Robert Bly, Norman Maclean, Marcelin Pleynet, Tim Fountain, Iván Mándy

De Amerikaanse dichter en schrijver Robert Bly werd geboren op 23 december 1926 in Madison, Minnesota. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 december 2009.


Watching Television


Sounds are heard too high for ears,

From the body cells there is an answering bay;   

Soon the inner streets fill with a chorus of barks.


We see the landing craft coming in,   

The black car sliding to a stop,

The Puritan killer loosening his guns.


Wild dogs tear off noses and eyes

And run off with them down the street—

The body tears off its own arms and throws them into the air.


The detective draws fifty-five million people into his revolver,

Who sleep restlessly as in an air raid in London;

Their backs become curved in the sloping dark.


The filaments of the soul slowly separate;   

The spirit breaks, a puff of dust floats up;

Like a house in Nebraska that suddenly explodes.



Waking from Sleep


Inside the veins there are navies setting forth,   

Tiny explosions at the waterlines,

And seagulls weaving in the wind of the salty blood.


It is the morning. The country has slept the whole winter.

Window seats were covered with fur skins, the yard was full

Of stiff dogs, and hands that clumsily held heavy books.


Now we wake, and rise from bed, and eat breakfast!   

Shouts rise from the harbor of the blood,

Mist, and masts rising, the knock of wooden tackle in the sunlight.


Now we sing, and do tiny dances on the kitchen floor.   

Our whole body is like a harbor at dawn;   

We know that our master has left us for the day.



Robert Bly (Madison, 23 december 1926)



De Amerikaanse schrijver Norman Fitzroy Maclean werd geboren op 23 december 1902 in Clarinda, Iowa. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 december 2009.


Uit: A River Runs Through It


Even so, in a typical week of our childhood Paul and I probably received as many hours of instruction in fly fishing as we did in all other spiritual matters.

After my brother and I became good fishermen, we realized that our father was not a great fly caster, but he was accurate and stylish and wore a glove on his casting hand. As he buttoned his glove in preparation to giving us a lesson, he would say, “It is an art that is performed on a four-count rhythm between ten and two o’clock.”

As a Scot and a Presbyterian, my father believed that man by nature was a mess and had fallen from an original state of grace. Somehow, I early developed the notion that he had done this by falling from a tree. As for my father, I never knew whether he believed God was a mathematician but he certainly believed God could count and that only by picking up God’s rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty. Unlike many Presbyterians, he often used the word “beautiful.”



Scene uit de film van Robert Redford uit 1992 met o.a. Brad Pitt



After he buttoned his glove, he would hold his rod straight out in front of him, where it trembled with the beating of his heart. Although it was eight and a half feet long, it weighed only four and a half ounces. It was made of split bamboo cane from the far-off Bay of Tonkin. It was wrapped with red and blue silk thread, and the wrappings were carefully spaced to make the delicate rod powerful but not so stiff it could not tremble.

Always it was to be called a rod. If someone called it a pole, my father looked at him as a sergeant in the United States Marines would look at a recruit who had just called a rifle a gun.

My brother and I would have preferred to start learning how to fish by going out and catching a few, omitting entirely anything difficult or technical in the way of preparation that would take away from the fun. But it wasn’t by way of fun that we were introduced to our father’s art. If our father had had his say, nobody who did not know how to fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him. So you too will have to approach the art Marine and Presbyterian-style, and, if you have never picked up a fly rod before, you will soon find it factually and theologically true that man by nature is a damn mess.“



Norman Maclean (23 december 1902 – 2 augustus 1990)

Maclean in de jaren 1930




De Franse dichter, schrijver en essayist Marcelin Pleynet werd geboren op 23 december 1933 in Lyon. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 december 2009.


