Raymond Carver, Rosario Castellanos, John Gregory Dunne, Max von der Grün, Alain Grandbois, Naim Frashëri, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Ralph Waldo Emerson

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver Raymond Carver werd geboren op 25 mei 1938 in Port Angeles. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2009.


Drinking While Driving


It’s August and I have not

Read a book in six months

except something called The Retreat from Moscow

by Caulaincourt

Nevertheless, I am happy

Riding in a car with my brother

and drinking from a pint of Old Crow.

We do not have any place in mind to go,

we are just driving.

If I closed my eyes for a minute

I would be lost, yet

I could gladly lie down and sleep forever

beside this road

My brother nudges me.

Any minute now, something will happen.



What The Doctor Said


He said it doesn’t look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I’m glad I wouldn’t want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I’m real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn’t catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who’d just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong



Raymond Carver (25 mei 1938 – 2 augustus 1988)


De Mexicaanse dichteres en schrijfster Rosario Castellanos werd geboren in Mexico-stad op 25 mei 1925. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2009.


De andere

Waarom namen van goden uitspreken, sterren
van schuim uit een onzichtbare oceaan,
stuifmeel van de verste tuinen,
als het leven ons pijn doet, als elke dag die komt
ons het hart verscheurt, als elke nacht ineengekrompen,
vermoord neervalt,
als het lijden van iemand, van een mens ons onbekend
maar straks aanwezig en slachtoffer,
de vijand en de liefde en alles dat ons ontbreekt
om volmaakt te zijn ons pijn doen?
Zeg nooit dat de duisternis
niet met één slok kan verslinden het geluk.
Kijk om je heen: er is de andere, er is altijd de andere.
Wat hij ademt is wat je verstikt,
wat hij eet is jouw honger.
Hij sterft met de zuiverste helft van jouw dood.

Vertaald door Henri Thijs





Because we were friends and sometimes loved each other,

perhaps to add one more tie

to the many that already bound us,

we decided to play games of the mind.


We set up a board between us:

equally divided into pieces, values,

and possible moves.

We learned the rules, we swore to respect them,

and the match began.


We’ve been sitting here for centuries, meditating


how to deal the one last blow that will finally

annihilate the other one forever.



Rosario Castellanos (25 mei 1925 – 7 augustus 1974)


De Amerikaanse schrijver en journalist John Gregory Dunne werd geboren op 25 mei 1932 in West Hartford, Connecticut. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2009.


Uit: Nothing Lost


The University of South Midland, whose main campus is located in Cap City, has never had a Nobel laureate, but its football team has been the national champion three times in the last eight years, and its coach, Dr. John Strong, has been on the cover of Time, Newsweek, U.S. News, and Sports Illustrated (three times, twice as he was doused with Gatorade by his team and assistant coaches after a victory); the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal has even floated his name as a future Republican vice-presidential candidate because of his devotion both to winning and to American ideals. All the university sports teams are named the Rhinos, although there is no palaeontological evidence that herds of rhinoceroses ever roamed the empty vistas of the Great Plains.
I teach a night school course in criminal law at Osceola County Community College in Cap City, and at the first class meeting each semester I tell my students that when I open the Kiowa Times-Ledger and the Capital City Herald every morning, I turn first to the obituary page. In an obit, I say, the spaces between the lines tell all. What is omitted is often more interesting than what is said. Example, from yesterday’s Herald, the deceased, a forty-nine-year-old professor of agronomy at the university, unknown to me, killed by a hit-and-run driver in a Kmart parking lot; said driver, just turned fifteen and without a license, apprehended two blocks from the accident site after blindsiding a brand-new Volvo SUV on a pre-purchase trial spin: “He is survived by his second wife, from whom he was recently divorced, and by a stepson from his first marriage.” Think of the moral and sexual misdemeanors woven into that simple sentence, the mosaic of small, mean betrayals. The mind has difficulty entertaining all the agronomist’s sins and discontents, mortal and venial, the permutations and possibilities of discarded and discarding spouses. And that is before we consider the teenage jerkoff who thought the Kmart parking lot was the Talledega Superspeedway.“



John Gregory Dunne (25 mei 1932 – 30 december 2003)
Hier met zijn vrouw, de schrijfster Joan Didion


De Duitse schrijver Max von der Grün werd geboren op 25 mei 1926 in Bayreuth. Zie ook mijn
blog van 25 mei 2009.


