De Amerikaanse schrijfster Cherie Priest werd geboren in Tampa op 30 juli 1975. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2007 en ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2008.


Uit: The Immigrant


«”Venez m’aider,” he said.

With a jaw like that, so long and underbitten like a boxer dog, you wouldn’t have thought he could speak at all. His face wasn’t made for talking, but he forced the words out. He said it again, quiet-like.

“Venez m’aider.”

I knew what it meant. I didn’t know ten words of French total, but I knew those last two, pushed together with an apostrophe, if you wrote them out.

He looked like a cross between a lizard and a cat, or he did when he was sitting, anyway. When he stood and unfolded himself, he was the size of a pillow, maybe — but so slender, with bones so thin they must have been fragile. Something about the way he held that one wing back . . . something about his crouch, all submissive — like a dog or a kid afraid of being hit — it made me think he was a brittle little thing.

He had my attention, and he knew it. I don’t know why I thought of him automatically as a he,’ but it must have been that voice. It could’ve been a boy’s voice, if that boy were very tired, and maybe sick.

We stared at each other for a minute.

He looked at me through half-closed eyes, and he probably figured the worst. I was a mess, and I looked mean. It’d been less than a month since Normandy. I’d been lucky enough to make it past the beach, then they sent us down through France, which wasn’t half so bad — once you got past that initial reception. As soon as we got into Paris they sent me and a few others to dislodge the last of the Germans — the ones who hadn’t got the message yet that Paris had been liberated. Most of them had run out ahead of us, but there were a few here and there digging in and holding out.

I thought I’d heard something, you know how it is — down a dark alley, in a beat-up part of the city. Don’t want to look. Don’t want to check. Don’t want to go. Seen enough already.

But orders are orders, so you do it anyhow.

I told myself it was a few stray bricks, falling from an unlucky wall or a shell-battered house. I knew the Krauts hadn’t been too hard on the city, not compared to other places. But there were beat-up spots here and there, and I’d found one. I just hoped the spot was unoccupied. That was the trick.”



Cherie Priest (Tampa, 30 juli 1975)


De Ierse dichter en schrijver Christopher Nolan werd geboren in Dublin op 30 juli 1965 – Dublin. Nolan was sinds zijn geboorte spastisch verlamd en kon niet spreken. Schrijven kon hij uitsluitend met behulp van een speciale computer. In 1981, toen Nolan 15 jaar was, verraste hij de critici met de gedichtenbundel Dam-Burst of Dreams. Hij werd vergeleken met zijn landgenoten Yeats en James Joyce. Met Under the Eye of the Clock, een autobiografie uit 1987, won hij de Whitbread Award. Torchlight And Lazer Beams was een toneelversie van het werk. De Ierse rockgroep U2 droeg de song Miracle drug, van hun album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, op aan Nolan. De titel The Wrong Child van het album Green van R.E.M. werd door Nolan geïnspireerd. Hij verstikte zich in februari 2009, nadat een stuk voeding in zijn luchtpijp was geraakt.


Uit: The Banyan Tree


“That churn came out once a week, usually on a Friday. Big brown crocks of thickening cream stood there waiting for the fray. A great black kettle watched for its turn as it filibustered on the hot stove in the kitchen, while out in the drab dairy Minnie O’Brien fussed as she made ready to bring about a miracle.
The churn echoed in emptiness when she set it centre stage on the cold cement floor. A round-bellied barrel it was, its staves held together by four iron hoops. Eight days had passed since it was last used; its insides now waited their hot and cold baptism.
When Minnie felt that the churn was scrubbed enough, she set to next to sweeten its porous wood. At hand lay a bunch of freshly plucked hazel leaves, and those she thrust down inside it. Fetching then that big black kettle, she poured its boiling water in on top of the leaves. Scalded so, the leaves released their nutty sweet scent and the hot wood of the churn absorbed it into its druidic, dark drum.
Her hazel wand waved, Minnie disposed of the limp leaves before shocking the churn with, this time, icy cold water from the old spring well. Three white pails full it took to cool down the steaming hot wood, three whole pails full she used to freeze the churn in readiness for its sacramental rotations.”



Christopher Nolan (30 juli 1965 – 20 februari 2009)


De Mexicaanse dichter, schrijver, vertaler, televisiepresentator en ondernemer Salvador Novo werd geboren op 30 juli 1904 in Mexico City. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2007 en ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2008.




Even now in writing, I’m doing something different.
I told myself: I must write a thoughtful poem
and I should speak within it all my pain
before the evidence of my aging.

I should dampen it in tears
of eyes that see without the hope
that life gives lovely fruits
and that then go to the mirror
to reflect a bogus smile
and a clumsy body without grace.

These eyes that imprison crystals
that tire in the cages
of lines inside books.

This mouth bitter with smoke and lies
that withers on its own from thirst.
These hands that pick up pencils, that reach
for another pair of needy hands,
that knot my tie and secure my confinement.

The cost of youth is a pinch of gold,
tomorrow at the expense of today,
today at the expense of yesterday,
a blessing at the expense of a kiss,
greetings at the expense of bliss.



Vertaald door Rigoberto González



Salvador Novo (30 juli 1904 – 13 januari 1974)


De Engelse schrijfster Emily Brontë werd geboren in Thornton in Yorkshire op 30 juli 1818. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2006 en ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2007 en ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2008.


Uit: Wuthering Heights


“When he saw my horse’s breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did put out his hand to unchain it, and then sullenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered the court–“Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood’s horse; and bring up some wine.”
“Here we have the whole establishment of domestics, I suppose,” was the reflection suggested by this compound order. “No wonder the grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters.”
Joseph was an elderly, nay, an old man: very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy. “The Lord help us!” he soliloquised in an undertone of peevish displeasure, while relieving me of my horse: looking, meantime, in my face so sourly
that I charitably conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner, and his pious ejaculation had no reference to my unexpected advent.
Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff’s dwelling. “Wuthering” being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun. Happily the architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones.
Before passing the threshold, I paused to admire a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door; above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, I detected the date “1500,” and the name “Hareton Earnshaw.” I would have made a few comments, and requested a short history of the place from the surly owner; but his attitude at the door appeared to demand my speedy entrance, or complete departure, and I had no desire to aggravate his impatience previous to inspecting the penetralium.”



Emily Brontë (30 juli 1818 – 19 december 1848)


De Schotse schrijver Alexander Trocchi werd geboren op 30 juli 1925 in Glasgow. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2007  en ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2008.


Uit: Young Adam


“This morning, the first thing after I got out of bed, I looked in the mirror. It is of chromium plated steel and I always carry it with me. My beard had grown during the night and now my checks and my chin were covered with stubble. I must have slept well; my eyes were less bloodshot than they had been during the previous fortnight. I looked at my image for a few moments and I could see nothing strange about it. It was the same nose and the same mouth and the little scar above and thrusting into my left eyebrow was no more obvious than it had been the day before. Nothing seemed out of place. Yet everything was out of place because there existed between the mirror and myself the same distance–the same break in continuity–I have always felt to exist between the acts I committed in the past and my present consciousness of them.

But there is no problem.

I do not ask now whether I am the “I” looking or the image which was seen; whether I am the man who acted or the man who thought about the act. I know now that it is the structure of language itself which lacks continuity. The problem comes into being as soon as I use the word “I.” There is no contradiction in things, only in objects, that is, in the words we invent to refer to things. It is the word “I” which is arbitrary and contains withi
n itself its own inadequacy and its own contradiction.

There is no problem.

I saw that. I turned away from the face in the mirror then. Between then and now I have smoked nine cigarettes.

* * * *

It had come floating downstream, willowy, like a tangle of weeds. She was beautiful in a pale way–not her face, although that was not bad–but the way her body seemed to have given itself to the water. Its whole gesture was abandoned, with the long white legs apart and trailing, sucked downwards slightly at the feet.

As I leaned over the side of the barge with the boat hook, I did not think of her as a dead woman, not even when I looked at her face. She was like some beautiful white water-fungus, a strange shining thing come up from the depths, and her limbs and her flesh had the ripeness and maturity of a large mushroom. But it was the hair more than anything. It stranded “



Alexander Trocchi (30 juli 1925 – 15 april 1984)


De Nederlandse schrijfster Pauline van der Lans werd geboren op 30 juli 1963 in Den Haag. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2008.


Uit: Mevrouw De Wit


‘Kom maar Kimberley! Doe de bal maar naar de buuf gooien!’

Met een klap sluit Mevrouw De Wit de keukendeur. Die stem van dat mens, niet om aan te horen. Ordinair, schel, doorrookt en Nijmeegs. Ze ratst het overgordijn dicht. Alsof dat helpt. ‘Hohohohoh!’ klinkt het mat. ‘Waar is die bal nou?’

Er zit maar een ding op: ze moet haar flat uit. Maakt niet uit waar naartoe. In de verduisterde keuken haalt ze nog even een doekje over het aanrecht en controleert ze of het gas uit is.

In het bushokje ziet ze zichzelf weerspiegelt in een billboardreclame van ‘War Child’ met daarop een tenger meisje in zwarte kleren dat een snaarinstrument vasthoudt. Op de achtergrond rokende puinhopen. Ze laat het beeld van het meisje los en verplaatst haar blik naar zichzelf, zittend op het metalen bankje. Een mollige ‘buuf’ die nodig naar de kapper moet. Volgens de dienstregeling duurt het nog vijf minuten voordat de bus komt. Vijf minuten om na te denken waarom ze zich zo aan haar buurvrouw ergert. Dolores. Ook dat nog. Het is niet alleen die naam, die stem. ‘Tuurlijk niet. Nee, het is een vrolijk mens, ze rookt als een ketter en zuipt als een tempelier. Niet dat mevrouw De Wit
daar nou behoefte aan heeft, maar ze zou wel eens wat losser willen zijn, iemand met diepgang en met wie je ook kan lachen. Een kruising tussen prinses Irene en Erica Terpstra. De buschauffeur stempelt haar strippenkaart af.” 



Pauline van der Lans (Den Haag, 30 juli 1963)


Zie voor onderstaande schrijver ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2008.


De Nederlandse publicist, journalist en politicus Jacques de Kadt werd geboren op 30 juli 1897 in Oss. Zie ook mijn blog van 30 juli 2007.