Uit: L’épopée d’Ezra Pound


« Le hall de l’enfer »
À l’aube du XXIe siècle, au temps de la constitution de l’Europe, de l’établissement d’une nouvelle monnaie (l’euro), des questions sur la mondialisation, la lecture des
Cantos engage plus que jamais un retour rétrospectif sur le siècle passé et sur ses classiques : Joyce, Céline, Pound.
Né aux États-Unis, à Hailey (Idaho) en 1885, mort à l’hôpital SS. Giovanni e Paolo, à Venise (Italie), en 1972, Ezra Pound, pour le meilleur et pour le pire, assumera dans son œuvre, et notamment dans
Les Cantos
, l’essentiel de ce qui constitue un siècle dont les bouleversements se réalisent expressivement dans la monstruosité des deux grandes guerres mondiales.
Les Cantos
se présentent comme une sorte d’épopée, le récit poétique d’événements propres à l’établissement de la culture occidentale, et de ses fondateurs, ils n’en sont pas moins étroitement liés à l’aventure d’un homme, à la vie, à la sensibilité propre de leur auteur, et à son temps.
C’est significativement que, en 1962, lors d’un entretien, Pound déclare avoir commencé à écrire
Les Cantos « vers 1904 », date à laquelle il a découvert La Divine Comédie
de Dante, bien que l’on sache que le projet du poème ne commence à se réaliser qu’en 1915.
Ces deux dates n’en sont pas moins significatives.
Les Cantos
commencent avec la découverte de l’œuvre de Dante, dans une université américaine, et Pound s’engage dans leur rédaction, à Londres, l’année même où il apprend la mort dans les tranchées, de son ami le sculpteur Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.
Très vite
Les Cantos sont habités par les souvenirs de la guerre, les amis morts, la situation sociale : « le prix de la vie en Occident », le trafic des armes : « Mon travail m’avait conduit à ne plus voir les guerres l’une après l’autre comme de simples accidents, mais comme partie intégrante du système. » Pound n’en démordra pas, en 1962, à la suite d’une autre guerre bien autrement meurtrière, il déclarera : « J’écris pour m’opposer à cette idée que l’Europe et la civilisation sont damnées. »


Marcelin Pleynet (Lyon, 23 december 1933)




De Britse schrijver Tim Fountain werd geboren op 23 december 1967 in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 december 2009.


Uit: Rude Britannia


“Melanie [who runs a dogging website] says it’s important to be well prepared for dogging and that you should ‘put together a small washing bag containing condoms (if the males haven’t brought any), wet wipes and deodorant’ … she then goes on to describe the various dogging ‘signals’.
The most common is flashing lights (exterior or interior) which basically means ‘we’re doggers’.
In the ‘after’ section Melanie advises that a ‘simple thank you’ should be given to all involved and all used condoms and litter picked up so it doesn’t spoil the environment for normal users.”



„The Scots are at it like rabbits. 10,000 Scots go dogging every year. I’d find people at it on a Monday night in East Kilbride, next to a landfill site. Or we’d drive up some country lane and spot a white bottom moving up and down, lit by the light from a car stereo blasting out Simply Red.

Scotland has so many beauty spots, some believe it’s actually encouraging all this outdoor activity. According to a survey, 80% of Highlanders are willing to make love outdoors.

Furries is also a trend that’s hit Scotland. That’s where people dress up in animal costumes – cartoon, anthropomorphic characters. ‘Yiffing’ is when you rub up against someone in your costume. But you must be careful – yiffing leads to ‘spooging’. That messes up your fur.“


Tim Fountain (
Dewsbury, 23 december 1967)




De Hongaarse Iván Mándy werd geboren op 23 december 1918 in Boedapest. Zie ook mijn blog van 23 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 23 december 2007 en ook mijn blog van 23 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 23 december 2009.


Uit: The Death of Zoro (Vertaald door Albert Tezla)


Two jolly fellows in the movie foyer. Zoro and Huru, the two staunch companions who never so much as take a single step without each other.

The boy stopped in front of them. He put his hand out as if he wanted to pat the cardboard cutout Zoro and the cardboard cutout Huru.

It was morning. He was alone in the foyer. Around him on the walls were photographs of film actors and actresses and scenes from next week’s attractions. But all these vanished beside the life-sized Zoro and Huru. They were standing at the cashier’s window. Somewhat offended at being left all by themselves in the dim foyer.

Perhaps the others are sitting in the darkened theatre this forenoon. Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, Barbara La Marre, Richard Dix… They are sitting there in front of the curtain drawn over the screen, staring straight ahead silently. No noise of any kind reaches them, only the beating of a carpet from a distant courtyard. They are sitting there in the long rows of seats. Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, Barbara La Marre, Richard Dix…

Zoro and Huru in the foyer. The gangling, mustached Zoro and the merry, chubby Huru. The buttons were torn off their coats long ago, and were held together by some sort of string. Little satchels in their hands. What can possibly be in those satchels?

The wall is covered with pictures from their film.

“Beach Photographers.”

The two noble companions are in striped swimsuits in one picture. Zoro’s head is stuck under the camera’s black cloth, while Huru poses women from the beach for a shot.

“I bet,” the boy thought, “Zoro and Huru are playing tricks on the beach. Maybe Zoro won’t even take his head out of the camera, and Huru is only interested in the girls. He positions the arm of one, the chin of another, meanwhile promising to marry them. It’s quite possible Huru is proposing to more than one girl. It’s quite possible he will bamboozle the whole beach”.


Iván Mándy (23 december 1918 – 26 oktober 1995)
Portret door Szinte Gábor, 1979


Zie voor nog meer schrijvers van de 23e december ook mijn vorige blog van vandaag en eveneens mijn eerste blog van vandaag.