Uit: Flächenbrand


„Frank hatte zwei Mal schnell hintereinander geschossen.
Er schoss in dem Augenblick, als wir uns einig geworden waren, nicht zu schießen. Ich stand wie gelähmt, als die zwei dumpfen Schläge durch den Wald blafften; dann rannte ich einfach fort, ohne mich nach Frank umzusehen.
Nur fort, versinken, unsichtbar machen oder einfach in Luft auflösen, und beim Laufen hörte ich die beiden Schüs­se tausendfach an meine Ohren trommeln.
Als ich Franks Wagen erreichte, den er in einer Feldeinfahrt geparkt hatte, schloss er gerade den Wagen auf.
Bist du geflogen?, fragte ich keuchend.
Mir war, als dauerte es Stunden, bis das Auto ansprang und Frank losfuhr, ich hatte den Eindruck, als bewegte er sich im Zeitlupentempo auf der schmalen Straße, die von Hagen nach Dortmund von der Ruhr bergauf führt. Fahr doch schneller!, schrie ich. Fahr! Fahr!“



Max von der Grün (25 mei 1926 – 7 april 2005)


De Canadese dichter en schrijver Alain Grandbois werd geboren op 25 mei 1900 in Saint-Casimir, Québec. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2009.




Chacun sans issue

Très bien muré

Dans son cachot dévorant

Le temps glisse à reculons

Mon fer m’a forgé


Nuls maillons de chaînes

Ne peuvent me retenir

Je suis plus dur

Que tout l’acier du monde

Je ne veux plus rien entendre


Je connais ces mots

Gonflés comme des fruits mûrs

Ah dans le brouillard

Ces îles fantômales

Je refuse leur murmure


Je refuse l’émouvante évasion

D’une aube libératrice

Avec le ciel de ses étoiles

Leurs troupes de fraîcheur

Dispensant les délices


Je refuse l’empreinte

De son pas sur la plage

Le sable léger

Marquant le signe encore

Aux cadrans solennels


Îles frontées de rubis

Îles belles perdues

Ô lumineux sarcophages

Vos purs doigts repliés

Me trouvent insaisissable


Les grands vertiges de la mer

Souffraient les souffles incantatoires

Quels éblouissants coquillages

Pour faire oublier la noyade

De ce qui restait de nos morts


Nous aurions pu tenter alors

La calme angoisse de la nuit

Le cristal de la solitude

L’innocence de l’immobilité

Le secret refuge des miroirs noirs


La dévastation de l’univers

Soudain sur nous répandue

La sourde confession

Des mornes mélancolies

Glissaient au bleu des ravisseurs


Plus loin que l’apparat des mondes

Au delà des abîmes prématurés

Au delà des tendres prairies vertes

Au delà du plus sûr piège

De l’instant du jeu brisé


Les prédestinations défendues

La voix de l’espoir avec appel

Un sang rouge comme apprivoisé

Un fallacieux destin de bonheur

Les liens de la mer et de la joie


Cette prison mortelle

Ô belle aux yeux morts

Je tente en veillant

De libérer ta mort

De libérer ma mort



Alain Grandbois (25 mei 1900 – 18 maart 1975)


De Albanese dichter en schrijver Naim Frashëri werd geboren op 25 mei 1846 in Frashër. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2009.


The Flute


Listen to the flute a-speaking,
Tell the tale of wretched exile,
Weeping for this world of sorrow
Using words of truth to spin it.


Since the day they seized and took me
From my friends and my companions,
Men and women have been weeping
At the echo of my sobbing.


I have rent my breast from beating,
Gaping holes have made within it,
How I’ve wept and have lamented,
Thousand sighs my heart has rendered.


I’m a friend and blithe companion
Both of this world’s happy people
And of all folk sad, embittered,
With them do I make alliance.


