Richard Preston, Sergio Ramírez, Conrad Aiken, Gunter Haug

De Amerikaanse schrijver Richard Preston werd geboren op 5 augustus 1954 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Zie ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2010.


Uit: The Wild Trees


“Steve Sillett had feathery light-brown hair, which hung out from under a sky-blue bandanna that he wore tied around his head like a cap. He had flaring shoulders, and his eyes were dark brown and watchful, and were set deep in a square face. The Sillett brothers stood shoulder to shoulder, looking at the birds. Their bodies were outlined against decks of autumn rollers coming in, giving off a continual roar. Scott handed the binoculars to his younger brother, and their hands touched for an instant. The Sillett brothers’ hands had the same appearance-fine and sensitive-looking, with deft movements.

Scott turned to Marwood: “Marty, I think your car should be called the Blue Vinyl Crypt. That’s what it will turn into if we fall off a cliff or get swiped by a logging truck.”

“Dude, you’re going to get us into a crash that will be biblical in its horror,” Steve said to Marwood. “You need to let Scott drive.” (Steve didn’t know how to drive a car.)

Marwood didn’t want Scott’s help with the driving. “It’s a very idiosyncratic car,” he explained to the Sillett brothers. In theory, he fixed his car himself. In practice, he worried about it. Lately he had noticed that the engine had begun to give off a clattering sound, like a sewing machine. He had also become aware of an ominous smell coming from under the hood, something that resembled the smell of an empty iron skillet left forgotten on a hot stove. As Marwood contemplated these phenomena and pondered their significance, he wondered if his car needed an oil change. He was pretty sure that the oil had been changed about two years ago, in Alaska, around the time the license plates had expired. The car had been driven twenty thousand miles since then, unregistered, uninsured, and unmaintained, strictly off the legal and mechanical grids. “I’m worried you’ll screw it up,” he said to Scott.

Steve handed the binoculars to his brother and climbed into the back of the Blue Vinyl Crypt. “Dudes, let’s go,” he said. “We need to see some tall redwoods.”




Richard Preston (Cambridge, 5 augustus 1954)



De Nicaraguaanse schrijver en politicus Sergio Ramírez Mercado werd geboren in Masatepe op 5 augustus 1942. Zie ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2010..

Uit: Adios Muchachos (Vertaald door Mark Falcoff)


“And to the very end that meant all or nothing. No one had picked up a rifle to make a revolution half-way. To dethrone Somoza required as its necessary antecedent a violent revolution, not a peaceful transition to which other sectors of society might aspire. And a program of radical change required a radical power capable of defending itself and freeing itself from risks and constraints. It was, evidently, to be power in perpetuity, for one does not prevail in war to acquire power for the short term, when one is determined to sweep history aside. Under such circumstances, moderates by definition were suspicious characters.

Besides reducing the working day in the countryside by half, and doubling the minimum wage of agricultural workers, the owners of the great haciendas were obliged to introduce meat, milk and eggs into the diet of the day-laborers, something that the labor inspectors had never before been able to enforce; the price of popular transport was frozen until the subsidies became so uneconomical that they had to be suspended; we raised the pensions of the retired, opened hundreds of day-car centers, vaccinated children against polio in massive campaigns, opened a National Literacy Crusade, and began from our very first day a radical agrarian reform.

Nonetheless, at the point that we began to divide up the land expropriated by Somoza and his accomplices, and had confiscated besides those of other landowners, we found ourselves at variance with the sentiments of those who urged us to award individual titles to landless peasants, the most downtrodden class of our of national history. Instead, ideological prejudices won out, and we created something called Units of Agropastoral Production (UPE), where, according to our theories, the peasants would live and work, compensated by good wages, and provided with clinics, schools and day-care centers for their children. But the land, like that assigned to cooperatives, would remain the property of the State, so as not to call into existence a new rural petit bourgeoisie.



Sergio Ramírez (Masatepe, 5 augustus 1942)


De Amerikaanse schrijver en dichter
Conrad Potter Aiken werd geboren in Savannah, Georgia op 5 augustus 1889. Zie ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2010.


The Dance Of Live


Gracious and lovable and sweet,

She made his jaded pulses beat,

And made the glare of streets grow dim

And life more soft and hushed for him….

Over her shoulder now she smiled

Trustfully to him, like a child,

The while her fingers gayly moved

Alonge these white keys dearly loved,

Making them laugh a jocund measure,

Making them show and sing her pleasure….

A smile that dwelt upon his eyes,

To see what mood might therein rise,–

What point of soft light seen afar

Which might dilate to moon or star….

A smile that for a second space

Brooded wistfully on her face,

Opening soft her spirit’s door,

Disclosing depths undreamed before:

Passionate depths of half-seen flame,

Young loveliness despising shame,

Desire that trembled to meet desire,

And fire that yearned to fuse with fire….

