Peter May, Gernot Wolfgruber, Alain de Botton, Sandra Cisneros

De Schotse schrijver Peter May werd geboren op 20 december 1951 in Glasgow. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 20 december 2010.


Uit: Freeze Frame

Munich, Germany, December 20, 1951

Erik Fleischer was a man who counted his blessings. His wife was an attractive woman, hair cascading in golden waves over square shoulders, a smile that lit her inner soul, and spellbinding blue eyes. Still adoring after five turbulent years. He had two wonderful children, blond, blue-eyed clones of their mother. Magda’s genes had predominated over his own Mediterranean looks.
He had survived the war virtually unscathed, inheriting his parents’ Bavarian villa in this leafy suburb, establishing a lucrative practice among the new, burgeoning middle class rising now out of the ashes of Hitler’s madness.
The good life stretched ahead toward an unbroken horizon. How could he have known that this night he would lose everything?
As he sat reading the evening newspaper, he absorbed, almost unconsciously, the peals of laughter emanating from the dining room. Mother and children playing a simple board game. He dipped his head to peer over his glasses and glanced through the door toward them. And with the seeds of arousal sown by the merest glance at Magda, rose ambition for a third, or even a fourth.
He glanced at his watch, folded his paper and laid it aside. “I’ll be back down in fifteen.”
Magda half-turned her head toward the living room. “Dinner will be ready in twenty.”


Peter May (Glasgow, 20 december 1951)


De Oostenrijkse schrijver Gernot Wolfgruber werd geboren op 20 december 1944 in Gmünd. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 20 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 20 december 2010.


Uit: Die Nähe der Sonne

“Man wird das Haus ungern verlassen. Man ist in der Stadt bekannt. Jetzt überhaupt. Ständig werden einem Leute begegnen, denen die Neugier die Hälse verbiegt, wird man Bekannte treffen, die das ihnen Peinliche: einem über den Weg gelaufen zu sein, nur loswerden können, indem sie einem die Hand hinstrecken und ein paar Worte murmeln, einen also anstecken mit ihrer Peinlichkeit, während man ihnen schon dankbar wäre, wenn sie von nichts weiter als vom schönen Wetter, vom schönen Herbst reden würden oder wie andere plötzlich die Straßenseite gewechselt oder angelegentlich in ein Schaufenster gestarrt hätten, bis man vorbei wäre.

Es ist ganz leicht vorstellbar.

Man wird zusammensitzen, ehe man sich auf den Weg macht. Acht bis zehn Leute, die Kinder nicht gerechnet, vielleicht auch zwölf, Stefan Zell unter ihnen. Im Wohnzimmer Evas, der Schwester, wird man sich versammelt haben, um den ausziehbaren Eßtisch. Eine gute Stunde ist noch Zeit. Man

hat schon gegessen. Es ist viel auf den Tellern, in den Schüsseln geblieben. Man hat gesagt, daß man überhaupt nichts essen kann. Und man hat sich gewundert, daß man konnte.”


Gernot Wolfgruber (Gmünd, 20 december 1944)


De Zwitserse schrijver en filosoof Alain de Botton werd geboren in Zürich op 20 december 1969. Zie ook alle tags voor Alain de Botton op dit blog.


Uit: How Proust can change your Life

„In the preface to his translation of Ruskin’s Sesame and Lilies, Proust had written enough to turn the Illiers-Combray tourist industry into an absurdity had anyone bothered to listen:

‘We would like to go and see the field that Millet…shows us in his Springtime, we would like Claude Monet to take us to Giverny, on the banks of the Seine, to that bend of the river which he hardly lets us distinguish through the morning mist. Yet in actual fact, it was the mere chance of a connection or family relation that give…Millet or Monet occasion to pass or to stay nearby, and to choose to paint that road, that garden, that field, that bend in the river, rather than some other. What makes them appear other and more beautiful than the rest of the world is that they carry on them, like some elusive reflection, the impression they afforded to a genius, and which we might see wandering just as singularly and despotically across the submissive, indifferent face of all the landscapes he may have painted.’

It should not be Illiers-Combray that we visit: a genuine homage to Proust would be to look at our world through his eyes, not look at his world through our eyes.

To forget this may sadden us unduly. When we feel interest to be so dependent on the exact locations where certain great artists found it, a thousand landscapes and areas of experience will be deprived of possible interest, for Monet only looked at a few stretches of the earth, and Proust’s novel, though long, could not comprise more than a fraction of human experience. Rather than learn the general lesson of art’s attentiveness, we might seek instead the mere objects of its gaze, and would then be unable to do justice to parts of the world which artists had not considered. As a Proustian idolater, we would have little time for desserts which Proust never tasted, for dresses he never described, nuances of love he didn’t cover and cities he didn’t visit, suffering instead from an awareness of a gap between our existence and the realm of artistic truth and interest.“


Alain de Botton (Zürich, 20 december 1969)


De Amerikaanse dichteres en schrijfster Sandra Cisneros werd geboren op 20 december 1954 in Chicago. Zie ook mijn blog van 20 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 20 december 2009 en ook mijn blog van 20 december 2010..


Love Poem for a Non-Believer

Because I miss
you I run my hand
along the flat of my thigh
curve of the hip
mango of the ass Imagine
it your hand across
the thrum of ribs
arpeggio of the breasts
collarbones you adore
that I don’t

My neck is thin
You could cup it with one hand
Yank the life from me
if you wanted

I’ve cut my hair
You can’t tug
my hair anymore
A jet of black
through the fingers now

Your hands cool
along the jaw

skin of the eyelids
nape of the neck
soft as a mouth

And when we open like apple
split each other in half and
have seen the heart
of the heart
of the heart that part
you don’t I don’t
show anyone the part
we want to reel

back as soon as it
is suddenly unreeled like silk
flag or the prayer call
of a Mohammed we won’t
have a word for this except
perhaps religion


Sandra Cisneros (Chicago, 20 december 1954)