Whate’er be the situation,
I can weep and mourn in longing,
At any time and any place will
My heart sigh and be a-moaning.


All the world does listen to me,
Sees though only my appearance,
Of my wishes they know nothing,
Nor the fire that burns within me.


People come and gather ‘round me
When I weep and tell of longing,
Yet they do not know my secret,
Thus I find no consolation.


Those abandoned, hearts forsaken,
Of the flute become companions,
Some, its mellow scales a-hearing,
Lose their minds, their wits completely.


Human falsehood and illusion!
The flute’s voice is not mere wind, it
Has the fire of love within it
When that lowly reed is fingered.


When it plays, the heavens brighten,
When it plays, do hearts take courage,
When it plays, the summer blossoms,
When it plays, the soul’s ecstatic.


To the rose it lends its fragrance,
And to beauty adds an aura,
Gives the nightingale its music,
Charm bestows upon the cosmos.


Of that fire to the heavens
Rising, flickering and flaming,
Does it make the sun and stars which
God within his hands is holding.


From that fire, true God Almighty
All the firmament he fashioned,
Sent the spark of life, creating
Humankind after his likeness.


Fire, oh blessed fire a-blazing,
I with you have been united,
Thus am purified and blended.
Never leave me, my beloved!




Vertaald door Robert Elsie



Naim Frashëri (25 mei 1846 – 20 oktober 1900)


De Britse schrijver, criticus en politicus Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton werd geboren in Londen op 25 mei 1803. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2009.


Uit: Zanoni


„In looking round the wide and luminous circle of our great living Englishmen, to select one to whom I might fitly dedicate this work,one who, in his life as in his genius, might illustrate the principle I have sought to convey; elevated by the ideal which he exalts, and serenely dwelling in a glorious existence with the images born of his imagination,in looking round for some such man, my thoughts rested upon you. Afar from our turbulent cabals; from the ignoble jealousy and the sordid strife which degrade and acerbate the ambition of Genius,in your Roman Home, you have lived amidst all that is loveliest and least perishable in the past, and contributed with the noblest aims, and in the purest spirit, to the mighty heirlooms of the future. Your youth has been devoted to toil, that your manhood may be consecrated to fame: a fame unsullied by one desire of gold. You have escaped the two worst perils that beset the artist in our time and land,the debasing tendencies of commerce, and the angry rivalries of competition. You have not wrought your marble for the market,you have not been tempted, by the praises which our vicious criticism has showered upon exaggeration and distortion, to lower your taste to the level of the hour; you have lived, and you have laboured, as if you had no rivals but in the dead,no purchasers, save in judges of what is best. In the divine priesthood of the beautiful, you have sought only to increase her worshippers and enrich her temples. The pupil of Canova, you have inherited his excellences, while you have shunned his errors,yours his delicacy, not his affectation.”



Edward Bulwer-Lytton (25 mei 1803 – 18 januari 1873)


De Amerikaanse schrijver, filosoof en essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson werd geboren in Boston, Massachusetts op 25 mei 1803. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2007 en ook mijn blog van 25 mei 2009.


Uit: The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Introductie door Maty Oliver)


The distinction and particular value of anything, or any person, inevitably must alter according to the time and place from which we take our view. In any new discussion of Emerson, these two weights are upon us. By time, of course, I mean our entrance into the twenty-first century; it is almost two hundred years since Emerson’s birth in Boston. By place, I mean his delivery from the town of Concord, and his corporeal existence anywhere. Now he is only within the wider, immeasurable world of our thoughts. He lives nowhere but on the page, and in the attentive mind that leans above that page.
This has some advantage for us, for he is now the Emerson of our choice: he is the man of his own time–his own history–or he is one of the mentors of ours. Each of these possibilities has its attractions, for the man alive was unbelievably sweet and, for all his devotion to reason, wondrously spontaneous. Yet as time’s passage has broken him free of all mortal events, we begin to know him more clearly for the labors of his life: the life of his mind. Surely he was looking for something that would abide beyond the Tuesday or the Saturday, beyond even his first powerful or cautionary or lovely effect.“



Ralph Waldo Emerson (25 mei 1803 – 27 april 1882)