And lightly then she turned away,

Ironic music rippled gay,–

Subtle sarcastic flippancies

Disguising speechless ecstasies…

“Play something else…” He rose to turn

The pages, while the deep nocturne

Struck slow rich chords of plangent pain,

Beautiful, into heart and brain;

A tortured, anguished, suffering thing

That seemed at once to cry and sing;

Despairing love that strove to find

The face beloved with fingers blind.

He saw her body’s slender grace,

This drooping shoulder, shadowed face;

All of her body, hidden so

In saffron satin’s flush and flow,–

Its white and simple loveliness,–

Came on his heart like giddiness,

Seductive as this music came;

Until her body seemed like flame,–

Intense white flame, so swiftly moving

That it gave scarcely time for loving;

But rapid as the sun she seemed,

A blinding light that flowed and streamed

And sang and shone through roaring space….

The sun itself! for now her face,

Wherein this music’s whole soul dwelt,

Drew him like helpless star, he felt

A fierce compulsion, reckless, mad,

A sweet compulsion, troubled, glad,

His trembling hands went out to her,

Her cool flesh made his senses blur;

While, head thrown backward, sinking dim,

She opened wide her soul to him….

Past his life went whirls of lights,

Chaos of music, days and nights,

Her wild eyes yearned to lure him in

And close him up in dark of sin,

To lure him in and drink him down

And all his soul in love to drown….

Her nakedness he seemed to see.

And breast to breast, and knee to knee,

Tremulous, breathless, swaying, burning,

Body to beautiful body yearning,

In joy and terror, flesh to flesh,

They flamed in passion’s fine red mesh,–

Living in one short breath again

The cosmic tide’s whole bliss and pain,

Darkness and ether, nebulous fire,

Vast suns whirled forth by vast desire,

Huge moons flung out with monstrous mirth

And stars in glorious hells of birth,

All jubilating, blazing, reeling,

An orgiastic splendor wheeling,

Moon torn from earth and star from sun

In screaming pain, titanic fun,

And stars whirled back to sun again

To be consumed in flaming pain!…

In them at last all life was met:

They were God’s self! This earth had set.

Mad fires of life sang through their veins,

Ruinous blisses, joyous pains,

Life the destroyer, life the breaker,

And death, the everlasting maker….



Conrad Aiken (5 augustus 1889 – 17 augustus 1973)


De Duitse schrijver
Gunter Haug werd geboren op 5 augustus 1955 in Stuttgart. Zie ook mijn blog van 5 augustus 2010.


Uit: So war die Zeit



“Tief duckt sich die Steinmühle unter der mächtigen Stadtkulisse von Rothenburg ob der Tauber in den Flusslauf. Es ist Samstag, der 29. Mai 1948, recht früh am Morgen, kurz vor 7 Uhr. Ein schwarz-grüner Schatten liegt über den taufeuchten Wiesen. Die Sonne schickt ihren ersten zaghaften Strahl um die Wegbiegung. Ein großer, grau gestrichener Reisebus quält sich ruckelnd durch die enge, mit zahlreichen Schlaglöchern übersäte Straße im Taubertal. Hinter der immer noch in Trümmern liegenden Doppelbrücke verlangsamt er seine Geschwindigkeit deutlich, bleibt zögerlich stehen.
Der Fahrer wirft einen forschenden Blick zum rechten Straßenrand hinüber. Dort, am Hofeingang zur Steinmühle, stehen zwei Personen. Eine ältere, schwarzgekleidete Frau und ein junges Mädchen, vielleicht 13 oder 14 Jahre alt. Fahrgäste womöglich. Doch sie machen keine Anstalten, sich dem anhaltenden Bus zu nähern. Unwirsch blies der Fahrer Luft durch die Nase. „Ja, was ist jetzt?“, brummelte er ärgerlich und zuckte mit einer fragenden Geste die Schultern, während er den Blickkontakt mit der älteren der beiden aufnahm.
Die schien jetzt verstanden zu haben und hob abwehrend ihre Hände, während sie entschieden den Kopf schüttelte. Die Folge war ein neuerliches Brummeln. „Hätte ich mir ja denken können! Wer wird auch schon ohne Koffer verreisen wollen.“ Vorsichtig legte der Fahrer den Gang ein und trat dann kräftig auf das Gaspedal. „Diesen Umweg könnten wir uns sparen. Da steigt ja sowieso nie jemand ein.“ Der Bus stieß eine mächtige dunkle Rauchwolke aus seinem Auspuff und verschwand wenig später hinter der Straßenbiegung in Richtung Gebsattel. „Wo fahren die Leute mit dem Omnibus eigentlich hin?“




Gunter Haug (Stuttgart, 5 augustus 1955)


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 5e augustus ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag.